This podcast interview was originally published on EventualMillionaire.com on March 20, 2017.

How to use LinkedIn to get featured by Apple store. Where to find under-served and starving markets to promote your apps. What to include in your emails when you’re cold pitching people you don’t know. Two email “hacks” you can use straight away. Why you shouldn’t try too hard to sound professional in your pitches. The reason why Steve launches all his mobile apps in Switzerland store first. When you shouldn’t do any PR at all.

AppMasters.co – App Marketing Agency & Mobile Growth Hacking

Transcript:

[00:06:00] Jaime: Welcome to Eventual Millionaire. I’m Jaime Masters. And today on the show, I am really excited to have Steve Young. Now he runs App Masters.Co. And he also has a podcast called App Masters, what a surprise. And I’m so excited to have you on the show. Thanks so much for coming on.

Steve: Jaime, like I told you before I hit record, I feel like I’ve finally made it. I’m on here.

Jaime: So I feel like we’ve been friends, especially on Facebook anyway. I know your profile picture really, really well, forever, but I didn’t even know you were even close to this. You were in John Lee Dumas’ – way back when – Fire Nation.

Steve: Yep.

Jaime: So give us sort of a little bit of a trajectory. When did you start App Masters, and how did that trajectory of growth look?

Steve: Yeah. It started in 2013, just something that – I’ve been wanting to do a podcast for the longest time, because I listen to yours, I listen to John’s, and I was like I got to do this. And Mixer G, I got to do this. But I didn’t want to do a business one, because you guys are all doing all business related stuff, and I was like: I don’t want to do that. And I had an app business that I started back in 2011. And it was doing okay.

[00:07:00] And I was like you know what, what if I just interviewed people in the app space, because I really liked it when Mixer G would interview app people. And I was just like I should just do that, like Mixer G for apps. So that’s how I started, and then John opened up his first Fire Nation elite. And I was kind of doing those on the side back in the day, but he opened that up and I immediately joined. And it’s been – I left my corporate job in 2014, and it’s been pretty cool ever since.

Jaime: And now you’ve made it, dun, dun, dun.

Steve: And now I made it. Now this is the pivotal moment, yes.

Jaime: Everybody loves stories like this. Because that’s the other thing, sometimes I have people on the show and they’re like: oh, that’s great for them, but they started way back when or whatever. And for people that have listening to this show, I mean 2014, you left your job, that’s not very many years later, so how did you even get into the app business? I know it was super sexy back in 2011 when we did it. And it was probably a different sort of timeline, so how did you get into it and how did it grow?

Steve: It was really through interviewing my guests. So I just talked to a bunch of people that I really admired for that first year. I was just learning, that’s all I did. I was just like here’s what I’m struggling with.

[00:08:00] And to this day, running the podcast, things have changed, back then it was like launch strategies, and how do you really make it. Now it’s just like how do you grow a team? How do you really go to the next level from like 1 million downloads, to ten, to 100, and so forth? And so I just talk about what I’m personally struggling with, learned along the way, and the audience gets to come with me. But that was the trajectory, the growth of it all, yeah.

Jaime: Do you feel like, especially because of the app space, like I said was super sexy, just like the podcasting phase was super sexy, tell me about sort of the trend in apps? Because Pat Flynn used to have an app, and I had an app also, it was horrible.

Steve: Really?

Jaime: Oh, yeah. I did that before my site, which was so horrible. So I know the whole thing and how bad it can go. But when we look at it now, I mean we’re using our phones consistently every single day working on apps, every single day compared to 2011, but I feel like nobody talks about the app business anymore, so where’s that trend the app business specifically?

[00:09:00] Steve: Yeah, let’s talk about in the beginning, like Pat days. Well, you can build – I think he had a flash – what was it the – the light signal –

Jaime: Oh, yeah, the stoplight thing.

Steve: Yeah.

Jaime: Oh, my gosh, yes.

Steve: So back in the day it was like that. Like, you could do prank apps, people were like – it was a novelty at the time, so people were interested. And then it started shifting towards, I mean I got into the kid’s app space. I’ve got a couple of kids, so I started building apps for kids. And then – I know you got a couple of kids, too. But it then started shifting towards more games.

And I think with these new platforms that have come out, that made it really easy to build apps, especially games, people were in this phase, where it’s all about games. And now you’re starting to talk about augmented reality and VR coming into play, so Pokémon Go.

Jaime: So let me ask you about games in general. Because I had – one of the people that came on the show, and I don’t know if it’s confidential or not, she was like, “I’m putting all into games.” And this was probably like two years. She put all of her money – not all of her money – but a lot of her money into this game, and it did not do all that well.

Steve: Yeah.

[00:10:00] Jaime: I feel like there’s just so much competition, how do you even go about trying to even get in that space or launch a game if you’re not already, you know, tons of downloads?

Steve: I think what most people see is they see like Crossy Road. I’ve interviewed the guy who made Crossy Road. And they see wow; this is like an Indie guy. He’s just a one guy – a two man show out in Australia, that’s brilliant. But you don’t see like the seven years, or the eight years, that he was like in darkness making games, and really loving that passion. So one, you don’t see that, and two, he really built up the connections. I think a lot of people – because I work with a lot of app people too, and they say like, “I’m just going to launch it.”

