Today we’re sharing some juicy growth hacks from Badass Marketers and Founders (BAMF). Only read if you have a good sense of humor, you’re looking for new growth hacks – and you’d call yourself “creative.”
BAMF is a kickass Facebook Group run by Josh Fechter. This group is full of useful practical advice and we thought it would be really cool to crowdsource this article from the BAMF community.
Some things may send you in shock.
Other things are so good that you may even save this article to your Pocket, Google Drive, notes – or share it with your friends.
This growth hack article will definitely give you some ideas on some clever ways you can grow your business by being a little bit of a badass.
Christien Louviere, Founder of SellPersonal
Badass Growth Hack – Friday Facebook ads.
Create Amazing Content –
You have to have great content. This means having something unique to say. Not every piece of content that you create needs to be life-altering; but if you’re going to put your hard earned startup revenue behind it, then it does.
As I said in my piece about how to growth hack yourself, you need to focus most of your energy on your headline. You’re going to use it for your amazing content, and you’re going to use it again in your Facebook ads.
Buy Highly Targeted Facebook Ads –
It’s scary how targeted you can get with your ads on Facebook, but you can target people by their job titles. That means that you can target Editors, Journalists and Bloggers.
Influencers likely have their own Facebook Page, so you can target the page of an individual writer directly too if they have one.
When I first tested this method, I spent a measly $15, saw 74 hits to my site and made over 3,000 impressions.
My goal of this exercise was strictly to drive traffic and awareness. In the ad world, they call this “branding” because the idea is to create a consistent stream of impressions in the mind of the audience so that they eventually take an action.
In this case, my audience was journalists. My goal for the consistent stream is that they will become familiar with the work of my company and write about it.
Only Run the Facebook Ad on Friday –
Friday is the slowest news day. When public entities want to hide bad news that they’re required to share, then they release it on Fridays. Journalists are looking for stories to work on over the weekend so why not make it your story?
Focus on Your Facebook Ad Headline –
Get the headline right, then you get the click. It’s that simple. CoSchedule has a great free tool for analyzing and testing headlines quickly.
Be Consistent –
Run an ad to the same people with content every Friday. The point is to get the attention of someone that can open up your business story to the masses.
You will have no idea exactly who is clicking on your ad, but…you can write to your favorite journalists and say, “Journalists are flocking to this article I did on X, and I would love to have you be the one to give me an exclusive interview.”
Charlie Cohn, Director of Growth at Wickfire
Badass Growth Hack – Use ads to compare your product against your competitors.
Looking for some quick traction bringing a product/service to market in a competitive space?
Want to displace your competitors from the SERPs? Tired of waiting for your site to rank to get noticed?
Bid on your competitors’ brand name, and name in conjunction with descriptors about the services you offer.
NOTE: YOU CANNOT USE A COMPETITORS BRAND NAME IN YOUR AD COPY.
… But, you can mention them in the URL, which is great for your CTR.
Here’s one way to go about setting this up:
• Create a page comparing you to your competitors on your site.
• Create a paid search campaign targeting your competitors’ branded keywords and include a broad mod of your +competitor’s +name
• Include yoursite.com/yourbrand-vs-competitor in the display URL to boost CTR
This is especially effective in industries with low brand affinity, when first introducing your product to market, or with products/services where people are likely to comparison shop.
This strategy is unlikely to be sustainable in the long run as costs are high and you need to present a compelling case to alter a searcher’s brand affinity.
However, it will help you get early traction and see what terms people are searching related to your competitors’ brand.
Too dirty to do it yourself? Don’t want to be associated with bidding on competitor terms? Pay an agency to set up a site and campaign comparing you to your competitors/
Or empower affiliates to do it for you.
They’ll do just about anything if the price is right.
Isaac Bullen, Asia Pacific Director at 3WhiteHats
Badass Growth Hack – Using Quora to drive organic traffic and sales leads.
