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Low cost growth hacking

Picture of Loke Leng
Loke Leng
// // Free or cost effective online resources can be used to create awareness and gauge public interest...

// Free or cost effective online resources can be used to create awareness and gauge public interest…

I read some advice recently on analysing your startup idea, from work originally published by FullStack

Here’s a quick summary:

  1. Identify your Target Market
    Consumer Segment: Market analysis + Market research (qualitative)
  2. Determine your Point of Difference
    Unique Selling Proposition: What makes you different and better?
  3. Research market competition
    SWOT and Competitor Analysis
  4. Financial Projections
    How will you resolve the gap between startup launch and profitability?

Step 1 to 3 is standard business school stuff. You can’t go wrong with surveys, polls, focus groups and SWOT analysis. 

Beyond that, it gets tougher. How long are you willing to stay and work on a project that is likely to be losing money for years? How do you get investors on board if this is the case?

Luckily, Reddit has a huge compilation of how to guides and resources that cover basically everything. Long live the free internet!

Here’s a fancy sounding modern day solution to Step 4.

Growth hacking

Growth hackers understand the latent potential of software products to spread themselves, and it’s their responsibility to transform this potentiality into a reality.

A growth hacker is basically a marketeer focused on growth.

In essence, growth hacking takes advantage of available infrastructure for distribution and gaining attention. 

One example before the Internet was around the mass construction of McDonalds across U.S interstate highway exits.

Today, Dropbox and AirBnB are poster children for growth hacking.

Both of them grew through funnelling in users from other platforms. Dropbox set up an invitation system through gmail and AirBnB posted their room listings (crossposting) on Craigslist. 

If you can’t get investor funding, consider a Kickstarter or some other crowd-funding campaign.

Low cost growth hacking
Source: Bloodstained Ritual of the Night Kickstarter Page

Awareness makes it easier to get potential investors on board. After all, what better way to judge market reception than through pledged dollars and/or a large user base? 

Growth hacking 2.0

If you’ve completed a crowd funding campaign, gathered user feedback, hired some recruits at Angel List and decided to launch, what’s next?

If you can’t code, you might obtain the design of your email campaign from Really Good Emails.

You then have a choice of sending the emails yourself or paying Amazon SES to send them for you.

After the launch, you start a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) or head to Quora to answer questions for more publicity.

There are plenty of tools online that are either free or available for relatively low cost. Chances are, there is a guide out there on how to take advantage of these tools.

All the best!


If you need inspiration or just want to share your experiences with growth hacking, there are many platforms to do so too. Or leave a comment below.

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Picture of Loke Leng

Loke Leng

A Malaysian in Perth. Graduate of Curtin University, currently doing an honours year in Economics. Coffee addicted night owl who starts a hundred writing projects in order to finish one.
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