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With us today is Jon Dykstra, the creator of FatStacks.com. He will be talking to us today about Content strategies, Website monetization and the different ways of bringing in traffic.
Start a blog:
Starting a blog is a great way to help your business bring in traffic. Your customers have questions and they will usually turn to Google to find answers to their issues. When they do, you want to be sure you are their first option. By creating a blog you are able to answer many those unanswered questions. Your users are still experiencing. This not only brings real value to your customers but it also acts as
Choosing a vertical to pursue
The greatest motivator you are going to have when building out your website and your content will be a genuinely love for the work you do.. The vertical you choose is extremely important for outlining the type of business and content you will be creating. You want to make sure it aligns with both the company’s interest and your own mission.
The type of vertical you want to choose should have the potential for millions of people per month to come across it. This broad approach will allow you to have the space you need to grow. You can narrow your vertical down to only include specific topics but it might just limit your growth opportunities. By focusing on a vertical that covers several niches you are able to diversify and offer a wider range of content to your audience. Ultimately you are choosing a space that will allow you to grow every day, week, month, and year.
Create image-centric articles
With image-centric articles, you generally have a gallery of 30 images and you write content that pertains to those images. Image centric articles are very easy to write content for because you only need about a paragraph of content for every pic.
An image-centric article allows you to post the same article but have it visibly seem different every time. You do this by using a different pic for the thumbnail every time you post the article on social media. This type of system allows you to promote the same article 30 times because each time you promote the article, you do so with a different image.
If you decide to create image-centric post, make sure you are getting permission for using all the images. You do not want to go around the internet and take random pictures. Reach out to the creators and ask if you can use the image.
Transform you existing content across various platforms.
If you have a completely text-based article, consider making it a list. If you have a list, consider making it into a gallery. If you have a galley, consider making it into a short video. If you have a video, consider making it into an audio file. Experiment with your content and see what works best for your business.
The reality is that you won’t be able to always do all the work yourself. There are millions of things to do when running a website and you want to make sure your time is being used wisely. There are many task which can easily be given to someone else who is more experienced and who has a lot more time in their hands. Outsourcing allows you the choice to bring in skilled professionals or train newcomers to carry some weight off your shoulders. Examples of task you can outsource are content, video creation, social media and outreach.
Be careful when you are building out your website. As you build out your links and authority, you want to make sure to avoid being penalized by Google’s Penguin and Panda The Google Penguin update will penalize websites for unnatural link building. These are usually in the form of fake links aimed at achieving high rankings. The Google Panda update will penalize websites with low-quality content. Follow this link to see Google’s standards of “High Quality Content”.
This is the natural way of building up your media profiles. You create post which slowly build up your audience. Those post get likes and comments which are then shared around the web. The exposure drives traffic back to your media profiles. After which you can redirect visitors to your website and capture a sale. The trick to organic traffic is you have to create really engaging media to build up your social media channels. This process takes up more time than the paid route but if done right can help you capture a loyal audience.
Most of the social media platforms are for advertising. Meaning you can pay to boost up your ads and post to capture your desired audience. If you decide to go down this route you need to test various types of content and ads to effectively gain the most traffic for your money. The benefit to paid traffic is the paid post looks like a regular post, so you generate fans quickly while gaining traffic.
Go for long tail traffic.
Long tail keywords are specific keywords, usually in the form of phrases, that your visitors use to focus their search. Instead of just trying to rank for “speaker” you could instead try to rank for “triangle shaped wireless water speakers”. The traffic you bring in will be more stable and faithful because it is specialized to your audience’s needs.
The downside of long tail traffic is you have to publish a lot of content to get any real significant traffic from it. You have to be extremely patient but once you start to capture an audience you will be well on your way.
For those of you who are not very patient, you want to launch with the potential to use paid traffic. Facebook ads and Native ads are a great place to start. Just be careful with properly planning and budgeting for paid traffic because it requires a lot of testing before you get the results you want
Monetization through this process starts with finding an affiliate program. Once you sign up for the program you will be given a link for products or services on their website. You then build this link into your site and drive traffic towards it. You receive money when people click the link and buy something from the site, fill out a form, or complete a download. You are given anywhere between 4-10% when a customer completes the sale.
These are the digital banners found in websites and apps. They commonly include images, videos and audio to promote a product and brand. Ad networks will typically give you banner and codes for you to integrate the ads into your website and app.
You can get your own display ads by applying to google’s adsense program. Before you do, make sure your site matches their standards and that you read the terms of condition so you know exactly what you are getting yourself into.
Another program to consider is “Exoic” which is the program Jon talks about in the podcast. With this program he is able to customize the ads such as the colors and locations. Particularly he enjoy the program because it allows him to A/B split test his ads to see which of them will perform best and in which location. Exoic then takes the highest ranking spot and puts it up for auction in which companies are able to place bids for control of this space. The higher the bid, the more money he receives.
With sponsored content, a brand will reach out to a website owner whose audience matches their product. They then offer to pay the website owner to mention their product in an article or video. The article or video does not have to be a review but it does have to direct the reader towards the sponsor’s product.
Create recurring systems
These are standardized systems of exactly how you want your content to be created, formatted, and distributed. These can be created into a document or into a video and their main purpose is to train employees.
Two pieces of advice
Be careful of expanding too early
Once you start to make some money with a site it can be very tempting to want to launch a few more. Launching a new site or buying a new site takes a lot of commitment. You will have to relearn all the rules and what may have worked for your past site may not work for your new site. Your time will be heavily divided so you will not be able to give all your sites the same care and attention you were only used to giving your first site.
The longer you stay in your vertical, the better you will be at knowing what works and what doesn’t. Experiment constantly before you start to put down large sums of money into any strategy.
Till next time…
Today we covered three main strategies for building out content, monetizing your website and lastly driving traffic back to your website. We covered the importance of having a blog and even learned how to choose what type of vertical you should be in. We talked about organic and paid traffic along with warnings on how not to get penalized. Lastly we went over how to use affiliate promotions and display ads to monetize your websites. As you continue building up your business we encourage you to keep coming back for more actionable steps and explanations. Until then we wish you the best, remember to be patient and always bring value to others. Till next time!
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Digital assistants are not as far off into the future as you might think. In fact, you already know them as:
Siri from Apple
Cortana from Microsoft
Google Now from Google
Alexa from Amazon.
They act as your personal assistant and can be activated through voice commands or text messages.
Digital assistants have become incredibly sophisticated. They are able to do anything from tweeting, sending emails, researching the internet, scheduling appointments, making reservations to even telling you jokes.We found an article detailing what the digital assistants are able to do and which do it better.
For a small business, these digital assistants can be a huge relief. Often times it can be tedious scheduling appointments or trying to remember everything we need to finish today. These assistants step in to help you remember things and to make sure you follow up on your to-do list. All it takes is a simple voice command for your assistant to remind you.
Virtual assistants vs digital assistants
Digital assistants are not yet advanced enough to replace virtual assistants. Virtual assistants are human beings who work for you from a remote location. You usually interact with them entirely online or through the occasional phone call.
Virtual assistants are usually hired to do those task you might be too busy to do and which still require a human brain to process effectively. Like sorting through your emails, responding to clients, and reaching out to leads.
Virtual assistants are trained professionals who specialize in whatever you are asking from them. Think of them as your administrative assistant or secretary since their main focus is helping to take some weight off your shoulders.
The main lesson here is you do not have to choose one over the other. The digital assistant can easily handle your low-level administrative task like scheduling and reminders. Allowing you to pass on more complicated task to your virtual assistant.Both the digital assistant and the virtual assistant can work hand in hand.
How to use Digital Assistants
If you are not already, we encourage you to start experimenting with whatever digital assistant you have with you. We have included links to help you learn how to use them.
Start using whatever is available to you to its highest capability. These assistants will help your team’s productivity and remove the drudgery you face on a day to day basis.
If you want to interact with your audience in real-time, live streaming should be on your list of strategies to use. With live streaming you are the on-the-spot broadcaster reporting live to all your fans. The best part is that you no longer need expensive equipment, you just need your phone.
The way it works is you download a live streaming app from your preferred app store. You create a profile and you are now able to stream live video recordings straight from your phone. The beauty of these apps is that anyone can easily pick it up and start broadcasting.
Any small business looking to use live streaming needs to know a few things. Live streaming is spontaneous with little ability to fix mistakes. If you say something you should not have, you have to deal with the consequences. Be ready to make mistakes and leave room for ambiguity. If you try to remember every line of dialogue you will be more likely to make a mistake.
Keep in mind that many of the videos taken through live streams are temporary. Meaning that after 24 hours, the video you worked on will be gone. This can be a huge problem if you are trying to use these videos for your marketing. If you are using periscope, use the following link to learn how to save your videos.
There was a time in which setting up a software package with your department was a huge deal. They were very expensive which meant you had to justify the cost through multiple meetings, writing proposals and having the money in your budget. Lastly, you had to schedule time with your IT to make sure everything would run smoothly. But now, everything is much simpler with the cloud
The cloud has been a huge game changer for small businesses. By having software that is readily available online, it has allowed any business access to an ever-expanding toolset. All without the usual technological and financial limitations that once haunted businesses.
Companies are now able to get a program up and running in minutes by simply creating an account online. Programs can be free or if they are paid then you just put in a credit card number. No more invoices to worry about since access through the software is paid on an annual or month to month basis.
Till next time…
Today we learned that business is stepping into a new age thanks to our advances in technology. Digital assistants are able to take off the drudgery we face from small menial tasks such as scheduling, reminders, and to-do list. While virtual assistants are able to take on our more complicated and time-consuming task such as sorting through emails, responding to clients, and reaching out to leads. Live streaming is making it easier than ever for anyone to host their own live events. Offering a rich and new way to interact and market to customers. Lastly, the cloud has changed the game by having software that is readily available online. Allowing any business access to an ever-expanding toolset without the usual technological and financial limitations that once haunted businesses.
Influencer marketing is a marketing channel through which a business can get touch with their target audience through influencers. Influencers are people or organizations who have a large following usually through a blog or any other form of social media.
Influencer marketing is crucial for any business looking to increase their sphere of influence. The majority of businesses on the web do not have a larger following. You can find any business through search engines but a business is usually not actively building up followers. Traditionally, it is the blogger who is building up this audience.
The business then reaches out to the bloggers with the most relevant audience. If the blogger feels the business provides his/her audience value, then a partnership is established. In this partnership, the blogger will promote the business and the business will promote and compensate the blogger.
Ultimately, influencer marketing is the process by which a business reaches out to an individual or organization with a large following. With the hope that the two may find a mutually beneficial solution to promote each other’s business, products and events.
Choosing an Outreach Campaign
Before you begin to reach out to influencers, you first you have to understand what type of campaign you are looking to run. The following are the most common Outreach Campaigns:
Guest Posting: You write up an article and publish it on a blog or website that is not your own.
Product Reviews: You send out a sample, trial, or free product to an influencer and ask them to give you their opinions. You can also include a list of topics you would like for them to focus on as they review your product.
Giveaway: You partner up with an influencer and have them promote a giveaway you are hosting.
Recruit Affiliates: You recruit an influencer into your affiliate program. In this campaign, the influencer is promoting your product and getting paid for every lead that converts.
Link Building: You are asking influencers to link to your website, product page, or video.
Featured Guest: Trying to get featured in somebody’s content or on their resources page
Content Promotion: Writing up an article and then looking for influencers to promote it and share a link to it.
Expert Roundup: Featuring a list of influencer’s responses in your content
Reverse Guest Post: You invite an influencer to guest host on on your blog.
Once you’ve decided what type of campaign you’re running then you start looking for the influencers who are most relevant to the audience you are looking to get in touch with.
If you sell toy airplanes are remote control cars or something like that you may be interested in bloggers who are you writing to kids or maybe to adults who will be looking to buy it for their kids as presents. In this case you would be reaching out to parenting bloggers, dad bloggers, and mom bloggers.
Influencer marketing is all about understanding what niche holds the audience you looking to get in touch with.
Ranking the importance of an influencer
No amount of analytics is going to tell you exactly how many sells you can expect from working with a blogger or what the long-term benefit will be. Ultimately it is up to your own discretion as to who you wish to choose.
