The best way to learn startup and SaaS growth hacks is by listening to industry experts. We’ve compiled critical expert advice from executives and founders around the world that you can apply now in your business.
We listened and asked industry leaders featured at events like #CollisionFromHome to share their advice — here is what they had to say:
Started from the Bottom: Startup Growth Hacks
As Drake said, “started from the bottom, now we’re here.”
For startups, it’s crucial to remember that growth doesn’t come overnight. Working your way through challenges and focussing on the process is the path to “unicorn greatness”. One of the best ways to learn is to listen to leaders who have been in your shoes and built their success from scratch.
Here is what experts advise focussing your time and resources on:
Hack 1: Evaluate and Prioritize
Now is the time to identify what processes, systems and software are critical to your day-to-day. Zero-down on what accelerates your work and don’t overwhelm yourself with the need to do everything at once.
“Evaluating processes and systems for inefficiencies has been critical to success in 2020. Know the North Star metric you are trying to move the needle on.”
— Leela Srinivasan, CMO at SurveyMonkey
Hack 2: View Current Constraints as Opportunities
Startups are forced to jump through many hurdles to find success. That tenacity is setting them apart in 2020 and beyond. Your current problems and constraints may not define your company forever, but your approach and attitude towards them will.
“Using constraints to fuel creativity is our superpower as startups. We are good at fighting battles we were never supposed to win, [and we’ll win by] using thoughtful practices to amplify our superpowers.”
— Laura Hale, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Ladder
Hack 3: Lead with Creativity
As the saying goes — modern problems require modern solutions. Embrace creativity in your problem-solving, don’t just stick to prescribed solutions. The best innovators didn’t innovate by playing by the rules.
“Work ten times as hard as everyone else and be ten times as creative when coming up with solutions. I believe there will be opportunity for all of us on the other side of this.”
— Rob Frohwein, Co-founder & CEO at Kabbage
What you can do now:
Being at the beginning of your journey offers many advantages — don’t overlook the benefits of being the small fish in the pond. You have the chance to watch what people have done successfully, and better yet, learn from other people’s mistakes so you don’t recreate them. You have the opportunity to go outside of the box and be creative without restraints. And of course, never underestimate your own or your company’s potential.
Putting Authenticity in Branding: SaaS Growth Hacks
What does branding have to do with software? Everything.
Growth is dependent on relationship building, and your brand is one of your first touchpoints with prospects, making its development critical. Your brand should amplify the solution you offer to your prospects, and speak directly to their needs. A great brand will assist every aspect of your sales funnel while cementing your place in the market.
Here’s what today’s top CMOs and CEOs advise focussing on:
Hack 1: In a Crisis, Play Offence AND Defence
During any crisis it is critical to have a strategy for your brand to come out stronger on the other end. While you must swim to stay afloat, keep in mind your destination and what moves you can make now to serve you once you get there.
“[Brands] need to play offence and defence. Yes, you have to survive, but you have to play offence. You have to be innovative during a crisis. Focus on how you can apply your purpose and help people.”
— Frank Cooper, Global CMO at BlackRock.
Hack 2: Back Up Your Brand
Be real and authentic. The benefit startups have is that they are new and fresh, and not many structures exist to hold you back. Show your audience who you are and what you stand for.
“The difference between a brand and commodities is meaning and the story and experience behind them. Be authentic, understand the ecosystem and the role in it. Startups have an advantage: they can write new stories with no legacy systems and processes.”
— Margaret Molloy, Global CMO at Siegel+Gale
Hack 3: Build Value with Purpose
Be more than a storyteller, be a StoryDoer. Put actions to your words. People want brands that will actually help solve problems.
“[I define] a “StoryDoer” as a brand that isn’t just positioning to make the product look better — but to have a tangible, positive impact on the world. People want this from brands — to intervene and adapt to help [their] communities.”
— Neil Parker, Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer at co:collective.
What you can do now:
If you haven’t already, start building your brand. It is never too late, but the longer you wait the harder it will be to establish and build.
Figure out what your company’s purpose is. How can your purpose (product) help your audience? — if you have that answer, you have the starting block to build your brand. Your next move is to share your story by building out content to solve your audience’s problems.
There are so many ways to learn startup and SaaS growth hacks from experts. Take the time to follow experts on social media, participate in their company’s webinar, attend an event like Collision, or even send a direct message on LinkedIn. Find out what their SaaS growth hacks are.
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Quotes in this article were pulled from #CollisionFromHome.