Growth Hacking #1 - Startups - How to get your first customers?

I recently attended a great conference about “How to get your first 100 customers?”, organized by the Axel Springer & Porsche accelerator and presented by Daniel Levelev (Le Wagon, Growth Acceleration).

In this article, I’m going to present to you some of the processes, tips & tools I got from the conference. Buckle-up & let’s dive into it!

Growth Hacking is a methodology following the law of Pareto, stating that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

Growth Hacking follows a formula made out of 3 key pillars;
Marketing * Data * Automation

– You’ll need various marketing techniques to further the growth of your company, based on the following KPIs: Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral & Revenu.
– You’ll also need some data about your clients, your competitors and the market.
– Finally, you’ll need to maximize your reach and optimize your time, which goes under the automation umbrella.

First off, let’s start with your dream vision.

“Get out of the building and do things that don’t scale”

To start your company, you don’t need to have legal documents, a website, investors or a tech guy. The most important thing is to focus on customer acquisition first!

– Focus on your network and share your knowledge, service or product to them.
– Experiment with everything by using pivots and A/B-tests.

As I said, the goal is to ACQUIRE CUSTOMERS! Leverage your network, ask your family and friends because what you need the most at the moment is users testing your product to gather feedback and gauge the interest. This will further your journey towards your Product-Market Fit (PMF).

Which brings us to the second step; leverage your network - go offline.

Use your social networks to promote your solution(s) and ask your colleagues, family and friends to try out your product and promote your offers.
Get on the phone, send an email or message and most of all: meet in person to get feedback!

Tool: PhantomBuster.com

Then, invest in Social Media.

Here, you’ll want to reach out to groups and communities via all the social media networks available to you. The idea is to get people interested in your product or service, ask specific questions about it. Go on groups/communities related to your company field and ask them what they think about it, offer trials, etc…
Overall, gain users & visibility!

Tool: PhantomBuster.com

Which leads us to the (not so) scary part; cold outbound!

The audience you want to reach through cold outbound (messages, phone, email) is the ideal customer for your company, the one you’ve defined through your user persona. In order to do so, leverage your social networks and your CRM. Here are a few tips:

– Scrap directories of data to find your leads contact info
– Use tools to find their phone & email
– Send personalized cold email sequences
– Send 100 invites per day on LinkedIn

But most importantly, SMILE & DIAL! In a day, you can engage in more than 100 calls.

Tools: Fiverr (scrape leads), Pipl (enrich data), Lemlist (cold email), PhantomBuster.com or LinkedIn Helper (cold LinkedIn), Lusha (databases), Crystal, Close (CRM)

Then, Facebook & Google Ads.

Here, you want to target people that are searching for you but also your target demographic. In order to do so, the easiest way is to advertise!

The most important variable that you’ll want to tweak are:

– Your google keywords (if people search terms related to your solutions, you should appear first)
– Your visibility against your direct competitors (everyone competes for space)
– Your order of appearance during a google search (better to be first than second)

A small tip when paying for ads:

You’re always competing against other companies which also paid for the ad’s space. Consequently, your visibility & the visibility of the competitors will depend on the amount of money you’ve invested in the ad and on the relevance of the ad campaign keywords to the landing page.

Tools: Adespresso, Unbounce, FastBuild.app

That’s it!!

After engaging in this Growth hack process, you should’ve reached a number of customers which will allow you to sustain your business!

About Bonanza Design

We’re a creative studio based in Berlin and our clients span from industry leaders to promising startups. Engaging in a new venture implies thinking globally from the get-go but also requires channelling. From experience, we observed that clients abound with creative energy about their ventures but often lack the appropriate guidance to carry them over. Learning how to develop this kind of critical thinking is a continuous and essential process.

Feel free to discuss with us if this article resonates with you to some extent.