I believe that most of the business advice for iOS developers you read online is wrong.
I run both a freelancing business and an online business related to iOS development. The funny thing is that I do so ignoring most of the common business advice I usually read, while I still have great results for both my businesses. Most business advice I read aimed at app developers just makes me shake my head.
Many of my readers tell me that their goal is to start their own business making iOS apps. So it pains me that the advice I read online is focused on useless tactics like SEO, App Store Optimization, Facebook ads or wether it’s better to use in app purchases or not. The truth is, none of these things is going to make or break your business. Yet everybody talks only about these and nobody seems to cover what is should be at the core of any successful business.
It’s not all bad advice of course. Sometimes I do find some good article. But even then I am often disappointed about how shallowly some really important concepts are covered. Most of these articles dedicate just a couple of paragraphs to explain topics that are both importan and complex.
The main problem I see is that, while a big deal is placed on tactics, the strategy behind a business is usually completely ignored. If you want to start your own business, it is fundamental that you get that part right first. Without that, any tactic you will try will not make any difference.
I know that many of the people that want to start their own business want to do so to help people an make their life better. Many iOS developers dream of making apps that will have a real impact on the world. That is great, because in my opinion that is exactly what business is about: helping people. For this reason, that is where you need to start when you lay down the strategy for your business.
There are two basic things you have to get right: understand what your customers need and communicate how your product can help them. Notice that these have nothing to do with tactics everybody mentions. The tactics come only later and only after you nailed your main strategy.
Call to Action made a significant difference for my business
A few months ago I took the Call to Action course from Ramit Sethi and it had a significant impact on my business. I already had experience with many of Ramit’s courses and the amazing results they deliver. When Call to Action opened, I joined immediately. Indeed the course was of the highest quality, something I have come to expect from Ramit’s products. In my experience no one gets even close to the quality of his courses.
Call to Action is a copywriting course focused exactly on the two fundamental concepts your business needs to get right: understanding your customers deeply and communicating effectively the benefits of your products. These are fundamental for any kind of business, freelancing, online business or making apps for the App Store, and across industries.
Call to Action is not a course on starting your business though. As such it does not cover the process of finding a business idea, validating it, promotion and selling your products. If you are looking for something like that, I highly recommend Ramit’s Zero to Launch course instead.
But if you have a business already, Call to Action really helps you improve your business significantly. The course focuses on understanding your market deeply, so you can build the best products and communicate how you can have an impact on the life of your customers. After following Call to Action and applying the concepts to my business I had amazing results and explosive growth.
Why it is fundamental to understand your market first
When looking at failed businesses, it might seem that they can fail for many reasons. All these reasons though usually boil down to a simple one: the business didn’t have enough customers to sustain itself.
The first reason why this happens is the failure to solve any existing burning problem for your customers. Many products are built to solve problems that do not even exist. They just come from random ideas you might have of what your customers need that are not based on any real data. This is why it is fundamental to understand your customers’ needs first. As Seth Godin puts it: “Don’t find customers for your products, find products for your customers.”
Many app businesses in the App Store fail for this reason. Developers build apps from unvalidated ideas and then try to find customers. Few developers take the time to understand the needs of their customers, although they claim they do when you talk to them. Then, when their app fails to sell, they blame Apple or some missing feature in the App Store for their failure. What they fail to realize instead is that their core problem is their poor understanding of their markets is and they probably built an app that nobody needs.
Having the right product makes the difference between life and death in your business. The right product delivers tangible results to your customers. People immediately realize the impact a product that is made exactly for them makes.
Look at some of the emails I usually receive:
These are not coincidences. I get these because I didn’t just make a product that was magically the right one. You see, it’s easy to just start a business writing a random app or creating a random blog and I am not the first person that teaches about iOS development. You can find a lot of material online but most of that material causes the exact problems I am trying to solve for my customers. These problems come from the fact that many developers that create tutorials and courses have a poor understanding of the problems people have when learning iOS development.
This is not just true for iOS development or teaching. It can be applied to any kind of business, including writing apps to publish in the App Store. Many developers just fail to understand people’s problem. They write apps that they think solve a problem when the reality is, most of the times their customers don’t have such problem at all. So it does not matter how polished their product is. They can have the shiniest design, but when their product fails to help people or it creates more problems than it solves, they fail to sell and their business does not survive.
One of the hard parts of understanding your customers is that when you ask them questions, they might give you misleading answers. They do not do this on purpose of course. Many times people just don’t understand their own problems. This often happens because they do not have the right domain knowledge, but as a business owner you do. Another problem that arise when talking to customers is that you might be asking leading questions yourself. To these people usually answer by saying what they think you want to hear and not what they really think. Put these two problems together and you see how knowing what your customers want can be tricky.
