A Founder’s Guide to Growth Hacking: Growth & Digital Marketing Tips for Seed Stage Startups

Sean Ellis (CEO of Qualaroo and creator of Growthhackers.com) coined the term growth hacking to describe the process of growing users very quickly using innovative, scalable, repeatable, and testable methods.

Growth hackers don’t have to be marketers; in fact, they often have no marketing experience. Many are engineers, salespeople, designers, or product managers.

Successful growth hackers are always in high demand. They start their own companies or work at venture capital firms. They’re irreplaceable and have probably don’t often think about the issue of job security. For example, Chamath Palihapitiya growth hacked at Facebook for several years as the leader of its International User Growth team. His strategies and leadership helped grow Facebook to nearly a billion users. He is now worth close to a billion dollars and runs Social Capital, one of the world’s best venture capital firms (invested in Box, CommonBondSlack, & more).

Successful Cases of Growth Hacking

Successful Cases of Growth Hacking

Without growth hacking, Dropbox, Airbnb, Uber, and many more companies would not be household names.

Dropbox gained tens of thousands of users in just days by releasing its famous explainer video. Airbnb’s early growth happened thanks to its publicity stunts at the 2008 Republican National Convention. This growth hack gave Airbnb the early traction it needed to stay in business. Uber built up its supply of drivers early on by partnering with black car companies in each new launch city. Black car companies made extra money and Uber got tons of drivers with relatively little effort.

With this comprehensive guide on growth hacking and digital marketing, you’ll learn how to get the traction your startup needs.

Use stretch goals with SMART goals to achieve rapid growth

In Charles Duhigg’s book Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business, he teaches people and teams how to get more work done using the SMART goals strategy.

Stretch goals are the objectives that seem difficult or downright impossible to achieve. How can we safely send a colony of people to live on Mars in the next 20 years? What needs to happen to reduce fossil fuel usage by 50% in the next 30 years and how can we make it happen? These aren’t goals with clear trajectories. Yet, the importance of achieving these goals is profound.Stretch goals can be daunting to work on because people usually don’t have any idea where to start with them.

In contrast to stretch goals, companies should also implement SMART goals, which are “Specific,” “Measurable,” “Attainable,” “Realistic,” and “Timely.” Because stretch goals seem so difficult to achieve, you need to have SMART sub-goals for them. If you don’t break a stretch goal down into manageable parts, you’ll get overwhelmed and do no work.

VIA Oracle

VIA Oracle

You should have an overarching growth goal for your company. Make the overarching growth goal a stretch goal that seems impossible to meet. Does having $200,000 in revenue at the end of your business’s first year seem achievable? Great! Make that revenue goal $1,000,000 and actually challenge yourself to get to it.

Once you have a growth stretch goal in mind, come up with a series of SMART goals you’ll need to achieve it. You don’t have to know every SMART goal right away. But, write down several SMART goals at the start so you can immediately start working on growth.

By pairing stretch goals with SMART goals, you’ll be forced to create and use growth hacks to distribute your product. This is why pairing stretch and SMART goals is so effective when growth hacking. The audacity of your stretch goal will force you to innovate when it comes to marketing and achieve faster growth than you ever thought possible.

The Bullseye Framework for growth hacking and getting traction

There are 19 different traction channels you can use to grow your business rapidly according to the book Traction. Traction channels are a distinct bundle of related strategies and tactics for growing a startup. Examples of traction channels include email marketing, SEO, and PR.

According to Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares, the creators of the traction channel concept, you should mainly invest in one traction channel at a time. With 19 traction channels to choose from, you might be wondering how to pick the best one for your business. After all, if you should only invest in one channel it better be the one that drives the biggest results.

You’ll use Gabe Weinberg and Justin Mare’s Bullseye Framework to find the best traction channel for your business.

3 Components of the Bullseye Framework:

  1. Brainstorming every traction channel with “The Outer Ring”
Brainstorm a few ideas you can use for each of the 19 traction channels.

