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🧠 free startup launch strategy

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Hey IdeaHub Crew! 🎉

Launching a startup is never easy.

It’s harder when you end up wasting money on marketing a product that hasn’t hit product-market fit…

But, what if there was a low-risk way of trialling a product, getting customers AND not spending any money?

Today, we will be breaking down a startup growth hack called “micro-influencer referral strategy”, where you partner up with dozens of micro-influencers on a revenue share basis.

And thanks to Remote and Artisan for sponsoring today’s newsletter ✉️

Let’s start… 👇

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Startup Growth Hack Breakdown

Micro-Influencer Referral Strategy

How to Identify Micro-Influencers

Define your target:

  • Start by choosing the type of influencers you want to work with. Why? Because the platform you distribute content on works best with certain industries:

  • LinkedIn: B2B Products or Services

  • Twitter: Software or Tech Products

  • TikTok: Consumer products

  • Meta: General but leaning towards consumer products

Ask yourself what market you are going for. Since the majority of our readers are in the tech space, I’m going to choose both LinkedIn and Twitter for this example.

Prioritise Engagement

  • Each influencer has varying engagement rates but in general, you want to pick people who have strong resharing (repost/retweet), likes and commenting power.

  • As a rule of thumb, you should calculate engagement rates as follows:

    Formula:
    Number of Likes + Number of Comments = Number of Engagements


    Number of Engagements ÷ Number of Followers x 100

    = Engagement Rate

Example: An influencer is getting 140 likes and 14 comments with 4500 followers. That would be 154/4500 × 100 = 3.4%

A rule of thumb is to always aim for over 3% engagement rates

Build your list

a. Go to your chosen platform and start researching.

b. Open up a spreadsheet.

c. Take down your favourite small influencers with less than 10,000 followers.

d. When you get to 100 on the list, start to prioritise for engagement.

e. Rank the 100 in order of engagement rate and prioritise those in your outbound campaign.

Reaching out and Starting Partnerships

Outbound Campaign

  • Start to build your messaging and send DMs to the influencers on your list. Try a message like this:

    “Hey ‘first name’! I saw some of your posts on insert topic a while back. So when I built this product, I immediately thought you’d be a great partner to get the word out. With product, your community can easily insert one liner about value to customer so it’s a no-brainer for them really.

    Our product costs $80 a month but we’d be willing to enter into a 50% revenue share and offer you $40 of any customer’s revenue for their first 6 months. So if 5 people in your community sign up, you could earn $1,200 if they stay for 6 months!

    I know you might have a bunch of questions about whether I am real, is this a scam, how will I get paid etc etc so happy to jump on a call here (link your calendly) and we can meet face to face!

    Your Name”

  • For managing the referral payments, I recommend rewardful.com just so simple for any SaaS business.

  • For the outbound campaign, you can also try out this AI outreach assistant that can take care of a lot of the personalisation! You can start for $225 a month and integrate it into your CRM. Maybe you start with the direct DM’s and use this tool to scale - up to you!

Make it mutually beneficial

  • The key here is that the offer (revenue share + product value) is irresistible for the micro-influencer. Try to put yourself in their shoes:

    a. They’re probably not earning a huge amount of money.

    b. They have a community that isn’t being monetized but has good engagement.


    c. They want to seem like the person who gets sponsorships as it makes them feel important/like they have a real business

Set Realistic Expectations

  • Remind them on your call that this might go nowhere and that is fine. You should have a backup, however.

  • I recommend sending them a $50 Starbucks gift card if they get no sales (mainly because that’s the right thing to do but also because they may grow their community and you can always try again in the next year).

Launching your campaign

Messaging, Communication and Images

  • It’s best if you have all the necessary assets for the sponsorship within a shared hub like a notion page. It just makes your life easier. With platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, you want to support the creator to make good content but also stay within your brand guidelines.


    Try this free template

Your link should be tracked so that you can easily share the revenue and also help your marketing insights. I recommend using rewardful for this to:

  • Track performance and double down on strong verticals or creators

  • Keep scaling, it’s essentially free growth as you get paid and then distribute the shared revenue.

  • No upfront cost on marketing!!

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