Growth Hacking 101

Practical Applications in Bookkeeping and Accounting

The term isn’t new. In fact, Sean Ellis coined the term Growth Hacking in 2010. As of today – Wednesday, June 15, 2016 – the term “growth hacking” generates roughly 17,600,000 results when typed into a Google search.

You can bet that this number will keep climbing as growth hacking becomes more and more main stream and as technologies and advancements continue to emerge.

Maybe it’s just me, but when I hear the term growth hacking, all I can think of is Matthew Broderick in WarGames. It seems like one of those terms where only a select few know how do it, and even then, it’s just a shot in the dark. I imagine a dimly lit office with computer monitors everywhere and analytic trackers meticulously running.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Growth hacking has somewhat commercialized the process of growth. It is not overnight, it is not easy, and it is not straight forward. – Aaron Ginn

Essentially, growth hacking is a marketing approach designed to achieve business growth and ultimately improve your bottom line.

Companies from Facebook and Dropbox, to Airbnb and Groupon have utilized some form of growth hacking to increase traffic and drive market share.

I know what you’re thinking. That’s all fine and dandy, but I’m not Facebook. What can I do today to get started?

I’m glad you asked; let’s start with the basics.


Use What You Have: Customers

You’ll notice a bit of redundancy as we get this started, so I’ll try to make this visual large enough that hopefully you’ll remember.

Your customers matter more than you probably think. I’m not sure I can hammer that home enough. Your customers know you, they know your process, and chances are, they want you to succeed. I’m willing to bet they’d even help you succeed!

Before you sit down and try to reinvent the wheel, start with what you have. Do you currently have 5 customers? Great! Do you have 50? More? Even better!

The customers you have today, right this very second, are your biggest assets when it comes to growing your business. Use them! Encourage them to leave reviews for you online and share how amazing their experience was. Let them know how much you value their business and how you’ll do everything possible to keep them as a happy client.

As you may remember from our post on client retention, 80% of your future profits will come from 20% of your existing customers.

Still not sold on how effective your customers can be for you? Check out this infographic from Lithium.

Everyone wants the opportunity to be a part of something special, they just need you to show them how. 

Utilize Influencers 

Ok, so what is an influencer? Easily put, an influencer is someone whom you follow, whether for trends in fashion, business, or life. An influencer is someone who has gained your trust and someone whom you hold in high regard.

Given a choice, your prospective customers are more likely to heed the recommendation of someone they trust than yield to paid media.

You can utilize platforms like Little Bird and Content Marketer to discover influential people and companies.

Rock Customer Service 

Acquiring a new customer is no easy feat. According to Bain & Company, it costs 6-7 times as much to acquire a new customer, than to retain one. We all know that the sale isn’t over after the initial sale, but many companies still treat it this way. It’s hard to grow your business when you’re having trouble hanging on to the clients you already have.

“Happy customers who get their issue resolved tell about 4-6 people about their experience. -White House Office of Consumer Affairs 

Keeping your customers happy and staying in tune with their needs should be priority #1 as you start your way into the vast landscape of growth hacking. Besides, the better you know your customer, the better you can be for your customer.

To improve your customer experience, there are tools like ChatDesk which allow you to increase your conversions and provide great support. ChatDesk offers video chat, help desk, and reporting. This platform in particular doesn’t require you to download any software and has a starting price of $12.99/month. There are also other options such as LiveChat ($16/month) and Comm100 (for enterprise sized companies).

There are a multitude of platforms that can assist you in the customer service department. Take some time and find the one that’s right for you, and for your business, and make sure that your growth isn’t being hindered by poor customer service.

This is growth hacking in it’s most basic sense of the word. In a later post, we’ll dive into some topics that you can use to really grow your practice, such as automation, analytics, testing, re-testing, and scalability.

Before we get into that, make sure you’re taking advantage of what’s in front of you right this second. Never underestimate the power of someone else’s recommendation of you or your business. Get your current client base in order, and check back later, as we dive head first into the ever-growing world of Growth Hacking.

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