Vincent Dignan - Growth Hacking

London-based Vincent Dignan helps grow early-stage companies through a combination of rapid social media growth, guerrilla community management tactics, and growth hacks which have seen companies go from zero to thousands of signups/followers/users virtually overnight.


33: Growth hacking funnel Growth hacking funnel.jpg 34: Typical growth engine (for an app) Typical growth engine (for an app).png

35: A Zillion Ways to Acquire Users A Zillion Ways to Acquire Users.png How Does Facebook Choose What To Show In News Feed.jpg

Starts at 00:23:30

How to attract humans → 1-3 - Tweet me throughout my talk: @vincentdignan

  • 150,000,000+ Total Pageviews
  • 50 million+ unique visitors
  • 100,000+ Likes/followers
  • 50,000 client followers
  • 1000’s of signups

Agenda → 4

  • What is growth hacking?
  • How to growth hack IRL/social
  • Activity: Finding customers on Twitter
  • Social news, content marketing, email
  • Productivity, psychology and more

What is growth hacking? → 5

“A marketing technique initially employed in tech startups that uses creativity, social metrics and analytical thinking as well as tools to sell products and gain exposure.”

The golden rules of growth → 6-9

  • Scalable
  • Repeatable
  • Predictable

The 10 rules of growth hacking → 10-35

“Grow fast or die slow” - Samir Patel

  1. You do not talk about growth hacking
  2. You do not talk about growth hacking - Read:
  3. Speak to customers & define messaging before you go viral - Read “The Mom test” (I can send it to you)
  4. Investigate & map channels easiest - hardest
  5. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals
  6. Read the basics for your channel(s) on
  7. Don’t sweat the small things on day one
  8. Be a mixture of mad men & math men
  9. Pour more resources into the one(s) that work
  10. Rinse & repeat - Think like the americans

6 main channels of user acquisition → 36

  1. IRL
  2. Social Media sites
  3. Social News sites
  4. Content
  5. SEO
  6. Email

Get users! → 37-.....

1. Get your skates on & hustle
2. Use → 38
3. Use Become a hunter gatherer (of emails) → 39
4. Use Find anyone’s email address → 40
5. Use We are all connected → 41-55

IRL Types of businesses: → 42

  • Anything “sales” driven
  • Business that rely on relationships
  • A good first step if you don’t already know where to find your users

This phone phobia must end → 43

Social Media → 44
  1. Get a following
  2. Broadcast to them
  3. Reap the benefits
  4. Profit?!?!?!?
It's All About Me! → 45-49
Instagram → 50-53
  1. Ideal User is critical
  2. Reply and flood hashtags
  3. Who says Instagram gets no clickthroughs? - Read:
  4. True leaders work for peace
  5. Scheduling posts on Instagram! - Use to make & Hootsuite to schedule posts.
  6. Businesses who may need Instagram:
  • Anything with a “product” that looks cool e.g. fashion, technology, personal brand
  • Apps/Software/Platforms looking to get a large (as in tens of thousands) userbase
  • Anyone “building a brand”
6. Facebook → 54-58

Your Facebook Group: Get 1,000 members in 30 minutes:

  • Create group, image, description, etc
  • Click "Add people to group" on top right
  • Press "a" key to bring up all of your friends who start with the letter a, click them one by one, eventually after selecting 8 or so it will say it is full
  • Then type "b" and click all of those, and so on, all the way through the alphabet
  • When you get to z, add a vowel to each letter, so firstly "ao", "bo", "co" etc
  • Repeat for a, e, i, and u after the first letter

Businesses who may need Facebook:

  • Anything with a “product” that you can arbitrage sales in the same way as adwords
  • This can include apps in certain situations
  • Basically everyone to a certain extent
7. Twitter → 59-62
8. The best Twitter tool of all time → 63-67 Search by gender, job title, location, company/person - mad targeting

  • Activity: Finding your customers. Type your ideal user in this box!
9. Tweepi will get you followers → 68

Twitter basics: → 70

  1. Steal the good stuff, only RT compliments
  2. Tweet the same (article) 5 times
  3. Pictures most likely to be retweeted
  4. Tweet lots: 50 - 100 tweets a day is fine
  5. Tweepi gets you followers literally today

Businesses who may need Twitter → 71

  1. Apps/Software/Platforms looking to get a large (as in tens of thousands) userbase
  2. Businesses where content is important
  3. Anyone looking to reach a certain job title/location (basic demographics, Facebook needed for complex targeting)
  4. Events businesses
Businesses who may need Tumblr→ 72
  • Anything youth orientated
  • Anything aimed at America/worldwide and youth orientated
  • Fashion/music
Businesses who may need Pinterest→ 73
  • Anything aimed at females 30+
  • Anything that looks beautiful e.g. furniture, fashion, weddings, etc
  • Use Buffer to easily setup a pinning schedule
  • Difficult to work out, so likely a big opportunity here
Reach YouTube Influencers with Famebit → 74
LinkedIn Hack → 75

Build a robot that looks at people’s profiles - 15,000 views a day = 9,000 people looking at your own LinkedIn page!