Working with a startup in a highly competitive niche, we setup a process for monitoring and responding rapidly to new, and relevant, Quora questions.
This tactic drove as many leads as organic traffic and continues to be a huge source of leads.
It’s worth also mentioning that Quora has an answers section (which can be edited by you) that links through to external sites of interest.
Leo Gamayunov, Co-founder at TTBA Group
Badass Growth Hack – Personalized letters with a humorous touch.
Step 1: Collect the list of potential companies in your neighbourhood that you’d like to work with. Using LinkedIn, find the names and the positions of two main decision makers in the company.
Step 2: Buy slick eye-catching envelopes.
Step 3: Buy expensive chocolates – small pieces wrapped in packaging of course we just used “Swiss Chocolates.”
Step 4: Buy packs of Advil with pills packaged one-by-one.
Step 5: Create and print personalized letters like this for each prospect:
we understand how big of a headache Marketing can be for a business. In this envelope you will find an Advil to ease the pain in the short term.
We sent the same letter to your marketing manager – Steve.
We enclosed a chocolate in your letters so you can take a coffee break and discuss a marketing approach that makes both your jobs easier in the long-run.
Meanwhile, we wanted to say hello to our neighbours. You might have seen us working late in the “aquarium-like” corner office on St. Patrick.
If you need assistance in understanding how to turn positive ROI from Marketing this year, we are already brewing some coffee.
Leo, Founder (514) 583-3846 ttbagroup.com
Key tips to executed on this.
- Put the letter in an envelope along with a chocolate and a pill of Advil.
- Send it out.
- Wait 3 weeks to receive inbound calls or emails.
- Follow up with key decision makers to introduce yourself officially.
The Badass Results:
- 100% of people who received the envelope were really impressed with this approach.
- 80% of those who had marketing needs converted for the meeting.
If you are looking for a way to stand out and impress a strong account, this tactic will be helpful. Let me know if you have any questions.
Marcus Kay, Founder of Meatti
Badass Growth Hack – Increase app downloads by x10 and, it’s free!
One of my badass growth hacks is about mobile app growth on iOS app store.
It helped me increase app downloads by more than 10 times.
And it’s free.
Here’s the thing.
Did you know you can increase the space to enter your iOS App Store keywords?
I mean the keywords that help your app get into the app store search results.
And it can be up to five times more?
YES, FIVE TIMES!
Here’s how you do it.
Apple App Store actually indexes multiple app localizations in each App Store market.
Why? It is because App Store users use different languages in each market.
For example, the U.S. App Store indexes BOTH English (U.S.) and Spanish (Mexico) using app store optimization (ASO) localization.
Because of that, users of the U.S. App Store can search for an app using the keywords in both regions.
So if you publish your mobile app to the U.S. App Store, you can use the “100 keyword character space” in BOTH English (U.S.) and Spanish (Mexico) localizations.
A total of 200 character space. A double up!
In the Spanish localization, you can enter Spanish keywords. Or if you prefer, you can also enter English keywords there too.
The good news is that this technique works not just in the U.S. market.
It works in all App Store markets in the world!
In some countries, like Switzerland, you can 5x your app store keywords by using five localizations: German, French, Italian, English (Australia) and English (U.K.).
Sunny Trochaniak, Founder of Can’t Wait Till Monday
Badass Growth Hack – Giveaways and submit them to giveaway directory sites.
This was for an ecommerce brand I’m working on.
We took our email list from 500 people to 3000 people, our FB group from 40 members to 500 members, our IG from 9k to 9.5k followers, and our Pinterest from 70 to 700 followers – in a span of 2 weeks.
We accomplished this by running a giveaway.
First, we reached out to brands in our niche (on Instagram) asking if they’d like to contribute a prize.
I told them that we would be promoting the campaign heavily, and that they would receive a good number of impressions in exchange for letting someone trial their product(s).
We quickly put together a prize pack worth nearly $650. We then set up a landing page using ViralSweep. The key here is that we didn’t just want to collect a participant’s email – we wanted to immerse them in our ecosystem.
