I know what it’s like to want to start a company and not have much money to do it, to want to do big things that change your life and not have a budget. I was on welfare and benefits three years ago, pretty much up until the day I was given a check for a quarter million dollars to start my company. There are shortcuts you can take in order to get ahead.
Today we’re going to play a game. Once you know the rules you can start to break them and get massive traction.
About me. Two and a half years ago I launched my first online magazine. It was called “Planet Ivy.” It was an online magazine, people would write content, we’d make it go viral, then very quickly we realized we were onto something. Within six months we had 300,000 visitors a month. Within one year we had a million visitors a month. We had to launch a second site, Screen Robot, that got to 1 million visitors a month within 100 days. We then got into the textiles agency ahead of 1,500 other companies. We started to grow really, really fast. We had to to launch our own agency, Magnific, that is a content writing and growth hacking agency. We write content for other people, we get traffic for other people, we grow their personal brand, we grow their social community. It’s had from zero to 5,000 uses and we’re experts at growth hacking.
I’ve been a digital marketing teacher for General Assembly in London. This talk won best talk at South by Southwest V2V last summer. I have been interviewed in the likes of Income Tech Crunch. I’ve written for the likes of Huffington Post and Tech City News. I have my own conference series, a Secret Source conference to help grow their companies, which I’m going to bring to America next year.
What does my company typically do? We hang with the royal family sometimes. This is Prince Andrew, the sixth in line to the throne. I helped one of his companies out with their social strategies [inaudible 00:02:08] Palace, so I went to Saint James’ Palace. I met his daughter, Princess Beatrice. She asked for my business card, but she has not emailed me yet.
Content my company has written has been seen by over 50 million people. I have over 150 million page views. We have over 100,000 followers in our own network. Over 50,000 new followers for our clients in the last six months. We know how to grow really quickly and we don’t do any paid. Everything we do is organic.
We can get between 50,000 to 100,000 visitors to a new app or website in the first month, and we’ve become experts at growing companies. Subtvs or online magazine, we’ve got from zero to 50,000 visitors in six months. Cheney was building a Craigslist-type site for creative people, went from zero 15,000 Twitter followers in six months, thousands and thousands of people on their site. For instance, my friend launched a cooking app. We got them from zero to 100 app’d hours a day.
That’s what my agency does. I have a special announcement today, which is going to be amazing.
I hope to talk about what growth hacking is, how I growth hack in real life and on social media, everything you need to grow your company from zero to something.
What is growth hacking? It’s basically getting a whole lot done with very little resources, so if you’re starting from zero, this is a talk that you’re going to like.
The garden rules of growth: You must understand what these rules are before you can understand how to break them. This is really very critical. Never try and do a acquisition channel you don’t understand. You think, “I have to do SEO,” or “I have to do social.” If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s a complete waste of time. Understand the golden rules of growth. They are scalable, repeatable and predictable. This means you need to be able to do a hell of a lot of it over and over and have predictable results. This is why I love Instagram and Twitter. There’s 300 million people on those platforms. You’re never going to run out of people to reach out to. Some people who sell goods, their acquisition channel is AdWords or Facebook clicks. As long as they get enough clicks, they buy a customer for $10, and one of those customers will buy something for $20, so they make money, they scale up their clicks and they become Internet millionaires. It’s happened over and over. But you need to be able to do it again and again and again.
What are the golden rules of growth hacking? The first rule of growth hacking is you do not talk about growth hacking. By this, I mean you don’t go and tell your friends when you find an acquisition channel that works. You don’t go and tell and investors, “This is how we’re doing it.” People want to believe in magic, so if you can tell them, “We’re just doing something people like,” people will think a lot more of you, not just, “Oh, we found a [inaudible 00:04:52] email list. We got really good at Twitter.”
In terms of growth hacking, the second rule is you do not talk about growth hacking. Likewise, when you are thinking about what to write a blog post about, never reveal how you’ve done it. Never reveal if you find some secret, because otherwise people like me will find out and then it’s ruined because we absolutely [inaudible 00:05:16]. I had a method to reach 100,000 to 200,000 people a day for free on Twitter. Eventually, the word got out and it got [inaudible 00:05:24]and I couldn’t do it anymore, but it was extremely powerful. When you have something like that, never tell other people.
The third rule is, understand why people would use your site before you try and get loads of traffic to it. Is it clear what you do? Does your site load fast? Is it mobile optimized? Do you have everything in the right place for people to sign up really quickly. Otherwise, all of that traffic that you get will fall through your site like a sieve. Get all that in place first. You must understand how to talk to potential users.
There’s a great book out there called “The Mom Test” I recommend you read. That is, when you tell your mom you’re doing a cooking app, she says, “That sounds amazing. I’ll definitely use it.” Of course, she won’t. She’s just saying that because that’s the thing that people say to their daughters and sons so that they don’t go mad. The bad thing happens when you go to a networking event and you say to someone, “Hey, I’ve made this app. What do you think?” They will always say, “Oh, it sounds really good,” or, “Give me your email and I’ll sign up.” Of course, they never will. You have to be very, very sincere and distant with people. What you need to do when you meet someone at your networking event is say, “My friend has this idea. I don’t know if it’s any good. What do you think?” You’ll get much more honest feedback.
As well as being able to understand how to talk to customers, you need to understand what user experience is. I’m going to go through everything you need to know about user experience in 90 seconds. Does someone want to time me? Does anyone have an iPhone out there? If I go over, I want you to make the screaming sound. Let me know when we begin. This is going to be some fast clicking. Ready?
Firstly, you understand you can get free logos using this site. Secondly, [inaudible 00:07:17]. There are myths like mobile user distracting simply [inaudible 00:07:20]. Some of them are true. [inaudible 00:07:22] enables you to design a website so you don’t have to pay a designer to do it. Just use this. Hand it to any developer. He’ll be able to build it.
Don’t have an email and signup. Just have a signup button. Get them using the product and then get everything else later. Email them as soon as they sign up to your site and ask them how they found out about your site so you can see which of your marketing channels works. Also, don’t log them out when they sign up. Keep them signed in. You should always go through this UX checklist. It’s real easy to do. If you email me, my [inaudible 00:07:53].
These are the best signup buttons of all time. “Sign up” will get the most clicks. If your product is more complex, you need to use “How it works.” These are the best buttons, but generally speaking “Sign Up” will do the job. Crazy Egg tracks where people hang their mouse on your website, so not just what people click but what they’re thinking about clicking so you fit that [inaudible 00:08:13] to your design.
Optimizing tests two different sections of the same website. People convert differently when they read different words. This enables you do it. Obama used it a lot in both his campaigns. This a website launch checklist you should go through before you launch. This is Qualaroo. This tells you why people do things on your site, not just what they do. It has those popup surveys, “Why are you leaving this site? Is there anything unclear on this site?” You can find out what people are thinking. Five users will find 85 percent of the user experience, so every time you make a change to your website – and this is best about pages.com, if you’ve never gotten a [inaudible 00:08:50] before.
I went over.
Ten seconds over.
That was my fault.
I coach a lot of people and they always ask me, we have so many acquisition channels, which ones will really work. The answer is always the same: Find the easiest one that will get the most results first. If you have a friend who is really influential in the industry, get them to talk about you. If you have access to an email list with lots and lots of people on it, get onto that email list straight away. Do the easiest thing that will get the most customers or users or feedback first, then you bake that feedback into improving your product, you’ll get traction, you’ll get momentum, and you’ll start to feel like you’re moving somewhere. Eventually get to the harder acquisition channels, but start easy first and get those early users.
Your goals in growth hacking and in general should be smart. “We want to get 1,000 users at some point soon,” is a terrible goal. We’re going to get 1,500 users in the next six weeks by doing reach out to 10,000 people on Twitter every week, by getting into two email lists that have 10,000 people on it, by finding all of the Facebook groups and posting into it, and these are the number of users we expect to get each week. I have a graph for that later. Basically, everything should be measurable and have a time stamp on it. We are going to do this by this date. Make sure your co-founder holds you to that.
If you’re new to online marketing, go to growthhackers.com. It has all the best case studies for all the new channels, like YouTube, Pinterest, search engine optimization. This is a way better place to waste your time than Facebook and you’ll learn a lot. If you’re going to a job interview, you’ll have lots and lots of good information that can dazzle them and you’re building your own company, you’ll find some amazing things here.
Another thing that people really don’t understand is it doesn’t matter about the color of the buttons or the size of the buttons on day one. On day one you just need traffic and a lot of it. Once you have that traffic, it’s really easy to iterate and change things and preview your conversion. I always recommend, if you’re going to build something, don’t build it. Just make a splash page. “This is what we’re going to do. Sign up for your email if interested.” Then try and get traffic to it. Then you’ll start to see, do people actually want my idea? Secondly, you’ll realize how hard it is to get traffic to anything. Build that splash page and get people interested. Once you have the traffic you can always change things.
Another thing that people don’t really understand is taking enough risk. You need to be a mixture of mad men and math men. Mad men take massive risks for their clients, but they always deliver incredible value for their clients. Math men – everything must be measured. We’re in the age of analytics. All you really need to know is [inaudible 00:11:28]. On that point, this is a $9 marketing staff with everything you need. Things like segment – all of your customer data. Google Analytics shows who’s on your website, where they came from, what your most popular articles are. Mixed Panel enables you to tag different users. Did someone join and not sign up for a week? Has someone shared enough articles? Are people coming back at least once a week? Excellent data on individual users. Optimizing was mentioned earlier, and they A/B test two different pages. Mixed Panel works really, really well with optimizing. They’re an excellent pairing. Active Campaign is email marketing software. Finally, you also need Scroll Box and Perfect Audience. Scroll Box enables you to track emails, so you get more emails and target more people. Perfect Audience enables you to retarget people. If they hate your site and they don’t sign up, those banners that follow them around on the web – you can do that with Perfect Audience, and you only get charged if they click.