And they don’t invest, so they spend all their money making, and spend very little marketing, and that’s where it gets flipped. I think you got to spend at least half and half, if that, but it’s the marketing that really drives the awareness. And I’m going to add one more thing Jaime, and I’ve been fascinated by this, because I’ve been listening to a lot of Gary V, and he talks a lot about like under serviced, like underserved markets, like social media networks.

So I’m really fascinated by like looking at music lead for instance, or maybe even in scram now, but really fascinated by the music lead space, and using that to promote apps, especially for games.

[00:11:00]  Jaime: Okay, that’s really interesting. So number one, if somebody were to try and get into the app space now, because no offense, you’re like: oh, well, it has to be a really good game, 50 percent. If I’m only putting 50 percent, I’m going to have a crappy game. And yes, we can do some with marketing, but how is that going to necessarily hit? So somebody that’s sort of getting into this space and hasn’t spent seven years, what can we do to make sure the game is good, but also the marketing is 50 percent good also?

Steve: Sure. I’ll give you some of my favorite hacks and people that have loved my favorite hacks, too. So Apple, if you want to get featured by Apple, which a lot of people do, one thing is you can look for app store managers on LinkedIn. So you can look for people on LinkedIn, find their email addresses and make that pitch. Be very careful when you’re doing that because you don’t want to email too many people, that’s how we’ve been able to do it. Each app store manager, if you’re in the U.S. generally has a category they’re in charge of, so look for the category that you are launching in, if it’s games.

[00:12:00] And the other one, there is a generic email address, just like big publications have generic email addresses, Apple has one too, and it’s called app store promotion@apple.com. Now Jaime, because of the popularity of your show, Apple is going to hate me.

Jaime: We won’t tell them, it’s fine.

Steve: Appstorepromotion@apple.com, just one word. It does work. We got a client featured by Apple using that email address. Just be careful because you want to tell a good story. I think people hear like, “Oh, nobody checks that.” You know, if you email tips@tedcrunch, they’re going to check it; it’s just your story sucks. So everybody checks that email, but nobody really focuses like on the story, like who are you? Why does this app matter? And like try to weave it in and tell a good story, too.

Jaime: So you have to give us tips on this, because email cold pitching people that we don’t know is really tough for people, especially because we’re told don’t make it really long, but you’re telling us it has to be a good story, so how do we do that, give success some tips?

[00:13:00] Steve: So I like to – there’s a couple of formulas that I like to use, one is combining two popular products. So it’s like, one of the one’s I use, Farmville meets Candy Crush, or something like that. This is where – and people say like, “Oh, I hate it when I see these subject lines,” but you immediately get it when I tell you that it’s, you know. So I like to leverage popular products right now. The other hack that I’ve been trying and testing out with too is just using emojis in the subject lines, and trying to get attention that way.

Because I’ve seen a lot of like, you know, I’m sure you subscribe to a lot of newsletters, and they’re starting to use emojis. I was like I like that. I’m going to try that. And then the other thing, if you’re trying to get from a PR perspective, Apple it’s a little bit different from a PR perspective, if you say exclusive to somebody, then it generally helps out with the announcement.

Jaime: I never even thought of emojis. I sent to my clients, I send a little happy face emoji as the subject line to my clients, just because I thought it was cute. But I never thought that I could do that to somebody else, and that does make it seem a little more personal, if it’s coming directly from you. Oh, those are really great hacks.

[00:14:00] What do you say in the body of the email to actually hook them? Because it’s one thing to open, and it’s another thing to be like you read past the first line and I think you’re dumb, delete.

Steve: I try to not talk about myself too much and go straight into the app. So sometimes it really depends, unless I have a really compelling story, I was homeless and I made this app, and now you know people love it. That’s really compelling, like a hero, like I started from nothing, now I’m something, then I might incorporate myself, but usually I stay away from myself and talk about, like this is what the app was. I’ll give you an example, this one app that was my app; we got it featured in China.

And I said look, I’ve interviewed this many people, like 400 at the time, but now it’s 500. And I’ve learned everything, and I’ve put all that passion into the app. I took a break from making the app for a couple of years just to learn, and now this app is coming out. And that’s how I pitched Apple. So unless there’s a really, really compelling story about yourself, I would leave that out and just go talk about the app itself. And I try to – I mean, keep it short, like a couple or two – one or two sentences about the app itself, or about your company, or whatever it is.

[00:15:00] And then I try to like a resume, I try to bullet point things. So if it’s going to be long, I just say bop, bop, bop, and that helps me keep it short, too. And then I just say I would love to get your feedback, if you think it’s Apple worthy? And I try to talk – or write like I talk, too. I’m not trying to sound so professional. Deer Madame, please look at this app. I’m just like: hey, man, what’s up? Like, this is the app. Like, I’ve been working a lot of like sweat and tears have gone into this, what do you think?

Jaime: Okay, I want – can I get like an example or two of what those look like, because I would love to actually see this. People get so messed up when they’re trying – it shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

Steve: Yeah.

Jaime: We email constantly, and yet when it’s a pitch, you know, there’s pressure, and people can’t do it because they don’t want to hit send because they’re afraid of what they’ll look like and all sorts of stuff. So I would love to have something like that. I love that you said Apple worth. Are you Apple worthy? Have you done anything with the podcasting space at all or just the app space?