They got 1 entry for entering, and could earn a bunch more in exchange for following us on our social channels and sharing with their friends.
We also had a mini prize pack in our email sequence, giving away some of our products to people who sent us a screenshot of them sharing on their social profile.
Surprisingly, the bulk of our participants came from submitting to giveaway directory sites.
We submitted to every one we could find, and they provided instant traffic. I wish we would have done this earlier in the process, as opposed to in the last week.
This was the first step in building our audience. Moving forward, we’re now considering running a monthly giveaway to continuously bring people into our world.
Vlad Calus, Co-Founder and CMO at Planable
Badass Growth Hack – Writing personally to online social groups (40% conversion rate)
in the first few days after launching our Beta, we were searching for different methods to get the initial traction.
I tried everything from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn Groups, Growth hackers community and stuff.
But then, I reminded myself about a Slack community, called Buffer Community (many of you are probably part of it).
Then, I wanted to try this – I started writing to everyone in that group (more than 2,5k people at that moment), checking them if they are social media/digital people and writing them to ask for feedback on our product.
I didn’t give a name or link to Planable, just a short description. I got more than 40% conversion rate from these messages.
I almost got banned in the community, ha-ha, because moderators were mentioning I was promoting some kind of competitor product (which we totally are not).
I did all of this in almost two days (working day and night) and then was just replying to people.
Fred Castagnac, CMO of Azendoo
Badass Growth Hack – LinkedIn fake profile script to visit profiles and have leads come to you.
Azendoo is in a very hot market, the ‘collaboration tools space,’ which is forecasted to exceed $24B by 2024.
So having a great product is not enough to make the difference! We tried many different growth tactics and the one that works very well is with Linkedin.
I created a fake profile of someone at our company, with a quick JS script I made (the profile was a woman).
She visits the profiles of people who work as a project manager, who like our competitors ect.
It was really targeted and only people that we thought could be interested to try out a new product like Azendoo.
In a few weeks she had a strong and qualitative network (as people would ask her to connect just because she visited their profiles).
Now she shares Azendoo news, free ebooks, blog posts, product releases and the cool thing about this is people are liking and commenting on her posts.
This generated quite a few interesting deals!
So this is a good way to talk to people about your product without selling it directly 😉
Recnepstruk, Sole Developer and Marketing Founder at Quanta9
Badass Growth Hack – Track Tweets on Twitter and push these into a MySQL database (BONUS code attached).
If you’re looking for a way to keep track of tweets on twitter based on specific keywords I made a little twitter feed program.
All you have to do is plug in your api key information and host it on your own server. All the tweets are then pushed into a MySQL database and stored by ID #, keyword, screen name, followers, location, keyword count, first tweet, latest tweet.
It’s a little wonky but it works.
The search keyword function will continuously search for tweets based on your keyword, but I just close the connection on terminal after I’m done using it for a few hours of collecting data.
Here’s my code, feel free to fork it and rewrite it however you want. Or if you have any questions, hit me up! https://github.com/recnepstruk/twittersocket
Here’s what my company is: Quanta is an entirely new legal cannabis experience for medical and recreational uses.
Our patented technology uses Quantum Physics to release naturally occurring energy in THC and CBD molecules.
This added energy increases the speed of the molecule to help it get into your receptors first and block out unwanted molecules.
It results in a cleaner, energized experience with little to no side effects like paranoia, anxiety, stupidity or laziness. It’s 100% natural.
Basically the Intel of cannabis for professionals, not stoners.
Aaron Tait, Founder of Education Changemakers
Badass Growth Hack – People “dig” free stuff.
We run a big event every year at EduChange and if people sign up to our free community, their tickets are free 🙂
Shathyan Raja, Head of Marketing ForeverShop
Badass Growth Hack – Track keywords across social media channels and pitch your product.
ForeverShop is a social ecommerce platform for small & individual sellers to sell online, create their own online shop, upload products, share on social media, and connect with their customers via chat.