I give this talk a lot in England and I normally say be more like the Americans, but now I’m in the deep heart of America. What I mean by that is, be aggressive, take lots of risks, have a winning-at-all-cost mentality, like JR in Dallas. You’ve really got to think that every day. The example I always give is, imagine you are with your family on Thanksgiving. They didn’t want you to start your own business. They always ask the same thing: “How’s your company going?” They always expect you to say, “Oh, it’s not doing very well,” because they want you to get a real job. There’s two ways that conversation can go. A, we were [inaudible 00:13:09]but it didn’t work, and B, yes, it’s going really, really well. Every time you think, “Should I be emailing 10,000 people,” or “Should I be reaching out to this many people on Twitter,” just think of your family on Thanksgiving and you’ll have to tell them that you succeeded or your failed. That should drive you to be more aggressive.
Every single company in startup land that is big has been built on the back of spam. Some examples: Buzzfeed – they stole thousands of articles off LinkedIn and Reddit and Tumblr and Imgur, ideas from everywhere and then spat out very short articles and it traffic, too. It wasn’t very good content, but they did what they had to to get where they are. It was a lot of spam and so on. Now they do brilliant journalism. But they knew that they had to do that spammy work earlier and stealing ideas from other people in order to get the [inaudible 00:14:02] and get the investment rounds.
Genius is a lyrics website. Two percent of all Google searches are for lyrics. They had an incredible acquisition channel [inaudible 00:14:13] Google to SEO [inaudible 00:14:14] incredibly. But, they got caught by Google asking bloggers to link to them over other people. This is against Google’s rules, so they went from page 1 for every lyric for every genre of music to absolutely nowhere. Two weeks later they were back on because they raised like $20 million and probably called up the CEO of Google and said, “Sorry.” The point is, when you’re rich, you can delete your past. Always be thinking, “What do I need to do to get investment, to get customers?” The rest you can work out later.
Those are the golden rules. Moving forward, it’s really worth remembering that you kind of make your own rules in growth hacking. You have to know exactly what to do in order to create a loop. This is a typical loop. Firstly, there’s awareness. You tell somebody about your app, they see an ad, someone else tells them about it. [inaudible 00:15:09]brings them in, then they have to download it, they have to activate it, then ideally they share it their friends and that brings more awareness and gets the loop together.
We’ll mainly be looking at the download path, like the first part, which is the hardest, but I see so many startups never think about share. It’s really hard to get 1,000 people to download your app or visit your site or buy things. Ninety percent of people who download your app will never use it after the first week, which is why you have to make that first page on the App Store, otherwise people will never see it. If you get 1,000 users and 900 are guaranteed to leave, you’d better have those 100 inviting their friends in to create a viral loop, or you’re going to have to spend a hell of a lot on acquisition. Always be thinking about what you can do to bring people back to your product or your service or your app.
This is SumoMe. This will help you collect emails. When someone is hovering their mouse and about to leave the site, they get this popup and it says “Leave us your email.” You always want to have a good reason for them to drop their email, whether it’s give you 10 percent off everything in store if you sign up to our newsletter or “We’ve discovered the free secrets of industry and written an eBook. We’ll send it to you if you give us your email.” Have a strong call to action. Secondly, if you do content, you should be doing SumoMe’s free service for adding a widget to the side of your site.
This is the secret formula for getting returning users. There’s an always an external hook. You heard about the product. A friend told you about the product. You clicked through on an ad. Then you join the service, you activate your profile, you put a bit of work in making it happen, you get a reward. Then there’s an internal hook in your brain and it brings you back. I don’t know if you were bored at work today and decided to go on Facebook because you felt a bit lonely or anxious or bored. Facebook did not have to hook you back in with an ad. You did it automatically. We don’t go on Pinterest and Facebook because we like the content. We go because there might be something good on, so we have to go back. That’s the hook. Whatever you’re creating, you need to create your own hook. If you’re a blogger, are you writing a post every single day so people think, “I’m going to go back to the site and see if they’ve posted.” If you make your living off selfies, are you doing them regularly and using the right hashtag where people go back and look at your selfies.
This is MadDrill. You might have noticed when you joined LinkedIn or Twitter or Facebook and sign up, your email gets absolutely blown up. This will do the same the thing for your start-up. This will, if someone doesn’t log in for a week, will email them. If they’ve not shared enough people, will automatically email them. Auto send all of this stuff and lots of other actions as if you were a big start-up. The reason these start-ups do it is it reduces the number of people who churn out and leave their platform. This will enable you to do the things big start-ups do.
People go to work and they’re really bored at work. If you can get in that flow, there’s a good chance they’ll use you and there’s millions of ways of acquiring users, through YouTube or Pinterest or blogging or widgets. THere’s lots and lots of ways of acquiring users. You guys don’t know what you’re doing, but that’s okay. This is Clarity.fm. This is a service where you can call up the experts in any field related to start-ups or business. If you want to do an email marketing campaign, you could try to read some blogs and try and guess what you’re doing, or you could use this and speak to someone who has sold $10 million worth of stuff on email marketing. It’s not cheap. It’s like $1 to $25 per minute to use Clarity.fm, but you can get a hotline to someone who really knows what they’re talking about. So this is a good service if you want to do something and you don’t know where to start.
THere’s 19 ways of acquiring users. There’s a great book written about this called “Traction.” It could be trade shows, it could be offline ads. But there’s more ways than you think in order to get attention to what you’re doing. The project I’m working on now I brainstormed on a flight from Denver to Boston recently. I came up with 25 different acquisition channels of getting traffic. You can get so much if you dig deep and understand where traffic can come from.
I’ll be going through some of the main areas right now, so real life and social media and email marketing being some of the main ones. I’m doing a webinar soon on content marketing, but everyone should get something out of this. People sometimes ask me, “Should I creating an email list before I start, because if I do and they don’t sign up, that’s a waste. Why don’t I just try to get them when I launch?” No one cares about your product, so the default state is no one will ever see what you create. You have an email list, you start to stop that bleeding so much before it starts. Always try and create an email list. Any company can have one.
Mint is the most boring company of all time. It’s a personal finance app, that’s like, “You must not spend … Oh, you’re running over budget.” It’s like a nagging aunt that’s like, “Please stop being so reckless.” It’s not very viral, but they had an incredible launch strategy. They went from zero to being acquired within two years, zero to one million users in one year. How did they do it? They had a nine-month acquisition strategy. Lots and lots of written content. They had finance experts answer questions that people would say, “What’s the best service of 401k? Which bank should I be banking with?” They’d get experts to answer that, so they would get all of that traction from the experts’ social channels and email lists, then all of that traction on their own channels. They did one week of press every two months, so they constantly had good content for their social channels and lots and lots of [inaudible 00:20:47]. They had an email box at the bottom of every piece of blog copy, and this alone captured 20,000 to 30,000 emails.
They captured so many emails that they could afford to close the doors, and they had bloggers post an “I want Mint” badge on their site if they wanted to get that first entry into using Mint, which is crazy because it’s a personal finance app. But if Mint can do it, then your start-up, which is probably more exciting than Mint, probably can as well.
Whatever you’re thinking about, always have a pre-launch strategy. The number of ideas I have for the project I’m working on now is taking up pages and pages, so much so that we have to be, like, “Focus on the right ones.” Before you launch, do as much as possible.
My friends run an events app in London, and there are lots of people trying to do that. They are having incredible acquisition methods. One of my favorites was using Real Life. Real Life is really underrated. Everyone wants to sit behind their laptop and make things go viral on Twitter and email, but that almost never happens. What you want to be doing is going out and finding where the users are. If you don’t know where the users are, then that’s a very bad thing.
My friends had this idea: If people work in London in the daytime, they’re probably going to want to go to events in nighttime. They printed out thousands of letters saying, “We all quit our jobs to start this events app. Please download it and let us know what you think.” They printed them out, put them in envelopes and sit in a subway station in East London every morning for three weeks. Over and over and over. Thousands of people downloaded their app. They met partners, they met mentors, they met investors. They actually found who their key audience was. They thought it would be hipsters, young people into cool music and bands. It actually turned out to be city boys who worked in finance, because these guys had no idea where to go out and they had budget to spend. So they pivoted towards that and their app absolutely skyrocketed, grew faster than [inaudible 00:22:49] and they closed around well over $1 million. Rumors they’ve raised even more since.
Go out in real life and physically sign up the people to whatever you’re doing, whether it’s your mailing list, whether it’s customers you want to contact. It’s really underrated. There are different ways of doing this. I would recommend Meetup and EventBrite being a first place to call. Tap your niche, whatever it is, into Meetup and EventBrite, find all of the groups that are active, and then construct two paragraphs saying, “I’ve written a talk on the ten problems of our industry and how to solve them. Can I come and give a talk at your event? I have a really big network I can invite. Is there anything coming up that I can talk at?” Copy and paste that into every single one of those Meetup and EventBrite groups. About 25% will get back to you and say yes. Rather than ambling around trying to swap business cards with people, you get 5, 10, 20 minutes speaking to the entire group and you have their attention, and you can tell them about your project and there’s a much better chance of converting. Meetup and EventBrite are great.
I’ve included a list of lots of Slack communities. Slack is a real-time chat room that developers use. Again, people go to work and they don’t want to work so they sit on Slack all day. If you can enter those communities and tell them about what you’re doing, there’s a good chance they’ll convert.
This is Charlia. You can go to anyone’s email address if you have it, put that email address in, and it will find all the public information about them on the internet – all of their blog posts, all of their LinkedIn, all of their company news. You can say, “Hey, I’m a big fan of Dallas Cowboys.” They’ll be like, “Wow, I love that team.” You’ll be like, “Yeah, me too. What a coincidence.” That I actually found out through Charlia. You can get people to like you more than they would otherwise. This is a great tool if you want to sell to someone, or if you want someone to use your app and you’re going to a meeting with them. Do your spying in advance.
