There are generally two types of people that decide to begin reselling mobile apps. The first are small business marketers who are looking to add mobile development to their existing repertoire of offerings. The second is a fresh entrepreneur that sees the mobile market as a lucrative businesses opportunity and is looking to get in on the ground floor. After all, between the top 1000 apps and mobile websites, apps have a 2.5 times larger audience than their mobile website counterparts. And that audience is only growing. The potential in mobile apps is clearly evident.
In either case, the mobile market presents some unique obstacles that even the veteran marketer needs to address to be successful. Thus, here are 11 things to remember when reselling a mobile app. Some of these tips may appear to be old news to the seasoned marketer, but if you are new to the game, you can’t overlook them. So, whether you are a budding entrepreneur or an experienced small business marketer, the following are invaluable tips to achieving your goals and beating out your competitors at selling mobile apps.
1. A Mobile-Optimized Website
You already know that you need a website to run a successful business in today’s world. You probably already have at least one website, maybe even more. But, how well do those web pages function when viewed on a mobile device? If a potential client searches your company on their smartphone and finds an un-intuitive mobile website, chances are they aren’t going to feel comfortable with you handling their mobile app development. With 59% of general smartphone users now expecting companies, even small ones, to have mobile-friendly websites, imagine how the percentage would grow if it was a company selling mobile apps.
2. Mind Your Manners
This is a good thing to remember anytime you are trying to sell to a small business owner. A little extra courtesy and politeness can get you farther in the door than with a medium sized company or large corporation. Starting a cold call or conversation with, “Is this a bad time? I know how valuable your time is.” can quickly demonstrate that you recognize some of the challenges that they face and respect their time. Other simple tactics, like sending a thank you note after meeting with them or remembering a small personal detail they shared with you in a previous conversation, are also low effort, but high impact when it comes to negotiating with small business owners.
3. Leverage Relevant Social Media Networks
Before you go jumping to your computer and creating a Facebook page for your mobile reselling business, really think about the word relevant. Find out what social media channels your potential leads are using and target those first. Facebook, for example, may not be as important for brands as it once was. In fact, there are only twenty Fortune 500 companies with a presence on Facebook, while 86% of them leverage Twitter. Maybe Facebook is the best route for your reselling business, but it may be better to stick to Twitter or even LinkedIn. The point is this, find relevancy.
Your goal on social media should be to demonstrate your knowledge surrounding mobile apps, which will help distinguish you from competitors. By sharing industry blog posts on Facebook, joining in mobile-related conversations and groups on LinkedIn or sharing your opinions regarding emerging mobile app trends on Twitter, you can effectively show customers that you live, breathe, sleep and eat everything mobile.
4. Stay Current with Mobile App Trends
It isn’t enough to simply post and share mobile industry news and trends on social media, you also have to know these trends. In other words, don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk. Mobile development is new and, as with most things in the digital age, it changes quickly. The “best mobile practices” that you’ve been using for months, can become outdated in just a short period of time. To deliver the very best mobile apps to your customers, you have to stay knowledgeable of emerging trends and new practices and how to apply them to your clients’ mobile applications.
You may also want to familiarize yourself with trends and news related to the industries of your clients. This is especially important if you are aiming to resell mobile apps to the same type of business (only bars/restaurants or only gyms/fitness centers, etc.).
5. Perfection is Always on the Horizon
This ever changing nature of mobile apps and why you should always be on the lookout for new and emerging ideas alludes to an important lesson: your apps are never going to be perfect. Even large corporations, which devote an entire team of mobile developers and designers to make their apps, are constantly making small adjustments and tweaking their products to try and make them better. Thus, your goal shouldn’t be offering the best apps; it just isn’t possible. Instead, your aim should be to provide a marketing solution for small businesses, that way you can strive to make even your apps better as time goes on.