[00:16:00] Steve: Yeah. I do that all the time with the podcasting space. Like, if I’m trying to reach out to a big guest, I’ll just cold email them and be like: We’d love to have you on. Now it’s just like: we’d love to have you on. And I think with the podcasting space, so I’ll give you an example too Jaime, and I’ll give you an Apple example in pulling off the email, because I literally just pitched them this morning. But from a podcasting, like I’m not the biggest podcast, so I try to say look, here are my average downloads.

And I get roughly about a couple thousand per episode, because it’s app specific. So I say look, it’s like speaking at a large conference, but in the luxury of your pajamas. So I’m trying to hit on something that people – everybody wants to speak at conferences and things like that. What do people hate about conferences? Well, you got to travel. So I’m like: hey, it’s like speaking at a pretty decent sized conference, but in the luxury of your pajamas. So I started using that as well.

Jaime: Smart man. Though, unfortunately I do video. I can’t say that they can wear they’re p – well, they can. You know what, they can wear their PJs, we’d like that, that’d be great. You should have worn your pajamas.

Steve: I had to put makeup on for this.

Jaime: Seriously, you’re a guy. You don’t have to deal with that. You’re so lucky. Alright, so let’s go down the app side a little bit more, because that’s the other thing. I don’t ever talk about this space. And I’ve had clients in this space a little bit.

[00:17:00] And you work with clients in this space, unlike launching, so what is the difference? Because we’ve heard of a lot of online launches, like crazy, but what does a launch look like typically for an app?

Steve: So you want to prepare, right? So especially for a game, I’m going to stick with it because you talked about games, but do a soft launch. So when I say a soft launch, you make your app available in like the Philippines, English speaking markets, the Philippines, Switzerland. Stay away from Canada, Australia, UK, they’re too big. And if you do a soft launch there, you’re going to blow your chances of a feature when you actually do a real launch. So I try to stay away from the popular English speaking countries. So I go to the Philippines.

I got to Switzerland, Netherlands, so forth. You want to drive some traffic and really pay attention to the retention of your app. That’s going to blow everything else. You can throw a bunch of marketing dollars on it. You can make the greatest designs in the world, but if people aren’t continually using your app, it’s just not going to work. So that’s what you want to test out during the soft launch phase. And then once you’re ready to go, and you want to get featured by these app stores, pitch them about two to three weeks before.

[00:18:00] Now, not to get technical, so you stop me any time, but you want to get your app to prove ideally. So you submit to iTunes. They have a review process. You want to get it approved. That’s generally how I like to do it. Get it approved first, and then pitch Apple, look we’re ready to go. That shows you’re legit. You know what you’re doing, right, not just pending. So you have to submit it. And then when you’re pitching these app stores, make sure you have your app ID.

It’s an either iTunes link, you can pull that up in the platforms, have that app ID, have a quick little video, talk about the message and get that out. If you’re trying to get PR, I usually go PR from a week or two before the launch, and start that trickle effect. And then once it’s launched you just go, like push, major push everywhere.

Jaime: Okay. Because the hard thing about apps – well, the hard thing about it in general with Apple and Android is there that’s only so many ways that you can like really go crazy. So if you hit it, yay, success – well, at least most success for awhile, and we’ll see when that drops out, right? Just like in the podcast, you’re now what’s hot and now you’re not, and that sort of stuff. But does PR work?

[00:19:00] Does it go – and this is where I have this question, even in the podcasting space, people don’t, we don’t have direct links. I mean, I have iPhone, but it’s so crappy when it comes to like getting people to move around within iTunes and stuff like that. So give me your thoughts on other marketing tactics to either an app, or a podcast, or something like that, that’s on your phone and mobile?

Steve: Yeah, so marketing tactics from an app perspective would be – I’ll give you a podcast too, something I did early in the days. But PR isn’t that great for app downloads. Like, unless you have a social media app, it might be good for it, but in terms of a game, like it’s just I don’t even recommend it at all. It’s just not going to move the needle, at all.

So the other marketing – one of my favorite marketing hacks, from an app perspective, is to, if you have a fade app, make it free for a couple of days, and pitch a site called App Advice, and BGR. And that will drive tremendous amounts of downloads.

[00:20:00] If you have a free app, you can make one of your in app purchases for free, so like a remove ads. Hey, that’s free for a couple days. You don’t have to watch our ads. Still get that – you need that press, because it’s not going to drive that downloads regardless. From a podcast perspective, early on days I interviewed the cofounder of Shazam, and I was really excited. That was like a big win for me, and it was still early. And what I did was I scraped Google Play.

So I grabbed the email addresses, because Google Play gives you email addresses of all the developers. And I wanted people that just weren’t popular. So I just scraped them all. I had about 300 or 400, and I emailed them. I was like: look, I’m not trying to get anything from you, just listen to this episode. So I did that, and then anytime I have popular guests on, I go on to the Facebook groups, for me it’s all app specific.

So if it’s a well known, like Rovio, I interviewed the guys from Rovio, Catch App, like all these popular ones, I’ll just post it in there, and most of the time people will want to listen to the really popular people .

Jaime: What’s so genius about the podcast site, now to me, I know podcasting is sort of on a trend. And people will come to me and be like I started a podcast, but I’m not making any money.

[00:21:00] I’m like: well, you know, you don’t have a business, so I don’t know what to tell you. There’s no business model. But what’s amazing, I think, about having a podcast is the connections that it builds. So you have a ridiculous network, I’m sure, of all of these app builders in general.

Steve: Yeah.

Jaime: How does that work in your business? How do you really get the most ROI from the network that you have?