This is Email Hunter. Type in any company’s website and it will find all of the public email addresses of people who work at that company. You want to sell to someone and you don’t know where to begin, this will help you find all of their emails that you can email.
At a more granular level, this is [inaudible 00:25:01]. You can very quickly get all of your leads for a month, or you can use first name, last name and their company domain and this will find anyone’s email address in the world. Use this, $10, one day and you will have all your sales leads for the month.
Cold leads are good, but warm leads are much better. This is Discover Leak. Go to anyone’s LinkedIn connection and it will show you all of the Facebook friends you have in common, or go to Twitter page and it will show you all of the LinkedIn connections you have in common. You can very quickly say, “Hey I’d love a connection to Mark at Dallas Cowboys regarding the soft drink app I have for his stadium. Can you connect us.” Always have a good reason to get a connection, but once you have that [inaudible 00:25:42] it’s much, much more likely to convert.
Real life businesses. Anything that involves a partnership or sales, you would need these sort of apps. A good first thing to do if you don’t know where to find your users.
British people are a bit scared of using the phone. I don’t know if that’s the same out here, but maybe it’s the same with introverted techies everywhere. Does anyone watch the “Silicon Valley” show on HBO? Cool. So you should know what a brain drain is. A brain drain is something you should try at least once in your business career. Call up one of your competitors pretending to be a customer, ask them about all of their current features and all of the features they’re building for the next six months and then steal all of their ideas. It’s vaguely ethical, and I can’t say I haven’t done it.
That’s the first level complete. Are there any questions?
Social media. There’s a conspiracy amongst social media practitioners like myself who will tell you all you have to do to be good at social media is be authentic. Do original content consistently. We tell you that because you try it, it doesn’t work and then you give us money. Does anyone think they’re putting inauthentic, bad content up? No. Everyone is doing that. Everyone is being consistent, putting up good content, but it just doesn’t matter. If you want to be good at social media, you have to be aggressive. Follow a lot of people, reach out to a lot of people, reply to a lot of posts, ask for shout-outs, pay influencers to give you shout-outs to kick start your account. If you don’t have 2,000 followers, it is not worth having a content strategy. You could be doing everything right, but you will not get any likes and shares, so it won’t matter anyways. I always say to clients I’m advising, “There is no content strategy until we have at least 2,000 or 3,000 followers. The rest of it just doesn’t matter. You have to get that number up.”
Another mistake people make is talking about themselves. People don’t care about you and they definitely don’t care about your product. Office selfies or alcohol Fridays – no one cares. I’d go so far as to say, if you’re not good looking, don’t even have pictures of the founder on your Twitter feeds. People only want what you can do for them. Interesting quotes, questions, pictures, videos, links to interesting things – you should be coming out with these things all the time to give value to people, so eventually when you ask, they will give you stuff.
It’s really hard to find authentic, original content all the time. My advice is to steal it. This is something I found on Facebook and brought across to Twitter. I was the first one to get it and so many people were sharing it and favoriting it that my name went viral in London and Melbourne, Australia. I was getting lots of followers and likes for something I didn’t create, but it still felt good. Always be thinking, “I don’t want to re-tweet this because it’s their brand name going around.” Always be thinking, “I want them to re-tweet me.” Always have that in the back of your mind. This is a screenshot of my name officially trending. This is another one that I found off Facebook and then brought
Another thing to do is to screengrab. Not a lot of people understand that a lot of people on Twitter are unemployed and they wait for someone famous to tweet and then they want to get that first snarky response. That was a telecoms company in the UK called TalkTalk, and they got hacked. The news reader tweeted, “TalkTalk has received a ransom demand.” Someone replied, “They could be hanging on for hours for a response if it’s TalkTalk.” I screengrabbed that. Fifty re-tweets in the first five minutes. Up to the second viral content. That’s an easy way of getting a win.
If you don’t know where to find viral content, this is Welcome to the Internet, the best page on Facebook. It scours the web for the best viral images, photos, cartoons, memes and puts them in one place. Everything on here is always brand safe, so you can use it regardless of company. If your company is too serious and you couldn’t put animal pics or whatever, I’ll get to where to find content in a second.
This is Sniply. Share a link to anything, not just to your own site, but to Buzzfeed or to New York Times or anywhere, and it will inject a popup in the corner. You can put an ad there for your sites, so you can share content to anything and within all of those clicks they’ll get that injection.
Instagram is the best place to find new users and customers. What you want to do on day one is to find the one person who absolutely loves what you’re doing, follow all of their followers and then look at the hashtags those followers use. Then use those hashtags in your own posts.
If you were making handmade ties, you would not want to use the hashtag “#fashion.” You would want to use “#dapper” or “#artsandties” or “#handmadeties” or some other small hashtag that not a lot of people are getting at. You rank for a hashtag if a lot of people like it when you post it. If you try “#newfashion” you would never rank for fashion. A million people try that every day. Look for the smaller hashtags and start to use those.
As an addition to that, you can put very small call to actions in your location. You can put your URL in there. You generally can’t get clicks from posts, but what you can do is say, “If you want to see this product, we have a link in our bio.” That’s an easy way of seeing very simply how people are clicking through.
Traffic from Instagram shows up as direct on Google Analytics, which is the worst sort of traffic because direct is everything from apps, everything from private browsing, and if people type it into the browser it all shows up as direct. What you want to do for Instagram is find the one page on your site where no other traffic goes. Build a custom landing page and only send traffic from Instagram. That way you know all the people who hit that page is coming from Instagram and you can tell if Instagram works.
This is a great Instagram post. They have stolen a picture of a lion, slapped an inspirational quote on it, given it tiny credits, and over here is what’s interesting. You can copy and pasted and reply to your own picture and dump as many hashtags as you want in and all of them will rank. This is Founder magazine. They went from zero to 110,000 followers in six months. They’ve put everything from “#businesswoman” to “#motivational” “#happiness” “#startups” “#entrepreneur” because they know they’ll rank for two or three of them if they throw lots and lots of them in. They did go from zero to 110,000 followers, but what’s important to understand about them is they bought their first 10,000 followers through shout-outs from other accounts. They spent $1,000 on getting those first 10,000 followers. The two best posts that are on Instagram, double tap if you are going to have a good week and tag someone who’s a good entrepreneur or tag someone who’s into fashion or whatever. Those are the best two posts for getting engagement. You’ve gotta get those first 2,000 or 3,000. You normally have to start by doing shout-outs.
This is how you find influences. This is Social Bro, a really nice Instagram software. You just type in your niche and what you would like them to be talking about. It could be fashion London or just fashion, and then you can see how many followers they have, whether they’re a boy or a girl, whether they’re a person or a company. You don’t want to have anyone over 50,000 followers, generally speaking, because they tend to be signed to an influence agency for both niches, or their accounts are so busy that they may not see it. Below 10,000, they may not be influential enough. I would say 10,000 to 50,000 is the best sweet spot if you want to reach out to influencers. This is generally what I recommend anyone starting a new brand do on day one. If you want to build your Instagram page or Facebook page or Instagram page, finding influencers, try and get a shout-out for free, if not, pay them $25.
Another way of getting early traction is through regramming. This is a photo of a beach in South Wales in the UK, a very small part of the UK. The person who did this experiment wanted to see if regramming actually worked. He contacted everywhere who was taking photos of beaches in South Wales and said, “Can I regram your photo? I’ll give you a shout-out and this is the hashtag for these beaches.” Pretty much everyone said yes because he’s giving them a compliment. He did that and went from zero to 1,000 followers in two weeks, didn’t give any shout-outs, just every single time he was regramming pictures he “@” tagged them and he gave the hashtag. Their followers saw it and then they saw it. Another way of gathering engagement is to like your own photo, because then it shows up in both people’s feeds.
If you are creating a social post but you’re not a designer, use Canva.com. Canva is really nice design software for putting words over things. It automatically resizes your images for Pinterest and Instagram or your Facebook back image or whatever. If you’re taking photos of things in real life, use TextCutie to put cool effects and words over it. You can use Buffergram to schedule your Instagram posts, so you don’t have to do them live in real time. It’s a bit fiddly. It sends a message to your phone, you click “OK,” but it’s still worth doing. Finally, if you don’t know what the hashtags are for your niche, you can use Websta.me to discover them.
Businesses need Instagram. Anything that looks cool, anything related around personal brand, pretty much anyone with a long-term strategy should be using Instagram because the engagement is ridiculous compared to all the other platforms. I have 34,000 Twitter followers that I’ve curated very carefully and 10,000 kind of random Instagram followers. Every single picture I do gets more engagement on Instagram than on Twitter and it’s the same with the big accounts. Instagram has ridiculous engagement. eventually you have to turn that into people clicking and buying, but if you just want to get people to see what you’re doing, Instagram is incredible.
Facebook is the best social network of all time, but you’re probably aware of that. Unless you get people to really really engage a lot of your stuff or you pay, only 2% of people who like your page will ever see your posts. How do you free traffic from Facebook? There’s two main ways.
Firstly, your personal profile needs to be your professional profile. If you’re working 15 hours a day on your company, you don’t get to have a personal profile of you drinking tequila with your friends. It all has to be one profile. Most business people and startup people now have done this, so you can connect with everyone you meet at networking events and really start to grow your network very quickly. Over a year ago I decided to do this and I get so many leads from it, so many new customers, so much more interest in what I’m doing. If I say, “I’m traveling to America,” people hook me up with dates to give talks. It’s really easy to grow your network very organically. People post things on Facebook that they wouldn’t on Twitter or LinkedIn, like their kids, their dogs. You get a better connection with them. Also, everyone from the top CEO to the youngest intern is on Facebook all day. Whether it’s push notifications on your phone or open on a tab somewhere, no one stops using Facebook. If you want to get hold of someone, a Facebook message is an incredible way of doing it and keeping in contact with people.
