I’m a 17 year old entrepreneur whose iphone app made over $15,000 in 9 days.
Did you use any methods to get your app visibility in the incredibly saturated iPhone app market?
i thought itd be at least $100 were these the 10 biggest or just 10 big instagrammers?
how do you find out which instagramers are best?
Did you consider a particular day of the week/time of day for the posts to go live?
i just did a quick search and everybody seems to favor Thursdays and Sundays.
how do you “get in contact” with an Instagram user?
How did you identify which instagram accounts to do this to?
i.e. how’d you find out which ones were the big ones?
Did you have to pay to get on the Instagram accounts?
Or barter posting for them in the future?
I basically paid them all to post a picture of the app icon with a short description about it.
Oh sorry, I was reading on my phone missed that totally.
Did you pay them anything or offer them anything for the promotion?
“Learn how to market and sell before you build your product.
Learn these crafts by picking a product that’s already been built and act as a reseller”.
What’s being said here is that if you can’t market and sell a product (ANY product) then the odds of succeeding with your own product are slim.
If you can’t “market and sell” what on earth is the point in wasting all that time, effort and money building your own product?
If you’re never going to be able to market it, and sell it, why build it?
I can’t speak for everyone but I build because I have this innate desire to create shit.
Some people want to use my creations and I’m cool with that, but I don’t even remotely question the product’s existence if it fails to be seen.
I got most of what I wanted from it just by making it.
Right on, but targeting that build towards an application & target audience is what makes this /r/Entrepreneur and not /r/DIY.
The part that gets annoying is when you create something and then 4 years later it gets huge because someone else finally thought of it and markets it better than you.
Case in point: I created a website called walmartslobs in 2004, years later ‘people of walmart’ got huge.
I was doing that exact same thing 5 years before it blew up.
I’ve had this happen so many times in my life..
if I was just better at marketing I’d be living on a beach and eating nothing but rum by now.
To be fair, “People of Walmart” sounds better than “walmartslobs”.
Either way its a horrible concept…laughing at the lower socioeconomic people and their problems with hygiene.
There is a huge amount of people logging onto the internet and using it as a way to mock and make fun of others.
Someone found a way to make money of it.
I’m sorry, did I post this in /r/morality by mistake?
This has nothing to do with laughing at others of different socioeconomic status.
These people make conscious and deliberate decisions to go into public dressed and appearing the way they do.
A lot of times it is overtly sexual, scantily clad, and obese..
What they need is a little bit of judging and shame.
Shaming them is the only thing that could potentially make them pick up a bar of soap.
Not only is it not horrible to shame people into being civilized, it’s a kindness and a virtue.
That’s where people like me come in.
You need to get some contacts, like candletable, that understand marketing.
Once you finish your next project get some help with marketing and see if it really takes off.
We should get together, because I’m the opposite.
I don’t like making shit, but I love buying and selling shit (ie the finance side of a business).
So muppethead makes tons of shit, and you buy all of it.
It’s tough, because innately we usually strive to one side or the other.
In reality though, most end up having to do it all alone.
And once you can overcome yourself and push to learn this other side of the world, you start opening doors for yourself.
Once you start really profiting off your creations, you get the resources to not be limited on what you can create.
Thats the paradox of the creator vs. the sales person.
I’m an artist and to be honest, most artists are TERRIBLE salespeople and marketers…I’m glad that I did sales throughout my undergrad and after.
How many times did you fail before succeeding with this software?
With reference to the article, what are some good things to sell and learn to market with?
I’m guessing something small and easily sells online.
There is one thing this blog post overlooks, other people.
You don’t have to go completely solo, actually, you probably shouldn’t try to go completely solo.
After 5 years of struggling this guy was still not willing to work with another person, that was the biggest mistake and the real lesson to take from this article.
If you are great at creating products but suck at marketing don’t waste huge amounts of time trying to learn it and failing, hire someone or get a partner.
It’s fine to start off on your own and try your hand at doing it all, you might succeed, but if you fail in those other areas then you need to accept that and seek outside help.
