Recently, I got some feedback about one of my weekly ‘Express’ newsletters:
“Hi Elaine, I’m feeling so inspired by your post (thank you!) that I feel I NEED to take action…..now.
I’ve sat on my behind for so long, watching many opportunities go by and thinking about it just makes me sick. I’m feeling a bit lost and overwhelmed.”
I’ve learned a TON from experts I really admire who run amazing online businesses.
I’ve collected all their advice together in this blog so you can learn how these 26 Top Entrepreneurs have helped my app business, and can help your startup as well.
So without further ado, here are 26 great tips to help you drive growth in your business.
Laura Roeder – Want to grow your business? Stop lying to yourself.
How many people say they start publishing apps because they feel they are not ready yet? Maybe they think they need more time, more information, or a better opportunity? People can hold off taking the next big step because they believe they are not ready. Laura Roeder disagrees:
“Here’s what I have to say about being “ready” – it’s a big fat lie! This “readiness” that you’ve created for yourself is a losing game with no end in sight. You’ll never be “ready” because it’s a label you yourself have invented. The faster you can train yourself to get into action without being “ready,” the more success you’ll have in your business.”
Derek Halpern: How to fix “I’m feeling a bit lost and overwhelmed.”
I do see emails about people feeling paralysed at the start – not knowing what path to take and afraid of making mistakes. Derek Halpern, legendary superstar and CEO of Social Triggers offers some practical advice in this video. “Break down your goal into something that is manageable and start immediately.”
David Risley: Use planning & strategy in your business.
“The very notion of being strategic with your content means you must PLAN. If you’re not operating by a plan, then it isn’t strategic.”
I’ve started to plan my work more, month by month and also in 3 month blocks. I’ve found it really useful to know where my business is going, rather than being blown along by the wind in different directions each day. Setting some time aside once a week to breakdown your weekly tasks can be a very productive venture.
Jay Baer – Looking Good Is As Important As Working Well.
Make a great app that looks terrible is a sure fire way to shoot yourself in the foot. People are drawn to beautiful things, and in the app store, there are a lot of beautifully designed apps. Your app can work really well, but it should look a million dollars as well.
“Another highlight of the event was Expion’s unveiling of their spiffy new user interface, which they hilariously (and honestly) described as: allowing our customers to marry James Bond, instead of being stuck with Bill Gates.“
Pat Flynn – What disease does your website (app) or brand cure?
Pat Flynn of Smartpassiveincome recently posted “24 Questions That Will Challenge You and Your Brand”. Question #1 was: “What disease does your website or brand cure?”
It’s a perfect question to ask about your new app or game as well. How will your app help people? What issue will it solve, or what benefit will it add to their life? Will it make them smile or feel good, be useful or teach them something? Do you know what problems your target customers have?
Chris Brogan: Analyse your business stats.
Chris Brogan talks about how important it is to analyse your traffic, where there are coming from, and what they are clicking on. “The two numerical metrics are # of subscribers and $ of revenue per active subscriber. That’s it.”
# of downloads and ARPAU (average revenue per active use) are two really important numbers to start tracking in your app business as well. Chris asks: “What stats do you follow for your business? How much of what you run is numerical? What do you do to tweak those numbers?”
Denise Wakeman – Stop spending your time on social media.
Social Media was one of my biggest black holes in terms of consuming time I should have been spending on my business. Even for people who use social media for their business, Denise Wakeman advises to spend 30 mins – and no more than 1 hour – on social media per day.
Lewis Howes – Do you get enough sleep?
I love sleep. Honestly. And as CEO of a fairly fast growing startup I can definitely say that getting enough sleep has definitely been an issue at times for me. It’s crazy though – I thought I will not do my best work when I’m tired. Lewis Howes, a former professional football player, two sport All-American and world record holding athlete also agrees with me.
“Sleep might be the most important aspect of building a great business, and having a high performing body. It is also, one of the most overlooked aspects considering the focus on diet and working out.”
Kristi Hines – Stop Wasting Money.
Kristi of kikolani.com underlines the importance of getting the most value from any courses, downloads, books or webinars that you buy or listen to.
“You want to get the most out of your ebooks and courses, otherwise it’s like chucking money in the garbage on a regular basis. And who wants to do that!” She advises: “Notice I didn’t say take notes, but take actionable notes. Instead of just writing down a tip, write down how you will apply that tip to your [business].”
