100 Ways to Grow your Startup
For Early Stage Founders
This started off as a Product Backlog of Growth Experiments for me to conduct on my own startup Onecard.bio.
After sharing with a few friends and getting a few “Oh Sh#@, this is good” reactions I decided to turn it into a directory to help other founders. Enjoy.
(Internal links won’t work on Mobile)
- #1) Setup Google Analytics for tracking Conversions, Traffic Sources and tracking on page activity of website viewers.
- #2) Compare your Cost of Customer Acquisition across channels in Microsoft Excel to optimise your ad spend budget by channel.
- #3) Create a Dashboard in PowerBI or Google Data Studio with API integrations to your key platforms (e.g. Google AdWords, Facebook Ads Manager, Stripe) to measure live results against KPI’s & OKR’s.
- #4) Create a Branding Guidelines Document. This typically includes stylistic elements like typography, colour scheme, logo and reusable imagery.
- #5) Create a Message House for Ideal Customer Personas (ICPs) for copy inspiration in ad campaigns.
- #6) Collect reviews, testimonials and user feedback to be used in marketing collateral and embedded on your website for social proof. Trustpilot can be used for collecting reviews
- #7) Create Social Media post templates; using brand guidelines for establishing brand identity on social media. Use a tool like Canva for template creation.
❄️ Cold Outreach
- #8) Personalised cold email outreach at scale — perform detailed lead research and add two unique data points to a contact list uploaded to a cold outreach tool that allows for personalisation fields in campaigns, like Lemlist.
- #9) Create personalised videos for new LinkedIn connections using a tool like Loom.
- #10) Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to build Lead Lists based on ICP’s.
- #11) Monitor your Lead Lists on Sales Navigator for Content updates and engage with leads based on recent content they shared to build rapport.
- #12) Find users of complimentary software products to yours using a platform like BuiltWith.
- #13) Reach out to 25 new contacts a day identified from Sales Navigator Lead Lists with a personalised Connection Request.
- #14) Identify email addresses of Sales Navigator Lead List contacts using a tool like Snov.
- #15) Join public Slack Channels for Ideal Customer Personas (ICPs)and contribute to the conversation with valuable insights.
- #16) Join Facebook Groups for Ideal Customer Personas (ICPs)and contribute to the group by posting insightful non-commercial content that backlinks to your product subtly.
- #17) Join LinkedIn Groups for ideal customer personas (ICPs) and share your non-commercial content, like blogs.
- #18) Seek permission from Group Admins to post a promotional offer that is highly relevant and exclusive to the Group.
- #19) Create your own Slack Group for key ICP’s and seed with people from within your personal network. Works best for niches where communities don’t already exist.
- #20) Create a LinkedIn or Facebook Group for ICPs and stimulate conversation with frequent high value posts, externally linked content and posts that invite comment responses. Works best when the group is branded independently of your product.
- #21) Update the Cover Photo of your LinkedIn or Facebook Group to a promotional offer from your startup that is exclusive to the group with a clear Call to Action (CTA).
🥇 Competitor Analysis
- #22) Monitor Competitor Ads using tools like Facebook Ad Library, Spyfu and Ahrefs.
- #23) Setup Google News monitoring for key competitor.
- #24) Configure Google Alerts for mentions of your product and campaign in the media, or across the web.
- #25) Track mentions of key competitors on social media using Social Media Monitoring tools like Social Mention.
📚 Content Marketing
- #26) Create a Brand Manifesto document, which explains in non-commercial terms why your brand exists, its purpose, and why people should care about your brand.
- #27) Create 30 second Product Explainer Videos outlining how your product solves problems experienced by your ICP.
#28) Create useful guides for early adopters of your product to maximise success. This can be in the form of product wikis, How To videos and FAQ’s.
- #29) Add internal links to your own content within your blogs and newsletters.
- #30) Add external links within your content where internal links aren’t available or when linking to valuable content.
- #31) Create a Press Release document when your startup hits an interesting milestone that you can distribute to targeted journalists and bloggers.