Steve: You know what Jaime, like it’s crazy, because if you told me three years ago where I would be right now, I’d be like: no, that’s probably not going to happen. You’re probably going to be doing something else. Because when I left, I thought like: hey, maybe it’s going to be courses, maybe it’s going to be apps, maybe something else. And now we run a really good, well oiled, agency in the app marketing space. But it was those relationships that I developed back in the days that now, you know, like three, four years down the road; it’s starting to really pay off.

And now you get these emails, like Steve, I listened to your podcast in the early on days. So when people say look, I don’t have a business yet. It’s not making money. You’re not – you know, I don’t think a podcast is here to make money, it’s here to build these relationships, and really, I guess segment your – what’s the right word I’m looking for?

[00:22:00] But really stick you as like the expert in this particular industry. And that’s what it does. And what you can do out of it is anything. I didn’t think I’d be running the agency when I left. I was just like: I don’t think I’m going to be doing agency, agency doesn’t scale. I grew up in the Bay Area. Yeah, I’m supposed to run an agency, right? You’re supposed to build a tech company. I know you’re very techy, too.

So like I’m supposed to build a tech company, right? Like, I’m supposed to raise billions, sales for billions. You know, the audience told me what I was good at and I just listened to them. I said okay, fine, I will growth hack my way in the app space.

Jaime: Okay. We’re going to talk about that more because I agree with you so much that most people are like, but I want the passive thing. I want the blah. I have so many clients, who are in the agency space, and in having a podcast in the agency space, I think is great, because literally everyone is like: oh, by the way, I do this. And nobody cares when you’re interviewing them, but then as soon as they need somebody that’s amazing and awesome and owns an agency, you’re the guy they remember. Who knew, right? It’s genius for prospecting.

[00:23:00] But when we’re looking at starting an agency, versus you’re an app company, you know the software. You know about beta. You know about soft launches. Why did you go agency route, instead of the more quote, un-quote passive, just creating a whole bunch of games yourself, or whatever apps?

Steve: Honestly, it was the best way to make money. Like, I’m not in this to like just live a living, like try to just be on me own and not make money, so that was the easiest. People were already coming to me, like before I left corporate, people were already coming to me because of the podcast, that’s number one. Number two, I can transition at any time. So I started making apps, that’s how I first started.

And I think it gave me the legitimacy to say look, I’m doing this podcast, not because I’m doing this podcast to do anything else and build an audience, I’m doing this because I really want to learn. So I came at that angle, and the audience told me this. But now, we’re going back into making apps, like using all the knowledge. What I love about agency work is I get to test some of these theories, like these music lead theories, on other people’ money.

[00:24:00] If it’s right, I then say look, I know this works. So like Apple features, we tested a bunch of things, finally got a client featured. Oh, this works. Got my own app featured. Hello, like it’s a lot easier and you’re making money at the same time.

Jaime: See this is why I’m a business coach. I was like: oh, my gosh, I know every business, and their numbers, and everything behind the scenes. This is so what works right now, right now, right?

Steve: Right.

Jaime: Because not that the interviews that I do aren’t really valid and we share lots of stuff, but as soon as that gets old, things change. So you can know, okay, this worked right now. I’m going to go in my next launch, I’m going to do this and it’s going to actually work.

Steve: Right.

Jaime: So tell us about building the agency, like how many people do you have on your team, and what was that like?

Steve: Yeah, we’ve got a really small team. We’ve got about four or five people on the agency. And it was a slow process. I’m sure everybody’s heard about it, like just doing stuff on your own. It’s charging a little bit, when you don’t feel as confident. And then building up a little bit more confidence and being like: you know what, I need to grow. I can’t do all of this myself.

[00:25:00] And so I think the first thing for those who are just starting out, the podcast, I eliminated a lot of the things that I didn’t want to do. So I still edit the podcast, but in terms of like putting together the blog posts, like doing research on a guest, I have somebody else do that. And that helped me continue to do the podcast.

Jaime: You still edit your podcast Steven? Wow, go you. No, I don’t. Maybe you could delegate that. I’m just saying.

Steve: I do it first, Jaime.

Jaime: I’ll recommend some people offline. We’ll talk. But that’s so amazing for people to actually hear. Number one it makes you really relatable by going: oh, this guy is amazing, and yet he’s still doing some of the little stuff, which I think is huge. So what about that confidence piece, because I feel like this is a big piece for people.

Steve: Yes.

Jaime: Especially when you’re the expert. Now thankfully you interviewed a whole bunch, so that’s helpful, especially at the beginning, people are already coming to you as the expert, even if you didn’t feel that way. But how do you start selling people on that, and building the confidence, and building your prices up enough, because we get this question a lot?

[00:26:00] Steve: Yeah. So I would say count on your wins, right? Once you have that win, then you’d be like: okay, I think I’m ready. And once you have a couple under your belt, you’re like: no, I think I’m good. And I still have to remind myself too, you know, I was doing jumping jacks right before we got on this interview. I was like okay, no, I’m good. I’m good. I think confidence, it slowly builds up. And even when you get confidence in one area, you’re going to still have to build up confidence in another area.

So I don’t think it’s one thing where you’re like: hey, just do this and you’re going to be confident. It’s more like look, once you start counting your wins, and you’re like: hey, I’m actually pretty good. Why don’t you try something different? I love getting on calls. So one day a week I’ll get on calls with everybody, anybody and everybody, who wants to have a call with me, I’ll get on for 15 minutes, one day, let’s go. And I usually do like 14, 15, 16 calls a day.

