A single contact can improve your traffic

Last week, I tweeted out about a new app that I saw called Skills App.  I don’t tweet about every app that comes my way, but I really liked the landing page design, and the idea itself sounded good.


Their follow-up email, though, was what made me promote it.  In it, they were thankful that I signed up, and offered to help me promote any of the projects I had on the go (I’m not ready to promote any of my apps so I’ll save that favour for later). So out went the tweet: skills: a tool for identifying expertise and passion in developers – http://skillsapp.com – Sounds interesting

Today, @smashingmagazine retweeted my message, and I received a thank you from the team at Skills.  Then, they showed me their traffic.  As you could imagine, Smashing Magazine, with their 300k+ followers could make a real impact on traffic, even if only 1% click through.  As you can see, Smashing Magazine did a good number on their servers. Good thing they had aggressive caching!

It’s who you know…

(Disclosure: I am lucky enough to write for Smashing Magazine occasionally.  It’s not very good money, but I learn a lot, get someone to edit my writing, and, let’s be honest, get a great deal of  traffic to my blog and portfolio.  They are also really nice people that I feel fortunate to know them. )

Making an effort to become friends with some bigger players in the industry can substantially increase your standing too.  When you’re promoting new products, having someone with thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of active followers endorse it can initiate a snowball effect.  Just ask the lovely folks at Alfredapp, who got picked up by some big names in the web design community even when they planned to release quietly.  Now they are one of the top 10 apps in the Mac App store.

How do you get to know these people?  A few tips:
  1. Start slow.  Don’t go straight in and ask them to help you.
  2. Try and be helpful to them.
  3. Relate to things they’re talking about.
  4. Be multifaceted. Your business isn’t everything, so be human and interesting.
  5. Go to social events and meet the person.
  6. Make time for social media every day.  You are not an island!
  7. Don’t be pushy.  If they’re not looking for a new contact, there’s nothing you can do about it.
  8. Don’t expect overnight success. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Remember, these people are busy!

It’s still a lot of work

Okay, you’ve managed to get someone to promote your product.  Yay!  Great!  In that case make sure that you have something at the other end to entice the traffic to click through.

Some tips on better retention:
  1. Make it gorgeous.  People should be delighted, salivating, surprised or something.  Spend the time to make it better than just good.
  2. Let them know something.  What is it about?  Is it for them?
  3. If you’re collecting emails, make the form as short as possible.
  4. Follow up (by email)!  Make yourself seem human, generous and professional. Give them something.
  5. Launch within a reasonable timeframe.  No one will remember you in a year.
  6. Make sure your servers can handle a spike in traffic. Optimize accordingly.

But then what?

In my experience, traffic from twitter is short lived.  So, while big names may spike your traffic for today, it’s just one day.  How about tomorrow?  What are your plans?

Marketing is absolutely mind numbingly boring and takes a lot more effort than anyone realizes.  Throwing marketing hours at a mediocre product, or trying to get the big names to promote something that doesn’t impress is a huge waste of a great resource.  You need to make both your product and your marketing efforts stellar.  So, take care with your marketing, grow your network, and you’re… er, halfway there!

marketing


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