Growth Hacking Workflow: 5 Steps to Go from Cold to Warm Emails

In the past few months, as a Growth Hacker at NUMA Bengaluru, I’ve been experimenting with cold emailing. I’m telling you, email is still one of the most effective ways to reach out and leverage a community. I developed a 5-step process to go from cold to warm emails:

1) Get targeted email lists

Once you proficiently understand who your target audience is, you need to reach out to them in order to demonstrate how you can solve their problem. Emailing is still one of the best ways to do it, and here is how you can build that email list:

Hunter on Linkedin

By downloading the hunter chrome plugin, you will be able to get emails directly from Linkedin profiles. Let’s say you are targeting every CEO in Bangalore: start by searching for your preferences and grab every email you need using the hunter plugin. This plugin provides you with 150 email addresses for free per month.

Growth Hacking Workflow


Serp-Digger to scrap the web

This tool is my favorite. You will be able to extract emails from Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and almost every website. No need to code — it’s simple and fast.

Let’s take you through the process of scrapping Instagram to get entrepreneur’s emails in Bangalore:

1) Start your free trial on Serp-Digger

2) Download Serp Digger plugin

3) Go on Google Custom Search Engine

4) Add a new search engine and copy paste http://instagram.com

5) Once created, click on a public URL to get the URL of your new search engine

6) Launch Serp Digger plugin on this new page and target your audience

Growth Hacking Workflow

Then download your email list and copy-paste it into a google spreadsheet.

2) Verify your email list

Now that you have a huge email list of potential leads, you will probably be impatient to contact them. Wait though, we are not sure that all these emails are clean. You need to check if each of them is deliverable to, to avoid bounces. Indeed if your bounce rate is high, your email reputation will decrease and your chances to land in a spam box increase.

Neverbounce to check and clean your email list

Neverbounce is a great tool to verify and clean your email list. They will allow you to analyze your email list for free and give you an estimated bounce rate. You can then clean it by paying a fee depending on the number of emails you have.

Growth Hacking Workflow

3) Build emails, which convert

Now you that you have a clean email list, it’s time to write the content of your email. Here are my 6 steps to build a mail that converts:

  1. Personalize your emails as much as you can.
  2. Start with who you are, show your target that you are not a bot.
  3. Display the credibility of your company.
  4. Explain the purpose of the email.
  5. Provide a Call to Action. It should be one link, be single-minded.
  6. Offer to answer any doubts (show that you are available).

1)Hello <<First Name>>,

2)My name is Pierre, I am “role” at “Company name”. 3)“Company name” is an international company with 10+ years of experience in… 4)We have built a product which allows users to….I invite you to check it through a free trial, I truly believe that you could benefit from it:

5)Start a free trial: “Link tracked”

6)If you have any questions, let me know, I will answer ASAP :).

Kind regards,
Pierre

If you are not confident about the target, change the purpose and ask for recommendations:

Instead of: I invite you to check it through a free trial, I truly believe that you could benefit from it.

Use: I am contacting you because I think you might know someone in your network who could find a real value in this product and might benefit from it.

4) Send your emails to the main box

While it’s not hard to send emails today, it’s quite another thing to make sure people receive them in their main inbox.

Yet Another Mail Merge to reach the main inbox

Go back to your spreadsheet, where you copied and pasted your email list. Click on Add-ons and add YAMM for free. This tool connects your email list to your gmail account. You simply have to draft your email in gmail, as I showed you above, and YAMM will find it in order to send to your list.

Furthermore, YAMM allows you to personalize your emails by naming each column in your spreadsheet. For example: Column A is “First Name”, if you put <<First Name>> on your draft, every email will be personalized with the first name (row by row).

Growth Hacking Workflow

You can send 400 emails per day for free or 1500 emails per day if you upgrade your plan and have a GSuite account.

If you are facing troubles setting up your Gsuit account with YAMM, use CheckMX to see how to fix it.

5) Convert your leads

Some of these cold leads will open your email and a part of them will even click on your unique link. It should drive them to a Landing page optimized to convert them. Provide them with enough value, thus they would want to subscribe with the help of a powerful Call to Action. Make it clear, make it simple: LESS IS MORE.

ConvertKit to convert your leads

ConvertKit helps with creating a landing page or just the form that allows your visitors to subscribe. You’ll be able to personalize it as well as receive a data report.

When you get a new subscriber, you can then enroll him in a sequence to send a drip email campaign — using automation processes. Finally, you can build a referral process to develop your acquisitions faster.

Here is the workflow you should look for:

1st email: Free value (Instant value for what he subscribed)

2nd email: Free value (tips, pdf, ebook, articles…)

3rd email: Soft sales (Call to Action: Discover the product)

4th email: Free value (tips, pdf, ebook, articles…)

5th email: Hard sales (Call to Action: Buy the product)

6th email: Follow-up (Feedback if they bought, discount if they didn’t)

Growth Hacking Workflow

Sending cold emails is not spamming. Sending cold emails to someone who doesn’t care about your offer is. The warm up process will start at the moment you show the right product, to the right people, with the right content. As soon as they will click and subscribe to your drip email campaign, 50% of the work is done. Then you’ll need to show them real value for free to build trust and position your company as the best solution to solve their problem.