Brainstorm a few ideas you can use for each of the 19 traction channels.

In this step of the Bullseye Framework you should think of a few ideas to use with each traction channel. Offline ads are an example of a traction channel. Ads on TNT, billboard ads in Illinois, or advertising across the country’s rock radio stations are specific growth ideas within the offline ad traction channel.

Write your ideas for each traction channel out on paper. Try to make these ideas as useful and realistic as possible for your business. Circle the best growth strategy for each traction channel.

Research which traction channels your competitors have used successfully. Look at what successful and failed companies in your industry did to grow. This sort of research will become very helpful at the next stage of the Bullseye Framework.

2. Testing your most promising traction channels in “The Middle Ring”

Unleash your inner scientist and test out four or five traction channels during the second stage of the Bullseye Framework.

Unleash your inner scientist and test out four or five traction channels during the second stage of the Bullseye Framework.

Choose four or five of the traction channels that you think have the best shot at moving the needle for your business. Then, take the best traction idea for each of these channels and run a low-cost test for it. Here is a list of ideas you can use to run traction tests for every traction channel.

You want to answer these questions with your traction channel tests:

  • What is the cost of customer acquisition with this channel?
  • How many potential customers can I reach with this channel?
  • Will this channel give you the type of customers you want for your business right now?

Run your tests for each traction channel at the same time. Don’t spend more than a hundred to two hundred bucks when testing each channel. Also, don’t go all in on one traction channel before testing at least a few different ones. Get enough data to prove which strategy will best grow your company and then scale up your spending on that strategy.

3. “The Inner Ring” — Focusing on the traction channel that works best in testing

After testing different traction channels, focus on the best-performing one.

After testing different traction channels, focus on the best-performing one.

Assuming you did your homework, one of the traction channels you tested in step two of this framework hopefully produced some traction. Once you know which traction channel and strategy perform best, you should invest nearly all of your resources into them.

You try to maximize what your main traction channel does for your company at each of its different growth stages. You maximize results by going all in on a particular traction channel. As your startup grows and changes, the primary traction channel you use to grow will change too. You’ll know it’s time to switch traction strategies when your current channel starts to become less effective.

If none of your traction tests produce traction during step two of the framework, you should repeat the process until you find an effective channel. Please don’t make the mistake of using a traction channel that was ineffective during testing. Besides that, avoid the pitfall of not investing most of your growth resources into your best-performing traction channel.

With the Bullseye Framework you will find a traction channel to grow your business. Now, let’s take a look at the 19 different traction channels and how they work.

19 customer acquisition (traction) channels

In their famous book Traction, Gabe Weinberg and Justin Mares laid out the 19 different traction channels businesses use for growth, tried and true ways to grow any business. Below is a brief description of each traction channel along with an example of a business that growth hacked each channel to success.

1. Targeting blogs — Blogs want to write about startups and services that will help their readers live better lives. Find blogs in your market, pitch them on how your business will help their readers, and ask for them to write about you. Noah Kagan used this strategy at Mint.com to help the company get more than 1 million users in six months.

2. Sales — Consumer products generally don’t need salespeople or sales teams to convince consumers to buy them. That said, many B2B products (especially ones being sold to large, enterprise customers) need a sales team and process to close deals. Sales is tricky and expensive. So, make sure your product absolutely needs a sales team before going out and building one. Startups that have used sales as their main growth channel are Zuora, Qualtrics, Tanium, Docker, ConvertKit, and more. To learn more about sales, read The Ultimate Sales MachineJason Lemkin’s blog, and SPIN Selling.

3. Content marketing — Your potential customers want to earn more money, be better at their jobs, and know more about their industries. With content marketing, you provide free education to potential customers about your industry and build a valuable audience over time (like this article :)). As your audience begins to trust your brand thanks to the free and valuable content you release, they (you) become your customers. Companies like Buffer and Groove have used content marketing as the backbone of their startup growth strategies to great success.