The first part of Call to Action focuses exactly on how to understand the pains and dreams of your customers. It gives you the tools necessary to gather the right information by reading what people write online or talking to them directly. It helps you understand their hopes and dreams or pains and fears, and read their mind. This is what allows you to create products you are sure will resonate with your customers and help them in a meaningful way.
Why it is so important to make people understand the benefits of your product
Having the wrong product is not the only problems a business can have. The second reason businesses don’t get enough customers is because they fail to convey how valuable their product is. You can have the best product in the world, but if you fail to make your customers understand that, you are still not going to sell much. This is vital for your business but it’s also vital for your customers. If your goal is to help as many people as possible, how can you do so if you fail to tell them how you can help them?
The problem is many think it is the customer’s responsibility to understand if a product is good for them or not. That’s the wrong mindset. In the same way it is your job to understand what you customers’ problems are, it is also your job to make them understand how your product solves these problems. It’s only when you do this job properly that you can really help your customers and have a sustainable business.
Look at what people say about my course, for example:
The key here is that they joined the course in the first place, which happened because I did a good job convincing them. If I was not able to communicate the value of my material, these people would have never bought my products and they would not have had these results. It is not just important for your business to sell your products. If you can help your customers, you owe it to them to show them whether your products are right for them or not. This also means turning away the people that would not benefit from it. I know that the last thing I want is to scam somebody into buying something they don’t need.
This again applies to any kind of business, even apps in the App Store. If you go through the App Store you can see countless apps where the description is just a list of every single feature the app has. No explanation why these featured are of any importance for their customers. The mistake, as I said, is believing that a list of features is enough for the customer to decide wether a product is right for them or not. But most of the time people do not understand enough about their problems to decide wether features will help them in a meaningful way or not. You have tocommunicate benefits, not features. Still, nobody in iOS development talks about how important it is to write a good sales page. No wonder App Store businesses fail to take off.
This is where I think Call to Action really shines. Most of the course focuses on how to write good copy that conveys in the best way the value of your product. This is what good copywriting does. Call to Action covers all this. It explains how to write headlines that capture people attention, mouthwatering bullet points, effective landing pages and email funnels and sales pages that perform the best.
My results after joining Call To Action
It’s great to help people with your business but of course you should be also interested in how well your business performs. Going out of business does not help either you or your customers. Aales and revenue are a fundamental metric you have to optimize. One thing that I loved about Call to Action is how focused it is on the results that copywriting can have for your business, instead of teaching copywriting in a generic way. Call to Action helps you focus on the big wins that will make your business soar.
The first result I got from the course was a sizeable increase of the subscribers to my email list. Before taking the course, I was getting an average of 100 new subscribers each month. After applying the concepts I learned, in the last months that average went up to 400 and I now have more that 3.000 subscribers on my list. That’s a 4x increase!
But it does not stop here. After revamping my email funnel and sales page to better convey the benefits of my course, my sales conversions went up from 1.8% to 4.4%. That is a further 2,5x increase.
If we put together the two multipliers, I was able to 10x my business just in a few months. What is interesting is that I did so by just rewriting all the copy in my landing pages, emails and sales page, without altering my product. This really shows you how communicating the benefits of your product is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Compared to this, all the other tactics you read about online are irrelevant. Thanks to the insights I got from Call to Action I am now working on new material for my course that will help my customers even more (if you want to know when my course will open again, get on my email list)
Keep in ming that none of this is about deceiving people into buying your products if they don’t need them. I have a permissive refund policy that allows people to take the whole course and still ask for a complete refund if the course does not help them. The last thing I want to do is get money from people that get nothing in return. I’m not in the business of scamming people. Thanks to this I can be sure I don’t trick anybody into buying something they don’t need.
Is Call to Action right for you?
With these kind of results it’s hard for me not to recommend Call to Action to everybody. Any kind of business needs to get these fundamentals right. Selling apps in the App Store is not an exception.
This said, I think there are still people that should not join the course. Call to Action is focused on multiplying the results of your business. If your business makes 0, you can multiply that for whatever number you want and still get 0. If that is your case, you probably have the wrong business to start with. Call to Action might be helpful in understanding it, but is not focused on that.
If your product is wrong or if you still don’t have a business or even an idea, Call to Action is not focused on the process of starting a business from zero. There are many other important parts in a business you have to understand. Copywriting is definitley one of them, but Call to Action does not cover all the other ones. If this is your situation, I recommend not joining Call to Action and taking Ramit’s Zero to Launch course first. After that though I really recommend Call to Action to increase the results you can get from your business.