- #32) Initiate a reciprocal guest blogging relationship with a blogger that is relevant to your ICP. You agree for them to guest blog on your site, as well as backlink to their content, and vice-versa.
- #33) Create Content Clusters by breaking down your most successful and long-form content (like your Brand Manifesto) into complimentary pieces of pieces of smaller content.
* Target individual keywords with each and leverage internal linking between content for maximum SEO benefits.
- #34) Create image ads comparing your product directly to your key competitor and outline the key advantages over the competition.
- #35) Create a YouTube account focussed on creating non-commercial videos that convey Domain Expertise and valuable information to your ICPs.
- #36) Use Ad Delivery Networks, like Outbrain, for displaying Banner Ads to websites frequented by ICPs.
- #37) Create a profile with Onecard.bio to aggregate all of your best content from across channels into the one interactive page.
🛠 Conversion Rate Optimisation
- #38) Add pop-up forms on website for capturing contact information in exchange for valuable downloadable content, or limited time offers.
- #39) Create interactive content on your website to enable leads to self-identify, such as questionnaires and buttons on live chat. Use tools like ConvertFlow and Right Message.
- #40) Create quizzes and recommendation surveys centred around problems and use cases experienced by your ICP. Use tools like Lead Quizzes or Typeform
- #41) Drip campaign email sequence to Free Users to upgrade to Premium, with limited time offers, using transactional email tool like Mailgun.
- #42) Add exit intent triggers on checkout pages that trigger a modal popup with one-time offer.
- #43) Embed Tweets mentioning your product or brand on your website to add a dimension of social proof.
- #44) List your product on high Domain Authority (DA) directory sites, such as Capterra and G2 Crowd. Submit Juice contains a directory of 150+ high DA Startup Directories to list your product.
- #45) Get your product featured on startup directory sites like Product Hunt, BetaList and Indie Hackers Directory.
💸 Discounts & Offers
- #46) Offer Lifetime Membership for Early Adopters.
- #47) $1 Offer — e.g Pay $1 for first month of Pro Access.
- #48) Pay What you Want pricing — Use Gumroad Checkout out this facilitate this payment option for early adopters.
- #49) Paid commission to existing users for promoting paid signups with a unique affiliate referral link.
- #50) Free pro subscription for targeted influencers in exchange for product promotion.
- #51) List lifetime subscription offers temporarily on directories such as Appsumo or Mighty Deals.
🤓 Facebook Ads
- #52) Install Facebook Pixel on website and landing pages with conversion tracking events defined.
- #53) Create 10–15 second videos to be ran in campaigns to cold traffic with the objective for maximum views.
- #54) Create a Custom Audience of people who have watched at least 50% of your video for re-targeting.
- #55) Run image or video ads with a Call to Action (CTA) to visit your landing page to the Custom Audience of Video Viewers to minimise Cost per Click (CPC).
- #56) Create a Custom Audience of website or landing page viewers using Facebook Pixel.
- #57) Export list of application users on Free pricing tier and upload to Facebook Ads Manager to create a Matched Audience for running exclusive campaigns to promote Premium up-sell.
🍪 Google Ads
- #58) Create remarketing lists in Google Ads based on website viewers and app users.
- #59) Create sitelink extensions for key sections of the website to be shown in Search Ads.
- #60) Structure campaigns and campaign goals in Google Ads by the stages of your sale funnel.
- #61) Create banner ads for promotional offers and discounts to be ran on the Google Display Network. This is most effective in re-targeting campaigns.
- #62) Target process oriented longtail non-commercial keyword searches, e.g. How to create a personal site.
- #63) Optimise your Google Audience targeting settings periodically. Refer to this Guide.
- #64) Create Exclusion Lists on Google Ads to prevent your ads from being displayed based on parameters such as website category, device, geography and existing users.
- #65) Periodically review your bidding strategy and make Advanced Bid Adjustments to optimise successful campaigns.