[00:27:00] And I just help them out, but on those calls I’m able to test different things. Hey, if you want to hire us, what do you think about this pricing? What do you think about this? We’re thinking about offering this. I really get a lot of feedback, then I can then start charging a little bit more, and I know where that price point is when I say: okay, that’s probably a little bit too much for most of these people, and I can kind of stick to that.

Jaime: Talking to your actual customers, huh, who knew? And testing it, that’s amazing. I agree with you about the wins. So especially when it’s difficult when you’re the expert because it makes it all about you. If you’re selling a game, like you said, you don’t have to talk about yourself and be like: I’m amazing! But when you’re in the expert space you kind of have to go: I’m amazing.

I have to say that because you won’t pay me lots of money otherwise, but sometimes it’s uncomfortable. So I know you’ve been on this trajectory, how far do you think you’ve grown on the confidence path, as we’re going through, just because of those wins?

Steve: In the past I would say six months a lot more. So there’s a reason, to the listener out there, there’s a reason somebody’s talking to you. They’re not just talking to you because – especially if they came to you. And I have the luxury of people coming to me. So if they came to you, they obviously think that you’ve got something.

[00:28:00] So that gives you enough confidence to then say look, I can act like this. And I think a lot of times we’re attracted to confidence. We don’t want to get on a call with somebody who is like: oh, you know, I think this would work.

And I think this would work. No, we want to get on a call, like this works, this is this. Now, I’m still not sure, so I’m pretty honest with my clients. I’m not sure, but I think the market is moving this way based on my experience. And so if you want to test this out with me, let’s do it, but I know these, because they want to feel a little bit of confidence in you too, but I know these will work, let’s test out these, and let’s move forward with that.

Jaime: Thank you for being an honest salesman also, right. Because everybody that’s like: oh, this is going to be perfect. Nobody believes that anymore. We are smart human beings. So did you already have a sale background beforehand, or did you not? Like, when you started actually selling this, was it really difficult, and what did you learn sales tactic wise?

Steve: Sales tactic wise it was – I mean, one of the big things, I did have a little bit of background. So I came from the marketing space, and I did a lot of growth hacking for a startup, so it’s a very popular term here in the Bay Area.

Jaime: I know I was going to say growth hacking. There we go, that’s very sexy.

[00:29:00] Steve: People like it though, I have to say.

Jaime: You know, this a side not, but what’s so funny, I just chatted with Navel Madore. I don’t know if you know Navel, he’s amazing. And I’m like, “We need a new name for growth hacking. Can you help me?” He’s a copywriter. Can you help me name growth hacking? And I’m going to coin the term, whatever this next thing is because that’s out. I feel like we need a new term for this.

Steve: I agree. We do need a new term. I definitely agree.

Jaime: And you will coin something. Anyway, continue on the sales side.

Steve: So the biggest sales thing that I think I’ve learned is just be honest. So I say I’m not the biggest agency. You can probably find one, but we’re going to hustle for you. So what can I provide, because at a period like this, I don’t want to disappoint people. So I say look, this is probably not a good fit. So I’m usually generally pretty honest, because I’ve gone through where we sign clients, where we just didn’t believe in it, or maybe they’re a dick. And we did it, but we didn’t like it.

[00:30:00] And so usually now I’m like: hey, this is probably not a good fit. I can help you, but this is the extent I can do. So really be honest about what you think you’re good at, and stick to that lanes. So I know I’m not the biggest, but I say look, I have all the growth hacks out there from an app space. I know because of the audience, nobody else is sharing this. Like, I know that works, and I’m going to be there for you because I am here for the indie developer, because that’s who I was.

And so I try to make that relationship. I also try to just, from like a personality standpoint, I try to smile every single time I’m talking. I know you do this very well. But like, look, people want to talk to energetic people, because after that conversation I want you to feel good after our conversation. So I’m trying to smile. I’m standing up right now. You know, I try to project that type of energy any time I’m on a call.

Jaime: I can tell. That’s why you were doing jumping jacks before you got on the phone with me. I totally get it. so what do you do though, if you’re working with indie people, no offense, but usually the indie guys don’t have as much money either, so where do you draw the line?

Steve: You’d be surprised.

Jaime: Surprise, surprise, right? Where do you draw the line of, I really want to help you, and I think that – then it costs this much, versus like trying – do you move prices, what do you do for those people that are just like you’re great, but I don’t have the money?

[00:31:00] Steve: Here’s something I just started doing, and it’s working out, like the early results are good, but we – I started doing a lot of webinars, because it’s hot right now, right? And I know the audience probably thinks: hey, I got to do a webinar. I just started focusing on – and I was doing a lot, like a different topic, everything. And I was trying to find my way. And then I said look, what do we currently provide already? Okay, you know, app store SEO, Apple features, PR, blah, blah, okay. I know the three or four things that we’re really good at.

So I said let me just share content on those four things. For those who can’t afford us, here’s a little course that we put together, and for those who can afford us, you can hire us. So I said alright, I’m just going to create a course around things that I’m already doing for clients, so that the people who can’t afford me, can just see what I do. And then I said rather than creating a course on something new, something different, just stick to my lane, and just create a lower end product.