To guide you, we have put together few metrics by which you can quantify whether or not you think a blogger will be a good fit for what you are after:
Number of followers
Marketing yourself to influencers
Keep in mind that influencers are typically receiving a lot of request. Their time is precious, so if you are asking for their help you have to make sure you are offering them something of value. The following are a few questions you should have ready when you approach any influencer:
Who you are
What you need them for (Your Outreach Campaign)
What you plan to offer them
If they say yes, how much time they will spend helping you
While it is important to know what you would like from an influencer, think deeply about what you have to offer. Ask yourself what you can give to the influencers and their audience. The following are a few questions to keep in mind:
Can I give them a free product?
Can I give them an offer to share with their audience?
Can I link them on my website?
How much will I pay them?
Alway give influencers and their audience something in return for the work they are doing. If you are able to offer them real value you are much more likely to strike a deal
Engaging an Influencer
People will be more likely to do business with you if they know you ahead of time. If you find an influencer you like, slowly build a relationship with them. Show them you are genuinely interested in who they are and what they do.
The following are a few ways to engage with an influencer:
Comment on their Blog
Follow them on social media
Participate in the same conversations as them
Mention them in your blog post or social media accounts
You want your influencers to know you before you ever need them. You want to have built up some some credibility and some sort of relationship that you can draw on when you actually do want their help.
Guidelines on working with influencers
Make sure that everybody is on the same page with what they are looking to get out of the partnership. You should each have a clear understanding of your expectation for the content that will be created and distributed. You do not want to be writing content and promoting it, only to find out that it is not what you were expecting. Either because they did not talk about the right things or you didn’t get the links that you were expecting to get. Being very clear up front in terms of the content and any types of deadlines will make sure that everybody ends up getting what they want.
Questions to consider:
What will be the length of the content?
What topics will be discussed in the content?
What links will be included in the content?
What are the deadlines?
Measuring success with influencer marketing
Success varies by the campaign so if you’re creating an expert Roundup then you might measure success by getting “X” number of responses and then getting some number of shares in traffic once your post goes live. But if you’re looking to do guest posting that he didn’t measure success by the number of people that say yes and post your article on the number of inbound links you get from that. Inevitably most businesses are looking for sales or customers that could be very difficult to track and measure especially because
Influencer marketing is much like content marketing in that it is mostly about building up your Brand. You are getting well known by increasing your traffic over time. This opens up the possibilities of how you can engage with your customers.
Influencer marketing is a long-term strategy with results that can take place over months. Making the whole process extremely difficult to measure upfront. Influencer marketing takes patience and consistency. If you want to see results, you are going to have to hold on for the long haul.
Things to watch out for
One of the bigger things to watch out for is really the concept of influencer marketing. You have to be sure that this is something you want to invest your time into.
A lot of people approach influencer marketing because they’ve heard about it or they read about how great it is online. Businesses get caught up in the hype and immediately implement whatever they can throw together. They get one thing published and are not satisfied with the results they were expecting.
Instead of just giving up and moving on to something else, make the effort to stick through it. You will see results in time as you perfect your strategy. Experiment as much as you can and put as much content as you can out there.Always focus on what you can learn from every post. Even if nothing works, at the very least you will have made many valuable connections.
Focus on your strengths
The most important thing to keep in mind, aside from not giving up, is to focus on what you do best. If you can write great content relatively fast then do so. If you find it a lot easier to reach out and have experts write the content for you (an expert roundup) then focus on that.
If you have a product that can not be easily reviewed then offer a trial and collect people’s feedback. If you want to do a giveaway but your product is too expensive, then offer a discount.
By focusing on your strengths you are maximizing your time and effort while guaranteeing higher quality to your customer.
Till next time…
Today we learned that influencer marketing is the process by which a business reaches out to an individual or organization with a large following. With the hope that the two may find a mutually beneficial solution to promote each other’s business, products and events. We covered outreach campaigns and how to identify the right influencer. Lastly, we covered how to reach out, engage, and work with influencers.
With us today, is Dominic Wells. The Co-founder and director of strategy for ownyourpage.com. He will be talking to us today about rankings and improving your company’s search presence through Google
Organic vs Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Organic seo, also known as regular seo, is done for global businesses or entities that only require an online presence such as an e-commerce business or a blog. These types of businesses have no need for a geographical location in their search terms.
Ranking for an online business is much more competitive. As an online business you will be competing globally for ten spots on Google’s first page. This is especially difficult when you are competing for general industry terms such as “Tooth care” and “Best ways to whiten your teeth”
Local seo is used for businesses that have a physical location which customers visit such as a clinic or a restaurant. Local seo can also be used by tradesman such as electricians or plumbers to let people know they provide their services in the area.
Ranking for a local search term is also much easier. You will have less competition trying to rank for a local term such as “Dentist in Austin”. With local seo you will only be competing against people in your city or your neighborhood which radically increases your chances of being in the top three searches in Google.
Set up your Google My Business
Creating a “google my business” account is the first step to getting your business to rank on google. This is essentially an online business listing which showcases your business on google’s search results. After you create your profile, be sure to fill out all the contact information for your business such as the name, phone number, address as accurately as possible.
To verify your information, Google will send out a postcard with a code to your business address. Once you get this code you simply type it into your account. This lets Google knows your business is real and allows you to start advertising your business on Google.
Claim your business
Most of the big directories such as yellow pages will find businesses on their own and create a default listing based on whatever information they can find. The only issue with this system, is that your business will not be presented the way you want it to be. To avoid outdated information and to sustain consistency, you should claim your business with these directories.
Every directory has a different procedure for claiming your business but for the most part you just need to reach out. Let them know this is your business and that you would like to claim it. They will either allow you to easily update the information or they might need proof you own the business. Generally they will just call your business number to talk to you.
These are virtual mentions of your business found in listings and directories such as Yellowpages and yelp. Make sure your citations are all consistent and accurate as well. All your contact information has to be written exactly the same in every citation and directory.
Geo Tag Your Images
Use geoimgr to tag all your images with your business location. You simply drop a pin on the Google map and then it is tagged with those coordinates. You then download the image again, save it, and use it for your website, directories, and Google my business page
Geo tag all your pictures. Everything form your company logo, a picture of your office, or your product should be tagged with your coordinates. You simply
This type of seo is done entirely from the content you have on your website. Google scans your content for key words so it knows exactly what type of company you are.
The best way to help Google categorize your company is by having key words and phrases that describe who you are, what you do, where you do business, and why you exist.
Having these questions answered on a paragraph in your home page gives both your readers and Google a clear snapshot of your business.
We are professional eye doctors (who you are ) serving the Austin Texas area (where you do business). We offer comprehensive eye examinations for adults and children in underserved communities (what you do). So that everyone may see a brighter day (why you do it).
Reach out to all your beloved customers and ask them to review your business. These reviews will help build trust for your business and make your company more visible in google’s search.
You are not allowed to bribe your customers into giving you reviews because all reviews must be genuine. The best way to guarantee great reviews is to treat your customers with respect through exceptional customer service.
What is google’s local 3-pack?
The 3 pack is known as the first three local businesses that appear at the top of the search results. In this search result you will also find the top three businesses labeled as an “A, B, or C” on a Google map. As a local business, your goal is to become one of these three because they receive the most attention from searches and the most clicks to their website.
Should you start a blog?
If your company is based entirely online then a blog is the best way to gain more rankings. You are also able to utilize content based marketing to bring in more customers. When you post content through your blog, you are also telling Google that your business is still alive.
If you own a local business then building out a blog won’t increase your rankings too much. This is because google doesn’t expect you to be putting out too much content since your website is meant to be a storefront.
A blog for your local business can be used to bring value to your customers.Your superior knowledge can be the ultimate deciding factor for your customers. They will be more likely to trust your product if they can trust content.
Free DIY Ranking Course
We know you might still have a lot more questions on Google rankins and growing your online presence.. So our good friend Dominic Wells has created a free course to teach you everything you need to know! If you want to get in touch with Dominic, feel free to reach out to him here
Till next time…
We hope this podcast episode has given you valuable insight to scaling your business. As always, we are committed to your success and we believe in your mission.
Don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review our podcast on iTunes, click the link below.BuildFire iTunes Podcast
With us today is Adam Steele, the CEO and Founder of “The Magistrate (https://magistrateinc.com/)”. Below you will find short actionable summaries of what we talked about in the episode. Be sure to listen to the episode so you get the full picture before you start to implement these strategies. Here’s to your success!
Scale your business
Scaling your company is all about growing your company efficiently. The first step in achieving this efficiency is being able to accurately predict all company expenses. You need to know exactly where all your money is going so you can cut any unnecessary cost. To better track your expenses, Adam recommends building in packages.
Build in Packages
A package is a set amount of products or services you offer for a given price. By giving your customers a limited amount of options to choose from, you are better able to estimate any given cost needed to complete the project.
Consulting Firm: 8 hours of consulting over the phone for $650
SEO Marketing: 3 articles (400-500 words) a month for $500
Hiring online has its challenges
Not everyone is who they say they are. Applicants are able to hide behind a screen, put up a beautiful resume, and formulate the perfect response over email. You will never know for sure the true abilities and personality of an applicant. Use the following strategies to give you a deeper understanding of who they are and what they can do.
The new employee may not fit in with your company’s culture or complete task up to your standards. Even so, do all you can to pave the way for their success. Either way, have a probation system in place and let them clearly know how many times you will tolerate failure before they are out of the game. This will keep new workers accountable and will give them an understanding of what is expected.
Hire someone new to the game
Hiring an inexperienced employee, allows you to grow the talent you need. Newcomers are extremely eager to learn and more than willing to work countless hours to get the job done.
Since they are unaware of the certain biases from your industry, they are more than likely to spot when something is wrong. Work alongside them to create innovative solutions to your problems and do not be afraid to let them experiment.
Each of your new employees have their own talents. As their boss, you should be doing everything you can to bring out the best in them.
If you plan to bring on a new employee, consider developing a training course. This gives them a clear reference to look over as they learn the basics of the job and the industry.
In the long run, having a training course will alleviate you from having to always explain exactly what you expect and how to go about creating it. Be sure to include clear examples of finished work to aspire to.
You are not the only one
Often times you can find yourself working on an overwhelming amount of work. This is great for jobs only you can do but the reality is that some of your work can be passed on. Passing on your work can take immense pressure off your shoulders. Which frees you up to give extra time to more important task.
Ask yourself the following questions before you pass on your work. If you answer “no” to any of these, then you should pass on your work.:
Am I the only one who can do this?
Do I personally have to do this?
Is there anyone else in my company that can do this?
Is there anyone else I can hire to do this?
Automate your work
Not everything has to be done personally by someone in your company. You can shave off hours of repetitive work that can be done in seconds by a program. Ask your in-house programmer for suggestions on what you can automate. If you do not have a programmer, do a bit of research before you begin automating anything.
Here are a few examples of task you can automate:
Responding to emails
Posting to social media
Do as much as you can with the little that you have, before you start using what you do not have. When starting out a business it can be very tempting to take out a small business loan or place yourself in credit card debt. After all, we need money for everything we do.
Still, consider starting out with a minimum viable product that you can scale over time. This product has the bare bones of what you need and is by no means meant to be the finished product.
This gives you a product to run through your customers. Using their feedback you adjust and continue making changes. If your company fails, then it will not be too much of a financial hit for you and you can move on to something else.
Go all in
The other extreme is to give it all you got by putting yourself in a high stakes situation were everything depends on your success. You are constantly trying new things and failure to succeed could mean not eating anything that day or being kicked out of your home.
Using this strategy you have either taken out a small business loan or you have maxed out your credit cards. This is a very risky strategy and should be carefully calculated. Every dollar spend needs to be a stepping stone towards an ultimate goal.
If you choose to go this route, be prepared to lose everything but by no means give up.
You are not alone
People want to help you, you just have to be willing to reach out. Stay humble, listen, and be thankful regardless of what help they do or do not give you. There is just too much work and you are doing yourself and your company a disservice by keeping everything withing your own limitations.
Tools/Strategies to growing your business
Upwork: A great place to find free-lancers to outsource your work to.
Groups: Find and join a community you intent to grow inside of. Then spend about an hour a day getting to know the members and contributing to their success. Here you will make many meaningful partnerships and customer leads.
Trello: A free tool to help you organize information and manage your projects.
Slack: A messaging app for teams to communicate instantly. It eliminates the need to email your team which allows you to get things done faster.
Freshbooks: A small business accounting software which helps you invoice clients, track time, and log expenses.
Referral Spam Tool : A free tool created by Adam that helps remove referral spam from Google Analytics.