Secondly, you will need your personal profile to post into groups. Groups are the only public place of Facebook, and the only place left to get a lot of free traffic. Whatever your niche is, there’s going to be lots and lots of groups you can join which will be able to get you traffic, which will be able to get you contacts, get in front of your potential customers. On day one, search your niche, and then find all of the groups of over about 1,000 members. Join all of those groups. Look at the admins of those groups and see what other groups they mod. Go into personal profile, look on their groups and then find even more groups. You won’t find all the groups through search, so you have to look through admins. Once you’ve found about 30-40 groups that have at least 1,000 members, every time you have a piece of content, you can then post into that and get that early traction, get those early clicks.
For instance where I’m from in London there’s a group called London Startups, 21,000 members. I did a post in there a month ago and just from that alone, 1,000 people clicked through and read my blog post. Austin Startups – another fantastic group. I posted “I’m giving a talk there,” and within the first 24 hours, 150 people signed up for my talk back in February. Someone emailed me today, “Your talk at South by Southwest is sold out.” I was like, what? I looked at my tickets. It’s because I did a post in Austin Startups yesterday and 150 people signed up again. It’s so powerful when you get the right Facebook groups. Whatever your niche is, there’s going to be some groups. Hackers Hackathons I think has 25,000 members, if that’s your niche. Whatever it is, there’s hidden gems everywhere you can post in to as a really easy and free way of getting early traction, spreading that link around.
If your startup is big on community, you can also build your own Facebook group. If you’re trying to get people to communicate and cross-pollinate, it’s a very cheap way of doing a community. If you have no budget for a Facebook business page, I just build a group. [inaudible 00:38:48] Resource Conference only has a group. We didn’t build a page.
The difference between groups and pages: If you invite someone to your Facebook business page, they can say yes or no if they even see the invite. When you invite someone to a group, they are in it by default. They then have to opt out. If you and your co-founder both have 500 friends, in the first hour, that group has 1,000 members in it. Ten percent will leave straight away. That’s fine. You have 900, and then you can invite the VIPs by email and say, “This group is growing really fast. Already has 900 members.”
Growing your own group if you have no budget is a fantastic way to get started. Doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s difficult to do. I wouldn’t put it under your brand name. I would put it as whatever your niche is. If you get all the influencers in your niche in that community group, that’s a really powerful tool to have so you can start discussions and then surreptitiously put links to what you’re doing.
This is how Facebook chooses what to show to people, whether it’s a personal page, a business page or a group. Firstly, interest. How interesting are you?
I’d say I’m pretty interesting.
Great. Facebook would like you. If you do post and people generally like, share and comment, then there’s a good chance Facebook will show that post to more people. Facebook’s one job is to keep everyone on Facebook as long as possible, so you have to be interesting.
Secondly, type of post. Facebook loves embedded video. Any of that you do will be shown to the most possible people. Below that, text posts. Below that, picture posts. They used to like them more. Now it’s less, possibly because they take up so much room. Finally, external links. It’s always [inaudible 00:40:22] with external links because they take you out of Facebook, and Facebook’s business model is [inaudible 00:40:27] so that those external links get seen.
The one you have most control over is recency. Facebook’s algorithm is like Reddit’s. You want to get 10 likes in the first 10 minutes for your post. How Facebook works, it shows your post to a few people. If they like, share and comment, it shows it to a few more. If they like, share and comment it more, more, more, this is how video goes from nowhere to 15 million views by the time you see it. Get everyone in your office, all of your friends and your family to like, share and comment your post as much as possible when they go live. This will enable it to be seen to more and more and more people.
If you have a really important product launch, get everyone to share a link to your app or website at the same time and Facebook will think something’s going viral, particularly in a small geographical area. My friends did this and had lots and lots of people on their site – 1,500 at once. They bunched their friends up into groups of 50 and had them all post at the same time each night. An excellent strategy for getting consistent traffic.
Facebook page – you’re going to need to understand how to do it. If you work with someone else, then definitely going to be doing Facebook page. If you run your own company, eventually you will get so big that you’ll need to do it, too. On a most basic level would be to understand what custom audience is. Custom audience is all the people who have signed up to your site, so given you their email. You will then only share ads and Facebook and Twitter to those people. It’s a really unique tool to only reach people who have already shown interest in you.
You can use Spaceship.rocks in order to download your competitors’ Twitter followers and then only show ads to those people, which is a really good tool in order to find a way of getting ahead. [inaudible 00:42:02]Facebook – anything where a product is being sold is normally a very good use case. If you’re selling something for $10 and you can acquire 100 people on your site for that $10 and at least one will buy something for $20, you now have a license to print money, as long as you can scale that up. It’s hard to do that, [inaudible 00:42:20]take a lot of experimentation, but many people have made a lot of money using this method.
Outside of Facebook, I love Twitter, my favorite social network. There’s so many ways of getting someone’s attention. You can follow, favorite, reply to someone, mention someone in a tweet, add them to a list, retweet them. That’s six more ways than you can with Facebook, and Twitter is public. People expect to be arranged and talked to out of the blue. It’s really, really easy to setup and really, really easy to use. Don’t use hashtags. Unlike on Instagram, no one really uses them on Twitter. Twitter isn’t about mountains and mountains of traffic like Facebook is if you get it right. Twitter is about finding five or six people everyday who absolutely love what you do, and this includes B2B, too. You can still close massive deals by first getting peoples attention on Twitter.
Social Bro is how you find people on Twitter. It fixes the problem that Twitter search is broken. With Social Bro you can very easily type in, “What country are they from? What words do they have in their bio? Have they tweeted in the last 15 days? Are they male or female? Are they a company or a person?” Incredible targeting.
What you want to do is sign up to Social Bro, put in your Twitter account, and then start to search for the people who you’re interests in meeting. If you’re interests in meeting account in Dallas, you would just type that in, and it would find all of those people. It’s really easy to use and incredibly powerful. What I would do is export everyone to an Excel and then deal with the data from there. It’s on the paid plan, but it’s only $20. It’s well worth doing. This is how you will find overnight 10,000 people who are into what you’re doing. If you type in the keyword “fashion” for instance, worldwide there’s like 1 million people on Twitter you could target and you could export all of them to Excel using this software. This is a really good first step when you take on a client. Find all the people who are into them straight away. This is a great place to start if you don’t know where to find your users.
One of the golden rules of the internet: People generally follow back. If you join something like Tweet Me or Proudfile or JustUnfollow, you can tap in your competitor’s Twitter handle or Instagram handle, start to follow all of their followers. Even if you do this badly, at least one in 10 will follow back. Obviously there’s more of a science to it, and that’s why people hire me. At a basic level, people generally follow back. This is the most basic thing you can do to start growing your social accounts. I tend to tell new clients, “Let’s build four Twitter accounts, then we can reach out to four times as many people and an aggregate between all four of them reaching out and following will equal something approaching very good traffic. Twitter is a fantastic place to start to get that early traffic.
If you have a brand new account, don’t follow more than 50 to 100 people a day. If you have an account that’s over a month old, 100 to 250. Three months old, 300 to 900 a day you can follow. You can see that between four accounts, this will add up to something approaching really good traffic.
I’ll send all my slides around. I see everyone taking crazy notes.
Twitter basics: Steal the good stuff. Don’t retweet other people. You can tweet 50 to 100 times a day easy if you have enough products or content. We were posting 300 times a day per account when we were running 10 magazines. Five percent of people were unfollowing us. The other 95% were clicking a hell of a lot more. We were getting tens of thousands of clicks all the time on our sites.
If you want to do an experiment once you build a Twitter, tweet more and see the amount of traffic to your website spike up. That’s the whole point of social media. Get people to your website and then deal with them from there.
Tumblr. People generally don’t need to use Tumblr. Maybe if you’re into fashion and music space. Problem with Tumblr, and the opportunity in Tumblr, is it’s hard to tell [inaudible 00:46:07]. Almost no one has their followers public. The best acquisition hack for Tumblr is to find a teenage girl with pink hair or blue hair and ask them who the most influential people on Tumblr are and then when she tells you, pay those people $25 to give you a shout-out. No one knows who’s influential, so if you find that information, that’s really golden and you can take that to the bank because no one else is offering them money.
[inaudible 00:46:32] Tumblr influences Google and nothing comes up, so there’s a massive opportunity there.
Pinterest. Females 30-plus, anything beautiful, furniture, curtain drapes, hats – that will be the space for that. If you don’t get re-pinned within 48 hours, remove the pin or you’ll get de-ranked.
The easiest way to get lots of traffic through Pinterest is through groups. There are many groups for many niches that have like half a million members, which means if you post a pin into that group, half a million people could see it if they’re online right then, which is incredible and can send a lot of traffic.
But Pinterest groups are like LinkedIn groups. Everyone knows they send traffic, so there’s spammers in there and a lot of them are closed groups that you can’t join. Charm your way in. If Pinterest is your niche, then find a way of getting into those groups and then you can spray pins all day and then get the traffic from that. That’s what I would do if I was looking at [inaudible 00:47:26] Pinterest tomorrow. There is massive opportunity there, I just personally haven’t used it all that much. But it can send crazy traffic.
Ninja Outreach is how you find influencers, so if you’re looking to find influencers or talk about your product, this is what you do. Go to this website, type in your niches and it will find those people for you.
If you do written content, this is Analytica. Copy and paste the written content in and then it will scan it for key words and find all of the people who have been talking about those keywords recently. It’s really easy to say, “I’ve been writing about bitcoins. See you like bitcoin. Would you like for me to retweet my article or give you my feedback.” That’s a really simple way of getting in front of the people who would be really interested in what you’re doing.
If you have a big budget, FameBit is the easiest way of finding YouTube influencers. It’s like $15,000 a month, but they can send absolutely crazy clicks.