And then once they have enough money, or they’ve gone through this stuff, you know you’d be surprised; those Indies actually can come up with a little bit of money when they’re motivated. So that most of like the smaller end courses, like some of my biggest clients have come from buying that smaller course.

[00:32:00] Jaime: Down sell, so smart, okay. And that makes perfect sense, always have something to sell them, if they want you and love you. And like okay, I want to give you money; I just don’t have enough, that makes perfect sense. Alright, about the webinar thing though, so when you’re creating – because it is hot, you know? You jump on all the trends, the apps, podcasting, webinars, smart man.

Steve: This new term, this new growth hacking term.

Jaime: I know. We got to coin that thing. But it’s true, right? So of course when something is trending it’s good to hop on as early as you possibly can, and get out earlier than other people, right? So this webinar thing, what have you learned? Because a lot of people know that it’s hot. They try it. They either hate it, or they don’t get enough signups, or it’s like, but I didn’t actually sell anything, and the pitch. Give me some tips on webinars.

[00:33:00] Steve: So I’ve gone through a few things, course from people we probably know. And what I’ve learned is – one time I just copied. I just said forget it. I’m going to trust this person. I’m just going to do exactly what he says. So I did it. And then certain parts just didn’t feel natural to me.

Jaime: Yep, I’ve done that, too.

Steve: I was like –

Jaime: And then you’re like, oh.

Steve: You have to do it, right? I was like I have to do this. And I even said in the webinar, I’m like you know what, somebody told me to do this, so I’m going to do it. I don’t feel natural, but I’m just going to do it. And so I did it, and then I started saying look, that’s not me. I don’t like this whole build up about me, and incorporating me, me, me, in the very beginning. Let’s go straight to the content. So I think with webinars, the biggest problem, and I had this problem too, just keep doing it.

I had webinar launch where I was like: okay, this is going to be a great new program that I’m launching, like nobody bought. Oh, rather than being like: oh, what did I do wrong? I just said; let’s just talk about what I know. Because this was a brand new thing I was launching, so let’s just do something I know, and let’s just do another one next week. Let’s go, right? I just said let’s do one next week. Let’s do it. And that one worked. And then like I think people give up too early.

Just talk about what you know, follow some of the formulas because obviously it does work, but adapt it to what you feel is natural. Like, just do it once, I think, do it, like they say, and then you’ll find what’s natural to you as you keep doing it.

[00:34:00] Jaime: Yes, practice, practice. You’re a tester, a thousand times over. And I’ve done the exact same thing. And it’s funny because you get the little inkling of like, hmm. Because when somebody was like you have to do the what and not the how. And I’m like I’m a how girl, all I do is teach how.

Steve: Yeah, me, too.

Jaime: And they’re like don’t give it away. And then I did a webinar and I was like: I feel like this crap. I did it once and never again. But that difference between doing what they said, and then – or even one of the ones that sold absolutely nothing, and that actually sold something. What was the difference between those two, because you would have never known, of course, if you said: oh, it’s a failure. It must be the product.

Steve: Right.

Jaime: You did something else differently that second time, what was that?

Steve: So I adapted the style. And then I just said, I talked about what I know, more so.

Jaime: Like what? How?

Steve: So the other one, the first one –

Jaime: Yes, just tell me more.

[00:35:00] Steve: Yeah. The first one I was trying to do, like I run a couple of different masterminds. And one was, I was like you know what, I wrote this blog post about side hustlers, like I want to help side hustlers, because a lot of people in the app space are side hustlers. And so I was like: okay, I want to grow out this mastermind. This other one was more elite, and you have to have at least a million downloads and so forth, so I’m going to do this new mastermind. It didn’t work.

The guy, who did join, actually wanted the elite. So I said I need to track the elite people, and that’s it. So that’s what I learned from it. And then the next one I did I was like what can I do to not feel down on myself that this didn’t work, and do another webinar really quick? I said oh, I’ve done this one already; I just need to adapt it a little bit. It had like a lot of great feedback from it already. I’ll just adapt it a little bit, and then at the end of it I’ll just sell pre – pre launch a course that way, too.

And I did it. And so it was more of just going back to what I knew beat. Like, what worked in the past, and how do I just talk about that? Because I need to get back on the horse really quick, and I need to do it – so I need to talk about something I already knew.

[00:36:00] Jaime: I think that’s amazing, especially because you’re pushing yourself outside your comfort zone, right? So it’s people going failure. And if you let that thing sit and fester, you never want to do webinar ever, ever again.

Steve: Nope.

Jaime: You’re like that was horrible, bad memories, right? But if it’s one really bad webinar in a sea of – even if you don’t sell a lot, you know, 20, 30, 50 webinars that you do where people are like: oh, my gosh you’re amazing, which is wonderful. It may be not as good as money in the bank and amazing words, but still it doesn’t feel nearly as painful. And as a owner you’re sort of like: okay, I’m getting – I’m trying to go in between the failure, failure, right? So is that something that you’ve always done, is that innate for you, where you’ll just keep pushing and keep testing, or did you really have to like grit your teeth and do it?

Steve: Some people say it’s innate. I don’t feel that way. I’ve had friends who say, “You’re just like a go getter dude.” I’m like I don’t feel that way at all. Like, sometimes I’m really down on myself. Like, if you talked to me the day after that webinar, or that evening after, I was like this is crap, like I feel like crap, this is so dumb. Like, I really thought I was trying to help people here, and they were just like – nobody was like – so it’s – I don’t know.