Till next time…
We hope this podcast episode has given you valuable insight to scaling your business. As always, we are committed to your success and we believe in your mission.
[showhide type=”transcript” more_text=”Read Transcript (%s More Words)” less_text=”Hide Transcript (%s Less Words)” hidden=”yes”]
Speaker 1: Welcome to ignite the gears buildfire this official podcast all about business development, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship. We invite the leaders who are disrupting the industry to share their strategies, tricks, and wisdom. I’m your host Librado Hernandez, and with me today is Adam Steele, CEO of the magistrate. And will be taking to us today on scaling a company.
So, Adam. Thank you so much for being on the show. And for our first question, what does it mean to scale your company?
Speaker 2: Grow your company efficiently. Be able to predict what your expenses will be, because you’ve created this really efficient, smoothly running machine. For every ‘x’ revenue, you can expect ‘y’ expense. Which is great with kind of SEO and Link build. A lot of what we do is built in packages.
So I know exactly how many hours will be required to perform a particular task. And to fulfil a particular package. Which is nice if you’re selling products you can predict your expenses much more easily.
Speaker 1: What is an example of a package? And what are the benefits of having them?
Speaker 2: Yeah. A package whereby they’ll receive like ninety citations. So ninety local business directories, emissions, or whatever it might be. I know exactly what that cost is going to be down to the cent. And that’s a beautiful thing. And one thing about packages and services that more or less processed out like these are is, I will often not touch a single thing that happens with that rendering of services. I’ll not be at all involved.
The order will come in while I’m sleeping and it’ll be completed by the time I wake up. I’ll never touch that order. And so that will be, I’ll know that that order was for $500. I’ll know that it’s going to cost me $100 and I know that $400 before tax, before overhead, is going to go into my bank account. And that’s a beautiful thing.
Speaker 1: Tell us a bit about outsourcing and how you build your team.
Speaker 2: Well, we are a, as you well know, we are a completely remote group. We started with one guy. So me and one guy. His name is John. I found John via Odesk or formerly Odesk, now Upwork. And adds that layer of difficulty, because people can sort of hide behind a keyboard or it’s tough to get a sense of them just from a resume and chatting with them on Skype or something like that. I found that I went through a lot of people. It’s not some specific to Upwork or anything like that. I’m sure it’s the same case on Elance or Freelance. It’s really hit or miss.
Speaker 1: So what should I be doing to find great applicants, and should I consider inexperienced worker?
Speaker 2: You have to put together a really good job description. You have to have the right questions. Sometimes I found with John for example, and some folks after him, it’s nice to just start totally fresh. Knows how to work a computer and everything but really hasn’t learned SCO or anything like that, and teach them from scratch. For which we have guides and all that kind or stuff for now, which we didn’t have before.
But, I don’t think there is like any fancy trick. It’s a bit of a number game. You have to know exactly what you want. I would suggest that you understand that there is a lot out. You don’t have to settle. I use a three strike system. If they screw up three times, they’re gone kind of thing. Especially with new folks.
And I mean that’s kind of a given that it’s a super affordable way of going about business. Especially in those early days when you’re starting up a company, you can’t afford the $40000 a year or even like a $25000 a year. Especially if you don’t have any funding, you just can’t afford that sort of thing. And at the same time you can’t, if there are a lot of these menial type tasks which exist in what I do, you can’t afford to be spending all that time doing the stuff yourself or else you’ll never grow your business.
I found that the hard way. Is before I found John I was doing it myself. I remember sitting on a vacation. Sitting on a patio somewhere in the warm sun and, instead of enjoying myself, I was literally submitting people to yelp and the like. And creating gmails and doing all that stuff myself. I couldn’t enjoy. I couldn’t do anything. I could barely run the business. So Upwork and the like are tremendous for finding qualified folks that are affordable, and that you can sort of leverage to scale.
Speaker 1: Business owners tend to make the mistake of working in their business instead of on it. Then neglect working on a company’s vision and strategy to instead work on a day to day task. As a result, the company remains stagnant at best. What core activities do you suggest for a business to focus on?
Speaker 2: I’m still figuring that out for myself. I don’t ever want to take myself away entirely from the dirty work, I guess you can say. I still want to learn. I still want to be involved. I don’t want to become out of touch. Especially since I am, I guess of the main sales people, for myself and for my businesses.
So, I don’t think I would ever remove myself entirely, but I do practice this one thing. I ask myself, “Am I the only one that can do this? Do I have to do this? Is there nobody else in my company that can do this? Or is there nobody else that I might be able to hire to do this?” If the answer is no, I’ll likely keep doing it. And if the answer is yes, which it almost always is, I’ll jot it down and I will sort of queue it up as a task for myself to find that person that’s going to be able to take it over.
And I guess that question can be worded a little bit differently. Is there a person that can do it? Or, because I am a programmer now, can it be automated? So I think it’s just about asking yourself and being really honest with yourself. And not just brushing it off as, “It’s just five minutes a week”. It adds up over the course of a year. Over the course of five years.
You can be doing something much more important with that five minutes. Creating that invoice or whatever it might be. Yeah. Which I suppose requires a little bit of trust, a little but of faith in people to do it correctly. But, most stuff can be delegated.
Speaker 1: How do you cultivate trust within your organisation? And what do you do once that trust is broken?
Speaker 2: I hire people I can trust and then I trust them. And if it doesn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. They don’t fit, they don’t fit in. They don’t get stuff done, they don’t get stuff done. And they’re gone. I don’t hire recruiters or I don’t dig through LinkedIn or put up job ads or anything like that. When we have a need for somebody, I ask around. I ask colleagues.
But more times than not, we tend to hire before we need people. You could always do with a couple more talented, smart, eager people on my team. And so I brought them on board, and we found stuff for them to do. I can’t say that I try and calculate the ROI of any particular individual or anything. But, as long as they’re moving the needle forward for my clients, then my clients will continue to pay me money, pay us money, and things keep moving.
There’s a saying, “Hire slowly, fire quickly”. But at the same time I don’t bring on people that aren’t great people. So when I do have to let someone go, I’m letting someone go because they just didn’t quite fit. Often times, it’s my fault. I didn’t create a clear path for them. There’s a great book by the founders of LinkedIn, “The Alliance”. They don’t believe in a job for life or anything like that. They believe in a deal between an employer and an employee, whereby the employer does ‘x’ for the employee, and the employee does ‘x’ for the employer.
And so for the employer it might be, he or she helps that employee learn about ‘x’, ‘y’, and ‘z’, which will catapult that employee into their next position. Whether it be with their company or not. That’s the deal. And the employee, they make a deal with the employer, where the employer might say, “You know what, I need this particular sector of my business to grow by this amount in this time period”. So that’s your end of the bargain. So they set a time period. They say, “Okay. I want my end of the bargain to be satisfied by this time. And your end of the bargain will be satisfied by this time. And we’ll touch base throughout, and by the end of it, I hope we’ll be here”. That’s the basis for that deal between them.
Speaker 1: And that is what really helps the company grow. Is when your own employees are growing with the company. Because then the more that they know, the more that the company can use, and the more resources the company has. It should make sense that your company is also evolving with the employees.
Speaker 2: Yeah. I think you just said what I aim to say in about two sentences. Thanks for that.
Speaker 1: So how do you go about financing a company to continue it’s growth?
Speaker 2: I would recommend having some savings and that sort of thing. Apply for a line of credit or something like that. But, really boot strap. In having little to nothing. It kind of puts you in a position where you can’t fail. You failing means you’re getting kicked out of your place. You failing means you’re not eating dinner. I found that really worked for me. I never secured any financing. Or did a seed round or anything like that. Because I never knew about that stuff first of all. But also, I didn’t think Luke my idea was so good that anyone would look at me and say, “Oh my God. I want to invest in your company”.
I was doing what other people had already done. I just had my own maybe twist on it or whatever. So I am a fan of bootstrapping. And the way that I did it, is I just used one venture to find another venture to find another venture to find another venture. Tony Robins and smart dudes like him, they tell you to pay yourself first. And I don’t do that.
What I’ve been doing is I take the profit and I just put it back in either the same company or into the next company. And that’s really worked for me. We haven’t had a lot of companies that we’ve built that didn’t really work out. And I don’t know if that’s because the stakes are just too high, because it’s our own money, and there’s no backup plan. There is no like money that we’re sitting on or anything like that right.
It’s like, this is the money that we made from working our assess off at this company. But, if this doesn’t work out, cash flow is going to really suck for this other company. So this better freakin work. Honest to God. Like that is the way it is for us. And I don’t recommend it. It’s just what works for us.
So, the big thing that I would recommend when it comes to financing and all that kind of stuff related to your finances, is I wouldn’t take it on yourself. I wouldn’t do your own bookkeeping. I wouldn’t attempt to do your own taxes. I wouldn’t stay as a sole prop, longer than you absolutely have to. You can self incorporate in a lot of cases. Which I ended up doing for like 500 bucks. And about half an hour of my time.
Just don’t depend on yourself. I ended up missing out on a lot of tax opportunities. A lot of just general money saving opportunities, because I just wouldn’t ask for help. Which is ridiculous since my father is an accountant. You’d think I’d reach out to him. But I just wouldn’t. I have this horrible thing about me where I have to crash and burn myself first before I reach out for help.
And I don’t think that’s necessarily a very smart way to go for any business. With anything, whether it be your finances or other places where you’re not particularly strong. Reach out for help. Get help from people. People want to help you, especially if they see that you’re passionate, working hard. They will more than likely want to help you. So make the time. Ask for help. So that’s my thoughts on financing and running that part of your company.
Speaker 1: A lot of entrepreneurs, the mentality is usually, “It’s my company. It’s my idea. It’s my dream. I have to put it out there and have to do everything”. That does crash and burn really really fast because nobody really has the skills to do it all on their own. And building a team is really one of the most important things right off the bat, because there is a lot of missed opportunities that they’re going to come across.
Especially if you don’t have the background in business or if you don’t know much of accounting or financing or marketing. There’s so much you can do with a team of people that are going to have your back. The more you crash and burn, the more you learn, and the less mistakes you make in the future. Because that’s really how you learn. You do something like, “Oop”, we’re not going to do that again. And next time you do it better. And I feel like the crashing and burning mentality is really better than the never trying anything at all mentality, where you just let fear paralyse you completely. Just stay there. You don’t really move forward. So I feel like for a lot of entrepreneurs, if you absolutely have to take a step forward, just know that you are going to crash and your are going to burn. But, just because you do it once, doesn’t mean that that’s the end of it.
How you talked about it. You were in a pretty rough financial state, but you still moved out of that. And now you’re growing three different companies. That’s amazing. I feel that if you would have just let yourself just kind of stay in that fire, you really wouldn’t be here helping out all the people that you help out. Growing all the business that you do. And really, that’s what it all comes down to. Once you get past that threshold of, “Okay. I’ve already crashed and burned enough. I know what I’m supposed to be doing now. I’ve got a team”.
And you really start to see the bigger picture of everything that you’re doing. The lives that you’re impacting just by existing. And I feel that a lot of entrepreneurs really just need to know that even if they aren’t succeeding as much as they want to, they’re going to be making a huge difference. Either the already are or they will be in the future.
So thank you so much Adam for everything that you said. Really, everything from scaling your business to building a team to just moving forward despite what you’re current situation is. I just really appreciate everything that you’ve said.
Speaker 2: Yeah. It’s my pleasure. I love talking about this stuff.
Speaker 1: So then is there anywhere where people can go to either learn more or just any tools that you feel will be useful for them as they grow their business?
Speaker 2: Yeah. Well I can be found via the channels. Twitter: Adamgsteel. Tools for growing your business. I’ve already mentioned Upwork. That’s a good place to be. For me, one of the methods was just becoming apart of the community I intended to grow inside. So, part of the marketing community. Where do marketers hang out? Go there. Hang out with them. Talk with them. Spend an hour with them every single day. It’s worth it.
I can tell you that most of my business comes from those relationships that I’ve created over the last five to six years. I love Trello. Great tool to help out with the project management and work flow of any company I think. Slack is a fantastic tool for teams. They say it eliminates email and you get things done quicker.
Yeah. Those are kind of my two main tools. Certainly for invoicing and things like that, I love Freshbooks. And I use it for time tracking. And I use it for running PNL’s. Although I used Quick books for that as well. And then I suppose we build the little tool for referral stamps. So for those that are sort of more familiar with Google analytics, you open your sites Google analytics account. And view your site. And go to checkout the referral section.
