Best Growth Hacking Strategies for Side Business & Startup

For many people, “growth hacking” is just a buzzword. This word is becoming more and more popular over time, but many people still don’t understand what growth hacking means and what are the benefits of using it. Born out of the vision and needs of start-ups to grow quickly with little means, often relying on continuous data and testing, it uses different marketing and product approaches to rapidly expand its business. Growth Hacking optimizes the value of each user at every step of the process. “Rapidly” is the keyword. While “traditional” online marketing is focused on steady growth, the hacker aims for exponential growth.

My name is Julian Ivaldy, I have studied and developed many types of side-businesses through my digital side business studio SideFounders. I wanted to share what I have learned along the way. If you have any comments, do not hesitate to contact me, I love to challenge my point of view :)


There are many frameworks for structuring growth hacking and its various segments. One of the most complete frameworks is probably the AARRR framework. Let’s take a closer look:


Acquisition: How do visitors find you?
Activation: First user experience?
Retention: Does the user come back?
Revenue: How do you make money? Is your price justified?
Referral: Are your users happy enough to talk about it around them?

This framework helps you better understand your customers and measure their conversion through your sales funnel, it is composed of metrics that you can analyze as part of your customer journey :


So it’s best to work on traffic acquisition to make sure you can bring a lot of qualified leads to your website. On the other hand, you can also work on conversion rate optimization. Each aspect of an AARRR funnel can be measured separately, giving you several optimization possibilities and a large margin of evolution.


The goal is to work on your integration so that people who connect to your product can quickly understand your value proposition and realize how your product could help them in their work. If they don’t, your leads are unlikely to be activated.


Many people will only use your product once and never come back. The problem with them is that you waste tons of money trying to get them to use your product just to never see them again.


It’s not enough to just count the number of your customers and you’ll have to rely on other, more advanced metrics as well.


Start-ups that can stimulate their organic growth in this way usually win big. They acquire users who will become real ambassadors and will talk about it around them, on their own networks. Once the machine is up and running, it is very common to see rapid growth!


1. Take advantage of the competition:

2. Content Marketing:

3. Brand partnerships:

4. Enhance your social networks:

5. Use Referral Marketing:

6. Use gamification to capture your customers:

7. Optimize your call to action:

8. Use cold emailing:

9. Highlight success stories:

10. Create your army:

11. Mailing and Nurturing:

12. Send personalized gifts to your customers:

13. Make sure you have an SEO friendly website:

14. SEM:

15. Organize events related to your industry:

16. Perform A/B tests:

17. Be creative and use Storytelling:

18. Optimize your UX/UI:

19. Give benefits through downloadables:

20. Use a pop-up window to offer a demo:

They did it, why not you?


Hotmail’s master trick is to make advertising totally hidden and transparent to the trusted people of the Internet users using the service. Thus, with this simple sentence as attractive as it is intriguing, the company has won over many people and developed extremely important visibility.


More than in acquisition, this “hack” lies more in user retention, once the service is discovered. Nevertheless, it does allow for the acquisition of new users, thanks to the word of mouth that current users will generate because of this desirable content, which is very specific to Pinterest.


As such, the company offers to encourage customers to talk in order to benefit from exclusive advantages, while participating in the development of Dropbox by generating conversations. This word-of-mouth, more than provoked, has allowed Dropbox to reach the success and notoriety it enjoys today.


This type of technique, totally discouraged by purists and people with “ethics”, has proven its worth and demonstrates that growth hacking is often at the frontiers of legality and respect for the Internet user or consumer.

I hope that this article and especially the growth hacking strategies I mentioned will inspire you for your own growth hacking actions. However, the great quality of a growth manager is to be agile, to understand and adapt to a specific sector in order to invent new ideas.

Growth hacking is not a science, it is a quest for the strategy that will work for your business. Some of your growth hacking strategies will fail. That’s fine. Stop doing these things and take the next step immediately. That’s how a growth hacker’s mindset works.

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