Your time is more valuable when you are doing something that you are good at, so don’t waste it where your effort is unproductive.
Can you tell us a bit about why you bought that particular app?
Why did you think it represented good value at $2000 and how much due diligence did you do on the app before purchase?
Well at the beginning i had the idea to make my own app but after i did a lot of research i realized it is very time consuming and can cost A LOT of money.
I then came across apptopia and for a week or two looked around the site for a app at a good price i could buy.
Then i saw “Snazzy” the app had only been in the store for 2-3 weeks so i knew it was fresh.
Also i knew that buying a photo editing app had great potential to sell using advertising on photo sites like Instagram!
I honestly thought the simple app was over priced, i tried to bargin but he wouldnt budge and i was inpatient.
So i bought it had a team make some updates, hired my friend to make a kick ass icon and thats it!
And apptopia’s traffic grew 3 sizes that day.
I’m also interested in how one finds a team to make updates to their app and what protects you from them stealing the whole thing?
I’m kind of oblivious to the app market, so pardon my ignorance…
You can actually do the updates yourself for the beginning.
There is a ton of super helpful forums out there filled with very intelligent people.
This is where your business sense will kick in and you will find a comfortable deal for the both of you.
I would go for a smaller salary+% of profit for most programmers.
Edit: If you are going to invest into the app craze I would strongly suggest getting comfortable with programming and coding as well.
Oh boy thats a whole different story haha, ive been running twitter accounts for over a year..
You may cause some negative outcomes for the people you paid to publicize your app on instagram.
its a lot less complicated than people think, i bought the app only around a month ago, the additions to the app only took a week.
Then the submission process to the app store took 6 days!
Of course its a whole different story if you develop the app which is 98% time the case.
I am in the process of building different websites from scratch with my boyfriend and by the time the site is done it’s like fuck..
i know its not original or anything:/ but i wanted to see how much sales i could drive with my marketing techniques.
Marketing makes or breaks products, and is just as important as making sure the product actually works.
Do you have any plans on learning how to code?
Its a very, very useful skill to have.
Can you tell us more about your Instagram and Twitter marketing?
How hard was it to get people on board?
How much did you pay them to post?
What’s your app and did it affect who you chose to plug it?
Do you use programs like TweetAdder or TweetAttacks to build a following on Twitter?
How much did you purchase the app for on the marketplace?
Lots of questions, but I’m a similar age, and interested in app development and I’m already well into internet marketing.
What are some of these Instagram accounts?
If you don’t want to give out the names, can you explain what the purpose of these accounts are?
Do they just advertise for other accounts?
How is it that you run a few twitter accounts with 100k followers?
Do they link to your app when they post, or just write about it?
Well they say its called “Snazzy” and its in the appstore then at the end they link to the snazzy instagram account that has a link to the app store.
Unfortunately you are not allowed to post links on your instagram picture descriptions.
So which of the two had a better conversion, Twitter or Instagram?
I dont have exact numbers but it really seemed like Instagram did!
The consumer gets a visual effect as well as text.
Plus the prices for promoting on Instagram are cheaper!
Where can one find REAL twitter accounts to pay for marketing?
How frequently will you have to update and maintain the app?
How did you learn how to build an app?
I actually know nothing about app development.
I bought the app from a website (Apptopia.com) that sells “used” apps.
So how much did you spend to buy the app and pay the developers and for any marketing?
How the hell did you get developers to modify your app for what I can only assume is a few hundred dollars since you said you bid lower than the $3k asking on the app.
Development fees alone should have cost you significantly more than that.
Your profits are impressive but I think your startup costs are actually more impressive.
Maybe the developer is getting a cut.
Apptopia seems to indicate you paid $3k?
http://www.apptopia.com/listings/snazzy-simple-photo-frames-awesome-design What’s the go there, do they artificially inflate their sales results?
Looking at the original ad all it seemed to do was add borders to photos, you must have had to do a fair bit of dev work to bring it to its current state, doesn’t seem like good value at $2-3k?
