The Growth Ramp Methodology™: Our Process to Help Early-Stage Startups Get 1,000 Customers in a Year

By Jason Quey

You are a founder at a young startup.


You’ve started to get some traction, but now you want to increase your flow of new customers as you seek to rev-up your core growth engine.


So you consider two options to grow your startup:

  1. Do-it-yourself.
  2. Hire a freelancer or an agency


When clients come to Growth Ramp who take a DIY approach, they often realize they’re missing one key piece: strategy. 


Because they don’t have the right strategy, they don’t realize the amount of work it takes to get customers. As a result, they either don’t invest enough time or money necessary to make a channel successful, or they spread themselves thin trying to make a dozen ideas work. 


Even if what you’re doing yourself is working, is it scalable? Sure, you need to begin by doing things that don’t scale. That’s startup growth 101. Our agency starts off with our clients doing things that don’t scale. But like you, once we get traction, we quickly move to doing that scale. 


If you’re ready for Growth Ramp to get you 1,000 customers in a year, click here to learn how we get you 1,000 customers in a year. Or you can click here to see if you qualify for Growth Ramp’s services.


Then there are the clients who come to Growth Ramp after working with a freelancer or another agency. 

With freelancers, clients come to us because they do not have the strategy to take this task off your shoulders. Instead, because they don’t take the time to understand your product, you’re left babysitting them. You don’t have the bandwidth to micromanage a freelancer who isn’t committed, do you?


With agencies, too often they make big promises which they fail to deliver on. Content marketing and SEO agencies will say it takes 6-12 months before you see results. Then when you have little to show, they blame the product. Consequently, you are losing time, losing hope, and losing money. Yes, SEO and content marketing takes time. But in six months, you should be getting more sales.


Want to work with an agency that has the ability to turn things around quickly to find a cost-effective channel to acquire new customers? Then keep reading to learn how we help early-stage startups get 1,000 customers in a year.

How do you know who you can trust to help you grow your startup?


You’re in a crowded space with fierce competition. You can’t afford to invest money in something that may not give you a high ROI. But then again, if you don’t act fast enough, you fear that a better-funded startup will go-to-market faster than you.


Many people claim to be experts, but will they actually get you results? It’s hard to feel a high degree of confidence, unless you know their process to getting those results.


Here’s how Growth Ramp helps early-stage entrepreneurs get an extra 1,000 customers in a year:

How do we help early-stage entrepreneurs get an extra 1,000 customers in a year?


It’s elementary, my dear Watson. You get 1,000 customers by working backward to find the minimum effective dose.


To get 1,000 customers, the formula would be “Traffic X Conversion Rate = 1,000 Customers.”


Let’s assume you have an average site-wide conversion rate of 1.5%. To figure out how much traffic you need, you divide 1,000 by 1.5%. So (1,000 / 1.5% = 66,667 visitors). For simplicity’s sake, let’s round this number to 67,000 visitors.


This leaves us with two questions:

  1. How do you get 67,000 of the right people to your website?
  2. How do you get an average site-wide conversion rate of 1.5%?


To get 67,000 people to your website to become 1,000 customers, you need the right go-to-market strategy


It’s relatively easy to get 67,000 people to your website. You could dump thousands of dollars into advertising. Eventually, you’ll get the people you need.


Growth Ramp helps you do this in a more efficient, cost-effective path. We do this by talking to your customers and mapping out the buyer journey. Once complete, we get to work implementing our go-to-market strategy to get 67,000 people who have the problem that your product solves.


How do you get that assumed conversion rate of 1.5%? You need the right messaging, targeting, and positioning strategy


First, you need to get the right message. Savvy copywriters will tell you the 80-20 of messaging is to talk to your customers. Then you’ll use their exact words on your website.


Then, you need to offer the right audience at the right stage of the buyer’s journey. In 1966, Eugene Schwartz identified the 5 stages of customer awareness in his book "Breakthrough Advertising."