Our target audience is sellers who have an offline business and want to create an online store.
So in-order to reach out audience for whom we built the product, we did research and found out that over social media, most of our target audience uses the hashtag “ecommerce.”
To track it, we use Hootsuite mentions and directly pitch to them with the solution what we are offering & we saw a good conversion.
This can be useful for any business. All you need to find out the right keywords which you think people might be talking on & pitch to them directly.
Daniel Licht, Growth PM Osmo
Badass Growth Hack – Millions in free reach by Thunderclapping your product launches using riddles, free swag, and launch discounts.
Osmo enables the iPad to see what’s in front of it so kids can play educational games via physical objects like a wooden tangram, or pen, and number tiles.
We’ve launched a handful of new games that build on our platform.
Each time we launch a new game we get past customers to post about it or schedule a post on it even before they’ve learned what it is (due to press embargo).
We’ve done this in a number of ways, Thunderclap (to schedule a post) with a riddle to get swag &/or a 5% launch discount on game, chance to win the game for free if you share the teaser video.
This has given us millions in free reach and it helps ingrain the desire for the new game in our past customers.
Jake Greenwell, Founder of Alpha Pages
Badass Growth Hack – Optimize your content by using Google AMP (and we created a tool for you to do just this).
If you compete in SEO as a traction channel and it’s a commodity service, you need to optimize your content as a local service.
And Google AMP everything.
What you probably don’t know is that Google is now “favoring AMP” over many other pages.
Rick Kuwuhara, CMO at Paubox
Badass Growth Hack – Guest write and advertise on high-ranking sites that you want to rank specific keywords for.
We provide email encryption and are targeting the healthcare vertical first because of HIPAA regulations requiring organizations to secure their email.
It’s a tough niche, with a lot of competitors with huge budgets, but we’ve found traction with SEO.
But early on, before we got to #1 position in Google search for our most desired long tailored keyword, there were a bunch of competitors already in the top 10.
Yet at #3 was a lone independent review site. I reached out to them, got a guest post on the site which started to drive traffic and leads to us.
To try and drive more traffic, we went back to the site owner and pitched a native ad idea where we would get to be the “recommended” email encryption provider for a set period of time.
That worked like gang busters and to this day we still advertise with the site. It was a great way to get early social proof and essentially have our content and company “ranked” in the top 3 for Google search immediately.
Amitabh Songara, Growth Hacker at Rankwatch
Badass Growth Hack – Direct cold emails that reference ebooks, courses, articles and blog post (get them to realise “why” you’re important to them).
I have used cold emailing to get business alliance for our B2B SAAS product.
Here is the sample Email which I used in cold Email Marketing:
I am [Your Name], [Your Position] at [Company Name]. I am writing to express my appreciation for your Ebook/course/Article/Blog Post ‘[Title of the Ebook/course/Article/Blog Post]’ on [Source].
[Appreciation lines based on the content in the Ebook/course/Article/Blog Post. Try to include some line or screenshot from their content.]
[Tell about yourself and your company’s growth]
[Give the overview of your clients and a little bit about the geography of your clients.]
[Make them realise that why you are important to them and how working together can be beneficial for both of you.]
[Now Pitch them about your product and what special offer you have from them]
[To save their time, now suggest them how and where you can work with them to make it reachable to your niche]
Let me know what you think.
[Here again, appreciate why you are so excited to work with them. Let them know that they have created a fantastic piece of work.]
Peter Pole, Independent Growth and Marketing Consultant.
Badass Growth Hack – A PR stunt to hire new employees and attract potential clients at the same time (2 for the price of 1).
Growth hack implemented by DaftCode.
Today I will share a summary of an extraordinarily clever employer branding/HR Growth Hack (or rather micro recruitment campaign).
This hack will probably not be relevant for most companies around here, but if your business is struggling with finding talent, this might give some good food for thought to you.