Content marketing is one of the best ways to grow B2B businesses in the long run.

Content marketing is one of the best ways to grow B2B businesses in the long run.

4. Public relations — The media loves to talk about exciting companies that are changing the world. When online media companies cover your business, you’re doing them a favor because you’re giving them fodder for more page views. Startups that have used PR to ignite huge growth include DuckDuckGo, Tinder, and Snapchat. To learn more about PR read this book by Ryan Holiday and this book by Jason Kincaid.

5. Email marketing — Social media doesn’t have very good conversion rates. Email marketing has the best conversion rates. People buy stuff in droves over email. Building up an engaged and loyal email list is a great way to grow your product and increase sales. Companies and startups that got traction using email marketing include Jackthreads, Groupon, and AppSumo.

6. Existing platforms — There are a few enormous platforms like the App Store, Facebook, Google Play, Stripe, and more that you can build your business on. If your business gets featured and promoted by one of these platforms, it will grow fast and furiously. Evernote used the App Store as a platform when it launched to quickly get millions of users. Baremetrics used Stripe as a platform to grow to $25,000 in MRR in just a few months.

7. Unconventional PR — Startups have used publicity stunts, viral videos, and acts of customer appreciation to fuel rocket ship growth for decades. Richard Branson is famous for using publicity stunts to launch new lines of business at Virgin Group. Josh Kopelman persuaded a town to rename itself as his company, Half.com, which helped propel him and the business to huge heights. Blendtec used viral videos to increase the sales of its blenders many times over. Companies like Grasshopper and Hipmunk have used customer appreciation to increase word of mouth marketing for their products.

8. Engineering as marketing — Releasing free tools that help your customers do their jobs better is an excellent way to grow your business. These tools should be valuable, well-designed, and easy-to-use. HubSpot released its Marketing Grader tool for free early on and it has generated more than a million leads. More recently, companies like Crew and Runscope have used engineering as marketing in the form of free tools to turbocharge their growth.

9. Trade shows — Companies can network and promote their products in person at trade shows. Startups like RJ Metrics have successfully gotten big sales and started relationships with important partners at trade shows. To use trade shows as an effective growth tool read the chapter about them inTraction.

10. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) — Websites, articles, and videos that get to the top of Google, Bing, Youtube, and other big search engines receive tons of traffic and customers. Often, companies need to use another traction channel like content marketing, publicity, or an unconventional PR strategy in order for SEO to work. Companies that have used SEO to grow and become successful are Moz, RetailMeNot, and Wikipedia. To learn more about SEO check out Backlinko and The Moz Blog.

11. SEM (Search Engine Marketing) — Using paid ads in Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, and other search engines to promote your product are all examples of SEM. If you need to scale up sales of your product, SEM can be a good way to do it. Using SEM effectively and profitably takes time and thousands of dollars of test ads. But, once you get it right it can lead to huge profits. Startups and companies like Constant Contact, Bigcommerce, and Groupon have used SEM to grow in leaps and bounds.

12. Business development — Partnerships have been used by companies of all sizes for years to increase growth. In Traction, Gabe Weinberg and Justin Mares lay out five different types of partnerships, which are standard partnerships, joint ventures, licensing, distribution deals, and supply partners. It’s very hard for companies to close partnership deals, but they can be invaluable. Google got its initial burst of traction by partnering with Yahoo to power their search engine. Delicious used a partnership with The Washington Post to increase its traffic and land lots of other key partners.

13. Offline events — People love to attend conferences and get-togethers where they can network, learn, and have fun. As the host of an offline event, your company will have countless opportunities to grow its brand, talk with customers, and close key deals. HubSpot’s annual INBOUND conference brings 10,000 marketers together with HubSpot and its various products at the center of it. Other companies like Product Hunt sponsor or host smaller meetups cities all over the world to grow its community. Finally, you can throw a party as a way to schmooze with leads and promote your business. Uber is famous for throwing big parties in all of their launch cities.

