5 Small business growth hacks

Jessica Sillers

Small businesses want to get noticed fast. With limited resources when you’re first starting up, a few effective tips for increasing brand awareness can go a long way. Use these small business growth hacks to build your client base and give your business a boost.

1. Control Access It may sound counterintuitive, but limiting who can access your site in the early stages of your business can increase your reach. Huge platforms like Facebook and Pinterest started as invite-only sites. Some major news sites offer a handful of free article views per month, reserving full access for subscribers. Exclusive access encourages people to sign up to stay in the loop.

Decide which areas of your site will be public and which will be member-only. Keep some excellent content available to everyone, and then kick your restricted content up to a higher level of value. Encourage your current client base to join and spread the word to their friends.

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2. Host a Webinar Hosting a webinar can help your business grow in several ways. Everyone loves getting valuable content for free, so you can attract a lot of interest. A webinar also gives you a perfect platform to build your authority as an expert. Finally, by requiring people to sign up for a spot, you’ll build your email list for future marketing efforts.

Start by choosing a topic for your webinar. For example, a veterinarian might host a webinar on summer safety strategies for pets or how to solve common pet problems. A brewery could present at-home brewing tips for beer enthusiasts. Set up your webinar with a service like AnyMeeting, and put the word out!

3. Offer a Giveaway Giveaways or contests often require less work to run than a webinar, since there’s no need to plan content. They are also a great way to showcase your brand identity.

The key is to make sure your prize targets your ideal customer. If your prize appeals to everyone, you’ll end up with lots of people interested in the contest, rather than the business. A baby supplies company could run a silly baby photo contest with new baby gear as a prize. A travel company might offer a plane ticket giveaway. Make sure to require an email address and any other information you need as a requirement to be eligible for the prize. You’ll end up with a list of new contacts who fit your target customer profile.

Gleam and Contest Domination are great resources for small business owners to manage a contest or giveaway through their website.

4. Grab Attention by Retargeting Have you ever browsed summer clothes, only to see an ad for that exact outfit on your Facebook feed? If so, you’ve experienced retargeting. You can use it for your business even if you don’t consider yourself a techie.

Sign up for a service like Adroll to get started. You’ll add a few lines of code to your website, describe customers you want the software to target and create your ad. The software uses cookies and not personal information to identify users, so it’s easy and ethical.

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Retargeting banner ad for bizdaq designed by eskimoweb

Don’t worry if you don’t see a lot of people clicking through ads to come to your site. The point is to keep your brand fresh in their memory. When customers are ready to shop, they’ll remember the ad and search for your site.

5. Build Your Platform by Guest Posting You don’t need a huge following to reach a wide audience. Guest posting lets you tune in to other well-established platforms. Research blogs that complement your business (e.g., a new salon might look up local wedding blogs), come up with an interesting, informative topic and contact the website to ask if you can write a post. For best results, schedule a “blog tour,” where you write a guest post for a different site every week.

Don’t limit yourself to looking online. Check out free local magazines at the entrance to your local library, supermarket, community center or movie theater. Many of these publications welcome articles from experts. They’re a great way to reach a large local audience.

Bonus Tip: Reverse Guest Posting Looking for an even easier route to fast growth? Ask the writers of the blogs you admire to guest post on your site. This is called “reverse guest posting,” and it offers the same readership benefits. You’ll probably need to pay the bloggers, but they will promote the guest posts on their own blog, driving traffic to your website. Small business owners who hate writing or can’t spare the time to produce a dozen guest posts can reap the benefits while putting in a lot less work.

There are many ways to use growth hacks to promote your business. Let us know what worked best for you in the comments!

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