This post originally appeared on Mattan Griffel’s blog, The Philosopher’s Guide to Startups.
I’m going to write a series of posts about Growth Hacking because I think it will be useful. I run a marketing agency for startups, and I identify myself as a growth hacker because during the course of my work I often implement various so-called “growth hacks“. Due to a recent and well-read post by Andrew Chen, the term has become quite popular. But people often ask me where they can read more about growth hacking, and I’ve found there’s no one resource for to send people to if they want to learn more about growth hacking. I hope these posts can serve as that resource.
Name: Lauren Perkins
Classes Taught: Building a Brand-Centric Business Strategy, Building an Online Community for Your Brand
Lauren Perkins is the founder and President of Perks Consulting, and is an experienced marketing and strategy expert within the health, fitness, spa and beauty industries. She began her career as a journalist in local news, and later moved into brand management and experiential marketing.
Name: Will Flaherty
Classes Taught: A Data Driven Approach to PR
Will Flaherty is Director of Communications at SeatGeek, a ticket search engine for sports events, concerts, and more. Will started college with the goal of becoming a sports writer; while he deviated from this original plan, he’s since pursued a career in PR and Marketing that combines his interests in sports, media, and technology.
Brand is a dirty word to many entrepreneurs, but their skepticism comes from a fundamental misunderstanding of what brand is.
Brand is a lot more than just your name, logo or visual identity.
A strong brand should crisply encapsulate the role your organization plays in the world, and it should act as a filter to guide your business decisions. While a clever name and logo can set you apart from some competitors, a strong brand is what gets you your funding, builds your engaged community of users, and creates a focused vision for the future.
You don’t need to hire a “marketing guru” (in fact, you should probably avoid hiring people who refer to themselves that way) or amass a substantial marketing budget to get people to use your product–there are lots of free strategies out there. Still, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you’re doing it right–here are a few pitfalls to avoid:
CEO: I need 500 Twitter followers by the end of Q3. Procure these for me plzthxbye.
Marketer: Um, why 500? And how is having those followers going to help us get more users?
CEO: I just want more followers.
Twitter followers don’t necessarily help your company just because they’re there. You could have 500 followers who are ALL spambots, and that would be worthless. On the other hand, you could have 250 followers who each engage heavily with your content, click on the links you post, and buy your products. Yes, there can be perceived brand value associated with a lot of followers, but spending a lot of resources to gain perceived brand value is a risky proposition early on.