14. Social and display advertisements — Advertising on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and other large social networks can be very effective at getting cost-effective leads and customers. Wordstream, Intercom, Tipsy Elves, and Chubbies have all used social and display advertising as effective traction channel. To learn more about how to effectively use social and display ads, read the AdEspresso blogthe MixRank blog, and Coelevate.

15. Affiliate programs — When someone receives money or some other compensation in exchange for promoting the successful sale of a product, an affiliate program is at work. With affiliate marketing you can have tens to thousands of influential bloggers and people promoting your product in exchange for a cut of each sale. Startups like WP Engine, BenchOlark, AWeber, and more have used affiliate programs as an important traction channel. To make your affiliate program more successful, considering joining an affiliate network like ShareASaleCJ, and ClickBank.

16. Speaking engagements — Speaking at conferences and other live events can be a great way to build business relationships with future customers, partners, and friends. That said, most of the time conference talks won’t lead to any tangible business results in the short term. Be mindful of this fact when looking for speaking gigs. Speaking at conferences is often a product of success, not a cause of it.

17. Viral marketing (customer invites and viral loops) — Any successful social network or company that allows users to join for free most likely used viral marketing. Gmail, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and other sites used viral marketing to create explosive growth. With effective viral marketing you create a system where each new user invites at least one more user after they sign up. The average number of users each new user refers to a product is its viral coefficient. If you use the viral marketing traction channel, your goal should be to have a viral coefficient greater than one. Viral marketing is much tougher than it looks, which means you should be careful when using this traction channel.

18. Community building — Some products like Stack Overflow, Product Hunt, and Reddit have communities at their core. Ryan Hoover wrote an excellent article on how to start and grow an effective community-based product. If you want to build a community-based product, use Ryan’s article and the chapter about community-building in Traction as your starting points. Communities can be built and fostered to grow other products too. Y Combinator’s brand has grown directly in line with the growth of its Hacker News community. Another example is Qualaroo’s customer base and revenue growing as its GrowthHackers.com community has grown.

19. Offline ads — TV, magazine, newspaper, radio, billboard, yellow pages, infomercials and direct mail ads fall under the offline ad umbrella. Some offline advertisements can be extremely expensive and don’t make sense to use when trying to growth hack your company. That said, purchasing remnant advertising can be an inexpensive way to show your business to lots of people. Startups like Uber, Jet.com, Squarespace, SeatGeek, and SoFi have used offline ads successfully.

What You Can Do Today

Individual growth hacks to grow your business immediately

1. Keep your signup experience extremely simple — Limit the number of fields users have to fill out when signing up for your product. First, get users to sign up with minimal information like their name, email address, and password. Then, once they’re in, have them fill out the other information you need from them. When users see signup flows that are too long, they often abandon the signup process before finishing it.

2. The Website Launch Checklist — Your product’s website doesn’t have to be perfect when it launches, but it should be professional, SEO-ready, well-designed, usable, and secure. Use this website launch checklist from HubSpot before launching your product to make sure its website is up to par. With a launch-ready website, you’ll get more press, traffic, and customers from the start.

3. Test your site for UX issues with UsersThink — If your product isn’t usable, people won’t USE it frequently and it won’t grow. You should try to improve your product’s UX every day. One way to improve your product’s UX is to ask people for feedback on its usability. UsersThink gives you an army of users that provide professional UX feedback. Pricing starts at $39 on UsersThink, but the feedback you receive from it will be invaluable.

4. Improve your site’s speedFaster websites get more customers, have lower bounced traffic, and receive better usability ratings. If you make your product and website faster, it will grow faster. Having a fast website should be a top priority for growth and UX. Use this article as a guide for decreasing page load time and increasing site speed.