Pierre Guilbaud, Growth Hacker at NUMA Bengaluru

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Pitch your startup in 30 Seconds

In the past few months, I have met many entrepreneurs and startups so passionate about what they are doing, I could feel it. When it comes to explaining what they are up to however, it’s another story – from entrepreneurs who take ten minutes to share their ideas, to startuppers who don’t even share the name of their startups. Ultimately, the worst would be if your audience just doesn’t get what you are doing. It’s really simple to make something complicated, but very complicated to make something simple.

I am not going to share with you a process for a five to ten minutes pitch with slides in front of a jury, but a way to make sure that anyone can understand the essence of what you do in thirty seconds. (For tips on a longer pitch, check out our earlier blog article – ‘How to Make a Kick-ass Pitch.’)

Let’s get back to the basics. Break your pitch into four parts:

You know how: Convey the problem. Put your audience in the shoes of your users to make them understand the pain. Share a typical example of your target audience’s journey while facing the problem you are attempting to solve.

What we do: Show the solution. Explain your value proposition and how your solution is the best to solve the problem you mentioned before.

In fact: Display credibility. Share achievements and KPIs. You can share your number of users, paid customers, name them if they are well known, share your growth rate, etc.

What we are looking for: You always need something. Understand who you are talking to and try to see how they can help you. If it’s an investor, you can say that you are looking for a seed round of X €; if it’s an expert in your industry, you need connections; if it’s a fellow entrepreneur, ask for feedback.

Let’s take you through a concrete example: three months ago, I went on a Roadshow in India to promote NUMA Bengaluru’s Acceleration Program. I attended several events and visited a myriad of coworking spaces to meet the ecosystem and discover talented startups.

pitch your startup

My 30 Seconds Pitch during networking:

“Hi, my name is Pierre and I’m the Startup Manager at NUMA Bengaluru.”

“Nice to meet you Pierre, I’m Vivek from X. So what do you do?”

You know how it can be difficult as an early stage startup to get access to a great network and skilled resources as well as seed funding.

What we do at NUMA Bengaluru is surround our startups with in-house resources like a Growth Hacker, an Entrepreneur in Residence, a Visual Designer and even Mentors, in a free office space to fast track their access to seed funding.

In fact in the past 16 years, we have helped more than 300 startups around the world to grow faster.

Today, I’m looking for early stage startups for our Season 3 Acceleration Program, which will start in June for 5 months. If you have any recommendations, let me know.”

Stop yourself from losing your audience’s attention by meandering into useless topics. To get the most out of each event, you need to stay focused and be efficient. Moreover, don’t forget to listen. I’m an evangelist of “Give before asking”, the more you give, the more positive outcomes you’ll receive in return.

One last thing: practice! You should be able to pitch your startup smoothly to anyone, anytime, and anywhere.

If you liked it, you can share it! 🙂

Pierre GUILBAUD, Startup Manager at NUMA Bengaluru.

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Landing Page Optimization: Tools & Tips


In June 2017, I joined the Google Team France as a Digital Coach for 2 events: Le salon des entrepreneurs in Lyon and Vivatechnology in Paris. I spent 5 fantastic days meeting entrepreneurs, startups and like-minded people. My role was to dive deep into their digital strategy to show them how to master it using Google Tools as well as giving them my insights.

When I do a coaching session, I always start by asking the professional to show me his website. It helps me to get an idea of what he is doing as well as to provide him with instant feedback, the right mindset and share good processes. 

Here is a list of the tips and tools I shared with them to improve their home/landing page:

 

1) Make it Clear and Easy

Imagine that you are looking to buy a couch or a bed. You decide to go to a brick & mortar shop to directly test the product. You enter the shop, which is a large space full of furniture everywhere. Obviously, you have a chance to find what you are looking for, but how much time are you going to spend? Maybe you will ask a vendor to help you, maybe you will struggle and leave if the process is too annoying. Or you can go to Ikea, where you just have to follow the flow.

Always put yourself in your user’s shoes. Be single-minded, don’t give them the time to get lost.

 

“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs


When your visitors land on your website, here are the 3 key pieces of information they should see without having to scroll:

1) A headline, which explains the main benefits you are providing (not your solution but the benefits of your solution). You can add a line under the headline to present more details.

2) A call to action. When visitors land on your website, what do you want them to do? Add a button with the most effective wording to reach this goal.

3) A step by step process of the user experience. It will help your visitors know what to expect and avoid useless friction.

 

Landing Page Optimization
Landing page of NUMA Bengaluru Acceleration Program Season 3

 

Keeping this in mind, all your visitors will be able to understand the benefits you provide in less than ten seconds, as well as how they can access it (call to action) and what will be their user experience if they choose your solution. Some of your visitors will be immediately convinced and will click on your call to action (well done).

Concerning the others, they will continue to scroll. So what should you add?

Create a list of sales arguments and order them from the most important to the least important depending on your target. At the end of each argument, add the same call to action. No one should have to scroll back to access your solution. Finally, don’t forget to add two testimonials and the logos of your partners at the bottom in order to improve your credibility.

 

2) Think Conversion, Drive Optimization


a) Engage with Them

Picture that you are the owner of a brick & mortar shop. In a single day, a hundred people enter your shop but by the end of the day, no one has bought anything. How frustrating would that be for you? This won’t happen however, because you will engage with them, identify their needs and share your expertise. This is exactly the same case with your website. It shouldn’t only be a showcase of what you do.