That’s The whole idea of an investment, you believe in it, invest in it, work with it and hope for The Best.
In my humble opinion it was Fairly worth it, 15.000 – 3.000 = 12.000, of course minus fees, taxes etcetera and What not, basically he just made 400% ROI (Return On Investment), that’s a pretty sweet deal, on no less than 9 days!
Although, crunching the numbers a bit deeper, it was about 7 weeks (apptopia indicates the app was purchased on Feb 16th).
And with the appstore fees, it’s more like $7500 instead of $12000.
especially considering the timeline and the fact that development work was done, and it’s likely going to continue to make decent money as long as they stay in the paid rankings.
I assume they’ll do further dev work to improve it even more.
Absolutely, I’m not saying he hasn’t done well out of it.
But 400% ROI is the exception not the rule.
I would say in this case it’s due to his advertising and marketing smarts rather than a prudent original application purchase.
He would probably have been able to generate a similar result irrespective of what the application was.
Obviously it looks worth it now, but investment is about calculated risk.
I was just wanting to discuss whether the risk profile of the original application, given its lack of functionality makes it a sound original purchase.
Just reading Nicks comments it seems to be that the application was chosen because it had crisp, simple lines and was aesthetically pleasing rather than particularly functional.
And perhaps given he doesn’t think it has much longevity that was the appropriate criteria for selection, and it is something that I’d think would appeal to your average Instagram user which is obviously the intended audience.
Where did you find that capital, at 17?
lol at people in this thread looking for a reason to look down on a talented 17 year old kid.
Wherever he got his money it doesnt matter, because his brains got him the 400% ROI anyways haters vacate.
3000 is like a couple months work waiting tables, which pretty much anyone who’s 17 can do.
Unless you’re in an area that has the worst fucking job market ever and the next 3 towns are the same (any farther than 3 towns is about 45miles).
Most people under 18 here can’t get a job because the market is so bad.
I got mine after 2 months of straight up applying everywhere.
Sounds like a good place to be from not a good place to be at.
I saved up a few thousand when I was 17 to buy my first car.
It’s not too hard, even on minimum wage, while your parents are still paying for the majority of your living expenses.
If so, that is a nice icon!
How did you decide on this icon?
I mean no disrespect and I am not a ux pro but how is your icon significantly different than Instagram?
I suppose you need the camera lens to give the point that it’s an app meant for photos.
I respect what you achieved and hope to do something similar soon.
How did you figure out how to pay him?
My friend did my logo and want to pay him, but not insult him with too little or over pay him.
Get quotes from other app icon creators, find out the going rate.
As a 23 year old broke university student, this is an inspirational post for me and very motivational.
Success can seem like something you can only imagine and see other people achieving but real examples like this are a good reminder that anything is possible, especially with the fortunate fact that we live with the bigest game changer of the modern world,, the Internet.
Congratulations on your success and good luck for the future.
This really means a lot to me..
I have a following of about 2 million+ on Twitter and Instagram combined 5.we decided to price it at 99 cents thats the only way we have used to monetize.
I’ve been doing Social Media marketing for close to 2 years so yeah trial and error was apart of it.
Always send a bid dont accept the price they set..
Also make sure the app has potential to monetize with ads or selling it for a price.
If the app looks just awful and has bad design just avoid it..
Apptopia has plenty of good apps to buy in my opinion!
Look for a clean, crisp app that hasnt been on the market for years.
Thanks for doing this Iama, I’m getting a lot of ideas.
Just wanted to say wicked job man.
What do you plan to do with your newly-earned income?
I love the negative reviews in the app store, “i expected more seeing as it cost a dollar.”
Are you sure this whole thing isn’t a marketing campaign for apptopia?
I see you’re a new reddit user.
What sort of due diligence or maybe a checklist that you would use before deciding with apps that you will buy?
If your talking about the website Apptopia i really just see which apps are priced well, look clean and crisp, and have good options for monetizing and marketing!
What about patent rights, licenses, royalties, stock photo rights, terms & conditions, software licensing, warranties etc.?