5. Add social proof to your landing pages — Did a press outlet cover your product? Have high-profile customers vetted your product with an outstanding review? Put them on your website! Social proof provide security to potential customers.

6. Keep your homepage as minimal as possible — If your homepage has too much content visitors will get distracted and leave. Write persuasive copy with compelling visuals on your homepage, but don’t overdo it. The old adage “Less is more” works well for homepage design and most other design projects too. Check out this article for inspiration and guidance when it comes to creating simple, effective home pages.

7. Use integration marketing to fuel product growth — Your product would likely benefit from integrating with other products that have public APIs. Aim to create one product integration every month. After finishing each integration reach out to the team that runs the other product and ask them if they’d like to do a co-marketing campaign. Some percentage of the products you integrate with will want to do a big announcement to their customers about the integration. You should announce new integrations to your customers too.

8. Guest post on large and successful blogs — With guest posting you get to borrow another audience, provide value to them, and bring some of those people back to your own product. Give big or important blogs in your market specific pitches about what you’d like to for guest posts on their sites. Write only your best content for guest blog posts so you get invited back to write more of them.

9. Share your content on relevant online communities and forums — There are lots of different forums and online communities for every market and niche. A few of these forums are Hacker News, Growth Hackers, Designer News, Inbound.org, and more. Reddit has thousands of forums with thousands of members in each forum. Find the forums relevant to your product’s industry and share your new content to them. Be careful not to over promote your own work in forums as most members will not appreciate over promotion.Reddit has thousands of communities to which you can potentially share your product and content.

Reddit has thousands of communities to which you can potentially share your product and content.

Reddit has thousands of communities to which you can potentially share your product and content.

10. Ask influencers to share your content and product — There are thousands of influencers in every market. These influencers have anywhere from thousands to millions of followers. Build relationships with influencers over time by promoting their content, leaving comments on their content, and updating them on your work. Then, when you have a well-established relationship with these influencers, ask them to share your content and product.

11. Retarget visitors who aren’t already customers — Most of the visitors who come to your site just one time won’t convert into customers. Most prospective customers need to see or hear about your product seven times before they feel ready to buy it. Use retargeting software like Perfect Audience and AdRoll to bring non-customers that visit your product back to it. Retargeting can print money when used correctly so give it a shot.

12. Add a member referral program — PayPal, Dropbox, and Uber have all used member referral programs to achieve explosive growth. Give the referrer and the referred user money or free service for every referral that happens. This is known as a double-sided referral program and for consumer goods or software products it works extremely well.

13. Comment/review books on Amazon in your market — There are tons of books on Amazon about every topic, market, and niche. Even the most obscure niche likely has more than 1,000 books about it on Amazon. You should read books about your market and niche as a way to increase the odds of making your product successful. Then, when you’re done reading them, write a brief review or comment about how the book helped or didn’t help you run your business. Link back to your product in the review and watch traffic increase over time.

14. Use exit intent to get more email subscribers — Lots of visitors leave your website without signing up for your email list. As visitors get ready to leave, ask them to sign up for your email list using a well-timed popup optin form. Services like Bounce ExchangeExit Monitor, and SumoMe make using exit intent forms easy.

15. Submit your company to startup directories — There are hundreds of startup directories that feature exciting new startups. You should submit your startup to all of these directories. Some percentage of visitors to the directories will go to your product. Not only that, but having links to your products in tons of directories will give your SEO efforts a nice boost.

16. Give exclusive offers to Meetup group owners to send to their members — Lots of Meetup groups have thousands of members. There are usually a few organizers for each Meetup. Meetup organizers can message their thousands of members with meeting details, updates, and other pertinent information. Befriend the people who organize Meetups related to your market/niche. Then, pitch these Meetup organizers infrequently about helpful content and product updates they should send to their group members.