So basically, websites that are sending you traffic. You will more than likely see some bogus sites in there. Bogus refers spam essentially. I want to explain why they’re doing it, but basically it’s to get your attention and get you to buy stuff down the road. In a nutshell. So we built a tool called the “Referral Spam Tool”. Can be found on our Loganix website. That’s Loganix.net/rst-lander, or just search referral spam tool in Google and I suspect you’ll probably find it. And it just cleans up that mess for you. So that you’re not left with corrupted data. So that you have data that is dependable, and you can make informed decisions instead of making predictions and forecasting on data that is otherwise totally inflated and inaccurate.
So I think it’s a pretty important thing to have. We built it for our clients and then we decided to sort of open it up to everybody else.
Speaker 1: So what’s next for you Adam? Either professionally or personally.
Speaker 2: Certainly scale is top of mind. As I mentioned, we are struggling to scale one of our companies, the digital marketing company, because it’s tough to package. We haven’t figured out how to package it in a way that still creates a solution that is somewhat catered to each client. So I think just working on that.
Trying to make my businesses as attractive as possible to potential buyers. Not that I necessarily want to sell them or anything. But, just should I ever get approached, I’d want them to be in such a shape that someone could essentially just take over, without having to keep me on for a year, and everything would run just as smoothly, or very close to as smoothly as it would have with me at the helm.
So just kind of basically packaging up our different businesses. Beyond that, no doubt I’ll probably want to get involved in some other types of businesses. Possibly offline businesses I think. But still some online ones. Ones that are sort of outside the realm of what I do, because you knows, SCO could disappear anytime. And if that happened, well we wouldn’t go out of business, but we would be in great shape.
So just making sure that I spend a lot of time diversifying myself and start preparing for a rainy day for myself and my team. Cause we are unfortunately a little bit too dependent on big old Google. So yeah. I’ll be focusing on that. Maybe building some tools. I like building software. So maybe creating some sort of sass product.
And anyone is very welcome to reach out to me anytime. They can reach me on my email to. Adam@magistrateinc.com. And I’m pretty darn good about getting back to people pretty quickly. So, by all means, send your questions. I’ll be thrilled to answer them.
Speaker 1: Thank you Adam so much for being on the show. And I wish you a wonderful day.
Speaker 2: Sounds good. I appreciate the opportunity.
With us today is Warren Whitlock, a digital business development strategist, and the leader of a consulting group at Social Media Team Management. Below you will find short actionable summaries of what we talked about in the episode.
Be sure to listen to the episode so you get the full picture before you start to implement these strategies. Here’s to your success!
The meaning of our work
Take a step back and think deeply about what it really means to be in business. At its core, you are catering to humanity’s basic desires. You are developing strategies and ideas that align your product/ service as the solution to their problems.
Yet we still make the mistake of thinking that if we just push something hard enough into our customer’s face that they will want it. We need to step out of this mentality and realize that the true way to win over a customer is not through constant bickering. It is through useful, engaging, catered, and thoughtful service.
Do what you can to help people
If you do not already do so, go get involved in your local community. Use the skills you were given and shape them to address the issues of a local charity, church, restaurant, school, club, etc. You will be surprised to see just how much you know and how much of an impact you can make by bringing in an outside perspective.
While you may be tempted to push your own goals and stories, this is a great way for you to expand your tool-sets, build meaningful relationships, and develop your community.
Don’t interrupt your audience
Interrupting your audience and trying to sneak in your product is an old school method of getting people to buy. Stop getting in the way of your customer by constantly “reminding” them to buy your product or sign up for your newsletter.
Remember that your customer is there on a mission. Instead of getting in their way, make an effort to walk alongside them.
Get to know what they are really looking for
You can do this by analyzing the various ways your customers interact with your website. The following are a few suggestions:
Run an analysis to see how your customers navigate through your site.
Track your customers to see where they walk in and where they drop off.
Time how long they spend on your website
Monitor the amount and the type of content they went through
Take note of the most popular pages and the least popular page.
Know what your audience is saying
If somebody out there says that your product sucks or that your product is amazing, you need to know exactly who that person is and why they are saying that.
There is nothing better for your brand than customers who are happily promoting your product to all their friends, family, and co-workers. You know you are doing something right when people put their own word on the line to promote your cause.
Likewise, there is something seriously wrong if your customers are angry, hurt, and disappointed by your product or the way they were treated. A dissatisfied customer will spread word of their dissatisfaction like wild-fire and you never know how many bridges they can burn in the process.
Take care of your customer
If your customers are dissatisfied, make sure you address their problems. The best thing you can do is immediately solve their issue but if you don’t have the solution yet or are unsure of the best way to go about it, let them know.
Transparency is a great way to built trust with your customers and it is definitely better than giving them a vague answer with no promise at all. There is a huge amount of pressure to get everything right on the first try but the reality is that we are going to make mistakes and find ourselves in situations where we are unsure.
Even so, there is never an excuse to leave your customer behind. After all, they are the real reason you are still in business.
Reward your customer for promoting
Giving away free products or discount codes can get expensive really fast. But doing something as simple as sending a shout out to someone on twitter for posting about your product, or replying to their comment on Facebook will go a long way.
This lets your customers know you are actively listening to their concerns and that you value their opinions.
Use social media as a way to listen
Social media is a stage on which people express themselves. If you really want to get to the heart of what your audience needs, wants, and thinks then you should be taking a step back and listening here. Remember that social media is a platform on which you get to engage your customers.
Ask them questions and give them content to talk about. The best kind of marketing on social media is not blasting your audience with messages, it is getting them to talk to one another on the things you offer.
Find a tribe to get other people involved
For the most part, your customers will be more trustworthy of complete strangers on the web than to you. That’s because those outsiders have little to no vested interest in how well the company performs.
They instead promote the company for the value it brings to their life. These are the types of followers you want to grow and reward.
If you see a tribe starting to grow in your community, start by giving them a name. Interact with them and find out why they love your brand. Encourage them through social media and set up a system to reward them
Give your customers a name
People love being part of something greater than themselves. Having a name to rally behind unifies their cause and gives them a shared identity. Whether it be a shared love for your product or a shared love for your company’s vision, this group rallies together as a family.
Use Google alerts
With Google alerts, you can get all the information being shared about a specific topic, keyword, or industry. You simply type in your interest and Google will send you notifications of any websites, articles, blogs, or research that match your interest.
This is a great way for you to keep your ear low to know when anyone mentions you, your product, and your company.
When hiring, take care of the ones you do not take in
Say you put up applications for several jobs in your company and 10,000 people apply. Then out of those 10,000 you only really consider 1,000 for the second interview and eventually you decide to only hire 10 people. As an employer, you should be making sure the other 9,990 applicants feel appreciated for their efforts.
You never know when you might come across them again, but if you do, you want to make sure they valued your input and are thankful for the direction you led them in. By making the rejection a satisfying experience, you lay the foundation for what can be a life-long advocate of the business.
Respond to all your emails:
If someone has put in the time to sit down and write you an email, you owe it to them to write them something back. If it has been longer than a week you need to go back and tell them you are sorry. Then pick up where you left off and continue the conversation.
Till next time…
We hope this podcast episode has given you valuable insight into listening to your customers and tips on how to engage with them. As always, we are committed to your success and we believe in your mission.
Don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review our podcast on iTunes, click the link below. BuildFire iTunes Podcast
MobileYou is an app made by 5 graduate student nurses as a project for a community health nursing class. Their passion to make an impact on their community has not gone unnoticed. For this episode, we have Phil Newman and Sarah-Jane Baserman to tell us what their app is all about, why they built it, what their journey was like, and how you as a viewer can get involved.
What is Mobile You?
MobileYou is a free app available for Android and Apple phones that helps users find free meals, food pantries, clinics, transportation, jobs, skills tools, and much more. This app connects thousands of people in the Columbus Metropolitan area to free and cost-effective resources that fit their needs. This mobile-based resource-sharing platform is made mostly to serve vulnerable and under-served populations in the Columbus, Ohio.
Why an App?
At first, the team was not so sure if they should make an app. They wondered if enough people would even have a smart phone to access the app. To find out for sure, the team launched a study and found that people of all backgrounds had smart-phones. Even more surprising, their study found that nobody had made an app to target the community’s health issues. This presented a huge window of opportunity and MobileYou was ready to answer the call.
For MobileYou, creating a database that was up-to-date was the most difficult part of the process. Many of the resources they included were seasonal, and could go out of business within a year. This meant the team was always on the phone, reaching out to organizations and community leaders to get the up-to-date information on each available resource.
The team had limited IT skills and was not completely sure if their idea could work. Before buying an app building software, they wanted to experiment with the idea for free . This was exactly why they chose Buildfire, since it does not charge users until their apps are publicly launched. The emulator app within Buildfire allowed them to preview their app to ask professors and classmates for improvements.
Do not be intimidated
It can be intimidating for people who have no background of coding or app-building to start. MobileYou encourages viewers by telling them not to let a lack of IT experience stop them from getting their job done. MobileYou persevered, and they are confident they can now tackle any challenges coming their way. MobileYou hopes the same mentality is embraced by anyone trying to tackle on any sort of project.
When the team started, they had no idea how many resources were out there. Their initiative to step forward and ask around, led them from one resource to the next. Everyone they talked to had at least a couple of recommendation for MobileYou. You never know whom you will meet along the journey, but you have to be willing to step out of your comfort zone and network.
Find the right partners
Your partners need to be a reflection of what you stand for. Their vision and mission should align with your own. They don’t necessarily need to be in the same industry as yours, but they should have a similar drive and passion.
You should never take on projects alone. There is a limit to how much you and your close circle can accomplish. The more people you bring in, who also have the right attitudes, the greater the impact you are able to make. This will improve your mobile marketing strategy.
Always strive to do more
Your job title is only a fraction of the type of work you do. Be involved and integrated within the community. Many of the same skills and passion you have can easily be a great asset elsewhere. If you are an accountant, maybe that means helping struggling families balance out their finances to get out of debt. For MobileYou, it means providing relief for many preventable health issues before they erupt – which, in the long run, helps alleviate the costs for families and the healthcare industry.
You might be the only one.
MobileYou’s research showed to them they were the only ones trying to connect their communities to much-needed resources. For them, it became their obligation. They knew they had to create MobileYou and that in doing so, all the weight would fall on their shoulders as the pioneers. Sometimes, you might be the only one, and maybe that’s exactly who you need to be.
Don’t quit on yourself before you start.
You will never know how much will achieve if you never start. Often times, new projects are overwhelming. But with small determined steps, you can accomplish great things. MobileYou was not sure their idea would be effective or possible until they started putting in the long hours of work. If they had quit, the thousands of people they serve would still go about their lives deprived of the much-needed help due to a lack of information.
Helping out the cause
If you love what MobileYou is doing and would like to help in any way, the first thing you should do is contact them through their website. After you contact them, there are two main ways that you can contribute, both of which MobileYou will guide you through. The first is by volunteering your time to gather information about available resources . The second is by putting together a team to start MobileYou in your city.
Every city has its own needs. If you want to set up a MobileYou app for your city, there are a few questions you will need answers to. Such as:
What’s the biggest problem affecting the overall health of your community?
How do you think this problem can be best represented?
What are some of the biggest diseases affecting your community?
What are some of the problems with getting people the type of treatment and care they need?
[showhide type=”episode-one-transcript” more_text=”Read Transcript (%s More Words)” less_text=”Hide Transcript (%s Less Words)” hidden=”yes”]
Librado: Welcome to hottest apps of the month brought build fire podcast all about apps that are making a difference whether it be in a community or in the business apps are leaving a lasting impact. We invite their creators to share their strategies and tricks and wisdom am your host Librado Hernandez and with me today are two of the nursing professional behind MobileYou, Phil Newman and Sarah Jane Baserman, so can you tell us a little bit about yourselves.
Phil: Sure the both of us are actually graduate nursing students right now with the eventual goals of becoming nurse practitioners am running this accelerated program that takes a second degree from my bachelors and some other fields that [unclear 00:36]nurse practitioner in the cause of three years and the first half of that is a basic nurse [unclear – 00:40] education which includes a community health component which is what led us to the app in the first place but at the moment we are both nursing students.
Librado: Who wanted you to start that app and why?