DaftCode is a Polish venture building company, specializing in app, web and specialistic software development. They used a “PR Stunt” to attract potential employees.
Here’s the Story …
This employed branding campaign was focused on reaching out to students and graduates of the Warsaw University of Technology. DaftCode decided to go for outdoor advertising.
The campaign was carried out in the subway station located nearby the university. The station is visited daily by about 139k passengers and many of them are students.
In the first stage of the campaign, a poster of a dog logo was displayed. Simple black-and-white graphic was to attract attention through minimalism and a certain kind of mystery.
The billboard did not explain what the campaign is about — it was merely to surprise commuters with an original ad.
In the middle of the month new billboards were hung. This time the posters showed a black background with enigmatic inscriptions resembling a piece of code.
For people unfamiliar with programming the billboards probably remained incomprehensible but for others it was a clear clue that it’s a puzzle waiting to be solved.
Those who took up the challenge had to first recognize what programming language it was written in (Python), and then demonstrate knowledge of both coding and mathematics.
The puzzle from the billboard had to be solved in a console developers use everyday. The riddle’s outcome included: congratulations, invitation to contact and an ASCII-Art image made of letters, digits and other characters.
All participants who sent e-mails were invited to the company’s office. They were thanked for taking up the challenge received small gifts and could find out more about the company’s venture building approach.
Volunteers could also take part in a job interview.
Data from the campaign:
- Metro station is visited by approx. 139k passengers daily
- During the month long campaign 50 answers were sent
- 35 Candidates visited the office
- 5 Were eventually hired
- Average price of a 2 week billboard display in Warsaw is 250$ (500$ for the entire campaign).
Did you know? It’s 25x times less than a recruitment agency fee for finding the right candidate in this industry.
Kate Bennie, Founder and CEO at Zec Media.
Badass Growth Hack – Call the switchboard number.
It’s great to have a list of contacts to send your Media Release to, but it’s always a good idea to check if the contact details are current.
Reporters change rounds and move to other news outlets A LOT. You don’t want to email it to a dead email account or to the wrong reporter.
What you can do is call the switchboard number and say that you need to send through a report (don’t mention media release) to the [business] reporter, [Jane Blogs].
“She’s still in business news, isn’t she?
Can I just check that I have the correct email address, it’s ______ isn’t it?”
If you sound confident then they will usually give you the info that you need.
I have even asked the lady on the switchboard if the reporter I wanted was on leave, and she checked her pay details for me to make see if she was working that week.
Kevin Simonson, CEO and Founder of Metric Digital.
Badass Growth Hack – Ranking no. 1 on Medium.
One of the most, if not the most, important features of Medium was the ‘Top Article Email’ blast that would go out daily, weekly, and monthly.
If you made #1 on those lists you were not only reaching a wide group of people, you were going deep into the core group of people who were influencers.
This sweet spot of influencing influencers is the hold grail of marketing that Tim Ferriss, Ryan Holiday, and Gary Vaynerchuk constantly preach about.
We got Gary Vee ranked no. 1 on Medium by driving a ton of engagement and traffic to his article. You can read about the full story here.
Shira Abel, CEO of Hunter & Bard
Badass Growth Hack – Build your network by interviewing others.
My agency does marketing, branding and design for tech companies.
I started my podcast – SaaS Insider – and interview leaders in SaaS to build up awareness of my agency as well as build my network, meet cool people, and learn something new every week.
I’ve been fortunate at succeeding in all of those – including getting referrals which have lead to clients.
Nipun, Software Engineer Based in San Francisco.
Badass Growth Hack – The Buzzfeed Hack.
Hey! Just graduated university, about to start as a Software Engineer @ Facebook in August (hopefully on the growth team).
BuzzFeed is really popular amongst my college-aged friends. Most people don’t realize that anyone can post content to BuzzFeed via a community post.
They see the ‘Buzzfeed’ domain name, and instantly think some content is legit and comes straight from the BuzzFeed editors.
