Unit 3: Site and Content
Part 2: Your Author Website – Growth Hacking
How to exploit ‘growth hacking’ strategies the get the most out of your target market
Recently, we looked into different ways you can use your data and existing website to grow your traffic. Today we are going to dig into a very specific marketing technique—one that is specifically friendly to authorpreneurs—and show you exactly how you can make this work for your business. This marketing technique is called “growth hacking.” While the practice itself has been around for a long time, the term was only really coined in 2010 by an entrepreneur named Sean Ellis. So what is growth hacking and how exactly is it going to help you as an author?
Growth hacking is basically taking a small, data-driven idea, and using it as a means to generate growth in figures, traffic, or interest. Growth hacking is cost effective, taking a simple idea, often the opposite of a traditional marketing concept, and using it to make your mark on the market.
As an authorpreneur, you are going to look for a low-cost and innovative idea that will pinpoint growth in a certain area of your business, and then focus entirely on that. The important part to understand is that growth hacking is centered around the user and product experience. You will be leveraging the data captured around these experiences and using it to create growth around your business. It could be as simple as creating a click-through link embedded strategically in your weekly newsletter, or something more innovative or specific to your business in general. Growth hacking demands a lot of deep thought, and also real motivation: you cannot create a working growth hack if you don’t believe in it completely.
How can you identify these growth hacks and use them to your advantage? First of all, you need to understand your target market completely. If you target the wrong market, even the best hack will fall flat. So, if you have learned how to read your data correctly then you should be able to identify the key traits of your target market. Your first step will, therefore, be to create an outline of your typical customer and put yourself in their shoes. What is working for them and what isn’t? Are they visiting and leaving abruptly before the checkout or product page? If you understand your customer base then you will be able to figure out why this is happening, what you can do, and then create a hack to grow this base and funnel it through rather than lose it.
If your business is already established you should already know the patterns of your customer base. You can then flesh out any missing information through the use of customer surveys and your extensive data tracking techniques. If your business is new, you will have to think outside the box and really study your customer base, looking at age, gender, likes and shares on social media and other shared interests. Once you have strong outlines of your typical customer personas you will be able to use them to pinpoint hacks that will work well for you. Don’t forget that this is ongoing work, especially as your business grows.
As an author, you will be focusing specifically on your platform, and your personalized hacks will reflect your product and what your potential target market wants to see in your product. It is important to remember that growth hacks are created specifically for your business, and what works for one author may not work for another. They also require ongoing work: a growth hack isn’t a one-off marketing tactic that will immediately show exponential growth. Growth hacks may require some tweaking along the way, and also need to be consistently monitored. You are basically going to nurture your hacks until they work exactly in the way that you want them to. Focusing specifically on a book launch, some great growth hacks to look into as an author are the following: different pricing structures, creating limited editions or preorder deals, allowing limited special offers, understanding Amazon algorithms and using them to your advantage, and prioritizing specific people on your mailing list.
When you start to delve deeper into growth hacking, you will find other personalized hacks that will work extremely well for your business and others that don’t. If one doesn’t work, don’t hesitate to try another and tweak your technique accordingly.
Please let me know what works for you! Hop on over to the AuthorpreneurLaunch Forum with questions or suggestions. I’ll get back to you asap.
Growth Hacking Tip: Add hidden form fields to your lead-gen forms
The more you know about your subscribers, the better you can cater and nurture them in your marketing down the line. One trick used to capture even more information about your leads is to pass a parameter in a URL which can be received by a hidden field on one of your forms.
Using this trick you can capture even more information about your leads without making them fill out multiple form fields that you already have information form.
Common uses of this can include location, campaign, and interest category.
Photo of the Week: Chalk drawings in the driveway. Pictures of ‘The Freedom Tower’, ‘Chrysler Building’, and ‘Empire State Building’. We are in Michigan and lil guy is drawing the NYC skyline. 🏛️🏛️🏛️
Meal of the Week: The most delicious BLT I’ve ever had! This humongous sandwich is from Dimo’s Deli & Donuts in Ann Arbor, MI. ❤️
— Marquina (@Marquina) August 15, 2017
Also published on Medium.