Phil: The community health class that we were in had this open ended project where we had to detail some kind of public health or community health phenomenon and you know we were kind of giving a very open ended perspective on how to approach it and the initial topic we were assign didn’t feel within any of the expertise that we had then so one night while I was working in the hospital I just kind of thought wouldn’t that be interesting you know if we kind of did a community health project in app form for vulnerable populations to help them find local resources you know pantries and home own shelters in one night home shelters and what not and then I can kind said well it’s kind of silly nobody in those population probably has a smart phone you know we said well let’s look into the research when we did we were blown away that the statistics showed that people in all backgrounds actually had a smart phones but no one yet is really made an app to kind of target the community health care for this communities and individuals so once we saw that we said well as part of this project we can absolutely recommend making an app and let’s see what it would be like if we can do it our self sure enough we found build fire and said wow! This fit perfectly with unlimited IT background that can really help us build the app you know in a way that can actually help people you know it went from kind of being a whimsical thought to making something we can actually use and publish and with that app we got really excited about it.
Sarah: And with the feedback that we received from it was the momentum that keep going was we don’t think we even know initially what we had created but we thought it was a good idea internally and everyone else reiterate what a great idea that it was miss you know from Trinity health sector.
Phil: It started with us trying to get an A on a class project (both laughs) now is turned in to something quite a bit more
Librado: So you talked a little bit about how this wasn’t really done before or you didn’t really see it done as much how do you feel that is up till now nobody is trying to tackle this as much as you have?
Phil: Sure, there’s a lot of different factors that are involved you know on the one hand this is not really a money making enterprise so you see a lot of you know there’s a lot of ways to monetize and profit off of apps you know even if it’s [unclear – 02:44] advertizing a product of your own but if you trying to use it as a community health resource you know you can’t charge people for it and you can’t really sell add space because you have to worry about you know the amount of that the people use and you want to make sure that you really focus on health related goals so putting in that’s two types of advertising doesn’t really make sense so it’s not really a lucrative proposition un top of that you have communities that are very networked but not very centralized so there’s not usually one area as in one township or city that kind of dispenses information about where you can find every resource or usually just little you know great organization here and there that may not necessarily be interconnected with one another. So I think on top of that you know have technology used for health care purposes as a whole you know it’s not new but it’s also not very old either so I just don’t think every avenue potential health care applications been explored yet.
Sarah: And one last point is kind of what he talked about earlier as I think a lot of people dismiss this lower income population of having smart phones are having access to the internet is not and so the idea wasn’t even explored initially from the you know just a question off hand
Phil: That’s true some of the initial feedback we have from people was why would you make an app for individuals with not income when they don’t have smart phones and then we had to show them the research that says actually yeah they do just as many people in our population have smart phone
Librado: What was the major problem that you were trying to solve with the app?
Phil: That’s a great question. So in Columbus Ohio you know where we are from if you need to find resources if you just showed up today in need of resources didn’t know where to turn they will give you a piece of paper with a bunch of addresses on it and where to go wouldn’t tell you how to get there, wouldn’t tell you what [unclear – 04:23] wouldn’t even tell you [unclear – 04:26] over there I mean it’s a great first start and we commend the people that put us together but some of this stuff is so specific certain individuals the need to not really address on one piece of paper that we said you know let’s put this on an app and let’s put this in the hands of someone that can carry it and access it anytime instead of a piece of paper that can get lost or turn or [unclear – 04:45] to someone so now you have a means of not only having this information with you anytime anywhere but because of build fire interfaces you can actually navigate from where you are people tell you I guess it’s just two blocks away but this is across town you know you might need to run some kind of probably transportation you will find some transportation to get you there and that’s huge because is not just about getting people the names resources it’s about actually putting them on the door steps to get the services that they need and I think that really gets addressed by what we are trying to do here.
Librado: Can you tell us a little bit about the process of how you are able to turn that piece of paper and make it into an app?
Phil: Yeah quite a bit more you know I mean we could Google data down addresses into the build fire templates all we wanted but you know we had to look through every resource that we found to make sure this is something that really represented the need of the community. You know we also had to use our ties within the nursing college and with you know our connection with health care to branch out beyond just as piece of paper because Columbus has so many resources available that aren’t included on that piece of paper they are so much out there so you know we has to do a lot of our own for some connection within the community you know and really kind of go through line by line to see how best to represent something you know if it was a hotline you know you will use one kind of interface within wild fire if it was something which had a location in it you need to get to use another so it was quite a bit of work evolved
Librado: What where some of the road blocks you had to watch out for as you were building those all this?
Phil: Specifically to our project one of the biggest road block was we had to make sure that all the areas that we were finding to put in other than the resources and the services where still available. A lot of them you know can pop up and go out of business within a year
Sarah: So as you are right things were seasonal even we found a kind of goes back to problem with the piece of paper is we were finding it wasn’t even updated regularly and how would the resource change this on the season or the location or sometimes the information there is just too much to even include on the [unclear – 06:40] so.
Phil: From the actual building and development stand point we didn’t run into a whole lot of road blocks at all other than you know I mean we not very IT literate so you know we had to learn you know what an RSS feed was and what an ICAL feed was because those where now that was the formal language from a national development stand point but that was the easiest part, parts was getting all together in ones part easiest part was using build fire to get it on our own
Librado: So a little bit more on how build fire kind of helped you out to get this all together, what features in build fire helped you out the most?
Phil: Really we haven’t even explored half of what you know the things within build fire that we can use while it was so great to be able to play around with it for free that was a big thing for us because when this project started we didn’t even know if we can do it and so to be able to play around with it for free and then to have the emulator app within build fire that we can use to show to our teachers and show to our class mates and say what do you think of this is there something is this look like something that’s profitable and what kinds of you know corrections we can make from there was I mean that was such a huge benefit because if we had just designed this on a web site and kind of rely on our own you know maybe being presented the way that it looks on the website am not a hundred percent sure we were to stock it out but because of all the tools that build fire had available to us in terms of not really building but presenting you know before we had to pay a dime to publish it was tremendously helpful and then on that side after we published it just being tremendous working relationship you know if I ever need information on how many downloads we’ve have I get that within fifteen minutes I send them an email and working me through the process of because we one point we wanted to change our logo and our description at the app store and it was walking through that process without involving it’s been such a huge help to relief us of the burden of having to do some IT work which we even know where to begin to start
Sarah: I think the interface is nice because is simplistic enough to use but has enough of this features but as we have advanced kind of to develop this app even more we going to incorporate new features that we would have no idea you know six months ago that we’ve been [unclear – 08:41]
Phil: Yeah I would say the app is evolving because the features are they help you get up and running initially but then the more you explore the more you realize oh! I can actually do a whole lot more I can present this certain service in an entirely different way I can put the logo on there put the picture of the building so people know that they are in the right spot so yeah it’s just been a great experience all around for us
Librado: What are some of the biggest take aways when building the app?
Phil: I would say for us one of the biggest take aways is to never under estimate how many people you can actually reach with an app at the offset we thought well you know we can make an app but it’s not going to affect anything and because we just didn’t anticipate anybody within the community having access to a smart phone and once we did our research and we found not only can we build for this community but they are other services that we can provide to people that may not come from a vulnerable population but may need a certain service for a certain example we include mental health services in the app and someone needs to find an alcoholic synonymous meeting it almost certainly have to be from a certain population that we are targeting you know anybody can benefit from it. Well obvious take aways is a target community or target audience is so much smaller than what we actually give credit for, so much larger than we give credit for I should say. One of the biggest take aways that we’ve gotten form this professionally within our college too is you know we didn’t let the lack of IT experience kind of prevent us from trying to get this done it can be so intimidating for people that have no knowledge of coding no knowledge of AP building and maintenance to start something like this and you know we just didn’t say no at the offset we didn’t tell ourselves we couldn’t do it and that was such a big take away because I think moving forward now you know on future projects it’s best to give them the perception that this is received am never going to tell myself no until I absolutely know that I can’t do it. (All laughs)
Librado: One of the things that you were talking about was how you were able to successfully find out what needs the community has and then being able to go and fill that need could you walk us a little bit to how you were able to identify what needs and how you were able to go back and collect that information to see if it’s something that they actually have use for?
Sarah: It’s really honestly feels kind of the most over whelming part of it is we got started thinking that maybe they were just you know twenty to thirty resources out there that service this population and as we kind of dug in to the project we realized there’s hundreds and hundreds of clinic and services and free food pantries things like that or out of Columbus so a lot of it is kind of being we use the cliché boots on the ground we we’ve been going to community leaders one referral to another referral and it’s just kind of we’ve been running about all this resources by networking all the people in the community who work in this kind of industry who [unclear – 11:17] and that’s been the heart and goal at the same time is not just something you can Google and have it be done where a thousand resources show up to including this app it’s been a lot of work meeting this people, understanding what their populations want and then also deciding is this organization have a great mission that we want to include in our app and stuff like that so
Phil: I think we were bolstered too by coming from a nursing education background our community health class that kind of led to the development of this app really prepared us in a lot of ways for this type of questions that answered a lot of those questions before we had them you know so we knew what some of the major social indicators for health issues were and what are some of the biggest diseases that affect low income populations and you know we had a lot of those questions answered before we started and that really helped direct this towards knowing what to include and what maybe we didn’t need to put in the first version of the app.
Librado: You guys are doing amazing things honestly I get
Phil: Thank you
Librado: It really warms my heart to see as a group of people out there who are trying to make a difference in spite in bringing in a lot of revenue in spite it being a market that really isn’t going to be throwing you money left and right there’s a need and you guys have filled that need to the best of your ability and I greatly appreciate that. And so what I want to know is what drives you and why do you keep doing this?
Phil: It’s a great question we are nursing students so we got in to this because we want to be there and help people and care for people and you know nursing is so much more than just being at the bed side and cooling somebody’s towel with a damp towel or something, and giving them medications it’s being you know involved and integrated with some of the community and you know there’s so many different you know just from a cost perspective the amount of money that gets spent on health care preventable diseases and preventable symptom emergencies is tremendous and if you can meet those issues before they erupt in the community and within the individual through some of this social services that are offered you know I wasn’t doing this service to this communities you doing a service to the health care industry as a whole which benefits everybody it benefits so many different networks of people in the communities the more healthy people are involved so it’s a no brainer for us to seek out and try to do preventive medicine of overall health awareness promotion that’s just we came from you know as future nurses and hopefully it will then continue
Sarah: And again the feedback I was so naive when we made this thinking that we were duplicating something that was already out there and finding out that there’s nothing out there and being told over and over again that this population doesn’t have this resources and this sort of technology has just being motivation alone it’s almost like creating an obligation that we have to do this (laughs)
Sarah: Everyone’s out there is not depending on our shoulders and its good pressure (both laughs)
Phil: Yeah to repeat back on what she was saying too I mean when we first start out we wouldn’t need to make an app am sure no one has cell phones over they do have cell phones well then am sure someone’s already made the app and then we [unclear – 14:06] are like no, no one in Ohio no one in the Midwest, no one in the country has tried to do something like this it was kind of mind bugling to us so we said well you know let’s get ball rolling and get the conversation started in Columbus and like she said the reception we got from real people in Texas and Pittsburg and Michigan and Illinois they want a version of MobileYou for their city
Sarah: It wasn’t even exist in those [unclear – 14:30] (both laughs)
Librado: So how do you guys try to take what you have now and expand it, what’s next essentially?
Phil: Yeah that’s a great question we’ve had some pretty lengthy discussions about that too you know our biggest needs are not just you know urban areas but also in rural areas. So Columbus is kind of a big city surrounded by pastures everywhere (all laughs) so we kind of want to we want to move west and incorporate another neighboring city about an hour down the road [unclear – 14:57] Spring field you know we cannot move them get so much momentum from there and some other areas in Ohio and we’ve thought about the different ways we will have to work with the design but you know so far we haven’t run into any structure unless used with build fire the biggest challenge for us is just going to be finding the time for the two of us to sit down and typing every resources all over again for another new city
Sarah: We were [unclear – 15:19]
Librado: How can people in the community help you to kind of get this rolling faster? Because from what I just heard now is just the two of you that is, is there any way people can help is there a website they can go to, to keep the mission going?
