AskPat 337 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: What's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 337 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week, and before we get to today's question from Eric, I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks.com, helping keeping that show running, and paying the people, the amazing people, who help me put this together.
Mindy, I'm looking at you, or I'm not looking at you right now. It's kind of creepy, but you know what I mean. Now I want to thank FreshBooks.com because they're an amazing company that I've used in the past and are helping me keep my finances in order, and they can help keep your finances in order as well. Because in the online space, there's a lot of things going on with finances, and it can be really hard to manage. Especially come tax season, you want to make sure everything is organized properly for yourself, for your CPA, or anybody who's doing your taxes for you. They are the best cloud accounting solution on the world, so you got to check it out. They have a 30-day free trial that you can get if you go to GetFreshBooks.com, and you enter “AskPat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us” section. They keep track of everything from money coming in, money going out, and also invoicing for you and your business as well, so check it out. Go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” to get a 30-day free trial.
Okay. Here's today's question from Eric.
Eric: Hey Pat. This is Eric with AboutMyWoods.org. First of all, thanks for all you do, been a big fan of yours for a couple years. You and I actually met at Agents of Change last year in Portland, Maine, and really appreciate all that you've done for me and for your community. We've now got an app out to help forest landowners in the Northeast learn about their woods and connect with professionals that can help them. My question's pretty simple. What are some methodologies we can use to get this app in front of as many people and on as many phones as possible? The population we're dealing with sometimes uses internet as a research tool but certainly not exclusively, so any ideas on creative ways we can increase downloads and get the app out as much as possible is much appreciated. Importantly, we don't need to monetize this app, so that might influence ways you think about how we get this out. We really just want people to have the tool and use the information. Thanks!
Pat Flynn: Eric, what's up? Thank you so much for the question, and this is an app question which I like, and more so an app marketing question, and it's really interesting because a lot of people ask me for app marketing advice, and oftentimes, it's a very, very specific course of action that each and every individual app has to take, and it's a lot based off of who that app is for. There's some general strategies that you can use, but really what it comes down to when it comes down to the success of an app, especially if it's niche down like this Eric, is where is your audience? Where are they at? Thinking about that and how you can get your app in front of them in those particular places.
Now first and foremost, before you even go out and start reaching out to find people and connect with people, influencers, people with email lists, people who own companies who might get ahold of everybody else who wants your app, you need to have some incentive to download your app. So I assume, I'm assuming and I'm hoping, that the tools that you provide, the resource that the app is, provides enough incentive for people so that when they see it, it's almost stupid that they don't download it. That's what we want all of our apps and programs and products and anything that we create. We want people to be like, “Wow, where was this my whole life?” and “I cannot live without this.” That's how you succeed with whatever you're creating. You want people to just think about your stuff that way. This is for everybody out there listening. You want them to say, “Wow, where were you my whole life?” Or if they are following you now, you want them to be upset if you were to leave or stop what you're doing or that product were to go away. That's the kind of fandom that you want.
Alright, so I'm getting repositioned here, because we're going to start talking, so again making sure that there's some sort of incentive in there. Now you can do a little bit of sort of pushing in there in terms of even more incentive to get people to subscribe. One of the things that a lot of people on apps struggle with, especially when it's kind of B2B like this, is the businesses don't feel like they have time, or they don't feel like it's worth it. Now what is something that all businesses want? They want exposure. They want some sort of free exposure for stuff is always good, and so one of the best things you could do is perhaps have people register to use the app, and when they register, it gets their business put or placed into a directory that is searchable and findable in there with their address, their phone number, location, geolocation, maybe a map or whatever. That's one small thing that I know a lot of apps do that incentivizes businesses specifically to sign up for things. Well, you get free access and directory. You get a little bit more exposure as a result of this, so that is oftentimes, especially if it's a easy registration process, enough push for people to go ahead and pick it up and actually use it.
