Three Marketing Tricks Growth Hackers Use to Build Startups from Scratch


Plan and simple, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to building a company that grows like crazy.

If such a secret formula did exist, we’d all be millionaires, right?

It’s rather obvious that those who build profitable companies in record time are doing something beneath the surface via smart marketing. While we can’t hope to emulate the success of a Facebook, Uber or AirBNB, for example, we can learn a thing or two from their marketing playbooks.

That’s exactly what growth hackers today do to create booming businesses from scratch. While the concept of growth hacking may seem like little more than hype, the fact remains that road less-traveled in terms of marketing is seeing big returns for those willing put in the legwork.

Whether you’re looking to get in on the action or simply experiment with new avenues to market and grow your business, consider the following three marketing tricks that growth hackers use time and time again to grow their companies.

The best part? These strategies can be applied to just about any industry or niche.

Let Others Foot the Bill

When we think about starting a traditional business, the first big question mark is obvious: where’s our  capital going to come from?

Growth hackers have a different mentality. That is, they ask “who’s going to pay for my business for me?”

There are a number of new ways to fund your business and ideas which go beyond the realm of traditional fund-raising. For example, many growth hackers use crowdfunding to essentially let their audiences vet their ideas and ensure that they don’t lose a dime when it’s time for a product launch (think: revealing an awesome e-book that’s exclusive to donors and only releasing it when the project is fully funded).

Letting other people essentially pay for your ideas is a bold move; however, it works if you have the hype to back up what you have to sell.

Focus on “Free”

The concept of focusing on “free” is twofold.

For starters, growth hackers only pay for marketing when it’s absolutely necessary. Using social media and free blogging platforms such as Medium or LinkedIn, for example, businesses can grow an audience and spread their message without spending dime. Sure, sometimes you need to spend some money to scale; however, growth hackers will pinch their pennies until they know they’ll get the right ROI.

On the flip side, marketers should focus on “free” products with little to no overhead. For example, digital courses and e-books cost little more than your time as an initial investment and can be created using previous blog posts and content. Products with low overhead and no inventory can be churned out time and time again, essentially creating an endless opportunities to sell to your audience.

Take An “All Eyes on Me” Approach to Content Marketing

Sometimes being the loudest voice in the room can work wonders for your business. From offering up unconventional viewpoints to putting out a marketing message that’s bold and in-your-face, sometimes playing the role of antagonist is a solid way to get more eyes on your company.

Although bold marketing campaigns can indeed be risky, sometimes the old adage of “any press is good press” rings true for small companies looking to make a name for themselves.

Growing your company doesn’t necessarily require a massive investment or groundbreaking product. In fact, sometimes the seemingly smallest marketing tricks can be the secret sauce to transforming your company (even if you’re a “nobody”).