Most of you know I’m a huge advocate of networking. Going to conferences, attending meetups, creating Mastermind groups, and reaching out to people who’ve inspired you are all huge impacts on how you do business. I’ve built relationships when first starting app development that have lasted until this day. We still share tips, mastermind, and introduce great programmers. Our own App Empire Alumni members know the power of networking through our amazing facebook group and have utilized it very well. Not only do these opportunities create knowledgeable relationships, but they can increase your downloads by hundreds and thousands. How?
In this audio, you will learn how I use cross-promotion to increase downloads and generate more revenue, while building strong relationships.
Click here to listen to App Cross-Promotion: The lifeblood of your business
Interviewer: How important is cross-promotion when launching your app?
Chad: Cross-promotion is crucial for building your app network, which obviously is the most important thing to growing your business.
I: And how do you cross-promote when you first launch?
C: Typically there’s a couple ways in the beginning. What I did is I emailed a lot of…I emailed 15-20 different companies that had similar apps that I did, so entertainment apps. You want to make sure that you follow the demographic and I basically just showed them that I was passionate about apps and that I really wanted to form a relationship with them. And so I started by email and then I ended up going to some different networking functions and met people that way.
I: What do you offer when cross-promoting with them?
C: So with cross-promotion, the more page is definitely one of the best becaue you can have different banners. You also can do nag screens, so nag screens are the best real estate in your app. You basically make a deal with the person, you know, I promote you and you promote me. You can get as specific as you want: I want basically this many impressions or click-throughs. However you want to do it. In the beginning, I made it really easy because I feel like you can overcomplicate it to most people and then they don’t end up doing the deal. So my advice is to just get going in some manner, but make sure they have traffic because if they don’t have traffic it’s kind of pointless.
I: When should you be looking for cross-promoting options? Are there certain milestones where it is the most important?
C: Always, always. Even when you have partners actually, it’s important to look for better partners. I would say in the beginning its crucial just because most people don’t have their infrastructure setup to get traffic. So the [banner/nag screen] spaces are worth certain amounts as you get more apps. For instance in the beginning, I had no other apps so it was really easy to give up that real estate. Once I had my own apps in there, I didn’t need those partners as much. So I would say try to get as many effective partners as you can with the intention of holding at least two or three long term because your goal is to create your own app network, which is going to be their network, but also you have your own apps you’ll want to promote in your more page.
I: What’s the best way to find cross-promotions? Do you prefer using a service or do you like using individual developers?
C: I would say both and just really test it for that person. I like indie developers personally just because there’s more flexibility there. I think when you talk to them there’s much more intrinsic value than just a one-for-one push so that’s where you can set up that relationship and set up masterminds. Most of my masterminds came from reaching out to people like this that I can cross promote with. So that’s important to look outside of that [cross-promotion] relationship and try to build the relationship.
I: So how do you break the ice when you find someone that you want to cross-promote with?
C: I usually have an example, so the first one for me I did with Lima Sky…that one was pretty lucrative for both of us because we were both starting off. They had Doodle Jump going and I had my Fingerprint Security one. And then once I had that, I started getting results and it was really easy for me to talk to other people and say, “hey this is the relationship I have, this is the type of results we get with it.” And then from that point on it seemed like a lot of the big guys, but also the small guys, were using cross-promoting and it’s now at this point really easy to say, “hey check out this app, look at this other person I’m promoting and understand that they’re getting really good results.”
I: What should you look for in a cross-promoting partner?
C: I would say, just like when you’re hiring somebody, you want to make sure that they’re low-maintenance as possible and communicate properly. They’re “in it to win it” so to speak, so they have some huge aspirations to grow their business like you do. And that you guys match up, you know, this is a person you want to contact and talk to if Apple rejects you or this is somebody that you want to count on to change really quickly a banner that you have or change the copy because you’re going through a huge launch. So this isn’t just a run-of-the-mill person that you can throw things up. Maybe in the beginning you do that just so you get some type of traffic, but since you want to spend some time on this every month, you know reassuring your network that you have these relationships, I would say make sure you think of it as one of the most important things you can do.
I: And how do you safely form this type of deal with someone especially if you don’t know them?
C: Safely, uh, I would say make sure that they’ve been in the business. You know again, it’s just getting back to a regular conversation with them. You know, there’s so much research these days you can check out their Facebook or Linkedin and get an idea of who they are. This is when I wouldn’t recommend going to a different country. Like if I was in the US I probably wouldn’t work with someone in China who I can hardly talk to or can’t really relate to, but someone in my same time zone, someone I can talk to, and that’s kind of on the same page, that’s when I want to reach out to them. You can do a contract, but for me I always just put these in emails it seems like this is just the easiest, and most people who don’t want to make it harder than it really is will be fine with that. There’s not much risk, the only risk is if they don’t promote you and you’re promoting them but you can quickly just change your links and banners to somebody else.
I: What missteps can happen along the way that you should look out for?
C: Most of the missteps are just, you know, you’re going to do a big launch, you’re pushing traffic and the person drops the ball about changing your banner or changing your link. I’ve had that happen before. Or what can happen is if you have a link on something and it’s broken and it doesn’t work, and they have all this traffic, and all of a sudden [people] can’t see your app, so thats something that can go wrong as well, so you want to double, triple check those. That’s why it’s important that the person communicates properly and is on point as much as you are.
I: How do you gauge how long you should cross-promote for?
C: Good question. Gauging it…it’s really based on that relationship. Like anything its always based on value. So people can look at it as, like for instance, I was doing 50,000 downloads a day and then I had somebody else who was doing 50,000 downloads a day. As soon as somebody starts to drop in traffic where you’re not really matching 1-for-1 you obviously have an option there to say, “hey we’re not really meeting each other’s stuff right now and we’re a little off, so you can get another partner or vice versa.” It’s really just managing their expectations. But one thing that I learned, that a lot of the people I was working with, their downloads didn’t match mine, mine were a lot higher, but they brought so much value in other ways that I decided to keep them. You know, I would have a talk with them and they would talk about certain keywords or certain other marketing tactics and I picked up so much that it didn’t really mean a lot for me to take them off because I wanted to keep that relationship strong. It’s really a per deal basis.
I: And how much impact did you feel that these deals had on your apps?
C: A large amount for sure,especially in the beginning. Before you have your own apps out there, your own network built, it’s really the life blood of your business to get going and once you have that snowball it turns into an avalanche. So I would say spend as much time as you can in the beginning. It’s a big part of your marketing plan for sure, and its a big part of your plan moving forward.
Where do you stack “networking” for your business’s priorities? In which ways are you networking? Comment below.