LinkedIn groups can work. Very hard. There are groups hidden away in there which send thousands of people across. If LinkedIn is your niche, if you’re quite serious, it’s worth exploring. Using this link on here, you can post into 50 groups at once. If you find 50 good LinkedIn groups, you just need to drop that link once here and it will spray out to all of them, so you can get all of that traffic from all of those groups at once. Also on that link, you can message all of your connections at once, which is really good if you have big news or a big product that you want to get the word out about.
When you talk about content marketing, you should always be posting not just on your own blog but also on LinkedIn and Medium. Your audience is never in one place. It’s across very few channels, could be across many channels, but they’re never in one place. By placing all of these groups, different people see it. If people start to look at it and people start to like the post, they will show it to more and more people.
LinkedIn – you don’t get to choose what category the article goes in. They will scan it and put it in that category. If you were writing about, say, customer experience, there’s a million people following that hashtag. If that gets picked up in that group, a million people could see it. I’ve known people who were not very good writers find very quickly a Google audience on LinkedIn. Not too many people are doing it yet, but there’s still an opportunity to get ahead.
People talk to me all the time about their companies. I’m on a two-month American tour. I’m halfway through. I’ve had literally hundreds if not thousands of startups in the last year giving this talk. People come up to me and say, “I’m building an app.” So what? All people come up to me and they say, “I’m building an app and we have 500 users.” Now you have my attention. Likewise when you go a partner, mentor, investor or you’re trying to hire someone, there’s a massive gulf between zero and 500 users. Five hundred users shows you’ve got the basic hustle. I’ve included in here what anyone can do to get 500 users.
Firstly, use that LinkedIn to message all of their connections and say, “I’m working on this, would love your feedback, would love you to use it.” Copy and paste a two-paragraph message to all of your Facebook friends as a private message. Do that to all your Facebook friends. Tweet at all of your Twitter followers one by one. Social media software [inaudible 00:50:44] can help with that, which I’ll get into in a little bit. Then email all of your contacts one by one. You should pick up at least 125 signups from all four of these methods. If you can’t hustle getting your friends to do this, you shouldn’t be an entrepreneur. Go and do something else. There’s lots of jobs out there.
It’s really, really important you get the first 500. If you don’t get to that, you’re nowhere. Most startups don’t get to 500 users. If you do that, you’re in the top 20% of all startups ever. If you’re thinking that these won’t be my ideal users, that’s fine. These are the people who will say, “Why is your app so slow on Android? Why doesn’t this button work? This screen looks horrible. I’m really confused about how your app works.” You iron out all of these problems and then you go to your ideal users and say, “You should join our app. We’ve already got 500 people. It’s growing really fast. We’d love you to check it out.” That sounds much more impressive to them. You have to get those first 500 users.
LinkedIn. Generally you will notice people who look at your profile and you want to look at theirs back and vice versa. The best LinkedIn hack is to build a bot which looks at peoples’ LinkedIn profiles all day. I’d recommend 600 to 800 and then [inaudible 00:52:01] to look back at yours. There is off the shelf software called Profile Helper, which will do this, but as ever with any of the things I’m talking about, if you have a coder who can build it himself, you can always do much, much more and not be so limited.
Finding content. Reddit is the best site on the internet. It’s basically a Facebook competitor. Hundreds of millions of monthly users, sends incredible traffic. Reddit sometimes would send us half a million people to our website in one day. That was our record. Incredible if you hit the front page of Reddit.
Reddit has lots and lots of users. I would say the main use case anyone can use it for is Reddit is where you find all of the content for all of your other social channels.
When I was speaking about Welcome to the Internet earlier, if you were thinking, “We could never have animal pictures on our social profiles. We’re too serious.” You can reddit.com/r/investing, reddit.com/r/finance – there is a sub-Reddit for absolutely everything on earth. There’s 95 different sub-Reddits just for electronic music. Reddit is a place you go and find all of the discussion, all of the latest news and stuff to put on all of your other channels so you are up to the second of what is going on in your industry.
Reddit is a great place to find all that content. If I was selling two startups, I would join startups, entrepreneurial, small business, engineering, [inaudible 00:53:22], I would join marketing, SEO, blogging. Lots and lots of places where all of my customers are hanging out. I would join Reddit, unsubscribe from all the defaults, only join these ones, so your feed is all of the relevant stuff, and then start to join discussions. If you love your industry – which you should – then it will be a joy to spend your time in here. One post in 10 can be a link to your own website. If you go in there and on day one post something to your own website, you’ll just get banned. It’s not Twitter. You cannot go in there and spam. You have to join the community. I’ve heard Reddit paid ads are really good as well. Generally speaking, use that as a place to build community and slowly get people interested in what you’re doing and use it to find content. If your niche was fashion, go to Reddit.com/r/fashion for the latest fashion news and discussion.
Reddit has a sister site called Imgur, which has all the images from Reddit. Go to imgur.com/r/fashion for all the fashion photos. You can also filter them by most up voted of all time. You can guarantee the photos you put up on your social channels are going to be liked to be liked by people on the web because people on Reddit already have.
Another incredible tool – but it can also suck up all your time, too. Generally speaking, if tech feedback is important or you’re looking to get those early adopters who are going to set trends, they are all on Reddit. Everything that’s ever gone viral started on Reddit. Gangnam Style started on Reddit. Harlem Shake started on Reddit. It’s the first place everyone goes and it’s where the entire news industry rips off stories.
New platforms: Periscope is probably the best live video app and probably the best new platform in terms of social media and growing. [inaudible 00:55:06] last week [inaudible 00:55:07] they moved away from live video. Periscope was beating them. Periscope is the best place you could do cool things like follow, unfollow and get a follow very quickly. It got to 10 million users in six months. It took Facebook and Twitter two years. It all depends on whether it’s relevant for your business. If you’re a good-looking girl, yes, this is probably a good platform to talk about what you’re doing. For everyone else, I don’t know how relevant life is unless you’re in the event space and there’s a lot of good things happening.
Snapchat. If you’re doing a restaurant or a bar and you want to send out live, limited-offer deals to all of the local network, this is a great used space for Snapchat. I don’t know about the ROI.
If you have peoples’ phone numbers, WhatsApp, you can message them if you can live with yourself. It has a massive engagement rank.
Social media levels complete. Are there any questions? All right.
Headlines are the most important thing when you’re creating a new business or creating written content. It doesn’t matter what you do, if you don’t have a headline, people are not going to see it. People generally find a company by SEO or social media. They have to see headline, and then if they’re interested they have to click through. You don’t get to run a company or write content and not be good at headlines. For everything you do, you need to be doing 25 headlines. If it’s a piece of blog copy – 25 different headlines that all say the same thing.
You will also want to use Bitly to track which of those headlines work. Bitly is a link shortener and tracker. Rather than have this big long URL on your Facebook [inaudible 00:56:41] it shortens it to bit.ly/ a couple of words. With this way, you can track how many clicks things get. How many clicks on Monday? How many clicks on Tuesday? Where did those clicks come from? Which social media channels are sending the most traffic through Bitly.
What you want to do is put the same headline on Twitter, let’s say at lunchtime Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Inside the tweet, put a different headline. Same article is going out, but it will have a different headline. Then see which day got the most clicks and then put that on Facebook on the Friday with some money behind it. You’ve already valeted the people who like the headline and will click it. Now is the time to put it to your broader network.
This is literally how Buzzfeed built their empire. They’re no better at titling than you, but they will test two different headlines and see which one gets more clicks in a town, then in the country, then in the whole world. By the time you’re sitting at work browsing Facebook and you see a Buzzfeed article, “15 cats who should not have put their head in a [inaudible 00:57:41],” you have to click that, because that’s a perfect title. You have to get Buzzfeed-good at titling.
Buffer is the best social media software of all time. You just put in what times you want the post to go out and what days you want them to go out and it sends them out as if you’re sitting there doing it live. It’s the same as HootSuite or TweetDeck, I just think it’s a much better product. Buffer, again, has great analytics – how many clicks, how many favorites, how many retweets, how many replies. It’s a really good way of getting posts out. We built our content empire on it. If you have a lot of products or a lot of content, you can use Meet Edgar or Smart [inaudible 00:58:14]. You play all the tweets once and it will send them round and round, over and over so you don’t need to refill it. On platforms like Twitter, no on will ever notice.
Search Engine Optimization deserved its own night, and we don’t have a whole night. Here are the basics of search engine optimization. It’s 50% on site and 50% off it. The first 50% – is your site mobile optimized? Is it fast? Can Google search it okay? Are there [inaudible 00:58:41] in the right place. All of the basics that you need o go through and if it gets picked up, then there is a better chance of you ranking for everything. The other 50% is how much traffic does it get? The major one is how many legit sites point to you? This is why press is so important. How many legit sites send you SEO juice. I’ve included some articles there you can read, also key words [inaudible 00:59:07] will help you find SEO keywords. If you’re on Wordpress, Yoast in the only SEO plugin you need. ClickMinded has an SEO checklist. There’s lots of sites like Yelp and Photobucket and Flickr which can send you lots and lots of SEO juice if you just go to that page and create a business directory. It’s free to do. Longtail Pro will help you find your keywords. You have to pay to do it, but it’s worth doing.
Businesses need SEO. Anything with a lot of product or a lot of content, and anything in emerging markets, like 3D printing.
Turning all of this into gold. Email is forty times more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined. That is an incredible statistic. People keep the same email addresses for 5-10 years. We see on Facebook, you build a page, and they take away the number of people who see that page knowing you only reach 2% of them. To be seen on Twitter it used to be the default feed was whoever has tweeted the most recently. If you tweeted recently, someone will see it. Now the default is while you were away, which is whatever got the most retweets and favorites while you were away. That is always going to be celebrities and influential people. Your company will not be in there. So you go and channel on Twitter, you go and channel on Facebook, you never own it. When you have someone’s email, everyone checks their email every day. Not everyone looks at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter every day. There was a guy in the UK who built a daily deals clone, a Groupon clone. He sold it for $200 million and a journalist asked him, “What exactly are they buying here? You don’t have any tech.” He said, “They are buying 4.5 million email addresses while it’s out and ready to buy. That’s the power of having those emails.
