How to Design Sustainable Growth

I know you’ve read a bunch of great marketing articles and books.

And that you’re experimenting, learning, growing, each and every day.

Still, some might find that their work and campaigns lack focus and synergy. You’re doing something on social media, you’re doing something with video, you have paid campaigns running, etc.

But how do they really help you reach your long-term goals?

In this article, I’ll show you how all GlobalOwls’s campaigns and marketing efforts work together to reach sustainable growth and how you can design your strategy for growth.

Sustainable Growth A.K.A. Never Stop Growing

This is what we’ll discuss in this article

Pick the right metrics

So what do you want to grow? And why?

At GlobalOwls, we want to grow our:

  1. email subscribers
  2. community members that give advice to nonprofits.

(BTW On GlobalOwls, we made it super simple for Marketers and Designers to give short pieces of advice to Nonprofits so they can become more effective with their digital channels. Check it out here.)


Because we find that we can engage best with people from our email list rather than first-time visitors or followers on social media and because our entire business model revolves around our community members.

For you, this could be the number of donors for your nonprofit, amount of subscribers for your SaaS business and even the amount of social followers. It really depends on what you do and what you’re trying to achieve. As long as you can retain people on some sort of way, you can grow that metric.

Be sure you know exactly WHY the metrics you select are important to you.

How our marketing efforts work together (one of our Marketing Flywheel)

  1. we decide which topics would help our readers best
  2. we do our keyword research to be sure we rank for the keywords we want to rank for and enhance our piece of content
  3. we publish our piece of content
  4. we amplify our reach by reaching out to partners, sharing it on social media, sharing it with our email subscribers, etc.
  5. by doing this we grow our social media following, mailing list and community members

The best part about the marketing flywheel

The best part is that each time we repeat this circle, we see better results.

Each time:

  1. we have a better understanding of the needs of our audience
  2. our keyword research list grows larger and it takes less time to research new keywords
  3. we become faster at publishing content and creating the right visuals
  4. we grow our influence, our social following, our mailing list, our REACH
  5. our domain and brand grows stronger

A few things to keep in mind when designing your marketing flywheel

A marketing flywheel is a strategy

The flywheel I described above is designed for our content marketing strategy. You can design your own according to your talents and needs.

Because it’s a strategic choice (thus for the long-term), don’t expect to get insane results from the start.

You won’t be writing that viral piece of content, you won’t be having a lot of partners, social followers, email subscribers, domain authority, etc.

You need to build this up.

If you would design a ‘Pay per click’ marketing flywheel you would also not have the same results as when you’ve repeated the process a dozen times.

With a pay per click marketing flywheel, after each ideation you would learn which creatives work best, which price to set, which people to target, you name it.

Marketing flywheel = not Growth Hack

This is important to keep in mind.

According to Growth Hacking, you run an experiment to validate or invalidate an idea (short term).

Since Marketing flywheels take time to reach their potential.

Each and every marketing flywheel will yield poor results the first time you implement it unless you’re lucky.

What you CAN do is come up with ideas to improve those tiny bits in between (test your email subscription button, test how you can hack your way into reaching more people on Twitter, etc.)

Strategy and Growth Hacking can go hand in hand, but you need to know when to do what.

Without retention, growth won’t be sustainable

Don’t even think about putting all your efforts towards growing your social following, email subscribers, donors, clients, you name it and not putting any work in retaining them.

That’s just…

Filling up a basket with a lot of holes.

One great way to retain people so they don’t churn is to be genuine, create a brand and be niche focused.

If you’re doing a lot of things for everyone.

You’re doing nothing for no one.

Focus your efforts on the people that LOVE what you have to offer.

You might be able to reach fewer people (because it’s going to be a niche) but if they absolutely love what you have to offer, they won’t churn.

Always be learning!

This mindset will set you up for success. Learn as much as you can about your audience so you know which product to develop, which content to create, how to keep them happy so they don’t churn but also how to test new ideas and see how your audience responds.

Once you think you know it all and you don’t need to put in the effort to improve what you do.

You’ll be out of luck.

Other related articles

Over to you

Share your thoughts about sustainable growth in the comment section below. I’m really looking forward to reading your comments about growth hacking and strategy ;).

Originally published at on May 12, 2018.



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Raul Tiru

Raul Tiru


Co-founder, Founder Let’s create memorable content. #ContentCreation, #ContentMarketing, #Nonprofit