In the conversion process, there are two majors factors: Timing and Budget. Some of your visitors will like what you offer though it could be too early for them to use your solution or they don’t have the budget for it yet. However, in another three months they could, but they will definitely have forgot you in that time. Today, our daily journey on the internet is full of information, so it is difficult to remember every discovery you make. This is where you come into the picture by providing your potential customers the opportunity to leave their email addresses (at least twice) in exchange for something valuable.

Please don’t offer them the opportunity to subscribe to your newsletter: What is the value behind it? Instead, think about advertising. Let’s take the example of Meetic: Find love for 30€/month. What is 30€ in comparison of finding love? The Perceived value should always be higher than the Real value.

Come back to the problem you are solving. The best solution is the paid solution you provide, of course, but you can alternately offer a PDF or a drip campaign email with articles that will help in solving one of their main problems. If the perceived value is attractive and polished, you will be able to get their email address.

 

b) Give Before Asking

Now that you have their email address, you have the chance to demonstrate your expertise. You need to create trust through a virtual relationship by sending an email every two to three weeks. It’s all about quality, not quantity. Try to help them solve their problems. When they are ready for your solution and have the budget necessary, there is a better chance they will use yours, as they now trust you and your expertise.

Put the seeds in the ground = Get an email
Water it = Send a guide
Water it = Send an article
Water it = …
Collect the fruit = Get a conversion

 

Landing Page Optimization

 

c) Always Optimize

You should have two differents Call to Action on your landing page. One to reach your main goal and one in order to get their email address. It’s time to use Google Analytics to set goals and track conversions. You’ll have goal 1 (Buy now) and goal 2 (Subscribe with their email address). After a couple of days or weeks, you’ll be able to track a conversion rate. If a hundred people land on your page and five buy your products, you’ll have a 5% conversion rate on your Goal 1.

Please don’t make the same mistake as 80% of the entrepreneurs I’ve met. Don’t pay a Digital Agency thousands of euros to create a website, and consider your job done. Even if your main activity is offline, don’t view your website as a showcase of what you do, but more as an acquisition channel to leverage further leads for your business.

To improve your conversions rate, you can experiment with A/B Testing with Optimize from Google. This free tool will help you to set up an A/B testing campaign in five minutes and track which variant is the most efficient.

 

A/B Testing Reminder:

  • You have your landing page with a call to action in red, which gives you a conversion rate of 5%.
  • You create a variant of this landing page by changing the color of your call to action from red to green.
  • 50% of your traffic will go to your landing page and 50% to your variant.
  • After a couple of weeks (depending on the traffic you get), you’ll be able to decide which one performs better.

 

Landing Page Optimization

 

If you can improve your conversion rate from 5% to 20%, each time you’ll get 1000 targeted visitors, you’ll convert 200 people instead of 50. Simple Maths, so plug your leaks before you work on Acquisition.


3) Tips & Tools


1)
Squarespace is a great platform for creating an esthetic and clear website on your own. If you don’t require many features, Google My Business can provide a one-page website automatically for free.

2) Google Analytics is perfect for measuring and analyzing the traffic on your website. Try to spend a minimum of fifteen minutes a day on this tool to get the most use out of it. Measure, Analyze, Optimise.

3) Mailchimp aims you to build an email subscriber list as well as set up drip email campaigns.

4) Campaign URL Builder assists in creating personalized links. It will help you get an accurate idea of the source of your traffic through Google Analytics.

5) Optimize allows you to create an A/B test Campaign. It will help you optimize conversion rates on your website.

6) Chi-Squared Test calculates if your results from an A/B test shows a significant difference, allowing you to make an informed decision before making a change.

7) Google Data Studio displays an overview of your data from Google Analytics and your Spreadsheets.


If you don’t measure it, you can’t improve it!

Pierre Guilbaud, Growth Hacker & Startup Manager at NUMA Bengaluru

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How to make a kick-ass pitch?

As a startuper or entrepreneur, you may be familiar with this concept more than anyone else, though it’s quite another thing to explain it to people. At NUMA, we have seen so many entrepreneurs driven by their ideas but failed at the exercise of pitching. Therefore we thought we would share a couple of tips we learnt over the years while listening to startup pitches to make a kick-ass pitch.

First of all, put yourself in a random person’s shoes to make sure your pitch is understandable by everyone. Then, build your pitch with the help of a Business Model Canvas. This is an amazing tool when it comes to clearing your mind and recognising what you need to say or not. Every part of this canvas reflects an important point of your startup’s structure and vision.

One last thing, a pitch varies from 3 to 30 minutes but in most cases, it lasts for 5 minutes. When you’re invited to pitch, prepare your speech for the time set up, not more. Otherwise, it can be seen as a lack of readiness and professionalism as well as disrespect.

make kick-ass pitch

10 slides to ensure a great pitch

While you’re speaking, you have to show the jury that you have acquired a certain degree of experience in your field. For that, you need to follow a common template. This framework is composed of 10 slides displaying.