I’ve seen companies get acquired just for their email list.
Building an email list is essential. This is a tool that can help. It’s called Hello Bar. It sits on the top or side of your site. It’s very eye-catching. Have a great call to action, as mentioned earlier. [inaudible 01:00:58] if you give us your email,” or “We’ve discovered the three secrets of our industry. Give us your email and we’ll send you our eBook.” Unlike many of the things I talk about, you don’t think they will work until you actually try it, put it on your site and then it starts to gather emails really easily.
MailChimp is the industry standard for creating a mailing list. Really simple to use. Anyone can do it. It’s free up to 2,000 users and your intern can send it out. Super simple, super powerful.
If you have a lot of emails and a lot of them are bouncing, you will hit spam folders. Kickbox will help you to find all the emails which are bouncing and remove them. Ten bucks for 1,000 emails [inaudible 01:01:42]. Well worth doing. One of the main reasons people hit spam is they have a list full of people who have left the company or the email no longer works.
Mail-testa.com is the other thing you need to do in order to make sure you hit the inbox. Once you have your article finished, send it to mail-testa and they will come back with “There’s too many links in here. It looks spammy. The pictures are terrible resolution. You have too many exclamation marks in your title. They will find all of the common red flags for whether your email will get flagged and then you can remove them before you’ve actually [inaudible 01:02:18]. That’s really important.
If you’ve never produced an email mailer before, this is really good emails.com. It has lots and lots of emails from other companies that have converted really well. You can just copy their layout and then get rich off it. If you don’t want to pay for photos – and who does? This is the 21st Century – this is stocksnap.io. This has thousands of images for any keyword search, like New York, banking, boy, girl, whatever, and you can use them without attribution. You can put them in your content and in your email newsletters and not pay anyone or mention anyone. If you have to create newsletters and you don’t know where to begin or you’re just too lazy, this is review, drop in all the links and pictures and it will arrange it and make it look pretty for you in like 30 seconds.
Wavelength is a fantastic tool that I’m going to be using very soon for my project. It finds people who have similar email list to you. You import your mailing list – its a MailChimp tool – and if people want a similar mailing list or in a similar niche, it introduces you. If you were selling weighlifting weights and the other person was selling that strange brown powder that weightlifters eat, it would connect you because you have the same audience but you’re not competing. By doing this you can get into other peoples’ mailing lists and get all of that value for shout-outs. If you only have 500 in your mailing list and they have 1,000 in theirs, you can swap two shout-outs in your mailing list for one in theirs. An incredible tool.
Connect6 is another stalking tool. Go on anyone’s Facebook profile and it will show you all of the other connections they have. What their Quora is, what their Twitter, what their LinkedIn. It has their Google+, but don’t use that because no one does.
Email tools. Psychic enables you to see who opens your emails. If an investor or customer says, “I didn’t see it,” you know they’re lying. Boomerang lets you send the emails later. If you don’t want to get in a back-and-forth with your boss, you can send them all at 6, or you can send them at half 5 and pretend you get up early and do yoga.
Your inbox should be a to-do list. If your current inbox is full of stuff, it needs to be sorted out. Your mail-in box should be for internal communications and clients only and nothing else. You have a second inbox for MeetUp, EventBrite, and all of your [inaudible 01:04:32]. If you’re not at inbox zero right now, and this is Mailstrom, it costs $10 for one month. It will archive everything out of your inbox so it’s not in your inbox but it’s not deleted. You can still search it, and it will unsubscribe you from all the newsletters you don’t want to be on. You can very quickly get to inbox zero. Use this for one month, get to inbox zero and then delete it.
Streak is a fantastic tool if you’re the person that does sales for your company. It’s a Gmail tool. It sits in your inbox, and every time someone emails you who is a sales lead or an investment lead, you take the box and it adds it to this sales flow. Are they a lead? Have they been pitched? Are you negotiating? You can move them through the funnel right through to close, lost or won. It’s a good thing to report back to your co-founder or investor at the end of each week. Here’s how sales are going.
Generally when you start a company, you are lower in the power balance than everyone you’re emailing. You may email them and they may not get back to you, but they should because you spent time to create that email. Rebump is a Gmail. If you take the box when you email someone, if they do not reply, Rebump will email them every four days forever. It will be like, “Just thought I’d try you one more time. Just checking you got it.” And investor once said, “There’s a 98% chance I didn’t see your email and a 2% chance I hate your guts.” Bear that in mind. Most people just don’t see your email and other entrepreneurs appreciate it when you hustle to get what you want. If you want to do that to scale, this is Quickmail.io and you can send thousands of emails and thousands of all other replies.
Email marketing is essential if you’re starting something. It’s crazy not to be doing it. It’s essential whether you’re an author a freelancer, a contractor, pretty much any company that isn’t an app. Maybe if you’re an app you don’t have to. For everyone else, an email list is essential.
Kickstart [inaudible 01:06:30]. If you’re doing a Kickstarter, PR is your main acquisition source. Maybe email list second, but I’m presuming you don’t have of them on this. How most successful Kickstarters are – they get lots of PR on the first day, and that gets them to 50%. From there it sort of cycles. Other blogs see it and it grows from there. My friends raised millions of dollars for companies on Kickstarter and he has a very cool strategy. He finds all of the similar products and where they’ve been covered by which blogs, and then contacts those blogs five, six weeks before it launches and says, “Do you want first look at this? Can you write a piece on the day the Kickstarter launches?” Because of this, there’s suddenly an explosion of hype. It’s like what Tim Ferriss calls the surround sound effect, like suddenly the product is everywhere. You see it on Facebook, you see it on Twitter, you see it on RSS feed, you see it on blogs. You want to get everyone to be on that place at once. I’ve included some links there for Kickstarters.
This is a cheat sheet I would use if I was launching any of these companies. Obviously, you can’t be great at everything. [inaudible 01:07:35] speaking, this is what I would produce. If you’re a publishing company, so say you’re doing books or magazines or creating your own online magazine, I would get good at Facebook, SEO and email. If you’re an eCommerce company, I’d get good at paid social, Adwerves and real-life partnerships and distributions [inaudible 01:07:54]. If you’re a social network or a B2C app, I’d get at social, real-life partnerships and influencers and internal and internet [inaudible 01:08:02]. You’d have to have a fantastic sharing system where people get a month free if they share it, or people want to invite their friends in to make the product better or more useful.
If you’re consulting or freelance or run an agency like I do, you need one acquisition source, and that’s public speaking. You only need a few customers to pay your high-dollar value per month. If you do public speaking, the clients come to you. We are a social media and content marketing company. We don’t do any social media or content marketing for ourselves. I just go and give talks around the world and people ask to work with me. If you’re a freelance, this is the only thing you need to do. Of course referrals, but you need to get the first clients to get those referrals.
If your software is a service, my favorite type of startup, you have every single acquisition channel can funnel in, which is why it’s so popular. Enterprise companies or nonprofits, it’s all about partnerships with board members. If you want to sell to governments or Fortune 100 companies, it doesn’t matter how good your product is or what your product is, you need someone to open those doors. If you are the type of company that produces something for these massive corporations, you’d better get good at taking people out to lunch, because you need lots of people on your board who can open those doors.
I’ve mentioned earlier, this is like your user acquisition plan. “We want to get some users for our app,” is a terrible goal. If you’ve planned out every single user here. “This is what we’re going to do for Twitter. We’re going to reach out to 10,000 people each week. Here’s what we’re going to do for Instagram: We’re going to do page shout-outs. We’re going to go to every co-working space and scoop up users manually every night this week for the next weeks. We’re going to reach out to 50 blogs and presuming we’re going to get covered in at least five.” You want to have every single layer of your user acquisition planned out by every user. I can completely take a wild guess at the conversion rate. It doesn’t matter.
The point is, you bring this to an investor or a mentor or a potential client, it’s really impressive that you thought of how to do this. This is like the number one criticism I have of people launching companies. They could pitch me absolutely anything – a doughnut delivery startup – I always ask the same question. Where will you get traffic from? Almost no one can answer that question. If you have this, it’s an absolutely fantastic thing and will make anyone you’re talking to excited about what you’re doing.
That’s it, unless you want 10 minutes more. I have 10 minutes more stuff. [crosstalk 01:10:39]. Okay cool.
If you don’t, we could just leave.
Next up, we have an engagement tool known as emojis. Not a lot of people know you can put emojis anywhere you can type. If you’re on the latest Apple, hit control command and space bar and it will bring up the emoji bar. The best place to do this is in the title of emails. Not a lot of people know you can put emojis there, and for the next few months they won’t be played up, because hardly anyone’s doing it. That’s a great place to put emojis to get your emails opened. If you’re doing Twitter or Instagram, people will reply to your posts more if you use them, studies have shown. If you’re not on the latest Apple, go to iemoji.com and you can find all of the emojis, you can copy and paste across, do whatever you need.
Gifs are in incredible. No one remembers what they read, but everyone remembers the way you made them feel. If love to drag gifs from Safari onto desktop and then back into emails. I find reactiongifs.com is the best gif site. You just type in “I am happy. I am disappointed. I am angry.” It finds you trending gifs that you can drag in and use. You can turn any YouTube video into a gif by putting the word “gif” before “YouTube.” Www.gif.youtube.com and you can create your own gif. Sending it to a client – you can create a gif of the client and send it to them. A really, really cool tool for increasing engagement.
I’ve included links to an app marketing strategy guide if any of you are building an app, and also an article for how to get more clients, and also a link to TypoSaurus. TypoSaurus searches your website for spelling mistakes. Every site has one, and TypoSaurus helps you find it.