[00:37:00] I don’t think it comes naturally. I think it’s just like putting yourself back in the mindset of, if this doesn’t work, and if I keep going. Now I’m not the mindset of you got to keep going and just banging your head on the wall, but I am of the mindset of what did work in the past? How can I get back on the horse again? And what worked already that I can then do really quick, so I can feel better about myself really fast.

Jaime: How do you make yourself do that? So like how do you actually go I’m just going to do another one now, and then hold yourself to it?

Steve: You know, the list – so I just like, I email the list. It’s like hey, I’m going. I’m doing this.

Jaime: Pressure.

Steve: So that’s one way. I just created the website. And I was like – I was using Webinar Ninja. I was like boom, boom, boom. It was really easy, done. I already had the content. I created it in like 15 minutes. I emailed the list the next Monday. It’s like I’m going to do it. I don’t care. And then I didn’t even finish the slides yet, so I just emailed it. I got like a few people, you know, obviously a good amount of people that are just there, and then went ahead with it.

[00:38:00] Jaime: You are a go getter. Yeah, most people don’t do that, just so you know. And were you always like that even as a kid, you were one of those people that just – and don’t get me wrong, a lot of successful people are definitely like that, it’s sort of a trend, but the people that aren’t are like: I hate you. You’re annoying. I hate you. I have to push myself to do stuff like that, and like hold myself really accountable, so where was that?

Steve: I wish I had a more interesting story and could say I was this shy kid with the head gear, very dorky, that type of thing.

Jaime: I had a head gear, what are you trying to say? I actually literally did, thanks for bringing that up.

Steve: See, you have a better story than I do.

Jaime: Yes. Man, thanks. Alright, continue.

Steve: Okay, this is bad. I just think it’s – I was – you know what, like I’ll get you real personal. I was in high school, like I wanted to be one of the popular kids, right? I was okay, you know I had friends and all that, but there were people who were like really good dancers. And I was like I want to do that. I want to break dance. And I never felt like I could do that. I didn’t want to dance.

[00:39:00] I want slow songs, that’s all I wanted. And then it’s just like you slowly have to do things. So I remember when I was 24, I really wanted to learn how to dance better. So I watched a ton of Usher, Justin Timberlake videos on YouTube. All I was – I mean, if you caught me in my room, you’re dancing around. You would see me copying their moves. And then I slowly, with a couple of shots, would get on the dance floor, and then start doing some of these moves. And they’re like, “Hey, you’re actually not bad.” I’m like oh, okay.

But I still can’t do it right now, unless I have a couple of drinks in me. So I think it’s a slow process. Like, I’m not here saying, like I’m really confident. It’s just a slow process of doing small things. I’m a learner though, Jaime. Like, if there’s something that I want to do, like dancing, I’ll just learn as much as possible and then I’ll start implementing it right away.

Jaime: Yeah, I can tell. It’s amazing. And a lot of the people listening, of course they’re learners too, that’s the reason why they’re listening right now. They’re like please give me everything you have. Alright, so I adore that. So I know we have to start wrapping up in just a minute.

[00:40:00] Steve: Yeah.

Jaime: With that being said, I love that you’ve sort of been in this space with everybody else, and seen other people’s trajectories also. What do you think is the difference between you and all the other people that are like hustling, hustling, but haven’t quit their day job yet?

Steve: Huh?

Jaime: I gave you a hard one at the end, you’re welcome.

Steve: I think it’s just perseverance. You know, listening through all the episodes that you’ve just gone through, just to kind of get myself ready for this, and I think it is perseverance. Like, it’s not like the first year was amazing. It was like okay. I went through a lot of crap in the first year. I had one big client, who ended up leaving, like first quarter of me like finally leaving, and it was like half my income gone.

[00:41:00] And I think it was, one was just investing in relationships. You don’t know what these relationships are ever going to do for you, but this is my action item for the person later on is I’ve invested in relationships. And I generally just cared about the person that I was interviewing. So I didn’t come at it trying to grill this person. I came at it like Jimmy Fallon, like we’re trying to be friends, let’s have a good time. Let’s talk about some of the things you know, and hopefully this relationship turns into something better later on. But who knows, let’s invest in that relationship. So I think it’s just keep going, when you have a dip, keep going again.

Like, don’t stop, like figure out a way. I was applying for jobs in the first year of just like: I think we need a copywriter. Like, anybody needs anything, you know? And like emailing people and being like: oh, my goodness. And now I’m at a point where like people come to me, but now I’m starting to think, like I should do more outreach, because I have this network. I know I’m good. I should do more outreach. I shouldn’t just be like: oh, I’m Steve, people come to me.

I don’t need to look for clients, that type of thing. If I really want to take my business to the next level, I better do some outreach because that’s what most people do. So I think it’s just keep going, learn, keep going, just keep going. I don’t know. I don’t know how else to say it.

[00:42:00] Jaime: Okay. So what’s amazing too is that when we hopped on the call for the first time, you’re like: oh, by the way, I did research on your best guests, and the ones that have the highest downloads, and blah. Nobody has ever done that before, by the way, just so you know. So I really do feel like you try and go above and beyond, for like every story that you said, you’re like: oh, and then I just sort of decided to push myself a little bit, just a little bit more. But I love hearing that in that first year, you were hustling.