1. Introduction

The first slide appearing on your pitch deck is the introduction. Generally, pitchers prefer to write their startup’s name instead of “introduction”, and that’s better. In this section, you should tell the jury why you’re here, where you started, where are you now and where you want to be. You also have to define your idea in one sentence, so I advise you to prepare few words explaining your solution as well as the value proposition and your customer target.

2. Problem

You then need to introduce the problem you’re solving. In this section, the jury is expecting concrete examples. The most evocative manner to get your point across is to tell the jury what encouraged you to tackle this problem; in other words: your story.

Last but not least for this section: You cannot solve every issue on Earth so don’t attempt to describe too many problems. One problem is already large enough to tackle. The most efficient way to reach the jury is to show the Top 3 problems and emphasise how painful they are.

3. Solution

How do you solve the problem you’ve just highlighted? This is what you need to focus on at that point. Keep in mind that someone has probably already had a similar idea before you, so you need to point out why your product/service is exceptional compared to others. It’s also very important to explain how it works as well as the technology behind this solution. You need to convey the value proposition of your solution and also the feedback you have received on it.

4. Market

As an expert, you have to know the dynamics within your market. In general, people show the market size in itself (how much the market is worth, the number of customers, etc). That’s not wrong, but if you want to catch investors’ attention you should present the annual growth rate of this market and your persona (ideal customer). Investors look at the future, so they’ll be more interested in the annual growth rate than other data.

5. Business Model

One of the main goals of your business is to become sustainable, thus to make money. As the speaker, your goal on this slide is to show your revenue streams and how it works. Focus on the main source of revenue and then go quickly through the rest.

As I said before, investors foresee how much the business could pay off in the future. Therefore, they will pay attention to your revenue for the upcoming years. You can display it like this:

Year 1: ARPC x number of customers = Revenue

        Year 2: ARPC x number of customers = Revenue        

Year 3: ARPC x number of customers = Revenue

Year 4: ARPC x number of customers = Revenue

Year 5: ARPC x number of customers = Revenue

ARPC = Average revenue per customer

Number of customers = customers over years believable

NB: It is always better to present your revenue from Year 1 to Year 5 rather than the other way around.

6. Competition

We have seen so many people pitch in front of us who have said that they were the only ones in their market and had no competitors. This can be true, but it’s most likely really rare so be careful when you make this claim. Essentially, investors expect a list of your competitors and what their position in the market is (you can show it in a competition mapping for instance). It is also a good time to mention your unfair advantage. What edge do you have on your competitors? It can be a specific person, an IP, or any other resource.  

Competition mapping of the Ipad

7. Marketing

The seventh slide is dedicated to your acquisition channel on your Business Model Canvas. With the help of your persona, you should define what channels you plan to use to acquire customers. Following this, this section needs to also display your KPIs. Explain it briefly because you’ll come back to it once you reach the Traction’s slide.

8. Traction

An initial traction for your product/service is essential to prove that people are interested and understand which problem you aim to solve. Tell the jury how many people have used your solution, what feedback they have given and how you analysed it. Use your KPIs to show your initial traction. Explain it briefly because you’ll come back to it once you reach the Traction slide.

9. Team

The team is one of the most important pillars of your startup and investors will certainly pay particular attention during this part. The purpose of this section is to highlight who does what and what are the different skills in your team. Tell them a bit about every person’s background and explain their role within the company. Investors need to understand why these people are on your team.

10. Needs

Too many people are afraid of approaching this section in front of their audience. This is why you’re in front of the jury. Power through it and ask for your needs (money, connections, others..). And, please, don’t make the mistake of asking for living costs (for example, asking money for paying the rent).

 

make a kick-ass pitch

Demo Day Season 2 at NUMA Bengaluru

Get our attention and keep it

The way you present your pitch is essential to make it great. First of all, you need to know your audience. Try to find out the background of the investors in front of you, especially how they invest in general – you can also anticipate the questions they will ask during the Q&A session. A well-prepared pitch will give you all the keys to access funding. For this, you will need to train yourself in front of friends, family or during pitching sessions. A good pitch is a practised pitch! Think about tone, manner, and the energy you want to communicate. Each detail has to be carefully reviewed.

Another pitching aspect, which is sometimes neglected, is the visuals on your Powerpoint or any other tool you may use. At NUMA, we’ve seen bad presentations several times. What I mean by this is that sometimes we see 100+ sentences on the same slide, a lack of fluidity, non-visual attractive presentations, etc… When you take your audience through your pitch deck, a good design would be one of your best allies.

Here are some rules that you should respect during your pitch:

  • Keep each slide as simple as you can with only a few impactful words (no more than 15 words per slides and 4 sentences)
  • Go through your presentation point by point (don’t show all your slides directly). This will keep your audience’s attention.
  • Use the colour identity of your startup in your deck and the same framework for every slide. Do not put too much colour on it (4 colours maximum).
  • Try to use pictures to illustrate what you’re saying, an image means more than a thousand words. The most effective way to do this is to use flat icon because most people understand it better (FlatIcon)
  • Use the same font, and try to use a font size that can be seen by everyone in the room (think about the people at the back of the room). 

