My Mom always likes to say that “to assume makes an ass out of you and me.” My Mom also always likes to be right. In this post I’m going to suggest you listen to marketing consultant Jay Abraham instead of my Mother which is sure to bring me some grief.
In copywriting I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t like to assume things about their readers. They start out with lots of questions like “Would you like your business to double this year?” “Are you worried how the economy will effect your industry?” or “Would you like to learn to train your dog to stop peeing on the carpet?”
I fall into the habit of starting out my writing with questions all of the time.
Conventional wisdom is that the right questions qualify the right prospects, weed out the wrong ones and helps you connect with the reader.
I thought it was a pretty good route to go.
Recently though I was reading something by Jay where he suggested to take an assumptive approach versus a question.
Most people start out with “Do you want to learn how to double your business in 1 year?”
But we forget that the people we want to respond are obviously already interested, so he recommends taking a more intimate position and saying “I know you have big goals for your business and that you aren’t satisfied where things are now. I know you want to increase sales significantly, maybe even double in the next year…”
If you do it right it can lead to the reader feeling more understood and feeling a closer connection to you which of course leads to them being more inclined to buy.
I’m sitting here at a coffee shop and just checked the stats on my iPhone app and saw that it has crossed 50,000 downloads. Woot! I know some apps get that in a day but I’m pretty excited I was able to hit that number at all.
After I had the app built and pushed it live, I wasn’t really sure what to do next. I was thinking well, I’ve got this thing now, but how do I get people to use it?
It is a little side project for me so I didn’t want to spend a ton of time on marketing and definitely didn’t want to spend much money on it.
There are 100+ things you can do for app marketing but the vast majority will be a total waste of time (app review blogs) while a few key things will bring in most of your results.
I wanted to share with you the marketing strategies I’ve used to get it to 50,000 downloads..
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A few months ago I launched my first app. I don’t know how to program and was able to hire somebody to code it for me for a grand total of $250.
It gets about 10,000 downloads a month and generates around $75/month from ad revenue.
And I don’t expect this amount to increase much, if at all. (Actually iOS 7 has made my app pretty much obsolete)
BUT this app will be worth tens of thousands to me over the next few years.
- increasing my market value
- giving me more leverage in salary negotiations
- beefing up my resume and portfolio
- helping me avoid mistakes on future software projects with larger budgets and much more at risk
If you work in interactive or tech, having an app is not only highly relevant to your career but is a huge differentiator between you and everyone else.
Even if you are in San Francisco where everybody works at a software or app company – very few people have made an app on their own.
So why is making an app worth your while even if you don’t sell it for gobs of money?
- Making something on the side shows you have initiative. Every company you want to work for values this in their people.
- Mobile isn’t where things are headed, it’s where they already are. Everyone knows this, so I want rattle off any stats here.
- It will help you develop a very desirable skill set – Not just technical skills but management skills.
- Anybody can make a website, it’s much more complicated to make an app – a.k.a. instant differentiation.
Let everybody else quit their jobs and rack up credit card debt trying to make a photo filter app that they can sell for $30 million. 99% will fail.
If you don’t have any app programming knowledge but want to make your first app, check out my free tutorial here.
Eight weeks ago I got a weird calendar invite. “Team Improv 2:30-5:30pm, for the next 7 Fridays.”
What. the. hell. is. this?
It slowly dawned on me that the unthinkable had happened… I had been selected for the next round of improv classes at the agency I work at.
The first group of 15 people had gone through the class a few weeks before so I knew that the possibility was always there but it was one of those “it can’t happen to me” things like getting a DUI or selected for jury duty.
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Philip Greenspun started and sold Photo.net and retired early at age 37. This article summarizes some of his feelings about it: The below is a paraphrasing of the section that really hit home for me..
People love to complain about their day jobs or wife and kids or whatever other excuse is holding them back from getting fit, being healthy, starting a successful business and achieving financial success.
“If only I was free of this job, I’d wake up at 6am every day and hit the gym for 2 hours. Then I’d take Chinese lessons and quickly become fluent. I’d write for a few hours every day and finish that book I’ve been thinking about.”
So why haven’t they done those things or made a decent start yet?
“Because I’m stuck in this office for 40+ hours a week.”
They continually lie to themselves by thinking that if they didn’t have these hindrances that there would be nothing stopping them. Infinite success and personal enjoyment would be theirs if not for this one minor inconvenience known as their career. [click to continue…]
I was talking to my dad on the phone last night about my idea for this post and how I had no idea how to start it.
He said I should start it with a story.
I told him I didn’t have a story.
So he told me about a time that he flew to California on a business trip. There was this guy, Dr. Ivan Misner, who he had been keeping tabs on for years. Dr. Misner just happened to live near San Diego.
Ivan is an author and the founder of BNI, a business networking organization with hundreds of thousands of members.
He had never met the guy, or spoke with him before, but he knew about his organization and really respected what he was doing.
So he thought to himself, just for the hell of it that he would email him. He has absolutely nothing to lose, and it could potentially open an otherwise closed door.
And Ivan replied back and told him to come by his house to continue their conversation.
So my dad went, they talked for hours, and if he had never tried he never would have wound up in his living room that night.
“Success..will come to us in the exact degree of the effectiveness with which we live each day.” – Earl Nightingale
I was surfing around on Quora the other day and came across this response by Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, to the question ”What was the biggest turning point in your life?” His answer struck me because it is so counter to how many people believe successful people became successful.
We like to attribute the success of others to one major event or lucky break because it’s easy to dismiss it and point that out as the reason they’re successful and we’re not.
The Mclaren F1 LM doesn’t have a radio or audio system. It sells for over $4 million.
Who would pay that much for a car that doesn’t have a radio?
A radio isn’t important for someone looking to buy a super car – lighter weight, acceleration, speed and looking awesome is what matters.
Know what’s most important to your customer.
The story below is from the book at the top of my recommendations list – This is Earl Nightingale. Pick it up if you can find it and afford it (unfortunately it’s out of print and currently over $400 on Amazon.)
“A young woman pianist once gave a performance to a large group of women. Afterward, a woman approached her and told her she’d ‘give anything to play like you do.’
The pianist looked up from the keys and said ‘Oh no you wouldn’t!’
As you can imagine a hush fell over the group and the woman squirmed with embarrassment. Again she repeated, ‘I would, too, give anything to play the piano as you do.’
The pianist shook her head, ‘No, you wouldn’t.. If you would, you could play as well as I do, possibly better, possibly a little worse. You’d give anything to play as I do except time… except the one thing it takes. You wouldn’t sit and practice, hour after hour, day after day, year after year.’ Then she smiled brightly, ‘I’m not criticizing. I’m just telling you that when you say you’d give anything to play as I do, you really don’t mean it. You really don’t mean it at all.’
People are forever saying ‘I’d give anything…’ but the fact remains that they don’t, they give very little, often nothing, to do the things they say they would give anything to do..”
First off, what a cold bi#ch.
But, it’s true. The lesson here is that we could achieve what we say we wanted – if we wanted it badly enough to put in the effort. But often, we don’t want things badly enough to make the necessary sacrifices. What have you been claiming you want but have done nothing to accomplish it?
Secondly, there’s an important human behavior fact here for marketing and product folks to remember: People don’t always want what they say they want or buy what they say they’d buy.