Growth strategies are important right from the moment when you launch your startup. We know when you’ve just launched your startup, you’d like to take time to bask in this huge moment of pride. However, if you spend too much time celebrating the launch, you could jeopardize the success of your startup. The last thing you want to do is waste time celebrating your launch when you could be putting crucial strategies in place beforehand. The truth is that just after the launch, you will start grappling with serious cash flow issues and working in overdrive to meet your goals. Additionally, you might find yourself with an increasing need for skill sets that you cannot afford to bring in at the company at that point.
The only way to beat these challenges is to focus on scaling your company to increase the customer base and bring in more cash to finance your growth, hiring, advertising and further product development.
Setting goals and planning for them is an essential part of beginning that growth. Even with the goals all set, you will find that you will need to wear many hats in order to make the startup work. After all, when you are the founder, you are also the CEO, accountant, customer service rep and sometimes the product developer. This is how bootstrapping works for founders who want to keep all costs to a very minimum and finance the company’s growth.
If you can make use of the following strategies, you will not be waiting a very long time before those sales start streaming in:
Search engine optimization helps small businesses scale faster. Even so, it takes time before organic traffic properly kicks in. All startups should make sure that from the very beginning, SEO is tackled and their website aligned with all the rules set by Google – the most powerful search engine today. As a first step, I would recommend choosing a proper website builder. You can even choose a DIY website builder if you want more flexibility.
SEO is also not something you work on for a while, sit back, and forget. It is a continuous process that requires you to put in effort every day for your business.
After a few months of doing proper SEO, traffic starts to kick in. Organic traffic is the easiest way to grow your business in a very passive manner too.
2) Content marketing
Blogging for startups is mandatory. The best way to book your spot as a credible company in your field is to write guides, articles, and features on your blog. However, it’s not enough to just write. Make sure you’re producing informative content that people will appreciate. One way to do this is to do a keyword search using an SEO tool like the Keyword Explorer by Ahrefs. A search like this should give you an idea of what topics people are interested in hearing about in your niche. Once you have a list of keywords, it’s easier to plan and write articles for your blog.
These articles should not only help possible customers to solve problems they are having in that field but also help your prospective clients understand your product better. By adding your voice into the space, your credibility increases and you get more social media traffic from shares.
Content is a critical part of scaling because it proves your understanding of the topics in question. Several businesses including Buffer and HubSpot have grown as a result of their helpful and informative blog posts. You roo can do the same – start by looking at this content marketing guide.
3) Guest posting
These days, there are several bloggers in every niche. Many of these blogs are also turning into legitimate media companies. Compile a list of bloggers that write content based on your keywords and niche.
Contact them and offer to contribute some quality blog posts on their site in return for lifetime memberships or a free product or service. Alternatively, you could just ask them to write an organic piece about you or add mentions of your brand to their articles. This strategy is usually very effective since most bloggers are continuously looking for valuable content to share with their readers.
4) Giveaways and Contests
There are few things people love as much as giveaways and contests. In fact, customers are always willing to go the extra mile just to get something for free.
Creating online contests where winners can get gifts and freebies from your brand could scale your business incredibly and put it in front the right customers.
5) Social media
Startups like Buzzfeed leveraged social media to become media giants. The good thing about social media networks is that they already have users just waiting to engage with you. You can connect with this clout of billions of people for free. All you need to do is spend a bit of time building an active social media presence. Once you’ve established positive relationships with your target audience, you will find yourself with fans who are happy to market your product and scale it extensively.
Add sharing buttons on your blog and create pages on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and Instagram. Grow your audiences on these platforms and watch your startup scale.
6) Lead magnet and Sales Funnel
The best online marketers will tell you the importance of having a lead magnet to attract possible leads. These are usually in the form of free downloadable items and free offers which people can access in return for their contact details. Once you have these contact details, you can create a sales funnel and keep marketing your product to these people. If you do this right, you can lead each prospect slowly through your sales funnel until they convert into paying customers.
7) Email Marketing
One of the most powerful drivers of growth is email. You can send valuable emails to your blog subscribers and pitch your product to them. You can generate a lot of sales from this.
The main goal should be to grow your email list. Including opt-in forms on your blog could help you grow an audience for these emails. Avoid spamming your users and ensure that all the emails you send are very informative and add value.
You can also implement drip campaigns to ensure that this email marketing process keeps going on without you necessarily getting involved on a daily basis.
8) Affiliates Network
Affiliate networks have helped several startups to scale. Amazon is partly what it is today because of its affiliate program. In order to create an effective affiliate marketing program, you need to recruit people to market your product or service and pay them a commission for all the sales they generate.
This is a solid growth strategy that has helped most hosting companies expand their businesses to millions of customers. However, you should be careful to not provide too much commission. Overly generous commissions can lead to cash flow problems and eventually jeopardize your business.
If you can figure out how much it costs per customer acquisition, you can set your AdWords budget and position it in a way that you can get more from the customer when they sign up.
AdWords is one of the biggest advertising platforms around. Cracking the strategy to use this platform will help you scale your business in ways you can’t imagine. It will cost more than most strategies above. However, since it is based on the search habits of your potential customers and re-targeting, the rewards will be worth it too.
10) PR Outreach
You need to put your startup in front of the media if you want to achieve your growth goals. Choosing the kind of media outlets that you’d like to partner with to share your news is also very crucial. From building a target media list to perfecting your cold email pitch and building long-lasting media relations, each part of the PR process is very essential.
At Pressfarm, we provide you with a media database of 1 million+ journalists, influencers and bloggers from different industries. This makes it easier for you to build an effective media list for your brand. If you’d rather not DIY your own media list, we can also create custom media lists to help you connect with the best media professionals in your industry.
In addition to this, we can help you create quality content to capture media attention. With a professional press release, some engaging guest posts and an eye-catching media kit, we can help you stand out in your industry. Furthermore, our distribution strategy includes targeted pitching of your brand and guest posting. By submitting your content to the right media outlets and startup directories, we can boost your online presence. This distribution strategy is designed to ensure you feature in relevant search results across search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing!
With one of our affordable PR packages, you can give your startup the exposure it needs to be featured in the press.