Ramit Sethi – It’s supposed to be hard.
Ramit Sethi wrote a wonderful post recently about how people complain they can’t reach their goals, but at the same time do not have any noticeable effort to achieve want they want. I see this in the app business as well. The people who are disheartened are usually the ones who are putting in the least effort.
“I know dozens of people who claimed they wanted to go to elite universities like Harvard or Stanford, but when the time came, they didn’t apply, saying, “I could never get in.” Guess what? They’re right. And because they didn’t even apply, they didn’t deserve to get in.”
I totally agree. If you continue to sit on the fence you’ll never join the race. Let alone win it.
Andrew Warner- How to start a business with no money.
When Andrew Warner graduated college he needed some money to start his first company. He was looking at J Crew catalogs and realised if he hadn’t spent so much money on clothes he would have had the cash to start his business. But he didn’t let that stop him.
“One time, when I looked at a J Crew catalog, I noticed their return policy on the back cover of their catalog. It boasted that their refund policy didn’t have an expiration. Out of curiosity, I called up their customer service number and asked, “would you give me a refund for clothes that I WORE.”
The customer service woman said, “Yes. That’s our policy.”
It seemed too good to be true, so I wanted to make sure. “I bought clothes from you throughout college. I wore them. They’re used. Are you telling me I can return them to you and get a refund check in the mail?”
She said, “Yes. That’s our policy.”
So I boxed up my clothes and sent them back. Within a few weeks, I got a check. I considered it my grubstake and used it to launch my business. There’s always a way.
I would never have come up with that idea, if I hadn’t spent years reading about the resourcefulness of other entrepreneurs. I’m telling you about my experience because I hope it’ll spark some creative idea in you. There’s always a way.”“
Tim Ferriss – Thing big.
No one has to be constrained by what other people believe is normal or is possible / not possible. I don’t think many people believed that I could quit my job & starts successful app business. Hell, I didn’t really believe it, but that didn’t stop me from trying.
Tim Ferriss explains this really well in this story.
Jeff Walker – Why not building a team could be the biggest mistake you can make.
This is a great video. I knew I needed to do this as well but I also had a block… for me I was just too busy (sounds daft right?). I now have a strong & growing team and it has definitely helped me to grow my app business. You can check out the full video here.
Dane Maxwell – Shit happens.
One thing I’ve learned making apps is while you can do your best to make a great app that people want, sometimes the result you are hoping for doesn’t happen. There’s not a lot you can do. Dane Maxwell gives this advice.
“You let it happen, you roll with it, you understand that it’s uncertain that shit happens and you adjust along the way.“
Chris Ducker – Get a virtual assistant.
I hired a VA a few months ago and they have been a tremendous help to my app business. In his podcast Chris Ducker goes though the following useful info for your business:
- How to avoid the biggest mistakes when starting with outsourcing.
- What Superhero Syndrome is and how it’s hurting your business.
- The different types of outsourcing, and when to choose which.
- The 6 main types of VAs and what they can do for you.
- 3 lists that can help you figure out what kind of VA you need.
- How to know when it’s time to hire your first VA.
- The easiest way to lose a good VA.
Vishen Lakhiani – Be happy RIGHT now.
“While it’s great to be ambitious and bold, it’s also dysfunctional to postpone your happiness.”
We need to live for today. Vishen explains how to instantly double your happiness in this video.
Nathalie Lussier – Busyness doesn’t make for good business.
Nathalie Lassier tells it like it is here. This is a place where I think a lot of appreneurs go wrong.
“Why did you start a business? It likely wasn’t to spend your days feeling busy and stressed out… But it’s really easy for us to fall into the busy trap. Being busy is seductive, it makes us feel like we’re doing stuff and moving in the right direction.”
“Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress.” -Alfred A. Montapert
Blog Tyrant – The barriers to entry are really low.
In his post “8 Curious Reasons to Start an Online Business and Work From Home” Ramsay Taplin underlines how little money you needto start an online businesses.
“If you’ve ever been to an economics class you’ll hear a lot about barriers to entry. They present serious problems for many industries and even entire countries. Think about all the things you have to do if you want to start a physical business like a factory: get capital investment, purchase machines and vehicles, hire staff, get insurance… the list goes on. Online businesses, on the other hand, have relatively low barriers to entry.”
