“Where is all the knowledge we lost with information?” – T.S. Elliot
Information overload. Massive budgets. Corporate dispair. Ugh!
Let me take a step back and paint a picture for you: Fortune 500 company recently allocates 50% of their yearly advertising budget to mobile and digital marketing. They call a nice little board meeting to let all the top managers know that this is what's up for the next fiscal year. These managers then pull in their immediate team and tell them “OK. Make it happen!” and they head to the golf course (joke! sort of). Now these middle management people are looking around and wondering what the heck to do with all this money they were given.
What do they do? Go to the internet, duh.
These bright women and men search around and find every piece of information about the mobile landscape, other campaigns that worked, what their options are, etc. Everything! They scour big news sites and blogs and forums to learn whatever it is they can possibly figure out before Friday's “status update” in which they will download everything they just uncovered.
The problem is….there is too much information on the web. The people who are researching come back and realize that they are in WAY over their head – apps, ad networks, websites. Native apps? HTML5? Android? Get users? The panic nicely sets in as the sweat pours out. There is serious information overload and these people really don't know where to turn. More importantly, they're newbies – they don't know the mobile world and certainly don't have time/interest to become mavens in 72 hours.
That's where you come in.
Specialize and Commercialize
In any situation where there is a PROBLEM, there is always a SOLUTION. Especially in business – one person's inability to solve is another's opportunity to profit. That's how it works.
The above scenario happens more often than you'd think. I worked at a startup when these conversations were about things like Facebook and Pay Per Click, but the basic premise was the same: money was allocated to a part of the business we all knew was the future and someone had to figure out what exactly that meant.
This is happening now with mobile. It's happening in a way that a lot of us probably don't even realize and on a scale that is WAY bigger than we suspect.
As these companies extend into the world of mobile, they're facing a lot of problems. They simply don't know what to do, even if they have all the information in the world about this new phenomenon.
What good is a 300 page report if no one reads it and writes a summary? Most often, it's worthless. In this day and age, decision makers want to talk to high quality CURATORS of information – people that have already digested the 100,000 pages of reading and understand it. More importantly, they can talk about it intelligently and in a decisive way. This is seriously one of the most valuable skills you can have in business (even beyond mobile).
Most often these people are called “consultants” or “gurus.” These are the people you call when you don't want to read 500 websites – you just want an answer about a specific topic. Clarity.fm is a good example of this – experts who sell their time by the MINUTE because they can answer literally anything the first time and quickly.
So why am I talking about this? Well, because I had a really interesting conversation with someone last weekend.
There Is No Greater Investment Than In Yourself
I spoke at this cool conference that was all about buying and selling websites. Not only did I learn a ton, I met some really awesome people. I was the only person there talking about mobile apps and I was super pumped to be able to share some highly inside info with the group. More than anything I had people coming up to me afterwards with two reactions:
- “I saw this exact same presentation in 1997 about the internet….but this time I actually believe it.”
- How do I get involved in this huge market?
These are smart people and there were some heavy hitters there (multi-million dollar website deals), but the reactions were overwhelmingly the same: They want to capitalize on this market way more than they did on the internet.
There is one conversation in particular that I want to share. One of the attendees came up to me and thanked me for the presentation and said “You know, I'm ready to get out of my current job in construction and that's why I'm here. I'm thinking about buying some websites….but now I'm wondering if I should be getting into mobile.” We went on to talk about some options – flipping apps, buying apps, selling information about apps, etc.
Then it hit me.
I said to him, “Dude, look around right now. We're sitting in a room full of super smart, successful internet guys and I bet maybe 1 of them had some shred of an idea about what I just talked about.” And I'm not saying my presentation was good or anything, I'm just saying it was totally different than anything anyone had ever heard.
I continued, “Think about that man. There are millions of people like these guys out there, whether they're independent or in businesses or whatever, and they're all going to start asking questions soon. Questions that they're going to Google and get shitty answers to. Imagine if they had someone they could call who could help them understand the mobile world?”