Phil: Yeah so we have a website it’s right now it’s mobileyoucolumbus.com and you can also find us on facebook and on twitter and you can really for us cause you know we know that they are so many different communities in need but because we are so limited right now we need people who you know be willing to volunteer their time to help us do some you know data entry to get the app as robust as possible and then from the outside communities is letting us know when you are ready you know when you have the available resources within the city that would you know be able to take the time to talk with us about what your needs are and how we can represent you, you know that’s huge you know because you know if you go to New York you have five burrows in New York and if you not from New York you may not necessarily know how to communicate to tell somebody to go from you know one area of the city to another and you know you might use local language instead of the language that you know applies everywhere so it’s being getting people engrained within the communities to tell us how we can represent you I think that’s a big need for us you know optimistically you know it’s something we are ready and happy to do but it is a need.
Librado: They said there’s a bunch of nursing student in Oregon who hear this podcast and like men that’s something that’s amazing lets help them out, what can this do from that moment after they’ve heard this podcast to get to the point where your app is in Oregon in their city helping other community, what step will they need to take everything from gathering the information and the contact and sending you the information what would they need to do like now?
Phil: The biggest thing is get in touch with us and tell us what you need cause every city has a different need just like individuals have different health concerns so do cities, so what’s the biggest problems affecting the overall community and how do you know thing you can be best represented because we are not naive enough to think that we are the answers everywhere you know we just know what we know what made us successful from a logistic stand point from a technical stand point it’s you know it’s doing the research finding out what do the people need? What are some of the biggest diseases that are affecting individuals in the city? And you know what are some of the biggest problems with getting people the kind of treatment and care that they need and if you can answer those questions you got 90% of the work done.
Sarah: Yeah no I agree Just identify I mean I know what’s [unclear – 17:36] reiterate it, is just by identifying who wants to do the [unclear – 17:39] Who’s in this mission with us and contacting us with the [unclear – 17:43] and we can walk with you through the process of how we got started and hopefully then relate from city to city
Phil: Yeah just another stuff long hours and no money but (both laughs) it makes you feel better about yourself you know about what you are doing for another people at the end of the day.
Librado: So far am helping with communities so how else do you feel that this is kind of app can fit into health care industry?
Phil: Oh! It can be used in some of the different areas in so many different ways you know I mean I think some of the hardest things to do are you know to find different clinics I mean you know insurance information’s changes all the time you know what providers are available and what not. So outside of just the community resources it’s know what I my if I need to see a cardiologist in Columbus where do I go? Where do I start? If I want to you know if you just diagnosed me with you know with high blood pressure who do I need to see? What should I do? An app like this can tell you say like we educational information on certain disease stage that we are you know getting ready to push in to the app you know and you know and the app is not even community oriented but health oriented can say our blood pressure mean you have this it means probably taking one of this medication and this is how often you take it, and here is what happens if you miss a doze, so this are the warning signs you should look at for and this are the people that you need to call I mean the list go on and on I mean I can’t even if I have to sit down and think of all the ways this could affect health care I can spend a month and I still wouldn’t come up with half of the things that I can think of
Sarah: Yeah I mean we are really looking in to components of women health or look into a new pregnancy the first time and you don’t want to do and we can have that or another one was looking into all the adult services where maybe an adult child is now also to be faced with their older parents going from health crisis or housing crisis or something like that and they can use this app to kind of figure out what resources are available which they wouldn’t have known a way to approach that sort of thing in their everyday life because they weren’t faced with that issue to begin with
Librado: You guys are doing amazing things with this, thank you so much
Phil: We appreciate everything that build fire is done you know having an opportunity to talk about you it might you know convince other people to give this a shot and not quite on themselves before this start that’s huge you know
Librado: Is definitely is
Phil: Again thank you for the opportunity if anybody out there is listening and they want to get in touch with us you can visit our website you know get in touch with us on twitter, email we are happy to hear from everyone we are trying to get as many [unclear – 20:07] as possible in other countries so no stone will go un turned
Sarah: If you have suggestions for improvement or any suggestion to add you can because we are always amazed every day we find something new that we find something new that we should be including on the app
Phil: We do that’s very true
Librado: Thank you so much for your time
Phil: Thank you
Sarah: Thank you
Librado: Well viewers that concludes the show thank you so much for joining us today for all of you who love learning want real actual stuffs to grow your business and expand your own skill sets then head on over to our website buidfire.com/blog and click on our podcast section as always we committed to your success my name is Librado Hernandez and I will see you again next week.
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This is the first ever Ignite The Gears Podcast episode! We are extremely excited to share with you all the amazing ways to market your app with Facebook ads. Here to help us today is Andrew Hubbard, the creator of SmartAppMarketer.com. Below you will find short actionable summaries of what we talked about in the episode. Be sure to listen to the episode so you get the full picture before you start to implement these strategies. Here’s to your success!
Master Mind Groups:
A master mind group will help refine your ideas and challenge you to grow. This is a group environment where you can get feedback, ask questions, strategize, and contribute to the success of others. As a marketer, it is extremely important for you to anchor yourself with a diverse group of professionals who are willing to invest in your growth. Finding the right master mind group will help you avoid many of the mistakes you may not have caught yourself.
What is an App Install Ad?
App install Ads are ads that appear on Facebook’s news feed. When these ads are clicked on, the viewer is redirected to the App’s landing page where they are encouraged to install the app. Potential customers can be targeted by age, gender, location and interest. Building an effective install ad is all about strategically testing what works and what doesn’t on the right type of customer.
Create Clear Goals
Before you get started, you need to know exactly where you would like to be and then work backwards. As you move forward, have extensive analytics set in place to be able to track everything. Your goal has to be as precise as possible. An example would be to buy 1,000 installs from Europe to be able to track each user’s behaviors. This goal clearly outlines how many installs you plan to go after, what part of the world you are going to target, and what you hope to get out of it.
Install the Facebook SDK
The SDK allows Facebook to track install so you can accurately measure your cost per install. Without this, Facebook doesn’t know when someone clicks and installs your app so you can’t measure the cost per install. With the SDK, Facebook is able to track who is downloading your app and then shows your app to more people like them.
The SDK also allows you to create custom audiences. Custom audiences are a group of people that fall between the parameters that you have set up on the SDK. These parameters can be completing a certain task or achieving some type of milestone. When you have enough people in your custom audience, Facebook will take that group and find more people like them.
This “look alike” audience is exactly what you already have. Facebook will go out and advertise to people with the same interest, gender, demographic, and age range as the ones in your custom audience. This saves you the hassle of always having to guess whom you should be reaching out to.
App Store Optimization (improve the conversion rate of your app store page)
When people click on your Facebook ad, they will be redirected out of Facebook and to the app store page. They will scan your app’s page and look at your app name, your screenshots, icon, app description, reviews, and lastly, make a decision to either download your app or not.
How well your app store page converts has a huge influence on your cost per install. Google and the app store now let you see how many people view your page and how many of them actually downloaded your app. To make the most out of your money you need to improve your app page’s conversion rate by improving your screen shots, description, and reviews.
A great way to start is to look at your competitors and see what they are focusing on, what benefits they are offering, and how they go about presenting their apps. There is not a cut and paste formula for this method. This is a great time for A/B testing to see what works and what doesn’t.
Reviews get their own section because they heavily influence whether or not people will download your app. They are often the determining factor to your customers. You may have perfect screenshots, a captivating description, and the world’s greatest app name but if your app has horrible reviews then you will lose everything you have been building up to. Be sure to have at least five reviews and make time to address any problems your customers encounter. Being responsive and attending to your customer’s needs will let others know that you care and will build up your reviews.
You can easily get reviews if you position yourself correctly. You can start by setting up pop ups within your app. These appear when your customer completes a level or gains an achievement. The point is reaching out to your customers when they are at their highest level of satisfaction and personal achievement.
Find the right Interest
Refining the type of interest specific to your app will go a long way in targeting the right audience. You want to list down as many interests as you can find on Facebook. You want to List down your top competitors as an interest when you are formulating your list.
After creating a list of interest, create a separate ad set for each interest. Then you see which interest brings you back the best results. Keep the interest that brings in the most people and remove the ones that don’t. Make sure you keep bringing in new interest immediately after you get rid of the ones that do not perform well.
Facebook’s Audience Insights:
Once you have found a few competitors you can target with interest, you go on over to Facebook’s Audience Insights tool. This tool helps you learn more about the location, interest, and behaviors of you target audience. You enter one of your competitors as an interest into the tool, the tool will then tell you what other pages and interest people like. Make sure you write down these new ideas and include them in your list of interest.
The Golden Scaling Tip:
If you find a particular set of targeting options that work well and you are getting installs, then you want to increase your budget. Don’t jump in and immediately bump up your budget from $10 a day to $100 dollars a day. This will throw off the entire algorithm and bring in fewer results than what you were expecting. Instead, increase your budget by about 50% every 24-48 hours. So if your budget is $10 a day, bump it up to $15 and wait 24-48 hours until you bump it up to $22.50 a day.
In-depth Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Ad Install Ads
Our guest, Andrew Hubbard, created a special guide for our listeners to help guide them through the Facebook Ad install ads process. It goes through everything we talked about in the podcast. SmartAppMarketer.com is also a great way for you to find more resources to take your Facebook Ad Marketing to the next level.
We hope this podcast episode has given you valuable insight into marketing your app. With these tips you are well on your way to bringing in downloads from all over Facebook. As always, we we are committed to your success and we believe in your mission.
[showhide type=”episode-one-transcript” more_text=”Read Transcript (%s More Words)” less_text=”Hide Transcript (%s Less Words)” hidden=”yes”]
Librado: Welcome to ignite the gears build fire official podcast all about business development, digital marketing and entrepreneurship. We invite all leaders who are disrupting the industry to share their strategies, tricks and wisdom. I am your host Librado Hernandez and with me today is Andrew Herbard the creator of a smartadmarketer.com. Andrew will be talking to us today about mobile app marketing with Facebook ads. So Andrew thanks you for being on the show.
Andrew: Thank you very much for having me on it. It’s great to be here, I’m pumped
Librado: So we so the first question will be you know let’s get to know you, let’s get to know the person behind all that we can see to a smarter ad marketer. So what led you to the career that you are in now?
Andrew: Yeah sure so I guess it started, you know if I look back it will be around 2012 when I first started you know I was in a full time job and all those extra stuff. And I started just rating about apps and what was going on in that world and so I decided to sort of do that on the side and start to make some apps on the side, started with race skin because it was a quick [unclear – 01:03] to learn the process and get involved in it so yeah I just started doing that place apps out there and started seeing a bit of success cause as you know I mean back in 2012, the app store was a different place it was quite easy to put an app out there and get downloads and you know make a bit of money from them and so doing that you know pumping out some race skins and things like that but quickly sort of got sick of that its you know race skinning was, it was making money but it wasn’t satisfying and it wasn’t, you know super enjoyable to do, it was kind of just a process you know repeating over and over and so what I started to do was focus more on building high quality apps and focusing more on marketing and getting involved in that and I guess yeah by this time you know I was involved in couple of mastermind groups which are absolutely great I recommend anyone out thereif you know any mastermind try and get involved in one, it’s just good to speak to a lot more people and meet other people in the industry and stuff like that but what I started to od was, I started to get more involved in marketing, I started running Facebook ads for apps and seeing success in that area and then I started talking about it in my mastermind groups and people were really interested you know. I was sharing my results and everyone in the group was sort of really curious so that led into presenting for the groups sort of when to okay you know, you telling us about this Facebook ads, how about you come back and present and talk to a couple of this mastermind groups and I started doing that which was great because people you know, people were loving the information, that will get them good results themselves and then you know it pretty much went from there so then I started yeah probably talking to a few people out of mastermind and helping them out, on a one to one basis and that led to coaching and consulting and things like that which then in turn sort of led to you know me starting from smart app marketer where I talk about all things ad marketing and starting my you know, the business way, I work with clients to help them get better results with the Facebook ad installers as well
Librado: If you really had a support group to really build you up and when you mentioned that the mastermind group, you know where can people find that group and do you have any in particular that you’ll recommend?
Andrew: Yes, one that I was involved in was Steve young’s mastermind group he’s over at masters.co. he’s got a really good, really good group going on there it’s actually a paid mastermind group but it’s a really supportive group, they’ve got a great Facebook group as well where you can just drop in and ask questions, they organize regular, regular hangouts and start conversations and things like that so that was one and the other one was a bit of, it’s not what it used to be as in, it’s not open to the public anymore but yeah that was one that [unclear – 03:58] had organized back in the day and that was really good as well but yeah the case just finding some likeminded individuals, some people that are doing similar things to you and just forming a group and talking regularly and yeah bouncing ideas of each other, sharing what you’ve learned, it’s surprising how valuable that can be especially when you are you know if you are working from home and you are doing this, you doing this from home it’s often, it can be abit oscillating so it’s really good to get that group of people you can talk to
Librado: Aside from the support group and everything else, why did you decide to smart ad marketer was the best move for you, who were you? What were you doing and why did you start smart ad marketer?