My first apps were made for free using buzztouch. My first expenditure was €550 for a second hand mac. A few months later, I went wild and bought a second hand iPhone 3Gs.
Glen Allsopp – What themes should I choose for my apps?
Trying to figure out what theme will make you the most money in the app store is something that people spend a lot of time trying to figure out. I’ve made educated guesses along the way, but the most effective way I’ve tried it to bit the bullet, and actually publish a small app with the theme I’l interested in. If it goes well, I’ll do another. If it doesn’t work, I’ll forget it and move on. Glen Allsopp of Viperchill recommends a similar strategy to his readers.
“I recommend that you try a little bit of everything (including podcasting, article marketing, posting on forums, etc) and then hone in on the ones that are getting you more of the type of visitor that you want.”
Cody McKibben – Imagine the life you want and then go and get it.
“A location-independent professional—or a digital nomad—is someone who leverages technology to work wherever they want—be it from home, your favorite coffee shop, on the beach, or even from the other side of the world!“
Cody McKibben is the founder of thrillingheroics.com and he encourages people to create their own jobs so they can work from anywhere in the world. Apps are a perfect choice to do this, as literally all you need is your laptop, your phone and maybe a iPad. I’m going to test this out as I’m leaving for Bali at 7am next Monday for 4 weeks of working abroad.
Cody McKibben – It’s not all about work.
I saw this and HAD to include it. Cody has set up a bucket list, published it online and held himself accountable to complete each action on it. I would challenge everyone who reads this blog to write the first 10 items on their bucket list at the end of this post.
Chris Guillebeau – You really need to network.
I’ve just signed up to attend WDS next year in Portland. Why? It looks like a pretty unique event to meet more people who think like I do. One of the best ways to grow my app business, and most rewarding areas of my business, are the great friends I meet through it. And who doesn’t need more friends right?
Marianne Cantwell – Why you shouldn’t worry about people stealing your idea.
“It was early in my free range life when I met this man. It was at some event (I can’t quite remember what) and the sandy haired man in the blue shirt happened to be next to me, so I asked the usual “so what are you working on?” question, and smiled. He shook his head and said “oh I’m working on a new idea that’s really exciting but I can’t tell you about it.”
“Later, while going along the Euston Road in London I noticed some words on the side of the British Library: “An original idea. That’s can’t be too hard. The library must be full of them” (Stephen Fry).
Since then I’ve come to realize why good ol’ Stephen was right (and why people like the guy in the blue shirt are rarely the success stories you read about).”
Marianne Cantwell offers some excellent advice on why fear should not stop you from growing your business.
Neil Patel – Why mobile is such a big deal (in case you didn’t know).
Neil Patel already knows why mobile is such a big deal.
“Did you know that 58% of people who own smartphones have used them for store-related shopping? It’s no surprise that ecommerce and brick-and-mortar companies are all working hard to bring mobile shopping options to their customers.
The real question is: are you leveraging mobile technology?”
Income Diary – Accentuate the Positive.
Income diary put together 21 life lessons from Steve Jobs here. Here are 2 I like.
“Steve started life out on the wrong foot. He was given up for adoption at birth. Tough break? Young Jobs didn’t think so: he was thankful for his loving adoptive parents — who happened to live in Palo Alto, California (which would eventually become Silicon Valley).”
“Obstacles are meant to be Overcome. Jobs and Wozniak ran out of money while developing the first Apple computer. Instead of giving in, Jobs sold his van and Wozniak sold his graphing calculator. When there’s a will, there’s a way.”
James Altucher – What is the sign of a professional?
In this amazing post James Altucher proves a ton of great advice on how to start and run your business. Here is one of my favourites.
What is the sign of a professional?
– Cutting costs every day.
– Selling every day, every minute.
– When you have a billion in revenues, staying focused. When you have zero revenues, staying unfocused and coming up with new ideas every day.
So that’s my list of the 26 internet experts who can help your app business.
What piece of advice did you find most useful? Did I miss someone altogether?
Let me know in the comments so that I can improve how I’m running my business.
Also: Do you have a friend who would find this list useful? Send them a link to this page.