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🧠 $1m Startup Marketing Secret

Reverse Engineer Growth

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Hey IdeaHub Crew! 🎉

Most founders do marketing the wrong way. The create something cool and then, get the fear - “How do I sell this?”

Traditional Approach

New Approach

1. Get Idea

1. Find your customer

2. Build Product

2. Find their most used channel

3. Figure out Marketing Later

3. Create content in that channel

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Startup Growth Hack

$1m Startup Marketing Secret

Finding your Ideal Customer Persona (ICP)

A Product Manager would describe this is a snapshot of the type of person most likely to buy from you.

  • They have the pain point you solve for.

  • They are accessible.

  • They have purchasing power.

  • They want to solve this issue quickly.

They tick all the boxes. Your golden user.

How to find them?

  • Talk to users. The only way to find your ICP is to talk to as many people within your problem area. Below is a simple scorecard:

  • Pain Point

    • Description: Describe the primary pain point or challenge that the persona faces

    • Impact: Describe the impact of this pain point on the persona's life or business

  • Demographic:

    • Age: Give an age range e.g 25-35

    • Occupation: What’s their job title?

    • Education Level: e.g. Bachelors Degree

    • Geographic Location: Where do they live?

  • Purchasing Power:

    • Income Level: Give a range for their annual salary e.g $50,000-$75,000. Try note if this is a high or low cost of living depending their location

    • Budget for Solutions: Describe the persona's budget for purchasing solutions to their pain point e.g. "Willing to invest in tools that streamline social media management, with a budget of $50-$100 per month."

  • Decision Making Factors:

    • Influences: societal influence, culture norms, demographics, financial well-being, laws and regulations, media, trends, and psychological and situational factors.

Top 3 Decision Making Factors

Authority Bias

The typical consumer will change their minds to match those with authority. This could be their boss, partner, peers or anyone who they see as an expert.


Essentially, they have to use their brain less. If they can hand off the decision making process to someone else who’s judgement they trust, then that will create a shortcut in the decision making process.

Social Proof

Buyers tend to copy other peoples action uncertain about making a decision. (Check out this HBR article on the topic)

This is similar to authority bias in the way that buyers will decide based on who they trust. However, the difference is the fact that volume matters more within social proof.

Example: A user would feel much more confident in making a purchase if they know 1,000 people have already make the decision ahead of them. In the authority bias scenario, the focus is on quality.


In 2024, more than ever, users want product now. We call this the “Power of now”. Instant and quick gratification for a purchase will yield a faster reward loop and tell the user that they “make the right decision”. As opposed to ordering a product, waiting for 2 weeks and learning then that it doesn’t match your expectation.

Researching their buyer journey

To choose the right marketing channels, you need to observe your users behaviour and preferences. Interviewing your users and leaning on the typical decision making process of your persona can help. Keep updating the best channels to find your persona so you don’t fall victim to this law that Andrew Chen talks about.

Customer Journey Map

  • Drawing out a map of the visual journey your customer goes on when making taking action can help.

  • A user who is deciding what ‘savings account they want to open’ could go on the following journey

    • Search “high yield savings account” on google

    • Find a comparison site and pick the top 3 bank options

    • Compare the 3 websites

    • Since the first one has more customers, more targeted messaging and better customer support ratings this user feels comfortable giving them their money.

Crafting a Marketing Plan

Testing Channels

  • You might have discovered that the buyer journey for a ‘new savings account’ starts off with a search:

    • Google Search

    • Reddit Browse in their local ‘r/finance’ subreddit e.g. r/financecanada

    • Search Youtube and TikTok

    • Talk to friends

  • They then compare:

    • Finance comparison sites on google

    • Listen to finance influencers on youtube or social

  • Finally, they make a decision that

    • Makes them look smart (authority bias)

    • Makes them feel safe and part of a crowd (social proof)

Channels Mix

  • Google (SEO): Write engaging content that compares plans against your one with the hope of ranking. See how spendesk do it here.

  • Reddit (r/financelocation): Engage with communities and provide helpful tips on picking a savings account. Point users towards your option after giving advice.

  • Influencers (Youtube, TikTok): Sponsor creators who have the highest engagement rates within your niche.







Google (SEO)



1,000+ Organic Clicks

Investment in content creation and SEO tools




Est 100-200 clicks

Engaging with local reddit community

Influencers (Youtube, TikTok)

$300 per creator post x 10

$3 per click

Est 1000 clicks

Targeting highly engaged creators only*

  • The above is a simple budget tracker for your marketing campaign that estimates to drive 2200 clicks.

Key Takeaways ☕️

1. Start with your users and work backwards: Track their behaviour, buying patterns but most importantly decision making process.
2. Find what channels your typical persona hangs out in. Figure out a way to provide value to them.
3. Track everything and double down on the channels where you see uptake.


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