Something clicked. Not only with the guy I was talking to, but with myself as well. Here we are – the Bluecloud community and myself – sitting on an absolute rocket ship and we're so focused on pouring fuel into the rocket we forget to realize that there are 50 people lined up looking to pay us to show them how to put fuel into theirs.
In other words, we all have knowledge about mobile that few people have. And that's worth a LOT.
Stepping Out Of the Lion's Den and Into The Fire
Being a part of the app community is absolutely awesome. Seeing what people talk about on social networks and the knowledge that gets dropped on a regular basis is incredible to see. It makes me really happy to be a part of that.
That aside, I think it's important to realize how valuable it is to have mobile knowledge. Even if it's just reading blog posts, talking to other people in the app business, or taking a course about apps, you're ahead of an overwhelming majority of the population. You are on the front lines of the hottest market in history…and people want that knowledge.
The original anecdote about corporations needing knowledge about the mobile market is a bit of an extreme example, but I think it's important to realize – if you become a master at something, people will pay you for your knowledge. The more of a master you are, the more they will pay you. In fact, they'll probably pay you more than you would believe because they're not paying for your TIME, they're paying for the VALUE you bring. Read some of Ramit's stuff if you want to get really schooled on being a consultant.
I've been slowly watching this happen with apps in the INTERNAL app world – marketing apps, keywords, ASO, tricks and tips, and research among other things. I've seen a lot of people publish kick ass courses on Udemy and make a handsome sum of money doing so. THIS IS ALL SO AWESOME YES! But realize that this is the tip of the iceberg.
Empower Yourself And Teach Others
Over the next year, my focus is going to be to show you NEW ways to make money with apps. I still spend a majority of my time building, flipping, re-skinning and marketing apps (because I love doing it), but I also want to share all the new opportunities with you guys. The app stores are still monster gold mines and of course I'll talk about that, but I want you teach you about new ways to capitalize on mobile that leverage that knowledge. Maybe you learned how to flip apps by taking my course…but now you want to learn to to really accelerate those profits using techniques both in and out of the app store.
The first? Become a teacher. Or a coach. Or just a mobile gangster.
Whatever you call yourself, start looking at yourself less in terms of how you compare to everyone else in the app store who's uploading apps as fast as you are – start looking at your neighbors and community members (both online and offline) and realizing you have something to offer.
I bet if you walked into any local high school and asked if you could do a month long series of one hour free classes about how to get into apps, you'd pack the house.
At the end of those four weeks, you'd have a line out the door of people asking you how they can find out more and hire you as a consultant. It happens, trust me.
My point is this – realize that simply by reading this blog you are ahead of the game. The more knowledge and information you can get, the better (blogs, courses, whatever). You have the opportunity to be a resource for someone else. You are the solution to someone's problem. It doesn't have to be some Fortune 500 company, but it could be. It can be anything you want it to be. The most important point is to realize that you have a HUGE amount of power to achieve anything with mobile.
It doesn't always have to be about the apps.
Giving Back Is The Golden Ticket
I've said it before and I'll say it again – being on the teaching side of the equation will electrify you ten times as much as you think it will. Even if it's a paid consulting gig, some of the best moments of my app career have been helping people solve problems they couldn't solve by themselves. Sometimes it was friends who paid me in old fashioneds, sometimes it was a huge top grossing game that paid me with a big check. Both times it felt awesome – I was actually helping.
What's the takeaway?
- You can make a lot of money by solving problems for people who want solutions.
- The more knowledge you have, the more valuable you are (so get a lot!).
- The opportunities this knowledge will bring you is beyond anything you can imagine.
I'm going to start writing a lot more about some really cool stuff I've been doing – top grossing casino shit, huge sponsorship deals, crazy new app store results, how I locked in $28 eCPM price floors for all my traffic, and how I'm turning apps into a full lifestyle brand that will allow to write off virtually everything fun I ever do as a business expense.
And that's just covering the past 4 months.
LET'S DO THIS.