This article includes one of Museum Hack’s top growth hacks.
It’s a hack that helped land our “renegade museum tours” in the New York Times and dozens of other media outlets, and propel the company to ~$2.8 million in annual revenue, enough to join the Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America.
What is Museum Hack?
Museum Hack started as a side project in 2013. Founder, Nick Gray, went on a date to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, and that night he fell in love… with the museum. Nick started leading free tours of the museum for his friends that included stories, icebreakers, wine, etc.
After a couple of months, a journalist called Nick’s tours “the best tour money can’t buy”, and 1000 people joined a waitlist to come on tour. Nick hired a tour guide to help lead all these tours, and started charging for tickets so he could pay the guide.
Since then, we’ve bootstrapped Museum Hack into a nearly $3 million revenue per year business. We offer public tours in NYC, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC; plus private tours and company team building activities in these cities and more.
Our growth has allowed us to launch a sister company, The Great Guac Off, which runs team building activities via a guacamole making competition. Our clients include HelloFresh, Twilio, EY and more.
Growth Hack: The PR Video Hustle
One of Museum Hack’s most successful growth marketing tactics is what we call the “PR Video Hustle.” We’ve used this technique to land features and mentions in major press like Forbes, Vogue, the Chicago Tribune, Inc. and the New York Times. Our most successful PR hits generate an immediate $10,000+ in new sales, plus the ongoing benefit of the inbound link for our SEO efforts. Here’s how it works:
First, you research a short list of journalists, reporters and high-profile bloggers that are interested in your space (for us this is either the museum industry, corporate team building or similar B2B offerings).
Next, you record a less-than-one-minute selfie video inviting that contact to demo your product. An example script is “Hi Sam, I’m Michael from Museum Hack and we lead renegade team building activities at the world’s best museums including here in NYC. I read your recent article in [media outlet] and loved it; it seems like we are really aligned with values.. I’d like to invite you to come experience one of our tours. No strings and no requirement to write about it, though if you do choose to then we are happy to support with quotes, data points, high quality photos, etc.. Thanks and hope to see you at the museum!”
Then, you upload your video to a free site like YouTube and send the link to your targets via email and Twitter, together with a very short message (four sentences or less).
Here are some pro tips to make sure you get the desired results:
- Write a short, concise email. Nobody wants to find your video link embedded somewhere in a 300+ word email. Go with four sentences max.
- One minute max. Do not send out videos that are longer than one minute, and don’t add boring b-roll. Make sure you put the important stuff at the beginning.
- Don’t stress about production quality. The entire video should be one, uncut selfie video, like you would send to a friend. If you make a mistake, either re-record or leave it in. The more natural the better.
Why The PR Video Hustle Works
The PR Video Hustle works because journalists mostly receive long, wordy-pitches by email (sometimes dozens or even hundreds of pitches each day). Your video is something different that will stand-out in their inbox, and since it’s customized with the journalists and media outlet shows that you didn’t just spam out the same message to dozens or hundreds of outlets.
What was your greatest growth hack? Please comment with your thoughts and recommendations.