If you’re running an early stage startup, you’re probably looking forward to the day that you’ll be featured in The Next Web, Techcrunch or Mashable. You’ll get thousands of users and probably have the best day of your life. World domination is now looming tantalizingly on the horizon…
However, if you’re an early stage startup you’ve probably only coded a prototype and put a landing page up to accept some signups. You have your minimum viable product (MVP) in hand, you’re eager to get your first customers and have them test your product. Here’s a list of 5 simple growth hacks to reach that goal.
Hack #1: Betali.st
Betali.st helps people discover and get access to the latest internet startups. They’ve been operating since 2010 and have over 23,000 people following them on twitter and thousands more subscribed to their email newsletter.
Let’s do this!:
- Betalist gets 55,000+ pageviews per week, their daily newsletter has 9,000+ subscribers and they have 20,000+ followers on Twitter. Getting on betalist is typically good for ~150-250 unique sign-ups on your landing page. It’s not really a hack, but just do it!
- You must sign up before you launch your product, but after you have a landing page set up to collect email addresses/signups. Don’t miss this opportunity by sitting on it.
- Once you have your landing page ready to go, pay the small fee to expedite your listing. It’s worth it.
Pro tip: Don’t forget to copy & paste your listing onto StartupList and BetaBound while you’re at it. Although they are much less popular, they will still result in a decent amount of free traffic and sign-ups. Not bad for under five minutes of work!
Hack #2: Google News + MTurk = Press
Getting press is daunting for just about every founder. Who do you talk to? How do you find them? What do you pitch them? All questions I spend hours thinking about…for…every…project.
But with a little creativity, and a little hacking, getting press is easier than you may think.
- Step #1: Use Google News API to find journalists who write about topics relevant to your startup or company. (How? Download these files, unzip, and open ‘index.html’)
- Step #2: Use MTurk to get their email adresses
- Step #3: Send them press kits, and get press!
Go here to read the full instructions for this hack.
Pro tip: Remember, YOLO (You Only Launch Once). I don’t recommend generating press until you’ve validated your customer segment(s), their pain(s), and much of your solution. Use this to spark a flame you’re sure will turn into an inferno.
Hack #3: TweetFavy
TweetFavy is a simple growth hacking tool for Twitter. It’s a great and cheap alternative to twitter ads for small businesses to gain targeted followers, mentions and website traffic.
You get consistent social media activity benefits without having to perform labor-intensive incremental work or worry about things like content or tweet timing. Just continue to use Twitter as you normally would and enjoy the added benefit of TweetFavy working alongside you!
Learn more: TweetFavy.com
Hack #4: Craigslist
Craigslist is a convenience and discovery engine. Ways you can get discovered include job posts, gig posts and “beta tester wanted” requests. Get creative, although this can cross over into “black hat” territory fast..
You definitely don’t have to be in real estate (i.e. AirBnB) to leverage craigslist for awesomeness, although if your hack isn’t interesting or provocative, your traffic quality will be low. Automate to the extend possible.
Pro tip: These strategies can also be used to a lesser extent with smaller task marketplaces like Taskrabbit.
Hack #5: Friendbuy
Want Dropbox-style affiliate referral links without having to roll your own? Friendbuy has a straightforward, intergrated API, widget and analytics solution for affiliate sharing setup with a lower technical learning curve.