🗣 Influencer Marketing
- #66) Pay influencers to create promotional video content. Rates will vary by platform, but the rule of thumb for instagram posts is $10 USD per every 1,000 followers.
- #67) Find influencers relevant to your Ideal Customer Persona (ICP) by using an Influencer Search Engine, like TapInfluence or Influence.co
- #68) Identify podcasts relevant to your ICP and enquire with the host about paid product promotion.
- #69) Identify your Ideal Partner Personas (IPPs). These are typically people organisations already selling to your Ideal Customer Persona (ICP) and are likely to integrate with or re-sell your product.
- #70) Craft a standardised Partnership Agreement that determines the commercial structure for potential partners.
- #71) Create a lead list of potential B2B partners based on IPP criterion for cold outreach via LinkedIn or email.
- #72) Create an Agency billing structure for managing multiple paid subscriptions through the one billing entity.
⚙️ Product Led Growth
- #73) Create a limited run offer of a physical branded product pre-launch. E.g. Limited run of 500 ‘Founders Edition’ NFC Business cards linked to your Onecard.bio profile with every $99 lifetime subscription purchase.
- #74) Create API plugins and Web-hooks integrations with tools used by your ICP that compliment your product, using tools like Zapier or Tray.io. For Onecard.bio, this is Content Scheduling tools like Contentful.
- #75) Feature high quality customer profiles on your website for social proof.
- #76) Promote User Generated Content by including functionality to share content from your application to social media.
- #77) Utilise a hosting provider that offers a Global Content Delivery Network (CDN) to optimise the speed of your website and product. I use Netlify.
- #78) Use a transactional email provider, like Mailgun, to enable API-driven email communications from your application for areas like product updates and customer support.
- #79) Experiment with different subscription pricing combinations using a tool like ChargeBee.
- #80) Offer Social Sign-in functionality to offer an easy onboarding solution. This can be done using a User Authentication tool like Auth0.
🔍 Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- #81) Optimise your on-page SEO — implement proper metatags, robots.txt & site structure.
- #82) Implement proper Header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) with target keywords in all web pages.
- #83) Implement proper alt text on all images and multimedia content on your webpages.
- #84) Contact authors of listicles for your product category to update their article with your product for a 2021 content refresh. For example, Top 10 Link in Bio Tools.
- #85) Backlink building — contact bloggers relevant to your Ideal Customer Persona (ICP) for reviews, product comparisons and guest blogging opportunities.
- #86) Perform Keyword Research on an ongoing basis, tracking results in a live spreadsheet.
- #87) Respond to 3–5 Quora questions per week that stem from longtail keyword searches you are targeting.
- #88) Minimise Keyword Cannibalisation in your blog posts by spreading out target keywords across multiple pieces of content and instead forming Content Clusters.
- #89) Create Head-to-Head product comparison landing pages for your biggest competitors to rank with direct competitor searches.
- #90) Comment and engage on public content relevant to your Ideal Customer Persona (ICP) with your product’s own account.
- #91) Join, comment and engage on content from target Twitter Lists (a curated selection of accounts) relevant to your ICP.
- #92) Pin a tweet on your profile with a link to a promotional offer exclusive to your Twitter followers.
- #93) Use FollowerWonk to identify Twitter users with target or relevant keywords in their bio and create lead lists for direct outreach or custom audience creation.
- #94) Use Fiverr to find verified accounts to do paid Twitter shoutouts for your product.
- #95) Create organic video content on TikTok around how your product is 10x better than your competitors at solving x problem.
- #96) Incentivise users of your platform to invite their network through a refer-a-friend for mutual discounted membership. This can be done using a platform like ViralLoops.
- #97) User profiles with your root domain — publicly shareable web profile built upon your application. e.g. onecard.bio/yournamehere
- #98) Allow users to use their own custom domain for their profile, with a ‘made with your product’ logo water-mark at the bottom of each profile page.
- #99) Create a pre-launch Waiting List with incentives to improve your spot on the list by inviting your network.
- #100) Create a calculator based value assessment related to your product.