Social News → 76-78

Three functions:

  1. Read/View
  2. Comment
  3. Post
8. Social News 101 → 79-82

Posting to social news sites can bring users/customers:

Useful Subreddits:

  • r/startups - r/entrepreneur - r/smallbusiness - r/engineering - r/hwstartups - r/AlphaAndBetausers (submit your app for feedback)
  • Marketing Advice: r/marketing, r/seo, r/bigseo, and r/askmarketing
  • Technical Advice: r/wordpress, r/iosprogramming, and r/androiddev
  • Learning: r/learnprogramming

Businesses who may need social news:

  • Anything where “tech” feedback is important
  • Anything where techy early adopters are important
  • Apps/Software/Platforms looking to get a large (as in tens of thousands) userbase can seed initial users here
Content Marketing basics → 83-85
  1. Don’t be “business guy”
  2. Know your audience
  3. Write something people want to read
  4. Distribute it on your own channels, measure results
  5. Distribute it on other peoples

Writing the damn thing:

  • For whatever industry start by identifying the problems of the audience of the story you’re writing for
  • Passion! <3

11. How to come up with content marketing ideas → 86-89

Writing the damn thing:

  • Personal brand (I) vs business brand (we), pick one style and stick with it (pertains more to someone blogging on behalf of company)
  • Write simple
  • No more than 25 words in a sentence
  • Keep paragraphs short for people’s short attention span
  • People love quizzes. Use

12. Hemingway lives on → 90-95

Introduction to destruction:

  • Intro paragraph is most important because it will determine if someone reads the article.
  • Open by starting right in the middle of an interesting story or give an amazing fact. “When he leaned across the table and told me my startup was doomed…”
  • Make them forget what they are doing and HAVE to read

How to have an amazing body:

  • Since they just decided to read the article, now let the reader breathe, insert great graphics
  • Ease up and slow down. Write even simpler sentences. Keep your paragraphs shorter and your message even more to-the-point when possible. End on a high note.
  • With all the distractions and short attention spans, in 2015, we need to start becoming better storytellers.
  • Don’t go crazy with links, keep them in-house

Here comes the choo-choo train: Spoon-feeding the reader what you want them to do next

  • If your goal is, let’s say, to get your “second chance” on Twitter put your Twitter handle in the author byline
  • Just like you can turn visitors into subscribers with email, with other engines you can turn them into social media followers, customers, watchers, or members.
  • At the end of every article ask the reader to share.

Outsource writing:

  • Places to find writers: Craigslist, Problogger ($30), gumtree (UK), some job sites like Indeed (UK)
  • Pay influential bloggers $25 - $50 per article

You will write 25 headlines! 1!!!1 Otherwise, people won't click your links.

13. Bitly → 93-98

14. Buffer - A Smarter Way to Share → 99-101

Here comes a new challenger! Meetedgar sends updates on repeat

15. Huffingtonpost → 103-108 600-800 words 400-500 words

Businesses who may need content

  • Anything where domain expertise is important
  • Saas companies who don’t have sales people
  • Authors, freelancers, contractors, designers, etc

P.r. 1/2/3...8

  1. My Company <name> is developing <offering> to help <target audience><solve a problem> with <a secret sauce>.
  2. Make a Hit List of Most Relevant Reporters - enter niche &/or competitors into Google News, note 20 reporters who have covered it recently
  3. Find their email (many tools do this) and email them in the morning. Consider:
  4. How does your startup/pitch relate to what the reporter has written about before and the news today?, Your startup Name:, Your website URL, #CrunchBase Profile URL if pitching TC
  5. Description of your startup in 75 words or fewer from your 1 sentence pitch section,
  6. Founder bios if relevant
  7. Have you launched? Did you get funding? TC won’t cover you if you have undisclosed funding.
  8. Your main competitors? and why are you better?

Hey Press sounds like Hey presto Find relevant journalists. For free.

Bonus mosh! P.R. reading list:

16. SEO is not dead - it just smells funny → 107-113

Your SEO probably sucks, try this:

Businesses who may need SEO:

  • Content companies e.g. magazines, or user generated content sites/forums
  • Emerging markets e.g. 3d printing

Now convert into gold... I'm bringing email back

17. MailChimp → 114

“Good Artists copy, great artists steal” -

18. Here be photos: StockSnap → 116

19. Still too lazy? → 117-118

  • Revue - Your weekly digest. Automated
  • Wavelength - Trade email lists → reach thousands

20. → 119

21. → 120

22. → 120

23. → 121

24. → 122

25. → 123

26. → 124

27. → 125-126

28. → 127-128

29. → 129-130

30. → 132-134

  59. Bonus: 17 ways to build amazing email lists: Sorry this slide doesn’t look good :-(
   62. 23. Say hello to hello bar
   63. 24. Your inbox should be a to-do list
   65. 26. Redress the power balance
   66. 27. Sometimes you have to cold email
   67. Businesses who may need email mktg - Anything where something is being sold - Saas companies who don’t have sales people - Authors, freelancers, contractors, designers, etc
   68. 28. Start slacking off at work
   69. 29.
   70. 30. Have one more hour in your day. You’re welcome! ;)
   71. + Tweet me your feedback on my deck: @vincentdignan Get in touch if you’d like coaching