Categories
Marketing

Even before you launch your app

The journey of your app starts before you launch your app. Make sure you know what you’re building before you put your sweat behind it.

The last thing you want is to launch an app that no one cares about.

Make something people want

Research

You don’t need sophisticated tools to research. Just head over to google.com and try out the following

Auto Complete

Type in the kind of content you are going to create and see if you get auto suggests. If you get auto suggestions of the topic you are considering making, it’s a good sign.

It means that people are searching for such a thing. People probably want this.

If you do not get what you are going to be building in the auto suggest, you might want to reconsider what you are building. That said, many times, if your content is novel – people might not have searched for it before. Especially if it is a niche topic or something that’s been recently discovered or invented.

Auto complete on Google

Trends

This is a continuation to the above. We need to see if people really want what we’re offering. Do they want our app?

Another place to do this research is Google Trends.

Here you can type in the keywords related to see how people have been searching for the keywords on Google. This is an interesting insight. This will tell you whether your topic is

  1. New and picking up
  2. Stagnant in demand
    1. People search for it consistently
    2. People don’t and never have been searching for this
  3. Dying demand

You want to build something for sections 1 or 2.1.

You don’t want to build something that no-one cares about.

“Benefits of green vegetables in the advancement of self driving cars” – probably something people don’t care about there’s no search traffic at all. It is unlikely that you will attract attention if you launch content for such a thing. You should know what your audience wants.

Google Trends for something that isn’t searched for

You also don’t want to launch something that was a fad that has died down.

A fad that has died down

You are looking for new topics or evergreen topics – even if it is for a niche. It doesn’t need to have very high traffic. Even if it is for a small niche, but that small niche exists – you are good to go!

Consistent search volume

Or if you are an expert on a new upcoming trend, that’s another avenue. A new trend usually means not a lot of content would have been created. But it also comes with the additional competition. Everyone tries to latch on to a new trend.

A new trend

Ads

Again, on Google, search for what you care creating content about.

Do you see ads?

If you see ads, this is something people definitely care about. So much that there exist companies running ads to reach out to customers who are searching for such keywords. It is a good signal. You must look for keywords that usually have just one or two ads running for them. If more, you are probably entering a very competitive landscape – and must be careful. In a competitive space, your customers have so many more options. You need to stand out. It’s not impossible – just harder.

A topic with ads on Google

Asking

Once you have done the above research and have found the topic you want to be creating content on your app about, you must start talking to potential customers.

Friends and family

The number one place to ask for feedback is from friends and family members you trust.

Your first 10 customers should come from your friends. If you can’t get your friends to make a purchase, it’s going to be really really hard to convince people you don’t even know to give you money.

Ask them if they’ll buy this content from you. If yes, how much will they pay? What will they like you to talk about in the videos?

You must be confident in reaching out to them and ask the right questions. Make sure you filter out things that your friends might be sugar coating to make you feel good.

You need real feedback.

Acquaintances

The next step is to go a little broad and ask for feedback from people who aren’t your family or close friends.

These might be your existing students, existing customers, subscribers to your social media. Ask them would they like to download your app. Tell them what you’d be talking about.

Run polls on social media, invite criticism, ask for suggestions. Rally your followers – seek their help. They might be your first real customers when you launch.

Take their feedback and make it part of your product.

A simple poster for a status message on Social Message

Launch Ready

Once you have taken feedback and you know you are building exactly what people want, you can walk into the app creation process with confidence. You’ll know you are building what people want. You’ll have new ideas you hadn’t thought of by yourself.

Without these, without knowing what your customers want, it’s a futile exercise to launch an app. Make sure you know what you are building, make sure you know atleast a handful of people who will pay you the day you launch.

Once you have that you are good to launch. You can check out our other guides, on how to launch and how to market.


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Categories
Paid Content

What is Socionity, and why you should care

Socionity lets you launch your own app to start selling videos, courses and livestreams directly to your own customers.

10 years late

When the internet was nascent, circa 1993, there was no good way to accept payments online. Banks were reluctant to adapt to this new technology called the internet, the security systems were poor and things just kept breaking. It was practically impossible to accept payments online.

By virtue of not being able to able to have transactions on the web, the netizens had to find a different business model. A business model that didn’t require the end users to pay. They turned to oh-so-novel ads. As the communities started building up around ad driven content, especially the likes of blogger.com and youtube.com, we became accustomed to believing content online has to be free. We’ve been spoilt.

Over the next decade online payments started working. Credits card were a reliable way to transact and people have started using it to buy tickets, groceries and software. But the content industry lagged behind. It was too accustomed to ads and had a lot of inertia to adapt to the availability of a new business model around charging the users directly – albeit small amounts. They continued to run ads, until they realized people have developed a blind eye to ads.

