👫 Get your initial users

  • Lenny Rachitsky published a massive post about “how the biggest consumers app got their first 1000 users”.  Only 7 strategies are responsible for all of their initial growth. This post is a beast, I recommend reading it if you’ve got time! The seven strategies discussed in more detail are:
  • Go to your users offline
  • Go to your users online
  • Invite your friends
  • Create FOMO (fear of missing out)
  • Leverage influencers
  • Get press
  • Build a community

Tip from Gene: You can also ask your initial users for referrals. I do this all the time with my consulting clients just by saying “hey, do you know anyone who may find my services useful?” Replaces “services” with product.

⏫ Level up your newsletter

  • Harry Dry of Marketing Examples shared an amazing look at how he grew his newsletter from 0 to 19,000 subscribers in one year. No ads, no connections, no existing audience. The secret? —
  • Spend a lot of time promoting your content online.
  • Don’t drop links, meet people where they are. Add value where you find them.
  • Tailor your content to the audience and the platform
  • Brand your content minimally
  • Make the tips visual - easy to comprehend
  • Compound sharing of content by directing people to the same Twitter thread.
  • Read the full thread if you are looking to grow your newsletter. This can be super helpful to email marketing people too.
  • Newsletter Tip #1: You can get additional traffic and sign-ups by sharing your content on your own website. Repurpose your newsletter for website content and get organic SEO traffic. I just copy and paste my content to the website a week or so after the newsletter comes out. Sometimes I leave out some important bits and pieces so there is incentive to subscribe and not just check back on the site.
  • Newsletter Tip #2: Have many opt-ins on your website: About page. Blog page. blog posts, blog Categories, within the blog (at the end of the article), popup (yep, popup), exit-intent popup. By the way, I am currently doing all of this very terribly and need to take time to set everything up!
  • Newsletter Tip #3: Add in-content “upgrades”. Here is a great article on the topic.

💰 Tweak your pricing for more revenue

  • Always, always, always add pricing tiers” - a lesson learned by Yahia Bakour of Stock Alarm. He shared his story on IndieHackers.
  • Stock Alarm had one pricing tier. After they added 2 more, the sales went up. The moral of the story is: people have different price sensitivity. What seems expensive to some is a steal to others.
  • A friend who runs an extension Data Mask was pricing his tiers at $9.99 and $24 for PRO. After we discussed it and did some napkin math on how much people are saving by not having to take private screenshots manually, he decided to bump up the price to $19.99 and $49.99 respectively. We came up with a calculator to calculate the savings and he is testing it as we speak.

Tip: Sometimes reframing the price as savings does the trick. If you have a tool that is not easily priced, try to figure out the savings it provides, and frame it in that context.

  • Pricing tier insight #1: Price scalable value. If you price per seat for example, you quickly run out of scalable revenue. But if you price for number of email sends, that can scale indefinitely as the customer’s business grows. Here is an example from ChargeBee:
  • Pricing tier insight #2: Center your preferable plan & try putting the most expensive plan on the left. The Anchoring effect makes it feel as though everything else looks relatively cheaper in comparison to your first tier. That’s why it’s important that people see it first.
  • Pricing tier insight #3: Remove commas from pricing if you have them. What sounds higher: Twelve forty-two or One thousand two hundred and forty-two dollars? Phonetically, we perceive the former as less expensive.

♻️ Repurpose your content for better results and less work

  • Chris Walker, CEO @ Refine Labs shared an awesome strategy for how he repurposes his content and grows his audience:
  • Commit. Don’t quit.
  • Proactively build your network on LinkedIn (50 connections per day)
  • Host a live Q&A with your audience and a subject matter expert. Record it (video).
  • Post the full video on YouTube (optimize for SEO)
  • Embed the video on your website
  • Rip the audio out and post it as a podcast on a platform like anchor.fm (free)
  • Cut the whole video into short bits with key insights. Caption it with tools like Rev.com. Write thoughtful text copy and upload to LinkedIn post.
  • Do this consistently.
  • I think this is an awesome strategy for B2B marketing. Chris had 3000 views and 90 comments on this post alone.
  • It’s also an amazing opportunity for Indie startups. Broadcasting yourself is a great way to build an audience and to share your findings, struggles, and wins. People connect with people much stronger than with logos and products.

🛠 Forget content! Make growth tools.

  • In his latest edition of Trends.vc, Dru Riley shares some insights on how companies can utilize growth tools and capitalize on new opportunities. Opportunities include:
  • Using no-code to build your own growth tools; <— time-consuming
  • Curating a comprehensive list of growth tools; <— easiest
  • Acquiring these tools instead of building them; <— smartest
  • Or outright cloning them and making them better. <— clever
  • Dru listed some examples like this one from Shopify.

I personally love this strategy over typical content marketing. The long-form posts can be quite boring if we are to be 100% honest here.

I used to hate writing so much that I did everything I could to make tools instead of writing.

The cool thing is that you can now micro-launch any growth tool via a number of different platforms like ProductHunt and BetaList - each serving as their own little oasis 🏝, collecting email addresses and building your audience for you (practically on autopilot).

Designers have known this for ages and make all sorts of tools to help other designers be more efficient (and in return building a loyal following).

Trends is an awesome newsletter. The above came from Trends #0016 (if you sign up you should be able to access the post directly for more details).

📈 Cool Growth Tools

  • Leadformly - multi-step form for more leads. Single question forms convert at a much higher rate than large forms (except in some B2B cases).
  • Descript - edit your videos like text, auto transcribed. Kill 3 birds with one stone - video, audio, transcription. This tool is amazing for repurposing your content!
  • Wavve - create audio posts for social media platforms (content repurposing and distribution).
  • LongtailUX - this service scales your landing page creation for long-tail keywords. Must have large number of e-commerce pages to take advantage. I have personally witnessed how awesome this service can be.
  • RightMessage - personalization, taken to the next level. If you’re way past the basics, check out what RightMessage can do. And no... they are not paying me to say this … sadly :(
  • Growave - An app for Shopify which handles referral marketing, reviews and wish lists all in one place.

🌄 Opportunities

  • Indie startups will capitalize on building an authentic voice with video. Many tools exist to record, edit, transcribe, and export audio clips all within a matter of minutes. Authenticity is the missing ingredient in advertising.
  • More e-commerce companies will develop an authentic brand. Companies like Hims, Wistia and Dr. Squatch are leading the way. Authentic branding will pay dividends and outlast raw ad spend.