Now for something a little different – a business built about the mobile app marketing industry. Sound familiar?
AppClover is the written compliment to this site – full of incredibly rich content focused on marketing and monetizing mobile applications and written by contributors that have done it well. It is very hard to find great, in-depth and tactical content about this industry. Trade secrets aren’t shared and many entrepreneurs and companies are learning as they go. Matt Lutz and Len Wright, the co-founders of Appclover, have somehow coerced, cajoled and brainwashed (literally – listen to Len here) those that have been successful to share their secrets and tactics.
It is not easy to turn user generated content into a successful business – even if the industry these guys are focused on is one that is accelerating beyond even the grandest of predictions. Trust me, it isn’t. But these two guys are planning on mobile content world domination – and then mobile app world domination.
This is the story of how they came to this niche, launched their site, found some funding, launched a magazine, are in the process of launching a mobile magazine publishing platform and plan on building apps, apps and more apps. The thing is, they’ve done it before and they’ve done their homework on how they can succeed covering mobile – which they share their process in the episode.
If you’ve ever considered creating a digital property – in the mobile space or not – you may want to sit back and listen to two guys that have done this before.
Here is a quick reference of what we covered in the show. Click on the link and the video will take you to that clip
Introduction to Matt Lutz 1:30
Introduction to Len Wright 5:33
Why start AppClover? 10:50
What was missing on the other sites that focused on the mobile industry 15:00
What is the process you went through to build this information product 18:12
Did you focus on the revenue opportunity or the passion? 22:25
What was the process to find the right niche 27:40
Why is what you are doing today with AppClover different from your other ventures? 32:20
What is the difference between modelling and copying in the mobile space? 36:55
How did you get contributors to write for your site? 38:00
What trends are you seeing based on the popular content on the site 43:20
How did you decide to build your magazine platform 44:00
What is next for appclover? 47:00
What is your revenue model? 53:00
Are you funded? What was your funding strategy 53:55
My key takeaways
Niche needs a passion
I love the mobile industry. I breath it, I bleed it, I get angry when someone abuses it or doesn’t implement properly (I’m angry all the time quite frankly). Mobile and pervasive computing are my day time TV and I have lost much of my partiality. I honestly believe that mobile can raise the dead. So it wasn’t a stretch for me to launch something like UNTETHER.tv. A place to talk about this industry and with others that feel the same way. Monetization? That will come…right?
Matt and Len saw an opportunity. Sure, they see the impact that mobile is having on most, if not all, aspects of our lives but they didn’t jump head-first into an idea before they married their passion for the industry with a niche that could build a business. Once they had a match, they had their direction and their business plan.
I think about this often and so should you. When I was CEO of Rove Mobile we tried to sell a product that could do everything an IT person could do and we wondered why it was a hard sell. We didn’t attack the niche – the acute pain an IT professional has often and one where a solution is lacking. Once we identified the niche, we didn’t look back.
Is your business your passion but lacking a customer you can define? Can you segment and build a business to satisfy that segment?
Learn to model
It is often said that copying is the more sincere form of flattery. Well, that may have been true back when technology cycles lasted 5 or 10 years but we are living through tectonic shifts every quarter these days so copying something that works now will lead you to the dead pool 3 months from now.
Len and Matt talk about modelling: Taking something out there that can be improved upon and do that. Innovate. Push the boundaries of what that service or product is currently doing. Find a new customer base, add some features that make sense, take some features away that impede use, refine a UI, replace a UX – you get the point. Don’t make another Instagram – filters are not innovation they are lazy and won’t get you $1B, that ship has sailed.
Experiment small then execute big
You’ve probably read Tim Ferris’ book the Four Hour Workweek. There is a great experiment in the book about spending a little bit of money to test an idea using banner ads and landing pages. It is an incredibly useful approach to test an idea live in the market and it is even easier today than it was when Ferris wrote the book. Matt and Len did just that, spending less that $1000 to validate their vision of AppClover. Testing an idea is so important but equal to that is the ability to execute once the idea has been validated. This is where many stumble.
What are you thinking of right now that could use a quick validation? Buy an ad on Facebook targeting your demographic and point to a landing page and Google Analytics. Spend a little money, gain massive insight. You can also do this via mobile to validate a new product or a launch in a new market. Technology has made it easy to build tools and test opportunities. Do both vigorously and then execute. Someone will, might as well be you.
Pay it forward 10X
Chris Brogan has a simple equation for this type of concept. For every 1 time you mention yourself, mention someone else 10 times. Len and Matt seem to live by this and I’ve seen it firsthand. It is a simple concept that gets overlooked in the steady stream of shouts we seem to do every single day. Paying it forward doesn’t mean false or forced praise – don’t be disingenuous, that smells – even over the Internet. It means taking a call, answering an email, responding to a direct message on Twitter. It means offering of yourself to move an entrepreneur, or a business or an industry forward.
What do you think? Also, what do you think of the new format for the episodes? Do you like the chapters for quick reference? The takeaways? What else would you like to see. Leave a comment or two below or email me.
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About Matt Lutz
Founded and ran a 7-figure boutique advertising agency catering to international client (i.e. got to take lots of “business trips” to the Caribbean)? Yup. Worked as an online and affiliate marketing gun-for-hire on multiple 7-figure product launches? Been there done that. So what was the natural next step for Matthew Lütz? Apps of course
As Co-Founder and COO of AppClover.com, Matthew, along with his business partner and CEO Len Wright, are working diligently at creating and maintaining a global app marketing and monetization online resource hub and community, along with publishing the world’s first monthly app marketing and monetization mobile magazine – AppreneurMagazine.com, and building a platform for people to publish their own Apple Newsstand app, called Appzine Machine – whew!
And when Matthew’s not doing all that work stuff, he leads a pretty quiet life with his family in California … well, as quiet as it can be with a 3.5 and a 16 month old
About Len Wright
Often referred to as an “Alliance Alchemist”, Len has an uncanny sense to match the proper people with the proper projects for prosperous results.
He brings to the table over 20 years experience in sales, human behavior, online and offline marketing, joint ventures and App brokering, and offers a unique edge in the Mobile App Market. As a natural connector and master communicator, he has the unique ability to connect the dots and create massive leverage within the projects he works with.
Len Co-Founded the Manifest Station which compiled an excess of 650 hours worth of teaching video content, plus hundreds of articles, audio interviews, and content pieces from best-selling “celebrity” authors, coaches and entrepreneurs within that niche. Len created alliances through networking, relationship building and having the ability to introduce an idea with huge value along with a clear message of how everyone would benefit… and that is Len’s greatest strength that he brings to AppClover.
Len also brings an energetic passion for building strong value based relationships while creating win-win deals that always represent his personal philosophy of service and integrity.