5 last tips for pitching

Here are some other useful tips for preparing your pitch:

  1. Watch videos of pitches to get yourself into a good mindset (there is a myriad of content on Youtube, e.g. Pitch Trybe DemoDay S10 at NUMA).
  2. Pitch your idea as much as you can, in every situation. When you’re a startuper, you will always meet people who want to know more about your idea. Feel free to tell them what you’re doing. You’ll start to notice if people understand your solution and if you need to optimise your pitch.
  3. Anticipate the Question&Answer part at the end by knowing your audience. If you know who you’re talking to, it’ll be easier to prepare yourself for questions.
  4. Avoid huge amounts of numbers, otherwise, your audience will get bored quickly.
  5. Communicate your passion, show enthusiasm, share your story with your audience.

– Alexandre, Business Program Associate at NUMA Bengaluru

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How to find the right co-founder?

Finding the right co-founder is a struggle for many startup founders. It’s hard to find someone that fits with your project, with you and the problem you are solving. At NUMA, we receive emails every week with the same question: I don’t have co-founder, how can I find one? There are no perfect solutions for solving this problem, but there are processes to build a successful partnership. When you’re looking for a co-founder, you’re looking for someone that will share your daily life, same as the person you’ll marry. So keep in mind that you would not find them in one day.This business marriage is based on a long term relation built on trust and shared experiences.

In this article, we will see why you need a co-founder, who they should be and where to find them.

Why do you need a co-founder ?

At NUMA, we have seen many people ask for investment in their startups. They are only at the ideation stage and they want cash to pay employees for developing their product or even selling it. You don’t need money for that. Your original team should have enough skills to build a prototype and gain initial traction. Put yourself in the shoes of an investor. Would you invest in a business where the product is not developed yet? Without any proof of concept and a random team?

Keep in mind that you shouldn’t pay an employee to achieve what you’re not able to do, at least at the beginning. That’s why it’s important to find a complementary partner who can develop the side of the startup you cannot handle yourself. A co-founder will be involved at the same level as you for free, in exchange for the startup’s equity. While this is the cheapest way for you, this is also the most motivational way for them. The better the results of your startup, the better are the outcomes and the motivation!

In addition to that, a co-founder will bring new insights and patterns to your startup. Brainstorming and sharing ideas can lead to a wide range of solutions that you may not think of. After developing many experimentations together, seeing what are the most efficient – you’ll be able to grow faster. Generally, startups composed of a tech and a business co-founder raise more money and have more user growth.

find the right co founder

Who is the right co-founder ?

As we said before, the right co-founder is someone who believes in your vision and who you can trust completely. That means placing a blind confidence in them, which is something that you can’t do with everyone. The solution can be an old friend, it’s often the simplest but more realistic answer.

You know them better than anyone; their strengths and weakness, their life and experiences – and they know the same about you. If you don’t have this chance, you can review your previous experiences to contact great people you have worked with. Or create new one to build strong relations.

Before officializing your relationship, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do we agree 100% on the long term vision?
  • Are we going to be involved at the same level?
  • Do we share the same values?
  • Can we trust each other?
  • What skills are we individually bringing to the project?

In addition, a co-founder, whatever their role and skills are, should be ready to help you in several tasks such as finance, product design, customer acquisition, and so on.

Great partners are people that you can rely on, whatever the situation is. They have to be able to support you during company’s ups and downs. Of course, the latter is part of the adventure.

find the right co founder

Where to find the right co-founder ?

This week, some startups’ founders asked us where they can find a co-founder. In most cases, they asked for a tech co-founder as they don’t have the knowledge to build their apps or hardware.

As we said before – look at your friends, but be sure that you can work with them. Indeed, sharing an entrepreneurial journey with a friend is an amazing experience but your judgement can be biased by your friendship.

Another way to find one is to look into your network. Enhance your network as much as possible. Nowadays, there are loads of events focus on startup networking.

These kinds of events are perfect to meet new people and explore new opportunities for your project:

  • Hackathon: One of the most interesting ways to find your partner. The aim is to develop a startup during a weekend with a team of 3-4 people who have complementary skills. You can pitch in front of everyone and through that build a team to kickstart your idea. This event like a Startup weekend is intense and can definitely lead to great relationships.
  • Meetup: These gathering events are tailor-made for networking. Entrepreneurs join them to enhance their networks and discuss about a specific topic.
  • Conference: These big events are focused on a trend subject. You will attend several panel talks conducted by experts in their fields, and networking sessions dedicated to create opportunities and potential partnerships.

There are also some useful tools for finding a co-founder such as CoFoundersLab or Shapr, which connects you with other entrepreneurs.

find the right co founder

Finding the right partner is a long term process. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas, to get feedback and get people involved in your journey. It will also help you to find a mentor as well as build a strong community. Meet, Share & Grow together.

Alexandre, Business Program Associate & Pierre, Startup Manager at NUMA Bengaluru

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5 Keys to Master your Digital Marketing Strategy

After working for Google France as a digital coach the past 2 years, I have met hundreds of entrepreneurs and SME owners. Some of them understood the importance of digital transition in their business, some of them didn’t – mostly because of a lack of time or knowledge. Above all however, they often don’t have a good mindset about the value and purpose of digital marketing. Most of them find themselves going digital just because they feel that they have to, but not because they truly understand the results they could get.

