Ready to Grow Your Business in 2017? 5 Growth Hacking Tips

When many business owners start planning for growth, they think: we need a marketing department. Favor product and audience knowledge over traditional marketing skills. Ryan defines growth hacking as “a mix of traditional marketing, direct marketing, and business and product development—all in one.” Because startups don’t have the budget to hire PR and marketing firms, they have to do all of these things in house. Focus first on acquiring customers. Then make the product addictive. It’s all a startup can and should focus on,” says Ryan. In the early days of a growing business, Ryan says, “The best thing a company can do is make their product more addictive and add social sharing or virality into the experience.” 3. As Ryan explains, startups that have successfully used growth hacking “provide lessons and case studies that bigger companies should look at.” He contrasts Twitter and Facebook. That’s bad growth strategy,” says Ryan. It’s just about getting the word out,” says Ryan.

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For small and midsized businesses, growth is always the goal. Maybe 2017 is the year you finally plan to take your industry by storm. When many business owners start planning for growth, they think: we need a marketing department.

But nontraditional companies like Facebook have actually forgone a marketing department in favor of a growth department. Growth hacking has helped startups achieve massive growth — and established brands and the bootstrapped alike can learn from their successes.

That’s why we interviewed the growth hacker marketing expert himself on this week’s episode of the Marketing Cloudcast — the marketing podcast from Salesforce. Ryan Holiday (@ryanholiday) apprenticed under Robert Greene, author of The 48 Laws of Power, and served as director of marketing for American Apparel. He’s founder of Brass Check and has advised clients like Google, TASER, and Complex.

Ryan is also author of the #1 Amazon bestseller Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising, as well as other books.

In other words, he’s a super smart guy. And even if you’re at a Fortune 100 company and not looking for funding, Ryan’s insights on marketing, product, and customer experience are still extremely important to hear.

Take a listen here:

1. Favor product and audience knowledge over traditional marketing skills.

Ryan defines growth hacking as “a mix of traditional marketing, direct marketing, and business and product development—all in one.” Because startups don’t have the budget to hire PR and marketing firms, they have to do all of these things in house.

“This generation of startups that have blown up are companies that did all of their marketing themselves, and the people who did it had little to no marketing background,” says Ryan. Startups don’t have the luxury of thinking about the same things traditional marketers do or spending those types of budgets. It’s not about traditional marketing skills. It’s about people who know your product and audience better than anyone else.

2. Focus…

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