Now you have to find the people in the first place, so that's the really biggest thing is, where are your audiences? One of the best things to do is look online. You can search on Google. You can type in in Google “forum:” and then your keyword. You can type in “blog:” and your keyword, and you can find communities and blogs out there that specifically speak to the same people that you're trying to reach. What you want to do is go in there, see what kind of content they're creating, see if it aligns, and if it does, you reach out to those site owners. You build a relationship with them. You talk to them. You give them access to this. You offer to write a guest post. You do a guest video, for example, showing them what it's like and that they would love to share it with their audience as well. Those are things you can do and should be doing when you find the owners of those online communities, and it's not just blogs and forums as well, but there's groups, maybe LinkedIn groups or Facebook groups, talking to the group owner, interviewing them. They're going to want more exposure for their own groups, and that way you can cross-pollinate and help each other out at the same time.
Now there's another thing that comes to mind, not just going out there to online communities and forums, but going out there to established agencies and bodies of councils or whatever. The thing that comes to mind is when I was doing the LEED exam study guide. One thing that helped promoted that quite a bit was the fact that my site and my book were mentioned on chapter websites for the United States Green Building Council, so different cities have different chapters of LEED, and a lot of those chapters would mention my book as a resource, which was a great way to promote my book for me, and it was cool, because it sort of helped naturally even before I started monetizing, which was really, really cool. So I feel like if you can get in touch with the chapters, for example, the bigger body or the government body of the line of work that you're in. That can go a really, really long way because it just takes one or two of those influential people in those spaces to then be able to give the green light to somebody to send an email out for you or to just recommend and have you as a resource on their page. So again, that's another thing that you could do as well.
Again, speaking of that email list, that's going to be really important. If you can somehow grab a database or find somebody with a database with all these people on it, it might just take one simple email or maybe an email and then a followup email a few weeks later to really get to that tipping point where it just begins to go off on its own, and people start talking about it and saying, “Hey, do you have this app?” or “Do you have this app?” Again, making sure that there is enough incentive in there with the tool and the resource and perhaps this directory you include in it as well.
Another thing you could do is go to places where people go to looking for new stuff related to your entry. Now what am I talking about? Well, conventions and trade shows and things like that. I don't know if there's anything like that for the industry that you're in, Eric, but that's something that you could do, and you could bring a demo or a television to demo it or things like that, have a little booth, and you might have to pay for a little bit of that. I wouldn't necessarily worry about Facebook ads and Google AdWords and things like that. That, I don't feel like, based on your earlier comments, are going to really work. What's going to really work is finding large groups of people in your audience together and finding influencers who can reach out and talk to them, whether through an email list or a forum or a discussion group or something like that, so that's really what's going to work best for you. Then also what I would do is make sure to have a really, really well done demonstration, again, showing the ins and outs of exactly what this tool can do and why everybody should have it, so a great demo reel. You might even want to pay a little bit for that, talking a little bit about the big problems that people are having and why this app was created, and then also how it works and how it functions. And again, another thing that holds a lot of people back from using apps is that it's just sometimes too difficult, so too many clicks, too many buttons, too confusing, too many choices. Those are all things that people see before they get an app that stops them in their tracks. If it's super simple and easy to use, people are likely to grab it, especially if it simply gives them that quick win and those resources that they've always needed that you've finally been able to give to them.
Eric, thank you for the question. I hope that helps. Any of you guys out there, if you have any suggestions for Eric in getting his app out there, go ahead and use the hashtag #AskPat337 on Twitter. Again, that's #AskPat337. We can continue this conversation on Twitter as well, so Eric, check out that hashtag to look at followups to this particular episode, and we're going to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show, so thank you again for the question. For those of you listening, if you have a question you'd like featured here on the show, all you have to do is head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there on that page.
I also want to thank FreshBooks.com for their amazing sponsorship of the show, and just how amazing their software is, because when I first started I used Excel to keep track of all my finances, which was a huge, huge mess, and it wasn't until my CPA was like, “Hey, you got to try out FreshBooks,” that really was a game changer for me. And it's just a fantastic way to organize your finances, especially if you're doing any invoicing. If you're plan on invoicing any students, or maybe you are doing some consultations, or you have clients of some sort, FreshBooks makes it super easy for you to do that in a very professional manner, so you can get paid faster and do more or what you need to do to get paid, so check it out. Again, you can go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat” in the “How Did You Hear About Us” section. Again, go to GetFreshBooks.com and enter “AskPat.”
Alright, now as always, I like to end with a quote, and today's quote is from Thomas L. Watson. He says, “Don't make friends who are comfortable to be with. Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up.”
Love that. Thanks guys. Cheers.
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