The 5 keys to build an efficient digital ecosystem:

1) Social media: Build your community first

If you wanted to create a startup even just a few years ago, you would have to work on it out of your garage and wait patiently until it’s done to show it to the world. Today the vision of entrepreneurship has totally changed. You shouldn’t waste your time on building something that no one may want and wait until your launch to acquire customers.

Master your Digital Marketing Strategy

Fake it until you make it

Even if you just have an idea, create a social media account on each platform you think your potentials customers are present on. Start sharing content you know they will enjoy, which relates to your future offerings. You can use tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite to schedule posts in order to gain time and create valuable content to engage them through blog posts or visuals.

In this way, you can build your offer while receiving feedback from your community. The day you launch it, you will already be confident of your first sales. Why? You would have already created a relationship with your community – they’ll like you, support you and will be impatient to use what you have to offer.

This community will also be a perfect way to help you spread the word when you launch your product. You can use them to join a thunderclap campaign or also to support you in a crowdfunding campaign.

2) Optimize your website to get leads

A website shouldn’t only be a showcase of your value proposition. Imagine you are the owner of a physical shop and you have a hundred visitors everyday. Yet, nobody speaks to you, nobody buys anything. How frustrating would that be? This won’t happen however, because you would engage with your visitors, act friendly and try to understand their needs in order to sell them your products.

The concept is almost identical for your website. If you have a hundred visitors per day, you should provide the best user experience possible and attempt to engage them. It can be through contacting you, filling out a form, subscribing to your newsletter or even sharing your content. In almost each case, you might not make a sale but at least you’ll get a lead – their email.

As you can see on NUMA Bengaluru’s home page, we allow our visitors to apply for our acceleration program and we offer them the option to follow us by subscribing.

Master your Digital Marketing Strategy

Your landing page should be efficient as well. This means that your visitors should understand in less than 5 seconds what the benefits of your offer are. One of the best ways to do so is to break the top of your landing page into 3 parts:

  1. A headline that explains the main benefit/goal of your offer. It’s possible to add a small text under it to ensure clarity.
  2. A powerful and explicit Call to Action
  3. A step by step explanation of the process to ensure that your potential customers quickly understand what their user experience entails.

WordPress and Squarespace are good platforms to start.

Master your Digital Marketing Strategy

However, to give the best user experience to your potential customers, your website should be a 100% responsive and fast. You can use this Google tool in order to check: https://testmysite.thinkwithgoogle.com/

For free, it will give your website a score for speed and responsivity. It will also tell you what to fix in order to improve your given score and thus, your overall user experience.

Finally, the better way to optimize your website is to get data analytics. It’s pretty simple to setup Google Analytics for free which will give you a good a vision of what your website is doing:

  • Who are your visitors?
  • How do you acquire them?
  • What are they doing on your website?
  • Do you get any conversions?

In order to improve your conversion rate, you should get this 3 step mindset:

  1. Measure
  2. Analyze
  3. Optimize

Tips: Have a look at your Exit rate. If one of your pages has an Exit rate more than 70%, and it’s not your “thank you page” for purchasing, you should probably try to improve it. It’s also possible to use complementary tools as Hotjar and Mixpanel to more deeply understand your visitor journey.

3) Blog: Content is the key

Developing a blog is the best way to display your expertise to your community. Too many people think that it is unnecessary or that it requires too much time. You need to understand that before to ask, you need to give. Sharing your experiences, experiments, tips, and advice is a good way to show your community that you are effective at what you do and that you have real value to offer.

To find topics on which to write, you can ask yourself: what problems are my potential customers facing? An article is often an answer to a question. Help your potential customers reduce their pain point and have the possibility to receive a  great outcome in terms of engagement. Neil Patel is known as the content marketing Guru, take time to read his articles, it will help you. 

Moreover, writing blog posts will aid your website in ranking better on Google thus leading to more free traffic. If you use WordPress, Yoast SEO is a free plugin that assists in improving your SEO. Here is a screenshot of the list Yoast SEO provides to do so:
Master your Digital Marketing Strategy

Finally, finding the right keyword is easier with a bunch of free tools such as Google Trends. It shows you which keywords are widely searched on Google and thus which ones drive traffic.

Master your Digital Marketing Strategy

4) Emailing is branding

Emailing is still one of the most efficient and effective ways to reach customers. While it’s a great way to acquire users, it is also extremely valuable in increasing retention. A human brain cannot remember all the information it receives in a single day. A lot of people might land on your website and like what you do, but will not have the time to read all of your content. They will still be very interested in what you can offer them, though.

In this case, it is vital to reach out to them through email. Sending them a monthly/weekly newsletter is one way to do it but if you really want to improve your retention, you should create a mail automation funnel. This is a series of 5 or 10 emails, which provides value and knowledge in a logical order. The goal is to create a relationship built on trust, showing that you are not simply a spammer but an expert who is happy to help his community to grow. You could become the industry reference for them. This will hopefully lead to a good-word-of-mouth with an increase in sales of your product. Even if your opening rate is low, your subscriber will see your name in the mail – this still counts as branding.

To build your list through which you send newsletters and automation mails, I would advise you to use Mailchimp. It’s the most commonly used, free at first and simple to set up. To reach someone, you can use hunter.io to find a mail using the domain name of the company.
Master your Digital Marketing Strategy

5) Growth Hacking

Before using various methods to acquire traffic, understand that Growth Hacking is a mindset. One begins by grasping user psychology, how to delve into your target audience, figure out what motivates them, what they like, what they fear, what is their real pain point. You need to view every channel you use on a daily basis in different ways. How can you best leverage them to drive traffic and entice users to your website?