Andrew: I guess the main reason was once I started realizing that the information I was sharing in those small groups people found it really valuable, really useful and they are asking for more I started to think well how can I share this with a broader audience as well and so a website yeah like smart ad marketing just made sense, it didn’t start out as smart ad marketing, it started at a very different name and then you know as it evolved, it changed into smart ad marketer and it just, yeah it just grew from there so I guess the reason for starting it, the core reason was to share that information that new people finding valuable with a broader audience
Librado: I know that a lot of people benefit from the value that you bring to them let’s talk about the value that you built up over the years mobile app marketing with Facebook ads so could you explain a little bit about what that means and what that looks like?
Andrew: Yeah absolutely so I mean app installer is at the core, they just ads that appear in Facebook newsfeed, also now in instagram as well or on what’s called the Facebook audience network so that’s where the ads actually appear inside of the mobile apps and things like that you know the full screening [unclear – 05:48] Facebook actually have, the audience network, which displays ads like that so basically, all there are is they are ads that appear in those places and when people click the ad it takes them to app store page and they can download your app and the good thing about Facebook you know it’s also serves, you know anyone can go into their Facebook ad manager, I can set up some ad installer and start running them whenever they want so yeah, that’s pretty much what they are and how they work
Librado: So what are some common lies, myths and misconception about mobile ad marketing with Facebook ads?
Andrew: Sure! I think the first one is they are super cheap compared to everything else you know all the time, it’s you know, when Facebook ad first started they were incredibly cheap all the time basically because Facebook had this massive amount of inventory right ahead all this ad space because they’ve got at the time they had hundreds and millions of users, now they’ve got billions of users and it had all this space and there wasn’t much there weren’t many people advertising app installs when I first started so there were incredibly cheap. That’s changed a little bit now because obviously you know big publishers get on board and the inventory gets filled especially when it’s a cheap source of installs but in saying that, you know it’s still cheap but the big common lie or myth is people going thinking they going to get installs in t1 countries like the US, Canada, UK , Australia, you know so for super cheap price like fifty cents and things like that and that just doesn’t happen anymore, you do a Facebook is a great way for cheaper installs in the industry, average and things like that but going and expecting to get this insanely cheap rates like fifty cents and install in t1 countries is a big myth
Librado: So then what can people do instead, if that is the big myth, how do people go about solving their problem?
Andrew: Sure, sure. Look the thing is I think if you go in with a good solid plan as to why you buying installs and understanding that you can get cheaper installs on Facebook on the industry average but you know, they are not going to be insanely cheap depending on where you bought them from of course again I think that’s a great way to do it so if you go in with a plan of okay I’m going into buy, buy installs so that I can collect data and I can use that data to improve my app, and then you know continually improve the app by more users, continue to improve, improve key metrics like my average revenue pay user, my lifetime value and everything like that then no matter how much you pay for installs you are always getting value and the value is in the form of that data that you can use to make improvements to your app so I think the key is going in with the plan, going in with the understanding that you can get cheap installs but they are not going to be ridiculously cheap
Librado: But one of the things that you talked about was kind of like the mindset and the strategy that you have to have, what I want to know is what the mindset and strategy sets you apart that was responsible for your success?
Andrew: You know I think the mindset and strategy thing really comes down to having really defined goals and reasons for buying the installs and it’s a really data driven approach that I take so when I go in and buy installs there are few things that I do before I even get started and one of the big ones is getting analytics installed in, so when I work with a developer or publisher one of the first things I get them to do before we even start buying installs is really dialing in the analytics in their apps and then we’ll set the goal of okay, you know a clearly defined goal like okay we are going to go in, we are going to buy a thousand installs from whichever country that we need them from and then we are going to really look at the data coming back. We are buying the installs purely for the data, we are going to monitor the user behavior and we are going to just learn things like where people dropping off in the app we are going to learn what are the main features they are using we are going to learn you know what features are they not using we are going to learn what are their retention rates you know, after one day, how many people are there coming back, after 7 days, how many people are coming and then you know we are going to take on all that data and that’s going to teach us what we need to do next in the app, the next step in the development process so if we get a lot of data back and we find out that 90% of users is drop at level three we know that well the next thing to focus on is fixing level three. It’s either too difficult, it’s either too long and boring, there’s something there that we need to fix, to get people there, to keep progressing through the app so I think yeah to answer your question in a few words, it’s a data driven mindset and approach of okay we are going in with this clearly defined goal, we are going to yeah measure this quickly matrix and we are going to use the data yeah in whatever way
Librado: So what are the things that you touch down with the practical steps that you took when it comes to you know going about this whole process so for everybody else, what kind of practical steps do you recommend?
Andrew: I guess a good way to start might be yeah practical steps, as in the first things to do when getting started you know what I would do, if I had never bought an install, and I had an app and I want to get started the first thing I’ll do is add the Facebook sdk to the app, I mean that’s a must do in my mind. You don’t, from an actual technical perspective, you can’t run app installers without having the Facebook sdk in the app but there are few reasons why I wouldn’t do that. First of all, with the sdk allows you, allows Facebook to track install so you can accurately measure your cost per install if you don’t have the Facebook sdk in Facebook doesn’t know when somebody clicks an ad and installs the app so you can’t measure your cost per install you know you are flying blind the second reason is it allows the algorithm to optimize properly, so everytime somebody clicks the Facebook ad and downloads the app and you’ve got the sdk installed, Facebook remember, they know everything about everyone pretty much so they track who is downloading the app and then they show your ads to more people like them ok, if you don’t have the sdk installed, they can’t track who is downloading your app and they can’t optimize the algorithm properly to show ads to more people like them. A couple other reasons I mean, lets you use some really powerful targeting options, which you might get into later but they call custom audiences and look like audiences if they obviously, they can’t use those and they wanted the most powerful targeting options out there and I guess the other key thing about the sdk, it’s easy to integrate, it’s not a lot of work, there’s really no reason not to do it if you are going to be running Facebook ads it’s similar to you know, for the developers out there, it’s similar to integrating something like florae or Google analytic okay you don’t need fancy Facebook login and all that sort of stuff, it’s just the basics of integration where you know you add sdk initials when the app launches and that sort of thing so really quick and easy to do as well
Librado: So you are talking about the custom audiences, can you go a little deep about that?
Andrew : Sure, sure, so basically what a custom look like a customer audience is basically, it’s a group of people that you set up on Facebook, so you go into the ad manager and you set up a custom audience and you set up a bunch of parameters there, based on activities you use to perform the act and when the users ,meet those parameters, when they perform those activities, they get added to this Facebook custom audience, so at the base level, you know there are base ones that I set up when I first start running ads so integrate the sdk then I’ll go into my Facebook ad dashboard, then I’ll set up custom audience for everyone who has installed the app in the last 180 days which is the biggest time period you could do so then what happens is everytime somebody installs the app, they get added into your custom audience, when you get enough people in the custom audience and you probably thinking okay great but if they have already installed the app, why do I want them in the custom audience, so I’m not going to advertise to them and that’s true but when you’ve got enough people in the custom audience, when you’ve got a few hundred people in there, you could take their custom audience and you can tell Facebook hey see this audience full of people who have installed my app I want you to go out and find another million people just like them and put them in a lookalike audience for me that I can advertise to so instead of you know when you setting up your ads, taking guesses and you know choosing interesting targets and you know all that sort of stuff choosing a age range and everything you not just saying hey Facebook here’s a bunch of users that already downloaded my app you know everything about them, just go ahead and find me a million more people just like them and then I can advertise to them and that’s what a look alike audience is, so yeah that’s why they are so powerful and the so I’m constantly seeing Facebook improve theses audiences, this look alike audiences as well, the matching is really getting better so they are a really good option to use once you get them installed
Librado: The fact that Facebook will take all those people you already have and find people like them just sounds like a, sounds like an easy way, kind of like the best way to go about you know marketing your app and everything else so they’ve downloaded the Facebook sdk and the rank of analytics and they’ve got the custom audience and now Facebook is going out to make it a look alike audience, what happens next?
Andrew: Yeah so what you do next I guess you know as long as you’ve once you got enough installs obviously to create your custom audience and create your lookalike audience, you target that lookalike audience, you get that running and I guess what you would do is you’d really just start to reform things, so once you’ve got it running basically you let the ads run full, you get information coming back in the Facebook ad dashboard and it tells you what age ranges are installing in the app, it tells you what areas they are from, what cities and all that sort of thing, countries. It tells you what placements, you know whether if you are running multiple placements like if you are running in the mobile newsfeed and if you running on instagram, it will tell you know which one is getting the best performance and all that sort of thing, it will tell you which genders so you know what I’ll do is once I’m running ads for a wall, you can start to refund them by installing on what you see coming back so you might say that you know 18 to 20 year olds at delivering a lot cheaper installs and you know 55 -60 year olds so you know you might switch off the 55 to 60 year olds and just target towards a younger age demographic so that would be the next thing, that’s a really reform base on the results coming back
Librado: So other than the Facebook sdk, is there anything more? That people can do to kind of buff up their Facebook ads?
Andrew: Absolutely so the first thing I’d do is get the facebook sdk, the next thing is I’d make sure as I touched on earlier, I’d make sure my analytics were dialed in really well so whether you got flurry whether you’ve got Google analytics, I’d make sure they dialed in really well and I’m tracking all the important events in the app, I touched on this earlier, you want to track everything you can, whenever somebody completes a level or if it’s not a game, whenever somebody uses a feature of or visits a certain screen in the app whenever someone completes in on that purchase, you will want all this events to be tracked so that you can then you know obviously you’ve got as much data as possible coming back when you buy installs because you know at the end of the day, you go out and spend a thousand dollars on installs, with analytics, no matter what you spend that thousand installs you are going to have good data to use then moving forward. If you don’t have analytics installed, you might spend a thousand dollars, that might bring back $300 in revenue but you still out of pocket for $700 if you didn’t have your analytics set up properly you don’t have that data to leverage and use that alone so let’s get your analytics installed. The next big thing that I’ll do and a lot of people they overlook this but it’s a really good way to reduce the cost per install it’s improve the conversion rate ad of your app store page so what I mentioned earlier was the way app install add work you know, you see the ad in a mobile news feed for an app and you click the ad what happens then is you are taken outside the app, the Facebook app, you are taken into the app store and you see the app store page now the next thing is Facebook have no control over this you are on the app store, you are looking at the app store page, people are going to go through, they are going to look at the screenshots, they are going tolook at the app name, the icon, they are going to read the description, they are going to read the reviews and they are going to make a decision on whether to download the app right and this has really big influence how well that app store page converts has a really big influence on your cost per install, so you know both Facebook, both Google and apple they now let you see in the dashboards, in the reporting dashboards how many people viewed your app stall page and how many people downloaded the app. Okay now that’s called, so the percentage is called the conversion right so if a hundred people see your app store page and only 40 of them install the app then you’ve got a 40% conversion rate right, yeah and I guess lets expand on that, on that example where I’m going so let’s say your app store page is converting at 40% so you spend a thousand dollars, a thousand people click on your Facebook ad okay and go to the app store page but because the page converts to 40% at only 400 of those people are actually installing the apps, so you get a thousand people click the ad, 400 people then take that last step and install the app so for that $1000 you got 400 installs which you know, that equals $2.50 per install, what if you increase your app store page conversion rate by changing the screenshots or something like that to 50%, so now you send a 1000 people, a thousand people click the ads, they go to apps stall page and 500 of them install the app this time instead of 400 because you’ve bumped up the conversion rate so that means you spend a thousand dollars, you’ve got 500 installs this time that equals $2 per install so that’s a 20%, they went from $2.50 per install down to $2 per install so that’s a 20% improvement in your cost and from a 10% increase in your apps page conversion rate, you can see that has a really big effect and I would say definitely look at your app store page conversion rate and improve that before you start running Facebook ads because you can have a massive effect on your cost
Librado: Yeah and that makes a lot of sense, I mean if you are going to be running all this Facebook ads and redirecting everybody back to your apps store page, you want to make sure that page is the best that it can possibly be and so one of the questions that I have is what, you mentioned a little bit about this and how the on changing your screenshots to improve the conversion rate, what other ways can improve the conversion rate in the app store page?