I’ve had people congratulate me on ‘being featured on Buzzfeed after seeing a community post by my team!
Chuck Hattemer, Co-founder of Onerent.
Badass Growth Hack – Direct Mail.
Our business is in the real estate space so this may not be applicable for all industries. Many growth hacks are only relevant for specific industries so I don’t feel too bad.
We used DIRECT MAIL to growth hack before.
I know you may be thinking that Direct Mail is dead but for many products or services it is very much alive.
Take a look at your mail and notice how many pieces you’re getting from startups in on-demand food delivery (Blue Apron, Doordash, etc.), financial services (SoFi, Personal Capital, etc.), Insurance, and Real Estate.
Here’s what we did to get in front of an audience of property owners who may be looking for rental services:
- Using virtual assistants we scrape every possible real estate listing website to collect new listings of rental properties (Zillow, Trulia, and the big purple peace-sign giant). We collect the property address, any listed rental price, and the details of the property. We then store this information in a Google Sheet or in our CRM.
- Every time a new listing is added to our running Google sheet, we use Zapier to send the RENTAL address through a webhook attached to a real estate title database. In the database, we use that address to reverse lookup the property owner’s MAILING address and name.
- Then we use the property’s address to find 1-3 nearby properties that we have worked with and pull the information of those properties from our database.
- Then we use Lob.com to trigger a 6×11 postcard to be sent to the property owner’s MAILING address with pictures and information of the properties nearby their rental property that we have worked with. This shows immense social proof in an industry (Real Estate) that is 100% about local expertise.
- We then put each of these leads on a direct mail drip campaign, sending cards that feature a google map screenshot of their property (use sendwithscout.com) and various other messages. We send 3-5 direct mail pieces to each lead to ensure multiple touches per lead.
- If possible, we’ll pair this with email or phone call outreach.
This tactic runs automatically in the background of our service and because of the system we’ve set up, every single property owner in our markets who is listing their property for rent is getting a personalized postcard from us.
The tactic has generated a 1% conversion (pretty good for direct mail) and has generated over $100k in sales so far. Again, direct mail usually only makes sense if you’re targeting an older demographic and if your customers have a HIGH LTV.
Sydney Liu, Co-founder of Commaful.
Badass Growth Hack – Drive Web Traffic by Writing about Influencers (Even if you have to beg).
We got many of our first users by cold emailing influential tech people and getting them to share.
While today, Commaful is home to many short stories, poems, and thoughts, it started off as a short blogging platform for the tech community.
To get readers, we needed to have great content. And without readers….nobody would write.
To get around this, we begged the most influential people in our network, often people we had just met once in our past to conduct an interview with us.
We’d send them questions and they’d email back answers.
Those types of stories were very easy for us (because we didn’t have to do any writing) and the stories tended to do well because they were from interesting people.
After we had the initial batch of stories published, I cold emailed people in similar industries, leveraging the existing stories and names to garner interest.
Once there was social proof that others were doing the interviews, nobody ever asked how big our audience was.
The interviewee would often share our stories as well, giving us a hit of traffic.
And … many more, racking up 100k+ views.
Tina May, Co-founder of Institute of Code.
Badass Growth Hack – Growth Hacking Tinder.
We got our first customer by hacking tinder — we wanted a cost effective way to reach millennials, and at the time (2016) Tinder had a moments feature that provided an unfiltered feed of content to all of your matches.
I set up a personal account, clarifying in my bio ‘Co-Founder of Institute of Code, just here to network with cool people’ or something to that effect and within about a week matched with around 500 people.
I then started posting daily moments with subtle product placement (the website or business card in the background) or mentioning the business directly (photo of the beach saying ‘Can’t wait to get back to Bali for our upcoming retreat!).
People got curious (or maybe just wanted to chat me up) and would message me asking about it and I had a set of pre-written responses stored in notes. It certainly wasn’t a scalable strategy, but we got a few dozen leads and our first sale from it.