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Identifying Allies in Growth Hacking

Identifying Allies in Growth Hacking

Tyler Scott Ward
May 30, 2019 · 5 min read

Allies increase the strength and size of your informal team giving you a bit more time to focus on other aspects of your business and helping your company grow. There are different types of allies that have different associated costs. Selecting options that fit within your budget can prove to be a cost effective way to amplify your marketing efforts.


1. Influencers: The right influencer is generally a paid option who already has many connections and much influence amongst your target audience. Using an influencer with a known, engaged audience can help you reach thousands (or even millions) of people in one shot.

2. Partners: A partnership is a mutually beneficial relationship where an individual or company provides something that is useful to you (in this case: users) and you provide them with something beneficial in return. The question is to identify what value can you provide to this potential partnership that would make the partner willing to get you the users you need.

3. Evangelists: These people are allies that come at no direct cost to you. They love you, your company, and your product so much they want everyone to know about it and share it with everyone using whatever mediums they have available to them.


Using an influencer, or two, or ten is a great way to broadcast your product to a community. As with any growth hacking method, the influencer needs to be chosen strategically so that the right audience is reached in a fashion that aligns with your company’s voice. Influencers will almost always come at a charge, but their effect can be well worth it.

What is an influencer?

An influencer is a celebrity or person who has developed a larger than average following and are liked and respected for their views. Their following listens closely to what they have to say and are likely to try things that these individuals recommend. This person might be a celebrity, industry expert, thought leader, blogger, or other form of regular content creator.

How do I find them?

Influencers are approached by brands frequently and need to carefully select where they want to put their time and attention. Therefore, the more convincing the reason you can communicate to them that they should be involved with your company, the more likely you are to land them as your influencer. People who have demonstrated an interest in your product field will be much easier to attract. These people can be identified by searching for blogs or podcasts that cover the topic. They can generally be reached through the contact form on their website or blog or through an email address they provide. Subject matter experts, thought leaders, and industry fanatics can also be found on other platforms like Twitter where a search on related keywords or hashtags will reveal who is tweeting about the topic the most and you can see the kind of engagement that they are getting.

A reverse way of identifying who key influencers could be for you would be to think about who people of your target demographic are listening to or talking about and then find a way to reach out to them.

It is important to remember that these people are approached a lot and a very personalized message is necessary to solicit a response.

How can they help?

Influencers can be valuable because they have a significant following that pays close attention to what they say. When they speak, people hear it and act on it. Depending on the platforms that your preferred influencers use, they may tweet your product to their following, write a blogpost about it, send an email about it, post on their Facebook page, etc., or all of the above. It also depends on the agreement that you strike with them. Having them include a link and a previously agreed upon call-to-action will get their followers to your site.


Some partners will cost money and some won’t. A partner could be a company competing to a degree, a company that is in the same industry yet doesn’t compete, or a company that offers a different service entirely but could benefit from your product.

What is a partner?

A partner is a person or company with whom you can establish a mutually beneficial relationship. When a partnership is created to trade services that are deemed to have an equal or similar value an exchange of money is not necessitated. Partnerships can be very valuable for companies looking to keep their expenses down.

How do I find them?

To identify partnerships think about who has access to many people that are in your target demographic and then identify what you have that could be valuable enough to them that they would be willing to trade services. Once you have identified what this kind of business is, you can search for them on Google or LinkedIn. Make sure to identify the appropriate person to reach out to in establishing the partnership. If you receive a “no thanks” initially, you may just be talking to the wrong person.

How can they help?

With a balanced exchange, partners will have a vested interest in your company’s success, giving them great motivation to help get your brand and product out to their customers and followers with whom they have established, trusting relationships. They can speak for your product giving people the confidence they need to try it out. There are a variety of ways partners can be beneficial:providing you with the data that you need, bringing you paying customers, or just bringing you the critical user base that you need to get going.


Every company needs to work towards creating evangelists. They are free marketing that come as a result of loving your product or service. They are so infatuated by you they talk about you to anyone who will listen.

What is an evangelist?

An evangelist is someone who loves your company and your product so much that they will talk about it to anyone who will listen — they are an advocate. Their experience with your company has been so delightful that it is incomparable to anything else they have experienced and they think everyone else should know about you. Evangelization is motivated by love and not by compensation.

How do I find them?

Evangelists are created. They need to be developed. Evangelists arise when you give your users a stellar experience that is far beyond what they can get elsewhere. One way to create evangelists is to make them feel special and appreciated by sending them gifts and swag. Showing the extent to which you care is another method.

How can they help?

An evangelist helps by spreading the word about your product or service at no cost. However, if you do show appreciation for how they are helping you their evangelism efforts will likely multiply. They have a network of like-minded people and figure that if they like the product their friends, family, colleagues, or followers will also.

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