Because it’s one thing to be like build relationships, that’s easier when you have a job with numbers and money coming in, and you know it’s coming in. it’s another thing to be like: oh, long term strategy, when you’re like my bank account is drained. What do I do now? So where is that fine line between the short term, I need to hustle right now and make money in my bank account, and the long term, I’m ready to build relationships?

[00:43:00] Steve: I started not living in a granular, like black and white world. There’s no reason why you can’t do both. There’s no reason why I couldn’t invest in relationships and continue doing the podcast, because I knew it was going to eventually – I didn’t know it was going to eventually payoff. Actually, let me take that back. But all I was doing was investing for the long term. I wanted to learn. A lot of the different strategies I’m sharing with you from an app marketing perspective, I learned from a bunch of my guests.

But because I’m the one interviewing, because I’m absorbing all this knowledge, and implementing on it, I’m then able to combine the 500 plus episodes that I’ve done into one person, right? And so that’s what I’ve been able to do. So I did invest, but like I said in the beginning, I was out there hustling. If anybody needed a copy writer, hey, I’m here. Hey, let me try to figure this out. I had a small list at the time. Hey, what do you guys need? Like, trying to figure out the short term and the long term. There’s no reason you have to do one or the other.

You should be doing at both times. So like I’m still investing in the long term, but for the short term, I’m going to go out to some of my past clients and be like: hey, do you guys need more help? It’s not like we need more money, it’s just like I want to grow the business. I want to take it to the next level. So I needed to go back and say what’s going on, is there anything I can help out with?

[00:44:00] Jaime: And the great thing about having a podcast is it’s absolutely of networking. So you know, oh, I need another guest. Oh, I need another guest. Instead of it being a non urgent, but important thing that we should do. So a lot of people that don’t have a podcast, don’t have that urgency, where you’re like I need another episode. Oh, no, I need to book somebody else. I’m going to go network.

You know, so it makes a huge difference to be able to have that system, which I think everybody should have, even if they don’t have a podcast. Alright, so I know I have to start wrapping up. So I’m going to ask you the question, I know you’ve been waiting the entire – no.

Steve: I am.

Jaime: So what’s one action listeners can take this week to help move them forward towards their goal of a million?

Steve: Alright, Jaime. Look, we all go to conferences, the number one thing you want to do at conferences is meet new people, the best way to meet new people and some of your heroes. Now you had an episode about mentorship, so I think this fits in perfectly with what your audience needs. If you want a mentor, go interview somebody. It doesn’t have to be a podcast. It doesn’t have to be in video show. If you’re a designer, create an infographic based on the things that you learned from this person.

[00:45:00] But I’ll tell you, you can find people, really famous people like Jaime, if you say look Jaime, I just want to interview you on something. And it’s a lot better than saying I want to pick your brain, or I want to grab coffee, or I want to grab lunch. You and I both get this, right? Like, hey, can I pick your brain and grab some – no, I don’t need coffee, like I need time, that’s what I need. So if you can scale my knowledge by creating a piece of content that you pick my brain on, that helps me a lot more because that’s all we’re trying to do now is scale our knowledge, and reach a bigger audience.

And so I would say interview someone. Reach out to somebody that you’ve been wanting to reach out to for the longest time. Pick five, ten people, because you’re going to get no’s, especially if you don’t have an audience or a platform. So find ten people that you want to reach out to, and just say can I interview you? And I’m going to turn this interview in to something else that you are good at, the listener, that you are good at.

Jaime: You know how potent that advice is. You probably have more mentors than you know what to do with. Because you have so many friends and they’re like, “You know what, you’re amazing. I want to help you.” I think your trajectory of growth has been because of those things, so I adore that as your action item.

[00:46:00] And everybody make sure you listen to what he said, because he leveled up what I went and talked about on the mentorship side. It’s so much easier to get a yes from someone on an interview than it is: hey, let’s go sit down. It’s great. You’re a genius. Thank you so much for coming on Steve. You tell me where can we find more about you, and your agency, and everything online?

Steve: Everything’s at Appmasters.Co. If you got anything out of this, share this, please do so. I want to be one of the more popular episodes when you go on BuzzSumo, and you put in Eventual Millionaire.com, I want to show up on there. Share it, leave a comment. I don’t need anything from you, from the listener. I want you to go serve Jaime because she’s doing a great job. So tell Jaime how awesome this interview was in the comments below. And I’ll make sure ill respond, too.

Jaime: You’re such a go getter. I have Noah; I’m actually interviewing Noah on Sunday here.

Steve: Oh, cool.

Jaime: BuzzSumo. I love it. Thank you so much.

Steve: Thank you.

[00:47:00] Jaime: You’re utterly amazing. And now if I know anyone that’s doing any apps, I know where to send them. Thanks so much Steve, I really appreciate it.

Steve: Thank you.

 

Steve Young

Founder at AppMasters
I started building apps in 2011 and my first app hit #8 under educational games. I started making a few hundred dollars a month, but had no idea what I was doing. Then in 2013 I decided to start a podcast so I could pick the brains of app creators that I admired including the co-founder of Shazam, Tapbots, Crossy Road, etc and that changed everything.

Now I run an app marketing agency where we’ve helped 8 clients get featured by Apple, 5X downloads with ASO, and get coverage on Techcrunch, Mashable, Venture Beat and other major publications. I also write about apps on The Next Web, Entrepreneur.com, and on my blog AppMasters.co.

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