Similar Web is a spying tool, so you can look at any company’s website and see how much traffic it gets. It’s accurate up to about 80%, so it’s a really good tool for finding how is my competitor doing. You can also search by where the traffic comes from. Is it Twitter? Is it Facebook? Is it Reddit? Once you have the information you then go on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit and find all of their articles and see what they’re doing and then steal it and then start to do your own thing. If they have a lot of SEO traffic, you can also see where it’s coming from and try and out-bid them on it. Really good if you’re deciding which blogs to guest blog for. If you’ve got a list and used it to find out how much traffic they get.
Trello is your digital to-do list and part of the two things you need to do to be productive. The first is inbox zero and the second is Trello. Trello is a card system, so you can drag your cards between columns and archive them when you’re finished. Trello is all of your tasks that you need to be done, you just type them in here. I have “What’s to be done this week,” “What’s to be done today,” and “What am I waiting for feedback on?” The good thing about Trello is, if you’re at inbox zero, you don’t have any Trello cards on today, you’ve done all your work. If you think about it, you never really feel like you’ve done your work. Trello is fantastic. You can delegate cards to other people in your team, so your whole team can work from here. It’s also really good if you work on your own because no one tells you what to do when you work on your own, but Trello does.
[inaudible 01:13:51] domain search. Type in any keyword and it will find you all of the available .com domains in the world. There are millions of .coms still available. I hate giving this out, because I think one of you will take one of the domains that I want in the future. But there are so many out there. I was searching for God and I found mainGod.com, BoldGod.com, AreaGod.com all available. If God is still available, your startup idea probably is, too.
This is ChartGo. This enables you to create charts. Looks good in content, good for your investor presentations. It’s just a website, it’s free to use, you just type in x-axis [inaudible 01:14:33] and create it. Here’s the secret of good charts: I planned this should go up and to the right.
All great entrepreneurs read a lot of books. These are the six books I think all entrepreneurs should read. The first one is “The 48 Laws of Power,” written by an incredible author, Robert Greene. He lived in Hollywood for awhile and noticed how powerful people interacted, and looked at 2,000 years of human history. There are some golden rules that you really need to understand if you’ve ever tried to raise money, if you’ve ever gone for a job interview at a big company. People are playing power games with you. You don’t get to opt out of the power games. “48 Rules of Power” has all the golden rules, like, say less, act as a friend but really be a spy, conceal your intentions, act like a king to be treated like one, create a spectacle. So many things that you can do in order to make yourself more powerful and of all the books I read when I was on welfare and about to start my company, by far this was the book where I’d go into an investor meeting and say, “Right. He’s doing this. I’m going to do this.” They are very, very practical rules you can use. “Win through your actions, never through your words.” So many critically important things.
On a less amoral role, “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” is an essential book. This book trains you out of your natural selfishness. Everyone is very selfish and does not interact with people very well. This tells you things that everyone should do but literally no one does. They are things like listen, smile, compliment the other person, never contradict, condemn or complain about the other person, the sweetest sound in the world is the sound of someone else’s name, the more you say it the more they’re going to like you. So many basic things that normal, polite humans should do, but no one does. That’s an incredible book for that.
If PR is your acquisition method and you’ll know it if PR is, and that’s if you have a very broad customer base. If a child could use your product and someone in New York and an old lady, you can’t target anyone on social because there’s so many different groups. [inaudible 01:16:51] if you’re a physical product. PR can be hacked and there’s a book written about it and it’s called, “Trust Me, I’m Lying.” It’s an amazing book, and it shows you how to growth hack PR. Again, it deserves its own night.
Very quickly, how you do it is this. Go to fiverr.com. There are bloggers on there who will write anything for $5. You can literally send them your press release and 10, 15, 20 bloggers will all write an article about you. Those sites get no traffic, but they look legit. Then you create 10 fake Gmail addresses, and with all of those links from Fiverr, you email all of the small but influential blogs in your industry and say, “You might want to cover this.” When lots of editors see that lots of people are emailing them about a story, they will do it. I’ve worked as a manager of an online magazine many times. Everyone just copies everyone. THere’s no originality. If they get loads of emails at once, they’re going to want to cover it. Once the small, influential industry blogs start to cover you, take those links and send them to Huffington Post, with all the different emails saying the same thing: “I can’t believe you haven’t covered this. Everyone’s talking about it.” Huffington Post has to cover everything. They publish about 1500 articles a day. They do not want to miss any traffic. There’s a good chance they’ll publish it if a lot of other legit sites are [inaudible 01:18:13] about it. Then you go to CNN, Forbes, AOL – all of the big sites. Lots of big companies have done this. It sounds far-fetched, but the way internet journalism works is everyone copies everyone.
This doesn’t mean that it’s easy to do. You still need a great product. You still need a great story. But it is possible to do it without paying a PR agency $50,000 a month. “Trust Me, I’m Lying” is a book all about that.
Another book I find really, really interesting is “Zero to One,” particularly if you’re brewing a tech startup. This is written by Peter Thiel. He was the founder of PayPal and he was the first investor in Facebook. Included in it he has his seven point plan for will I invest in a startup. It contains a lot of difficult questions, like, “Are you 10 times better than your nearest competitor?” And “Do you have proprietary tech that someone couldn’t copy your product and have it out on the street in a couple of weeks?” THere’s lots and lots of difficult things, but if you can answer yes to all of them, “Are you creating economies of scale? Are you creating a brand?” You’re defensible and he’s more likely to invest in you. But it’s otherwise an amazing book on startups and what needs to be done. If you’re building a tech company, that’s an essential book.
If you want to travel around the world working from your laptop, “The 4 Hour Work Week” is an incredible book for that. It contains golden rules like, “Outsource everything to the Philippines. They speak good English and they’re a lot cheaper.” And “Put your entire company’s expenses on your American Express Gold card and use the air miles to fly around the world to all your meetings or holidays.” There’s lots and lots of very, very practical advice about how to scale out what you’re doing and how to get other people to do the work for you. I read this book before I started Planet Ivy and then my first hire was an editor, and then he also became the office manager so I could focus on the investment and the big stuff and he could focus on the office stuff. Incredible book for outsourcing.
Finally, the best book ever written on business management, “The Hard Thing About Hard Things.” It may even be one of the best books ever written on business. Most business books are written in times of peace. They’re like, “Increase your sales, increase your marketing. How to increase motivation.” They presume the rest of the business is going okay. “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” is about when everything is going wrong. It contains chapters like, “How to fire someone,” “What to do when your co-founder isn’t pulling their weight,” “How to do a performance review,” “How to know if your product manager is doing anything bad.” Lots and lots of very practical things. “How to do a review of a member of staff.” The founder has IPO’d two companies, the person who wrote this book, and it’s incredible for you to manage someone else. It has excellent anecdotes, like, “What do you do if someone comes to you and says, ‘I’m leaving. I have a job offer unless I get a raise.'” Conventional wisdom would say you have to give them the raise if you can afford it so they can stay. The problem with that is the word gets out and the rest of the team does it and before you know it that can bankrupt your company. Little decisions like that that can change everything are included in this book.
Those six books are incredible for anyone starting out in business.
I coach a lot of people and they always say the same thing: “I have too many things to do. What should I be focusing on?” My answer is always the same: Split your to-do list into things that directly make you money and things that don’t and only do the side that directly make you money or directly get you users if you’re a startup. You’ll be amazed how much the next side can sit there and wait forever. It could be admin, it could be accountancy, it could be social media, it could be blogging. These things don’t matter. What matters is making money or getting users. If you focus entirely on that, you will have a much bigger chance of succeeding.
Something I’ve started doing recently is having a board meeting with myself. I have a set time and day. Maybe I’ll put on a shirt and tie and be like, “Shall we start the board meeting? Yes.” Then you say, “How did the last week go?” You should only have one or two metrics on whether it’s been a good week or a bad week, because you can’t just say, “I tried really hard. I put those hours in.” That doesn’t work. If I’m working on a new project, it might be 20% more traffic per week. If I’ve got 20% more traffic when I do the meeting, it’s a good week. If not, it’s a bad week. Have a board meeting with yourself, get into the habit, and eventually start texting your friends: “The board is going to be unhappy.” They’re going to be like, “Well…” If you have a co-founder, maybe have the board meeting with them. The point is, you have to be accountable to someone.
We’re not in a bubble. Most startups are getting invested in than any time in human history. You create wealth when you’re an entrepreneur, you don’t take it away from other people. As a side note to that, basically don’t listen to anyone and don’t read blogs. Never listen to someone who has not the very thing you’re trying to do. You might notice, I haven’t talked about anything to do with Series A, raising millions or selling a company, because I’ve never done it. There are so many people who talk about these things without ever having done them or without having run a company. Ignore those. You can generally ignore most things you read and just focus on building product and/or getting users.
I’m looking to meet founders and companies who funded and looking to scale, people looking to grow their social community, build a greater personal brand. I’m also looking to give more talks in America. I’ve got another three weeks here and then I’m back out in May. I’m looking to give talks at big meetups, co-working spaces, conferences, so if anyone could introduce me to anyone like that, or anyone generally influential in Dallas or beyond, that would be fantastic.
I have an announcement. This is something very exciting. I am writing a book on growth hacking. It’s going to come out in one month on Kickstarter and it’s going to be amazing. That’s the first time I ever told the public that thing.
Everyone in this room spends more time on Facebook each day than they do washing themselves. That’s a bad thing, because Facebook doesn’t really add any value to our lives. This is Stay Focused. It’s a Google Chrome plugin. If you use Facebook for more than 10 minutes a day it physically locks you out so you cannot go on Facebook. You can’t even type it in the browser at the top. Yes, you can go on a different web browser, but you feel dirty doing it. Two blocks of five minutes a day is more than enough to get all of your Facebook done, spray into the groups, reply to your messages, and you’ll be surprised at how little you really need to be on Facebook. With all of the time you spend not on Facebook, you can start to do all of the growth hacks I’ve told you about today.
