Sell Your Application Through Social Networking

I recently read the book, “33 Million People in the Room” by Juliette Powell. The subtitle inspired me to get rich quick: “How to Create, Influence, and Run a Successful Business with Social Networking.” Sounds good, huh? I read this 154-page book, with wide margins and large type, in about two hours. I probably would have read it quicker if I didn’t stop to reply to email.

The book provides several case studies of those who used social network sites to increase sales, boost awareness, and to become micro-celebrities. As a developer, it should inspire you to create the next great application, and then promote it shamelessly on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Orkut, hi5, and a few others. If you’ve never joined a social networking site, and you have no idea how they work, this book might serve as a good starting point.

The basic premise of the book, just like any other book directed to entrepreneurs, is to come up with a business idea that you’re genuinely interested in, put your own unique spin on it, and then market it and sell it. Simple, isn’t it? Why don’t we all do it? Because like all get-rich-quick schemes, it’s not that easy, but here are some quick pointers to get you started:

  • Place yourself in the center of your network to gain the most amount of information. The more information you have, the better decisions you can make.
  • Get out there as much as you can. Attend meetings and conferences, while you’re there, take photos of yourself with influential people. Later, upload the photos and tag yourself.
  • If content is King, then distribution is Queen. Learn how business development works and how to market your application; doing this provides aces in the hole.
  • The book recommends providing free favors to people who can pay you back twice as much later.

This last point flies directly in the face of everything I’ve ever learned. If you give your applications away for free, then people will expect free applications in the future. The only time I see giving away something for free as a good thing, is if you’re giving away an iPhone application with embedded advertising. In that case, you’ll probably make a lot of money; especially if your free app shows up on social networking sites.

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