Growth Hacker's Digest - Edition 7
Hope your month went well! Personally, I have been learning programming and I just finished my 2nd ever project: a clone of a SaaS called TradeGecko (inventory management application). Next up, I will do a Buzzsumo clone (Content Analysis SaaS). I’ve only learned programming in the last 2 months and it has been pretty frustrating yet rewarding experience. I've given some contract work before to some programmers and I'm beginning to understand them a lot better than before (unfortunately I was one of those "terror" clients -- but empathy has gotten the better of me now! 🙂 ). If you’re looking to do programming too or you’re just looking to refine your skills, I recommend codementor.io! It has helped me a lot.
For this week, we’ll be reading through the following:
In GrowthHackerKit, Wilson from InspireBeats will take us through how to build a Sales Pipeline. For SaaS Founders, we have a couple of awesome resources for you: How Hotjar was able to get to 60,000 signups pre-launch How ConvertKit got to $95,000 MRR (from only $1,337 MRR in October 2014) For all founders, we have a couple of strategy-related resources: Mojca from Super Spicy Media tells us how most marketing problems are not about the tool, but instead it’s about the audience. Tomasz Tonguz shares with us how to extend the funnel mindset when developing your product. Cheers,
Kenn from GrowthHackerKit | @kennyfrc
New at GrowthHackerKit
by Wilson of InspireBeats
by Nathan @ ConvertKit
In the SaaS community, there is this concept called the “long, slow, SaaS ramp of death”. The thesis is that it takes a very long while (~2 years is Jason Lemkin's standard) until a SaaS business gets to the minimum critical mass. This is something Nathan has experienced but eventually overcame. He also has retrospectives on ConvertKit over the past few years as well and I highly recommend you look those up too to experience what it takes to grow a SaaS business.
by Mojca @ Super Spicy Media
Many folks worry too much about the tools that they’re using: figuring out things like Facebook's new Carousell Ads, AdWords tips for better CTR, and how to increase followers in Twitter. Frankly, while these are important, the more common mistake I see that hinders traffic and lead generation is the lack of a clear and specific audience. Mojca lays it down in detail on how you can do it. A personal mindset shift that I use to deliver the right messaging to my audience is to think of it like a personal, "one-to-one" message. Find someone within your own personal life and use him/her as an archetype for your audience. Then communicate as if you're talking to her personally. It sounds counterintuitive, but communicating a message that is unique and personal builds the resonance required to make users consider your product. With a vague, "one-to-many" type of message, it doesn’t stand out. Specificity and context are "hooks" to your sales pitch. And that can only be done by doing your audience well.
by Tomasz Tonguz
In terms of the difficulty spectrum among businesses, niche ecommerce is one of the easiest, SaaS is right in the middle, and marketplaces are one of the most difficult. You may have observed this just by the quantity of businesses that are grouped inside each category. Why is that? The main reason is that the easiest ones target single audiences and the more difficult ones target multiple audiences. Discovering how many funnels you have to consider in your startup will help you get ahead. Tomasz Tonguz takes us through how to think about this in the context of Uber (2-sided marketplace) and Slack (multi-role marketplace). For a deeper look into Slack, you can take a look into their launch strategy in an interview with the Founder here.
by David @ Hotjar
Many of those who have been keeping up with the newsletter know that I am a big proponent of building up an email list before launching a SaaS business. David learned this the hard way with 2 failed startups prior to Hotjar. How he got those emails is very interesting: 58% of his emails came from community sites like forums, blogs, and newsites. And I would confirm that indeed, it's a great source of stable, organic traffic. The more you build buzz through other people's reocmmendations and links, the more sustainable your growth will be. In fact, this site is completely fueled by evergreen links from community sites. I deeply recommend partnering with blogs and influencers to grow traffic and leads, especially if you are new to the startup game.
Date: January 26, 2016