17. Promote new content on LinkedIn/Facebook groups — There are thousands of Facebook and LinkedIn groups with thousands of members in many of them. Join these groups, gain the trust of their members, and eventually post your best content or products to them. Don’t over promote your own work in these groups as you’ll get banned for it. Just try to be helpful and provide value to people when you can and the huge audiences in these groups will flock to your product.

18. Use HARO to find free/easy pressHARO stands for Help a Reporter Out. It’s an email list that reporters and bloggers go to when they need expert sources for their stories. Become an expert in your field, respond to requests on HARO, and get easy press for yourself or your startup.

19. Offer lead magnets to email subscribers — Give your website visitors a good reason to subscribe to your company’s email newsletter. Offer visitors a lead magnet (an exclusive piece of content like a white paper or video series) when they sign up for your email list. Do this and watch your visitor to email subscriber conversion rate skyrocket.

20. Promote your product on relevant daily deal sites — Every small business owner knows that Groupon and LivingSocial can be a good way to get lots of new customers. There are plenty of daily deal sites for online businesses that can brings tons of new customers at a low cost. Sites like AppSumoMightyDeals, and Deal Fuel have huge audiences looking to buy products at a discount. Partner with one of these sites to get a big short-term increase in revenue

21. Put your company in your email footer — You probably send a bunch of emails every day. The recipients of any of those emails could be your startup’s next big customer or partner. Link to your startup in your email signature and include a brief description of the product in it as well. The additional traffic you get from this growth hack will add up and be meaningful over time.

22. Repurpose content to get more mileage out of it — Every blog post can be turned into a video, podcast, book chapter, Vine, Tweet, inspirational Instagram post, and more. Content doesn’t have to stop providing value in its first version. Work smarter by using your existing content to create new content for users of other platforms and services. As long as the recreated/repurposed content is high-quality stuff, your audience will love it in its new form.

Recycle and repurpose your content across platforms.

Recycle and repurpose your content across platforms.

23. Do joint webinars with other companies — Two is better than one rings true for most marketing initiatives. Partner with a startup that makes a complementary product to your product. Offer to do a joint educational webinar with them. Promote the webinar to your audience and get them to do the same with their audience. For the actual webinar have one employee from each company educate attendees about a topic relevant to their needs. Finally, at the end of the webinar leave time for each employee to do quick product pitches.

24. Cold email potential customers — Send 10 to 20 personalized cold emails to prospective customers every day asking them to give your product a try. This isn’t a scalable growth hack, but the feedback and conversations you have will make it worth your time. And, in the early days of your company you should do things that don’t scale anyway.

25. Get featured in other apps’ marketplaces — Lots of big platforms like SalesforceShopify, Zendesk, and more have marketplaces where integration partners can list their products. These marketplaces get thousands of visitors every day. Get to know the partner teams at products that you plan to integrate with. Then, when you launch the integration ask the partner team to feature your product in their marketplace. Getting featured in big products’ partner marketplaces is a great way to work smarter and get more out of product integrations.

26. Personally call new users or customers within 24 hours of them signing up — After users/customers sign up for your product, you should give them a ring and thank them for trying it out. On the call you should also ask them if they have any questions or need any help. Calling as many new customers as possible will help you get valuable product feedback and increase word of mouth marketing too.

27. Tweet or mention new users/customers and thank them — Set up a Zap in Zapier that automatically sends a Tweet of thanks to new users and customers. New users will appreciate the warm welcome and be more likely to continue giving your product a shot. Some of those users will be so happy that they’ll tell their friends and colleagues about the nice Tweet you sent them. Word of mouth marketing is one of the highest converting and cheapest growth tactics.

28. Offer extended free trials to those who haven’t yet converted — Some prospective customers need to use your product for a longer period of time than what you offer in a free trial. Offer to extend these users’ free trials for an extra 7 to 14 days so they can get to know your product better. Some percentage of these extended free trial users will become paying customers instead of forgetting about your startup forever.

