Startup Growth Series

How to set up a growth hacking plan for your startup

Credit: Wole Ogunlade.

Wole Ogunlade is a growth strategist for early-stage startups. He has mentored early stage businesses on platforms like Google LaunchPad and the Tony Elumelu Foundation programme for entrepreneurs. You can schedule your free 30-minutes growth strategy session

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Growth hacking is the new buzzword.

All thanks to several startups that have shown that growth hacking principles work.

Some of these examples include:

YouVersion​ : A bible app that leveraged the data it has about its users to increase retention and growth to more than 200 million users (as at 2016) - see case study
PushCV​ : I wrote about this recruitment portal that launched in 2015 and beat the user traffic of established players within 3 months of launching.
IrokoTV: As noted in this article, IrokoTV's founder leveraged his knowledge and extensive data set about Nollywood to build the biggest African-owned movie platform.

And there is DropBox...

DropBox is one of the classic examples of growth hacking. Using referral marketing, it grew from 100,000 users to 4 million in 18 months.

All these startups are examples of growth hacking.

So, what's their secret recipe ?

What is the secret growth hacking recipe?

Several articles have misled entrepreneurs to assume that growth hacking is an easy fix.

For example...

To an average person, it would seem that DropBox simply "jumped" at the idea that led to their BIG growth result.

This is not true.

In fact, it took DropBox series of coordinated experiments; as this guide explained.

Likewise, all successful growth team go through the a similar process like DropBox. They come up (and experiment) with multiple ideas along the way.

More or less, there is a scientific approach successful growth hacking.

And here are 2 approaches to keep in mind.

1.. Identify your growth engine

What is a growth engine?

This is your combination of potential growth ideas that when executed over a period of time will lead to massive growth.

Such growth ideas has three components:

1. Scalable
2. Predictable
3. Repeatable

To generate an idea that meets any of the 3 components above, you can follow the template below:

1. List out all potential ideas.
2. Evaluate them based on your knowledge of your product, audience and resource to implement.
3. Screen them using the expected level of impact on your business to prioritize implementation.
4. Pick one and do a micro-test see how it goes until you establish the one with the highest growth potential.
5. Rinse and repeat the process with other ideas.

If you follow the process above, you will come up with several ideas you can use to growth hack your startup.

Which one do you choose first?

That is where the next approach comes in.

2. Adopt a growth hacking framework.

This helps you to get the best value from  all the growth ideas you generated.

The framework is called high tempo testing.

To see how it works, download this resource which you can use to coordinate your growth hacking strategy.

The beauty of this approach is it enables you to filter potential growth ideas and prioritize them.

If you do this, all your disconnected growth hacking ideas become a thousand times more powerful, as they become part of a framework.

This approach of organizing your growth ideas into a framework is essentially the secret recipe of successfully growth hacking your startup.

In the next lesson....

In lesson 11, you will learn why it is important to focus on your existing customers. Loyalty of existing customers to you can increase your business by 6 times compared to new ones.

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