Small Business Growth Hacks (On a Budget)

A few years ago Rethink was a tiny business fighting to stay alive. Now we’re thriving: quickly growing and acquiring new clients in a time when many other agencies seem to be struggling. Because of our past, we understand the challenges successful growth requires, but we also know what it takes to overcome those challenges and make it to the other side.

To help you make it too, we’ve provided a list of our top ways to achieve success - on a budget built for your small-business wallet. Follow along to see what tips you can implement within your own business to promote the growth for which you’ve been striving.

Derivatize content

If you have a prime piece of content that your audience is enjoying, don’t let it dry up! Milk that bad boy for all it’s worth!

Your audience uses different parts of the internet depending on their interests - some will watch a video, some are going to read a blog instead, and some are more likely to ignore both a blog and a video in favor for a post on social media. If you have something great to say, say it on all of your channels to maximize your audience. For more information on how to do this effectively, check out our past blog on derivatizing content, found here.

Take an example from one of our clients:

First, we turned an interview into an eBook:


Then, we promoted the eBook on social media:


Then we created emails about the eBook:


And the list goes on.

You can do it too, and when you do, you’ll notice an almost immediate uptick in traffic to whatever it is you’re promoting.

Create walking billboards

It might seem frivolous to create merch with your branding or logo, but we promise, it’s not. Everything that you create is something that people outside your business have the chance to see. And if you give any of that merch away, you’ve just created walking billboards for your brand - at a much cheaper price than an ordinary billboard would cost.

At Rethink, we have matching branded shirts and jackets for our staff:


And we also have really cool mugs branded with our Podcast logo (that make excellent gifts to clients and podcast guests):


Even something simple like a well-designed mug makes a great statement when you see it in someone else’s hand.

Stay on top of your brand’s mentions

We guarantee the largest companies with the best reputations do this. Southwest Airlines is the perfect example. They have an entire room dedicated to responding to social posts that mention their brand, and are ranked the U.S.’ most responsive airline. Having such a high response rate is especially important when feedback is negative; not only is a brand aware of what is being said about them, but they have the opportunity to turn a problem into a loyal repeat customer.

While you probably don’t have the resources to have staffers monitoring and responding to your brand’s mentions 24/7, you do have a way to keep up with most of what people are saying about you. It’s all too easy to use Google Alerts, Google’s free service that will notify you when your keywords of interest are mentioned across the web (especially on social platforms). This gives you the chance to know when sh*t is going down, and quickly respond to smooth over the situation.

Utilize podcasts

We mentioned our Brand Junkies podcast earlier (and if you don’t already listen to it, you should totally check it out on Soundcloud or Stitcher!); podcasts are a great way to not only drive traffic to your website, but also to demonstrate to potential clients your area of expertise. Frequent listeners are likely to build up a sense of trust with the podcast hosts, and they’ll become used to listening to you when they need help. From there, it’s an easy step for the listener to turn into a customer - after all, they already know you’re knowledgeable and capable of producing great content; why shouldn’t you be creating that content for them?

(P.S.: podcasts also are a great source from which to pull more derivatized content! Spread the love!)

Work harder than everyone else

This might seem like a cop-out, but it isn’t. So many people seem to believe that “if you build it, they will come,” but that’s just not the way the world works. You have to show them over and over and over again the path you want them to take, then you have to hold their hand and walk them down it. ‘They’ won’t do it on their own.

It’s going to take ample amounts of hard work to get your business where you want it to be. At some points, it’s probably going to be more difficult than you bargained for, and you might even want to give it up. But when you break through your wall it’s all worth it. And when other businesses are giving up, you’re succeeding.

David Valentine