The 5 types of customers, in order of most to least likely to buy, are:

  1. Most aware customers. Your customer knows your product, and he’s ready to buy. Now it’s your job to give him the best reasons to buy now - like time-limited offers and the most relevant testimonials. This customer might say, “I keep expecting to see a BUY NOW type of button.”
  2. Product-aware customers. Your customer knows what you sell and often what the competition sells. But she isn’t sure it’s right for her. At this stage, you need to position your product against the competition, ideally with a USP. Most of your potential customers have not heard of your product yet. As a result, we find opportunities to educate comparison shoppers about your brand. You know you’re talking to these customers when they say something like, “How does your product compare to say, {{big name competitor}}?”
  3. Solution-aware customers. Your customer knows the result he wants. But he may not know of your product, or that it provides the results he’s looking for. So he heads off to Google to find a list of products to solve his problem. Solution-aware customers will ask questions about your product or product category. They might say, “I know I need accounting software, but I’m not exactly sure what features I need to reduce my taxes.”
  4. Problem-aware customers. Your customer senses she has a problem. But she doesn’t know what’s the right solution. Customers in this stage are the 2nd hardest prospect to convert into new customers. Traditional content marketing tends to target problem-aware customers. This is why I did not get the traction with the product I pre-sold. A problem-aware customer has never heard of your product category before. So she might ask a question like, “What exactly is web hosting? Why do I need it for my website?”
  5. Unaware customers. Your customer does not know of their pain, even though he has this problem. These prospects don't realize they have a problem. Think of this audience as someone who has cancer, but a doctor has not diagnosed the issue. He may go to Google and search, “What are the symptoms of brain cancer?”


Once you understand the 5 customer types, it then becomes a matter of creating marketing campaigns for each stage of the buyer journey.


Finally, you need to position your startup.


What sets you apart from every competitor fighting tooth-and-nail for your customer’s attention and wallet?


Is it your…


  1. Price?
  2. Features?
  3. Tech stack?
  4. Patents?
  5. Money-back guarantee?


Those are all valuable to improve. But your better-funded competitors can replicate, imitate, and knock off ALL those qualities with ease.


What you need to improve your conversions is a unique sales proposition (USP). One which is nigh impossible to steal. Why do I believe a USP is what you need? A USP helped:

  1. Anacin, a headache medicine for fast relief, increased their sales in 18 months from $18 million to $54 million. [1]
  2. GEICO experience the fastest market share growth of all auto insurers from 2000-2018. [2]
  3. Domino’s growth high and outpacing Pizza Hut and Papa John’s growth from 2013-2018. [3]


We practice what we preach, too. Growth Ramp’s USP is we help early-stage startups get 1,000 customers in a year with product marketing.


To create your USP, Growth Ramp will help you:

  1. Learn what the market and your customers feel about competing products.
  2. Discover how your product uniquely solves that problem better than the competition.
  3. Express that value in one bold and concise statement.


Now that we knew what to do, all that’s left was to create a system to consistently get predictable results for our clients.


Creating a predictable system to help you get 1,000 customers in a year


Like in my eBay and freelancing days, I began to build a playbook to create consistent growth. I looked at what worked at the later-stage startups I did freelancing for. Then I figured out the first principles which apply at early-stage startups.


This included things like:

  1. Talking to customers to understand how to better serve their needs.
  2. Starting by doing things that don’t scale. Then creating a process to automate and scale what works and remove what isn’t working.
  3. It’s better to have a small number of customers love your product than many who are indifferent.
  4. Doing whatever it takes to get to product-market fit. Then relentlessly test new growth ideas.
  5. Working backward to find out what inputs we need to create the desired output of 1,000 customers.


Are you ready for Growth Ramp to help you get 1,000 new customers in a year?


What I’ve told you on this page is easier said than done. After all, “If information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.” [4] 


The world of technology is fast-paced and rapidly changing. So too is the competition who are competing for your customers.


This is why we treat our agency as a startup. Yes, we have a system to create predictable growth. We also are constantly testing and fine-tuning our system to help you get faster results.

Want to see if your startup is a fit for our services? 


Then click the button below, fill out our application, and we’ll get in touch if we’re a fit.

Apply to Hire Growth Ramp

[1] “Reeves, Rosser (1910-1984).” Ad Age, September 15, 2003. https://adage.com/article/adage-encyclopedia/reeves-rosser-1910-1984/98848.

[2] “Just 3 of the Top 10 Largest Auto Insurers Grew Market Share During 2018 in the U.S.” CollisionWeek, March 27, 2019. https://collisionweek.com/2019/03/27/just-3-top-10-largest-auto-insurers-grew-market-share-2018-u-s/.

[3] “How Has Domino's Fared with Respect to Other Pizza Chains?” Trefis. Accessed May 7, 2020. https://dashboards.trefis.com/no-login-required/94WMiQaR?fromforbesandarticle=dominos-pizza-inc-leads-pizza-chain-growth-across-the-world.

[4] Ferriss, Tim. “Derek Sivers Reloaded – On Success Habits and Billionaires with Perfect Abs (#128).” The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss, December 28, 2015. https://tim.blog/2015/12/28/derek-sivers-reloaded-on-success-habits-and-billionaires-with-perfect-abs/.