6. Test, Test, Test
While most app reseller programs will supply you with a foundation for your apps that is free of errors and bugs (if they don’t, you should think about a new mobile reseller program) for you to build on, the layout, design, colors, features and function of the app is generally up to you and each individual client. Aside from errors and bugs, you should be testing your apps for how easy they are to use, how good they look, and how well they achieve their goals. Before you put an app into the client’s hands, let your close friends and family use it. Give it to your grandmother or five-year-old nephew and see if they can use it. Tell them to try and break it. Their feedback will be invaluable.
7. Use Feedback and Criticisms Appropriately
It is one thing to ask for feedback and listen to criticism, it is another to actually use incorporate it constructively. The more you are willing to adopt some of the changes and suggestions of this feedback, the better your apps will become. Keep in mind 88% of customers trust online feedback, so you need to stay actively engaged in what people are saying about you.
Again, the attitudes surrounding mobile apps are ever-changing. The best place to catch these evolving attitudes, as they are happening, may just be in the reviews and comment sections of your existing apps. Also, checking each scrap of feedback will allow you to detect problems with your apps, such as errors or bugs, before they become very damaging.
8. Utilize an Analytics Solution (Google Analytics or Other Tools)
Naturally, you may groan at the thought of having to monitor feedback and reviews of your apps. It may even seem impossible, especially once you start selling a lot of apps and you have users creating hundreds of reviews a month (or more). Lucky for you, an analytics tool can greatly alleviate this potential pressure. Many of these solutions, such as Google Analytics, are free or low cost and no longer require you to be a data expert. These tools can greatly help your ability to understand customer sentiments, visualize trends in downloads, track user activity and much more. Ultimately, an analytics solution will give you the ability to run your mobile app reselling business more efficiently.
9. Craft an Email Signature
This is another low effort, high impact tactic that is easily forgotten. Including a link to your mobile reselling website, or an online portfolio of past apps, at the bottom of your emails can pay off huge. The fact is that mobile is new, exciting and now much more affordable. A lot of people still think that you need to pay thousands and thousands of dollars for a quality app, but with reseller programs this is simply no longer true. An email signature is going to clue people into your business, whether they are friends, family, past clients or others. In addition, more than half of all emails (about 53%) are opened on a mobile device, which means the majority of your recipients are already in a mobile mindset when they see that email signature. Any business can benefit from a mobile app; you’ll be surprised how many people come to you ecstatic that you can create an app for their business. For an established small business marketer, an email signature will allow your existing clients to see the new side to your company’s offerings.
10. Create an Online Portfolio
Perhaps the easiest way to attract new business and demonstrate your expertise and quality of work is to let that work do the talking for you. An online portfolio site (or page on an existing website) will not only give your potential leads the opportunity to see your previous work, but it will also jump start the turning of their creative wheels for their own app. In other words, it almost gives them a catalogue experience where they can start picking and choosing the features and styles they want for their mobile offering. This shortens the conversation between you and the client during the planning phase of their app development. Plus, any feature or appearance they pick out from your portfolio, you’ve already done before, which means less work for you. Remember, 81% of shoppers conduct online research before purchasing a product. Make sure you are supplying them with the information they are looking for.
11. Know When to Cut Your Losses and Walk Away, For Now
One of the toughest parts about following up on leads and going the extra mile to get small business owners to purchase your mobile applications is knowing when to walk away. Again, mobile apps are still very new and new things, especially in the eyes of a small business owner, are scary. No matter how much you try and persuade them that an app is in their budget and can help grow their business, there are going to be plenty of would-be clients that adamantly feel they aren’t ready for an app. You should respect both parties time and walk away. However, don’t give up permanently because there will come a time when they are ready for an app. Keep that lead on the back burner and check back in a few months.
Reselling mobile apps can be an exciting, and lucrative experience that will help grow your business. It is easy to want to hit the ground running the moment you join your reseller program. However, before you head off to the races, it is important to take the time to remember these (not so little) things can make a big difference in the success of your mobile reselling business and even allow you to create better, higher quality apps for your clients.
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