29. Use dunning emails to avoid failed charges — ConvertKit, a startup that publicly publishes its financial metrics, has had more than 800 failed charges per month over the last four months. Failed charges due to expired credit cards are a huge source of lost revenue. Dunning emails ask customers to update their payment information when it expires. Avoid frustrating lost revenue by sending dunning emails to customers with expired credit cards.

Don’t let failed charges cost you hard-earned revenue. Use dunning emails to encourage customers to update their expired credit card information.

Don’t let failed charges cost you hard-earned revenue. Use dunning emails to encourage customers to update their expired credit card information.

30. Make it easy for customers to pay for your product on an annual basis — Cash is king for every business. With more upfront cash you can improve your product faster, grow more quickly, and better serve your existing customers. Asking customers to pay for your product annually instead of monthly is one of the best ways to increase your business’s cash flow. Offer customers a two to three month MRR discount if they upgrade to annual billing.

31. Syndicate your content across multiple platforms — Most marketers only post their content to one platform. Usually, that platform is their company’s blog. Instead of only putting written content on your blog, syndicate it to Medium and LinkedIn Pulse. Don’t just put educational videos on Youtube. Post them to Wistia and Vimeo too. iTunes is the dominant podcast host, but you should also post podcasts to Stitcher and Soundcloud. Create smarter content that does more work for you by syndicating it to multiple sites and platforms.

32. Don’t require a post-signup confirmation — Some products require users to confirm their accounts by clicking a link in their email inbox after they sign up. While this helps prevent spam signups, it also slows down your signup flow. Inevitably, some percentage of users will forget to confirm their accounts and never come back to your product. Make it easy for users to start using your product as fast as possible by not requiring them to confirm their accounts. Then, figure out a way to delete spam signups if that issue arises.

33. Figure out your product’s “Ah ha” moment and get users to it as fast as possible — Users of every product have a point where they get hooked and keep coming back. This is a product’s “Ah ha” moment. The “Ah ha” moment for Facebook users is when they find ten friends in fewer than seven days. It will take plenty of time and lots of data analysis to find your product’s “Ah ha” moment. When you discover it, make sure users get to it as quickly as possible and your growth will skyrocket.

34. Send users and customers exclusive content — All people, including your customers, like to feel special. One way to make customers and users feel special is by sending them exclusive content. This could be educational content about your product, reports about the landscape of your industries, funny videos, etc. The key for this growth hack to work is that your exclusive customer content has to be exclusive and of the highest quality. Don’t send exclusive content to your users and customers that you wouldn’t send to a panel of world leaders. That’s a good rule for creating content that is ridiculously good.

More Resources

Don’t let your growth hacking and digital marketing education stop with this article. Read other articles, books, and resources to learn as much about growth as possible. Distribution and growth problems are the number one cause of startup failure. Know everything there is to know about growing a business so your startup doesn’t fail because of a lack of growth.

  1. Growth Hacker TV
  2. The GrowthHackers online community
  3. QuickSprout’s “Definitive Guide to Growth Hacking”
  4. Andrew Chen’s blog
  5. The growth hacking topic on Quora
  6. Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising by Ryan Holiday
  7. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal with Ryan Hoover
  8. SaaS Growth Strategies
  9. The Growth Hacking Handbook by Jon Yongfook
  10. Seth Godin’s blog and books
  11. The SumoMe blog
  12. Noah Kagan’s OkDork
  13. Sujan Patel’s blog
  14. Buck Fifty MBA from Nate Desmond
  15. Brian Dean’s Backlinko
  16. Talk to an expert growth hacker on Clarity.fm
  17. The Growth Hacking subreddit
  18. GrowthLab from Ramit Sethi
  19. The Gleam Blog
  20. Copy Hackers

Learn more about Dreamit Ventures and the Dreamit Accelerator here. We are currently accepting applications for the fall accelerator cycle, which kicks off in mid September. This article was created by Dreamit’s own Jack Kaufman. Find him on Twitter here.