What sort of an app that is good for monetizing and marketing in your opinion?
Damn, I need to start promoting my apps.
If you need help i can be of service!
Just a quick question – how did you go about asking the instagram accounts if they offer shoutouts?
Is there a place they advertise or did you comment on their instagrams asking?
Thanks for the answer, and congrats on the app!
How did you managed to get $2,000 to buy that app?
What did you think when you make such a decision?
What if your investment didn’t pay off, did you have plan B to try again, or you knew it will work?
I made the initial $2,000 through social media advertising and also i had a job at a restaurant for about a year.
Can you elaborate on what you did for social media advertising?
You can post ads on your twitter account through sites like Mylikes.com and Cha Cha Affiliates.
On a good week i’ve made $2,000!
How did you find the Instagram users that you used for shoutouts?
Do you fear that the sales will fall off due to some bad reviews or are you happy with the profit you have made and ready to move on to the next project?
for some reason today the reviews have been very negative.
I want to keep my profits up for the next couple weeks.
My goal is to hit 30k in profit.
I’d say 10:1 is a pretty damn good ROI for anybody!
Good luck and thanks for all the good answers.
You really opened my eyes to some of the marketing angles that really help an app succeed.
so after you buy an app, who updates/develops it?
What type of twitter accounts are you maintaining?
I read through the comments and it sounded like you had multiple accounts.
Possibly drop the twitter handles to us?
why is it so hard for you to tell us what your app does?
It’s about how he marketed the app, not the app itself.
This is an important point, the app isn’t successful because it has great functionality.
In this situation the app is successful because its owner knew his audience and marketed it right.
I think its actually pretty honorable of them not to try and plug their own software here, as we know so many people use AMA’s for this purpose.
Regardless, thank you for taking time out to do this AMA.
As someone who actually creates high quality apps: fuck you.
This is exactly the kind of junk that makes customers reluctant to spend money on apps: prettied up abandonware.
As another developer, its not about how much cash he made–if anything, congratulations for showing a (clearly) successful marketing method with evidence of strong results.
My issue with it is people who get burned by some unsupported software, especially if they’ve paid for it, are probably going to be a bit more hesitant to pay for apps in the future.
Like I said, kudos for a quick buck, and an impressive return, but I don’t agree with selling an unsupported app, especially when its basically released without any plans to ever improve it (or even really support it, from the sounds of it) in the future.
Edit: Like I said, cool, you made $15000, but when the top displayed reviews of your app are “The app is trash and doesn’t do what it says it is supposed to” and “the icon is nice, but the app is trash [and] bordering on a scam” it really doesn’t bode well for the longevity of the product, or the company behind it (if you were to release subsequent apps under the same name).
If you release a bunch of other apps under different names, that in itself is a bit…
How did you get your app developed?
Wow, really great job man, you seemed destined for big things.
I use similar techniques to promote my online businesses.
What are your plans on maintaining the application, and the success?
How do you go about finding these bigger instagram and twitter accounts in your niche?
Willing to help out my product through instagram willing to pay.
Definitely have given me some hope in my own entrepreneur adventures!
I just wanted to say congratulations on the whole ordeal!
How did you promote the app other than social media?
What is the average price of a tweet per thousand followers?
So how do you go about finding these twitter/instagram folks who are willing to advertise your app (just search for high rollers in your niche – like a twitter search for “photo edits” ?)?
And what are the rates on twitter like?
I know you mentioned $15-30 for instagram but twitter would probably be higher, right?
Are you already an approved developer for the app store?
How long did it take them to approve?
How many apps/products have you tried to market this way before, and how did that go?
I woud be interested to know other people’s opinions on which parts of this are true and which parts of it are not.
My vote: the “17 year old” bit is rubbish and just there for extra attention.
The basic outline of the business model, probably true.
How did you know going in, spending $3,000 on it, that you would get so much out of it?
Or what methods did you use to judge this?
I’m saving this just to remember how relatively cheap it is to market a product.
I’m happy because i’ve actually learnt something.
Thanks for sharing your strategy and your numbers.