Andrew: Yeah screenshots are big one, you see one of the first things people look at you know, I, you probably do the same thing when I hit the app store page for an app screenshots are one of the first things that I check out and if the screenshots are pretty average then I you know I might skip past I’d say screenshots are a big one focus on those obviously your app icon is not as important here because I find usually the app icon is something that draws people if say they scrolling through a list of search results in the app store or if they are looking at let’s say the features in the app store and there’s a bunch of icons and they are choosing one but because Facebook ads push them directly to your apps, specific app store page the icon isn’t as big, you know has some influence but it’s not as big a factor and then you know you’ve got your description that’s a big one as well, the screenshots and the second I’d focus on the description, start tweaking that and testing different description, a good way to do that is to look at competitors and see how they write their descriptions obviously don’t copy them but you know you can get a feel for the length of that description, you can get the things to focus on you know the core benefits of things they focus on and things like that and then yeah lastly this one is pretty obvious I guess but a review if you don’t have a 4 or 5 star rating or if you don’t have many reviews for your app in apple app store you need at least 5 reviews on each of version of your app, before you get an average rating so that’s really important if you don’t have a minimum of 5 reviews don’t get those because people look at that they say oh this app has got a 4 start rating or this app has got a 5 star rating and that influences their decision on whether they will download the app so yeah they are the key things, the screenshots and then equally followed by your description and your reviews
Librado: So with the reviews, how do you encourage people, you know would it be existing customers or you know somebody just kind of scrolling by, how do you encourage them to write reviews you know on your app?
Andrew: Great question, I think that’s a million dollar question that everyone is looking for, the truth is reviews, they are hard to get you know what I mean, I think I’ve read statistics like 1 in a 1000 people leave a review or something like that, there are few ways, like a few tricks that people use in the app updates they’ll say n the app updates you know these are the changes and then at the bottom of the update because you can add a description for every update they’ll say hey you know we just added this pages and ps. if you are liking the app please leave us a rating and review, that really helps us out so that’s why one way so just whenever you update the app including that log to ask for review. There are you know, there are other ways, there’s a lot of tools out there now that will allow you to create a pop ups in the app so when somebody completes something positive in the app like say completes a level or an achievement or something you know, a pop up to come up and say hey, are you enjoying this app would you like to leave us a rating with review click here and that’s another effective way of doing it, they’ve, it’s really difficult because you are not allowed to incentivize reviews or say that, so you can’t say hey do you want five free coin leave us a positive review on the app store. So really it’s just about asking about at those key moments, when people are happy, when people are enjoying the app the most, having a pop up there and asking if they would leave you a review yes that’s probably the best one
Librado: So you mentioned to ask them when they enjoying the app the most so would you know when they are enjoying the app the most to analytics or how would you know?
Andrew: Well yeah you could analytics or positive events you know like when they finish a level or when they win a price or when they you know things like that as opposed to when they you know when they die, don’t complete a level or when they run out of coins they are bad times because they use this feeling like ah am out of coins again now I’ve got to go and wait till I get more coins or I’ve got to you know go to the store and buy more coins or something that’s the bad time because they are feeling a bit, a bit unhappy that sad so yeah just figuring you know one of the key moments in your app, you know you giving away something for free or you giving a price or something that’s the best time.
Librado: So you are talking about all this different things that you can do you know for your app store page so they’ve optimized the app store page, they’ve optimized the apps, the Facebook apps, where should they go from here?
Andrew: Here, ok really is all about testing, so we kind of skip ahead to the look alike audience part but it’s still very much a plus that when you are running your Facebook ads its, testing is everything, testing the interest that you are targeting testing the look alike audience that you targeting and testing the ads as well we haven’t even touched from the ads but the ad images and the text you use in your Facebook ads you know that’s, that’s really what it comes down to the way I approach it is all test you know lots of different things at the same time and then just eliminate what’s not performing so say I find a bunch of interest really specific to my app that I wanted to target so if I had a rising car app or something, I’d list down as many interest as I could find on Facebook when I say interest, I mean Facebook interest and we can find those you know by toping them into the interest box and the ad manager, you can find those buyer toping them into the interest box you can find those using a tool called audience inside, facebook audience inside so list down as many closely related interest to my game as I could, if I had a car racing game, I’d start by looking at big name competitors okay and list all those down then I’d just start say I find twenty really specific interest one really specific interest to go and move on, if I had a car racing game, car racing is not a specific interest (both laughs) because car racing could be anything alright, they could like Nascar, going to life Nascar races, which is got nothing to do with playing a mobile app about racing, where have you picked, what’s a big name in racing game on mobile at the moment anyway you’ll be much better going to the app store finding the top rated racing game and targeting that as an interest as opposed to just targeting car racing in general or something. Anyway so pick some interest list them out and then say what you can do is I’ll actually pick a few so depending on your budgets, so let’s say your budget is $15 a day, I’ll pick three of those interests, and I’d create a separate ads set for each one and I’ll put one interest, one of those interest in each ad set and I’ll set the ad set to $5 a day, an add set is basically that’s where you choose your targeting and everything and all the options around targeting, budget and everything so one ad set for each interest, $5 a day and then I’d create you know maybe two ads for each ad set and I will start to run those and I’ll start to see the results so we’ve got $15 a day total $5 a day down at each ad set and see which interest is bringing me back the best results and basically I’ll keep the best performer and I’ll turn the other ones off and I’ll create another two to replace the one that I turned off with two of the other interest that I had in my list and I basically just keep going through that, so I’d let each one run from you know twenty four to forty eight hours and see which ones are performing and just keep doing that iterative testing until I find which interest is really working the best. Once I found which interest works the best ill start to tweak the ads and start to test new ads and refer down even further so it’s about that testing process, it’s about structuring your testing process to and testing both things but if you are targeting options as well as your ads, so it all makes sense?
Librado: It makes complete sense, so I feature want to keep testing as much as you can?
Andrew: Exactly, yeah yeah and I mentioned interest targeting there but you know obviously one of your test groups, if you’ve got look alike audiences set up then you I’ll include local ad audiences in as one of those ad sense as well
Librado: I know you mentioned it just a little bit but when it comes down to looking at interest, how do you best can narrow down what your interest is?
Andrew: Like I said I always start with competitors, the bigger competitors will come up as interest in facebook when you type them in that little interest box but smaller competitors won’t and with facebook they are not really specific, they are not specific at all about the criteria for being included as an interest or whatever to get facebook page has to be or anything that I’ll say so really the key is just to test you know, if you’ve got a bigger name competitor like if you’ve had a photo and video app you could top instagram and that’s definitely going to come up as an interest you can target in facebook but start by doing that, start by looking at your competitors in the app because they are specific they are your direct competitors and they are an IOS apps so you know the people interest in those I said IOS but it could be IOS or Android you know the people are specifically interested in that playing that type of game or using that kind of app on a mobile device if they like one of your competitors right so start by doing that and then what I will do is I would, once I found a few competitors that I could tally interest, I go with the audience, the audience inside store, where I’m assuming we could maybe include a link to that in the sure notes maybe we have facebook audience and sorts, I’ll go over there and I will type in you know one of those interest that I found, one of those competitors that I could find as an interesting into audience insides and what that does what is insides you know takes the interest that you enter or whatever you enter and tells you okay for this audience, so say you put it in the interest candy crush you putting that in the audience insights and it will tell you okay people who like candy crush also like this other pages, also like this other interest and that you know then I will just write it down so it’s saying like it’s just heading you in those ideas its saying people who like candy crush also like you know germ dots or you know whatever I will give you a bunch about that (both laughs) you can at list down so that’s a really good way to do it, just start mining through that and as you get more interest out of audiences you can actually put those more into audiences and more ideas so yeah that’s how I will do it for sure
Librado: By now you know, assuming everybody is following all your amazing steps, they’ve installed the facebook sdk, they’ve optimized their app store page, they are testing all their ads and they are getting the resource that they want, you know they’ve gone on, they looked at competitors, they looked at what they are doing. They bring that information back and they re applying it to their own apps and so what comes after that?
Andrew: It Really is just a continue your process of testing and improving measuring, depending on their own objectives you know if there are doing it just to collect data and improve the app, then you know obviously just repaying that circle but that, that’s really it you know if it’s one [unclear – 31:42] play with they are happy with their customer install it’s just about repeating it and continuing in that process of reforming or working towards whatever your goal is you know next stop, you might start to look at things like scaling you might want to spend more money if you find an app seeking to self targeting options and ads that are working really well and you are getting really good price installs, you might want to up your budget and start spending more per day so a good tip for that that I will give everyone is if you are spending $10 a day on an ad set is it performing really well, you might think okay I want to up my budget I’ve figured out that this is great I’m getting really cheap installs I want to spend a $100 a day, what you should not do, is change that $10 budget to a $100 instantly, for some reason, it is a weird facebook thing it throws the algorithm out and suddenly your cost per install said a dollar per install when you spending $10 a day and then you jack it to $100 straight away, certainly the cost per install will go through the roof because it just, for some reasons it messes with the algorithm so what I would do is a great tip is to just bump it up by that 50% every 24 to 48 hours so if its $10 a day, bump it to $15 and then wait 24 to 48 hours, let the algorithm settle again and then bump it up again to another you know another 50% so you might get a what is that $22.50 and just keep bumping it, bumping it by a 150% every 24 – 48 hours until it you get to that you know to whatever your budget is that you want to get to
Librado: Well in that note, that last part is a really good tip
Andrew: Yeah so it’s a common one you know people find this little gold mine of great great cost installs and jack the cost and go where did that cheap installs go?
Librado: So well that’s all really good and I mean something that I’ve been interested at is where can they find more information to continue improving their facebook ads and to learn more now cause you’ve said a lot of cool stuff and its definitely something that I feel everyone is going to benefit from but where can they keep going besides just this information?
Andrew: Yeah so I mean we quickly mentioned this at the start so you can go to my website, smartadmarketers.com and what I had actually done for the listener of this podcast I put together pretty comprehensive guide, I think it’s 60 plus pages to help just the beginners get to facebook ads, it goes through everything we’ve talked about basically but in a lot more detail and you can grab that at smartadmarketer.com/fbguide no hyphens or spaces or anything just smartadmarketer.com/fbguide and I think that will be a really good starting point for our listeners who are interested in kicking off on facebook ad campaign
Librado: I guess this are our final questions, sorry it is a little more personal, what drives you because a lot of our customers are people who also want to make that same job you did a while ago and so I feel like the biggest thing to give them is your reason why, your vision as to why you keep going?
Andrew: Yeah for me, the thing that really got me going in the first place and it still continues to drive me is seeing other people get results like it’s you know, I really enjoy that, working with people and then they are coming back and going where you know after we’ve made those changes after we do those things, you know I got this great results, that’s really encouraging and you know really motivating helps me keep going and I guess the other thing is particularly with facebook ads, you know be competitive to be honest it’s great to come in and see that you get a big win by cutting somebody’s cost by helping them get you know better results and it’s always a bit of a completion so how can we get this install cost down a bit more how can we just you know improve it a little more and get a bit of a win so it’s that competitive thing, it’s a bit of a game
Librado: Oh yeah I love that and so lastly what’s next for you where it’d be personal, you know for your business, what’s the next horizon?
Andrew: The next horizon I guess is to keep building a bidding app smart app marketer, you know obviously putting out better content and helping more people through that channel yes to finding ways to do that you know, I want to expand that into, I don’t know everything about every aspect about ad marketing yeah we talked about just facebook ads but there’s so many other ways to market apps so you know, bringing on more and more people to contribute to that and add their valuable insights as well so that visitors can get even more value is something I would love to do and plan to do this year and yeah so I guess that’s the key direction for smart ad marketer and for the mobile marketing side of the business for sure
Librado: Well thank you so much Andrew, and really appreciate you coming on the podcast and giving everybody tons of advise, I mean gold was just dropping out of your mouth so thank you so much for everything
Andrew: Like I said yeah you are absolutely welcome, I love doing this things it’s a lot of fun so yeah you are absolutely welcome anytime, will love to come and have a chat, it’s been fun
Librado: Love you, that concludes today’s show thank you so much for joining us today, my name is Librado Hernandez and I will see you again next week.
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