If you want to learn more about Growth Hacking, have a look at Hackisition, Startup Marketing, Coelevate, and Startupfood.

Here is the AARRR, the growth hacking funnel from Dave McClure:

Master your Digital Marketing Strategy

Acquisition: How do you acquire visitors to your website?

Example: By creating your digital ecosystem

Activation: How do you activate them?

Example: By ensuring they understand your benefits, thus leading to taking action.

Retention: How do you make sure they come back?

Example: By developing your digital ecosystem

Revenue: How do you make money?

Referral: How do you make them spread the word and become an evangelist?

Example: By creating the best value and user experience for them.

 

To conclude, I’ll give you 3 tips to increase your number of followers for free:

20% creation / 80% distribution

  1. Facebook: Search the facebook groups you believe contain potential customers and share your facebook page in them with a short text explaining the benefits of following you. If you share within 15 well-targeted groups per day, you’ll get 50+ followers a day.
  2. Twitter: Go to your competitor’s accounts and follow all their followers. You should be able to follow a minimum of 500 accounts per day and 10% will follow you back. To improve your distribution, you can try a tool like Statusbrew and use Post Recycler to schedule and more effectively post random content during timings that have the most impact.
  3. Instagram: Go to your competitor’s accounts and follow all their followers. You should be able to follow a minimum of 500 accounts per day and 20% will follow you back.

Don’t wait anymore, it’s time to build your digital ecosystem!

Pierre GUILBAUD, Startup Manager at NUMA Bengaluru.

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Five People Essential to your Startup Success

Jim Rohn once said, “We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” In terms of the startup ecosystem, if you want to find success, surround yourselves with people who want you to succeed and who share the same goals.

The five types of people essential to your startup success:

1) A Co-founder

Being an entrepreneur is one of the hardest jobs in the world. You will feel overwhelmed, lost, close to giving up, and that’s normal. It can take 10 years to find overnight success and lot of people may not understand that struggle. Don’t get me wrong though, being an entrepreneur is also one of the greatest adventures you can undertake. If your entrepreneurial dream is driven by your passion and not by the goal of becoming rich, it will bring you fulfilment and ignite a fire in you. One of the most important things in this rollercoaster journey is having people who share in this with you. Working with a team increases the stimulation and the emulation. They can help you bypass roadblocks and provide you the support you need when you face doubts and choices. Alone we go faster, together we go further.

Five People Essential to your Startup Success
2) Your Early Adopters

Early adopters are your number one fans (after your family of course). Your product is still not perfect nor totally complete, yet they already understand and love it. Don’t make the mistake of leaving them by the wayside, as they are invaluable. It is your job to build a strong relationship with them. Ask them for feedback as often as you need to, get them involved and make them feel as if they are a part of the journey. If you manage this, you will be amazed by the outcomes. Building a product without regular feedback is like stumbling around in the darkness, you won’t have any idea of the results. Maybe you will succeed, maybe you will fail. There is no point in letting luck decide for you. Develop your solution step by step, with constant validation from your future customers.

3) An Entrepreneur

If you want to achieve something, what better way to emulate that success than to seek advice from someone who has already achieved it? Don’t be afraid to approach them, you will be able to dodge so many avoidable mistakes and wastes of your time. Entrepreneurs can be easily contacted on Linkedin or found in coworking spaces, or also as a part of an accelerator program. For each new step that you have to take, try to find the best person who has already walked the same path before you. Every entrepreneur who has been successful will want to give back. Sharing knowledge and helping people with their projects is what most people derive pleasure from. So, when you achieve a milestone in your journey, it will be your turn to give back. This is what makes entrepreneurship beautiful.

4) A Mentor

A mentor should be someone who has a lot of experiences in business, entrepreneurship and in a particular industry. The establishment of this relationship should be born from mutual consent, he or she chose you and you chose them. They can be at your side from the beginning, always there to listen and impart the best advice for most situations. They should be disinterested by the money and give you their time because they believe in you and what you are trying to achieve. After what you will go through on your journey, they should almost become a part of the family.

Five People Essential to your Startup Success

5) Others startups

Growing your startup in an Accelerator or Incubator will make a huge difference. Being surrounded by like-minded people, living and building their dreams is powerful. Several startups working hard side by side to make an impact, to improve the daily life of thousands of people, to change the world will give you the support, great connections and instant feedback you need. This is an extremely effective way to go from 0 to 1.

At NUMA Bengaluru, this is what we do. We surround our startups with Experts, Mentors, and Entrepreneurs dedicated to their success. We create a healthy ecosystem that allows them to focus on what matters – their growth.

If you are a tech-enabled early-stage startup who wants to solve a pain point problem, it’s your chance to make it happen. Apply here: https://bengaluru.numa.co/startups.

 Pierre GUILBAUD, Startup Manager at NUMA Bengaluru

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Apply for NUMA Season 3 Acceleration Program: Fast-track your Access to Seed Funding

Join our 5-month intense acceleration program in Bengaluru to take your startup to the next level.