Thank you for listening my first-ever talk in Dallas. I truly believe the internet is the ladder we can use to climb out of poverty. Thank you for being part of my American dream.
That’s my email for slides. [email protected]. If anyone has any questions, let me know. Or if you do have a question, just tell me what your company does and your marketing problem and I’ll try and solve it.
We’ll do 15 minutes of questions and then break for more focused conversation up front and get wrapped up, because we’ve run awhile.
Let’s do 15 questions and then if people want to come up to see me they can.
We’re shooting the video, the audio. Would anyone like to see that? [crosstalk 01:25:55]
Keep it up for one month max.
Okay for putting it behind a password? That’s better for you guys here, so let’s respect that. I think we understood that from the beginning. Your slides …
Email me and then I’ll send you the slides.
Great. Let’s do questions.
You were talking about Twitter. You said, “Don’t use hashtags and don’t retweet other people.” I was really confused by that. Could you explain why? Because you also said you want other people to retweet you, right? [inaudible 01:26:26]
Yeah. From the perspective of …
Could you repeat the question?
Yeah, I said don’t use hashtags and don’t retweet other people, which seems very contrarian to everyone else’s advice. I’m talking about a very specific use case of wanting to grow your account quickly. I hate that the common advice is to use hashtags and retweet other people, because it doesn’t work and I don’t like that entrepreneurs are wasting their time with things like that. Following, reaching out, getting shout-outs will grow your account a lot quicker, like maybe if you’re working for a big company, they don’t really need growth and they can buy growth. I’m working on the assumption people here are not doing that. Rules are meant to be broken, of course, like you can retweet some people and you can use hashtags. But it’s basically pointless as an exercise in growing your account. It just doesn’t make any difference. If you had an army of other accounts that could favorite your post when you use a hashtag, that can make it right, but I’m presuming no one has that. It’s not that it’s not worth doing, but it’s just not worth doing.
In terms of blog content, if there’s two distinct audiences – one is a user base that there’s blogging for and then there’s the customer that’s actually a B2B play, do you recommend just having the one blog, combining it and stripping it on the proper channels? Would you separate it? What are your thoughts on that?
The thing about that is the old problem with front pages and content sites. Not a lot of people know about content sites. Only 2% of the traffic ever hits the home page. Everyone comes in at article level. Thus it doesn’t really matter if they’re on the same blog or on the same page. It matters where you get those links out for them to see it.
Choose whether it’s personal or business. You’re blogging under it and stick to it. It doesn’t really matter. It may matter when your company gets massive, but what really matters is where are you going to get that out there in order to get clicks? What emails will you get it in? What Facebook groups will you drop it in? What influencers will you tweet it out on Twitter. That’s what really matters and then work out the rest.
Are you familiar with the Texas Law Hawks viral ad?
The what now?
Texas Law Hawk lawyer?
Okay. I’m covering for him tonight. He couldn’t make it. There’s a tornado in Fort Worth right now.
The Texas Law Hawk. A crazy lawyer from Texas. Basically did a viral YouTube campaign.
What did he do?
A crazy lawyer commercial, basically someone that caught everybody off guard because he’s a lawyer and having a police officer and having streaming options video. Going viral from a … A trade-off from being in a real profession that you’d want to be taken seriously, like the legal industry. Any thoughts there versus …?
It’s real counter-intuitive. I talk about it in my content marketing talk. The more personal you are, the further your content goes. Everyone tries to adopt a business clone. I did it for so long when I first started my company. People think business has to be a certain way, but in fact the more personal, outrageous, controversial you are, the better things get. Everyone plays by the rules, and then Donald Trump comes along [crosstalk 01:30:19]. When people break the rules, everything goes further. Whatever you can do in your company to do that, within the law, I would do. If there’s any one takeaway from tonight it would be that.
Are there any more questions? Yeah.
You mentioned that part of your Twitter strategy should be to follow large amounts of people on a regular basis so they can follow you back. Do you have any strategies for doing that easily other than manually following?
[inaudible 01:30:55] it will take you like 10 minutes a day. It’s very quick to do. [inaudible 01:31:04]. It’s more about getting in the habit and following the right people and then eventually doing content that will get shared.
Tell me a little bit about your company, how you help specifically.
About your company and how you help specifically?
Sure. We find the people that are looking to grow their companies and then find their audience and connect the two. We work particularly well with companies that solve a problem, like an app which helps musicians get more gigs, an app that teaches you to cook. Any way you solve a problem, we just go out and find those people on platforms like Twitter, Instagram who have that problem and then it’s a really easy connection to make. As a general rule, if you’re adding value it’s not spam. We have machinery to reach out to lots of people and get in front of lots of people and we can grow Instagram and Twitter really quickly. A client we have right now is a mobile phone case supplier and in the first two months we got them 15,000 new followers. Basically anything, we know where to find people who will like that based on what they tweet and what’s in their bio. Twitter is great for finding information and growing and likewise Instagram has lots of information, too. We find out who might be interested in what you’re doing and then introduce you.
That’s probably someone who can deliver and they have first-found funding, enough money to spend a little bit.
Can you give us an idea of who your perfect guy is or woman is, that profile? Help us understand who to connect you with. You’ve been really generous with us tonight. Thank you. And what that spend would look like for someone at that level, both with you and whatever they’re paying for.
Sure. Depending on what you want …
We all know a lot of people in Dallas who could really use your help.
Cool. Some companies want community growth and to look good. They want to grow their followers and grow their engagements and get more traffic to their site. We have basic platforms for that based on how much you want to grow. That’s like $3,000 a month-ish, depending on how much growth there is. That can go up. Startups who want to grow users. If they already have a product and they want to grow their pre-launch email list or they want to grow their download list and they have a clear target of who they want to reach, we can take that up for really depends on how much they want. We got out and start to grow that for them and then they can focus on product and we can focus on getting people in who sign up to the email or sign up to the app. The first 0-5,000 users is our sweet spot. We can also write content for people as well who are looking for a lot of written content. That’s some of the main things we do. Everyone who’s in startups will find my book useful. It’s like this with a lot more.
When can we find your book out?
I’ll notify anyone who emails me when things are starting. It ought to be quite soon.
What about that?
I’m sure this will all be on the social media, like on your Facebook, Twitter …
Yeah. It will be there. I’m giving three talks at South by Southwest. This talk again Friday lunchtime, a social media workshop Sunday lunchtime and this talk or a different talk Monday night, if anyone is at South by.
As far as questions regarding influencers and users to actual purchasers, in your experience what has that percentage been?
It varies massively, but generally speaking 50% of marketing is just getting in front of people. If you can do that you create a lot of impressions. You soon find out if you have something people want. But very few people go create 30,000 impressions and I got no clicks. When that happens, you need to look at your product. It really varies and you need to find the right influencers or get in front of the right people so that they’re interested. Which is why community building is really important. Understand the audience, try to build community across Facebook, email, Twitter. You can ask them what they want, who they like and then reach those influencers.
Can you place an employee in a company? Like in the U.S.?
No. We’re an agency. People hire us to help them grow.
If you hire someone can you coach them?
If the company doesn’t have the budget for us to do the work for them, we can do consultancy over Skype. Tell you what to do and teach you how to do it.
Could you watch over the program and manage the program and let someone do the grunt work here?
Yeah. We’ve done that before and had weekly check-ins on Skype and [inaudible 01:36:15] documentation on user experience of the site and advice from them.
Do you have any people in the United States yet that sort of follow you and look at what you’re doing that you coach or mentor that are potential employees here?
No. I’m not looking to hire yet, although I’m looking to move here full time next year, depending on how things go. I have people in London.
We would like to recommend you to Dallas, because this startup scene is happening at such a rapid pace and we’ve got global headquarters, billionaires, airport that can fly to both coasts very quickly. I’m serious about that. A lot of people are talking about Austin. We can all convince you that Dallas is a better place. You can’t leave without being invited.
Any other questions?
You mention GA. What do you teach there?
I was the digital marketing teacher on the evening course. I still teach content marketing and sometimes social news. I’m probably going to start doing my own work now very soon so I can do more consistent courses rather than when GA can fit me in. I’ll do webinars like this, but I’ve got another one on personal branding sales, another one on content marketing. Different areas, same sort of format. Lots of actionable tips.
Are there any sites that would tell you if your app idea is relevant?
Just put it in front of people. People don’t know what they want.
Even when they say, “This is why I do X,” it’s wrong. We’re driven by our self-conscious wrapped in our conscious brains.
Yeah. Watch what users do, not just what they say, is the phrase. Ideally just get it out there, or if it’s going to take six months to build, get a splash page and say, “This is what we’re doing. If interested, sign up.” I really recommend that.
Growth Hacking with Links and Resources
London-based Vincent Dignan helps grow early-stage companies through a combination of rapid social media growth, guerrilla community management tactics, and growth hacks which have seen companies go from zero to thousands of signups/followers/users virtually overnight.]
He founded planetivy.com & screenrobot.com. They have received nearly 20 million pageviews, while content he has overseen for other clients has received over 150 million page views so far.
His company, Magnific, beat 1500+ other startups to be accepted into prestigious accelerator Techstars London. He was asked by The Duke Of York to help his companies at [email protected] 4.0 and boost social media on the night of the event at St. James’s Palace with The Duchess of York. He has been interviewed in Inc, New Statesman, TechCrunch, and The London Economist, and has written for the likes of Huffington Post and Tech City News. He put on secretsauceconference.com, a one-day conference to help London startup entrepreneurs boost their companies. It attracted 600+ attendees throughout the day and night event.
His company has driven thousands of followers, conversations, and signups for other startups. He has given talks at conferences and events around the world on content marketing, social media, growth hacking, and user acquisition. This talk will be an updated version of the session which was voted best talk at SXSW V2V 2015 in Las Vegas. You can read his blog here.
Have any questions about growing your company, startups, anything before? Tweet @vincentdignan 🙂
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