Growth Hacking 101: Become A Hacker To Boost Your Business

It’s very normal to apply money to your marketing efforts to ensure that your messaging is put out into the world. But what if we told you that its possible to grow your business with little to no money. All there is to do is becoming a hacker. 

Now we don’t mean becoming a hacker where you hack into databases and leak information. And no, it doesn’t mean that you need to start taking IT classes. We’re talking about becoming a hacker in your own marketing techniques and taking smart and strategic shortcuts that will successfully bring the attention that you want to your brand and make it thrive. It’s taking marketing to the next level and thinking outside of the box when creating campaigns. 

See how you can start implementing growth hacking into your marketing strategy with the tactics below.

Emotional Shock

There’s a saying that goes “bad press is good press.” When you apply emotional shock and a sort of a naughty factor to your marketing, you will get the eyes that you want. When you hit an emotional chord with your messaging, be it positive or negative, your audience will not only turn from passive to engaged, but they are more inclined to share your message with their peers, thus increasing your virality. 

Does Sarah McLachlan’s ASPCA commercial ring a bell? If that commercial made you shed a tear, that’s emotional shock at its finest. Also, if you’ve seen digital brands drop f-bombs in the collateral, you can rest assured that they’re banking in on emotional-shock. 


Take a moment and think of your markets’ traits and habits. Think of where they shop, where they hang out, what they typically do on a Sunday morning. 

While stereotyping is highly looked upon as a no-no, at the end of the day, that is essentially what marketing entails when you’re studying your market. You tally up all their similar traits and align your marketing strategy to their habits, likes, and dislikes. However, when you’re using stereotyping when you’re implementing growth hacking, you have to think even further outside of the box.

For example, as obvious as it is to sell gym clothes at a gym, you have to tap into to what other places your consumer goes to. Hit them from all the angles that they would typically go to as well, be it a juicery or a massage therapy clinic that specializes on athletes. Generalize your demographic and market to them where people will have an even stronger affinity with your brand.

Influencer Endorsements

While endorsements may seem as a tactic to show a product, they are more useful to represent an ideal and who people aspire to be. Take for example all the athletes Nike has been able to have as their spokespeople - it’s not necessarily to promote a certain sneaker or a kind of legging. It’s always to endorse an ideal lifestyle, to become the next Maria Sharapova or the next Serena Williams. 

Influencer endorsements are what define what is cool. And if you get the right influencers to back your brand, more consumers will follow your message. 

Enforcing Exclusivity 

Exclusivity is key when growing your brand. The more accessible it is, the more people are less inclined to actually sign up for what you’re selling.

Take Facebook for example 10 years ago when it was only available to college students. You can bet that everyone who had a Facebook account felt as if they were a part of an exclusive cool kid’s club, and everyone else who didn’t have access wanted to be a cool kid. After a while, Facebook started allowing more and more people in on the secret, and eventually became the dominating social media network that it is today.

Long story short: make your business a cool club that everyone wants in on, but only a few can have it. 

Build Your Business To Be Anti-Fragile

As business women, we have to take this saying to heart: a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor. 

We don’t live in a perfect world, and in business, things will always go wrong. As the world becomes more and more complex, businesses have to know how to navigate unsteady waters. To make your business survive these challenges, you have to make your business anti-fragile. This is where your business can thrive and benefit from changes, and work like a muscle getting stronger and stronger as it’s put through stress. 

Mold your business plan to where it can live through changes and prepare for the worst if it were to happen. Then you’ll see that if worst comes to worst, your business will survive and can face the next oncoming challenges.


Do you have you own growth hacking tips that you’ve used in your own marketing strategies? Let us know your thoughts and sound off below!


Priscilla Castro is Create & Cultivate's Director of Social Media. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she got her degree in Journalism from Cal State Long Beach and pursued a career in marketing. She has worked with FILTER Magazine, LA Canvas, and was previously Editorial Director at BeautyCon. Follow her@kodeofkondukt