It has been more than a year now since we launched NUMA global acceleration program in India. We have run two successful seasons and supported the growth of 16 startups from a large range of industries. After 2 seasons, we felt the urge to rethink our program. It was time to step back and inject what we’ve learned from the feedback we received from our entrepreneurs, mentors and investors into a new powerful formula.

Now our new execution-focus acceleration program is reloaded! Today, we are super excited to announce the call for application for Season 3. If you are an early-stage startup looking to accelerate your product development and gain access to seed funding, apply to our acceleration program in Bengaluru by 24th April 2017.

Our program was restructured to propose the best support to grow your startup:

  • Increased in-house resources: Everyday, you will be surrounded by in-house experts. In addition to our NUMA team, an Entrepreneur in Residence, Growth Hacker, UI/UX Designer, Visual Designer and much more will support you to execute your product and growth strategy. We are committed to adding as many resources as we can to help you.
  • Strong bootcamps: We will run bootcamps on the various core functions of startups including Design, Technology/Product, Finance/Legal and Sales & Marketing to help you strengthen your product and build a business strategy.
  • Mentorship-driven execution program: The program will last 5 months from mid-May to mid-October 2017 in our Open Space in NUMA Bengaluru. You will be focusing on executing your strategy and roadmap through KPI-based weekly roadmap meetings, curated mentoring office hours, workshops and one-on-one sessions. You will also get access to our corporate network and client portfolio to explore business opportunities and synergies with them.
  • Manage your cash burn: You will get €2500 Bootstrapping cash and more than €700K worth of Perks from 70+ partners, along with other resources such as office space for 7 months (5-month program + 2-month free office space).
  • Go global with NUMA: You will get actionable global market access by leveraging NUMA’s sites (Paris, Moscow, New York, Berlin, Barcelona, Casablanca, Mexico), GAN (Global Accelerator Network)’s and Google For Entrepreneurs’ networks.

All this in exchange for your commitment and a 4% of stake in your startup. Do what it takes to succeed, take all the chances!

“The biggest difference between successful and unsuccessful accelerators relates to how heavily mentors engage with participants”
– 2015 Global Best Practices Report on Incubation and Acceleration

Fast-track Access Seed Funding
Our Season 1 & Season 2 startups with NUMA team, mentors and partners.

5-month intense program focused on execution

An early stage startup is an underfunded team, trying to solve a significant problem by building an amazing product and struggling with getting resources such as developers, marketing and designers. This is where NUMA plays a role, we help entrepreneurs accelerate their startups in three major steps:

1. Build the strategy:

To be ready for growth acceleration, your first month in our program includes participation in design thinking, product strategies and roadmap building activities. These activities include bootcamps, team building, mentor madness (speed dating with mentors to find your lead mentor) and more. We will assess your startup and understand your strengths, weaknesses and needs through these programs. The next 3 months of growth acceleration can then be planned with a set roadmap and determined KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

2. Get traction and grow:

During these next 3 months, we aim at helping and supporting you in executing the roadmap created in the first month. We have various structured programs to do so. You will go through weekly focus workshops, curated expert & mentor office hours, one-on-one sessions with international experts, SCRUM and Roadmap meetings, and fortnightly CEO breakfasts (where successful entrepreneurs will share their insights). You will also be introduced to our corporate networks, experts pool, and NUMA networks.

3. Access seed financing:

In the last month of the acceleration program, we will prepare you for scaling and raising seed funding. We will organise pitch building activities such as coaching and training, preparation of pitch decks, executive summaries, terms sheets and more. You will also be put in touch with investors to get their feedback and perspectives (examples include our Angel Sneak Peek and Shark Tank programs). Our program will conclude with a Demo Day and an Investor Day hosted at NUMA. This is what you have worked towards: you will pitch in front of investors, potential clients, corporates, partners, and the ecosystem.

It doesn’t end there though as we offer continuous support and a specific international engagement program for our Alumni startups. We will continue to introduce you to investors and corporates, and you will have access to our mentors’ networks and perks even after the program. You can opt to expand your business into other markets by leveraging NUMA’s networks and landing zones (Paris & New York)

Selection of startups for the program

We are looking for tech-enabled, MVP-ready, early-stage startups solving a real problem addressing a sizeable market. Each application is evaluated by complementary profiles: 1 investor, 1 industry expert, 1 entrepreneur and the NUMA team. You will receive constructive feedback from them at the end of April 2017. So take your time to fill it out and give your best to maximise your chances to join our program.

We will select the 50 best startups to pitch in front of our jury in the first week of May 2017. It will be followed by a final pitch for 20 to 25 shortlisted startups. Finally, we will select 10 to 12 startups for our next season’s acceleration program. Season 3 acceleration program will start on the 15th of May, 2017 in the heart of Bengaluru.

Apply now: applyblr.numa.co

Do you have more questions? See our FAQ

If you still have further questions, contact us at [email protected] or attend one of our Open Forums happening every Friday, 3 PM at the NUMA Bangalore office (Info Session about the program, application and selection process, Q&A and a NUMA Tour with high tea) – RSVP here.

We are running a survey on the Startup Acceleration program, please take some time to fill it out! Your inputs and suggestions will be very useful for future programs.

Farish CV, Lead Program Manager of Accelerator at NUMA Bengaluru

 

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