Top media houses like The Guardian, WSJ and New York times have finally realized that ads aren’t going to be enough to sustain their business.

If the Wall Street Journal can’t get enough money through ads, how can you? WSJ should have asked users to pay for the journalism 10 years back. So should you have.

Netflix

Netflix came about and for the first time changed people’s notion of paying up for content online. Ever since, people have been paying for various online content services – big and small. Users now understand that good quality content is hard to make and deserves to be paid for.

This is a major change in user behavior. People are now accustomed to paying online for retail, and are now slowly getting accustomed to paying online for content. Now that the trend is shifting away from free content, is the time to capitalize.

It is now possible to ask users to pay for your videos, podcasts and livestreams. People need’t pay for some large subscription that gives them access to hundreds of different options. They can pay for exactly what they want. Your content.

App

Now that the technology is in place, content creation costs are plummeting and distribution channels like YouTube and Instagram are prospering, it is now possible to build an entire business around your content – all by yourself.

If it is to be your own business, one of the most important real estates in the modern world is the homescreen. You must enter the users’ homescreen with your own app.

The only missing piece till date has been that it was hard or expensive to get a good app made for distributing your content and charging for it. That’s the piece Socionity solves for. We make it super simple for you – just drag-and-drop, and in a few minutes you can have your app live!

Ragini Chandran is a partner of Socionity.com

Leverage

Once you have people coming repeatedly to your app, you can build a strong community. You don’t need a million subscribers anymore to earn a living. All you need is just a handful of people who pay you. It is not only easier to make content for a smaller, but more engaged, audience but it is also more fun.

People who pay are your biggest fans. If you give them great content they’ll stick with you for life. The more content you make, more they’ll pay.

Over time, the more you keep these people happy – more the word of mouth will spread and you’ll slowly start adding more and more users – and one day, very soon we hope, you’ll be a successful entrepreneur. It’s surely not easy. But, it sure is fun. That’s what makes it special to be a freewill entrepreneur.

If you want to start your own app and start charging for videos, courses, podcasts and livestreams – you should head over to our product socionity.com


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Categories
Livestreaming Paid Content Youtube

Earn with YouTube – A common mistake

YouTubers rarely make enough money through YouTube, and most of them err by believing that they’ll magically start making money when they get to 1M subscribers or any such arbitrary number. Here, I’ll tell you how you can leverage YouTube’s strengths and actually make money.

Not on YouTube

YouTube has ads. You would have already turned it on and are probably making some money from it already. That’s great. The number one thing you must understand on YouTube is that since it is free for users to watch, there is only so much you can actually earn through ads. You must not try to earn with YouTube. You must look to build a wide audience with YouTube by posting free videos, but you’d really make your money on other channels. Socionity is one such channel which lets you leverage your audience and charge them directly.

YouTube is only to be used for discovery and audience building.

Paid Content

Netflix et al

Gone are the days when everyone expected all the content online to be free. With the advent of Netflix, Prime and other such apps that charge the users for the content, people are now finally ready to pay.

Wallets and mobile payments

Payment has become easy. There’s Google Pay, Apple Pay, Wallets and ofcourse your credit cards. Payments are now much simpler and secure. Payments work. People are now much more accustomed to paying online.

People paid a whooping US$1,058,288 Million in 2019 alone – online.

Exclusivity

A lot of your loyal audience will want to get exclusive access to you. Content that they’ll be the first to catch.

Having a community of loyal audience is far more powerful than a huge following of people who kind-of-like-you. With a loyal community you can have a meaningful dialogue. You can charge for the content, because these people see value in it and will be willing to pay.

Over time more and more people will want to enter this exclusive club. And slowly your revenue will start growing really fast as more and more people refer their friends to your own app.

Don’t err by thinking you can earn with YouTube by just posting videos every week. You need to work hard and build a loyal audience and charge them directly.

You can give them exclusive access to livestreams, classes, videos and podcasts.

Direct

Keep it simple, keep it direct. Don’t play the guessing game of which video will go viral and how much money you can make from each of those videos.

When you start selling to an audience, you can actually just talk to them and see what they want and build exactly what they want & will be willing to pay for.

The number of people who’ll pay you will be far less than the number of subscribers on your channel. However, the amount of money you’ll make from these loyal fans will far outstrip the amount you make through ads.

No free lunch

As they rightly say, there is no free lunch. If you are creating value, you should be rewarded for it. Your content is watched and loved by people around the world, why shouldn’t they pay you?

A lot of YouTubers we talk to are very skeptical about whether their audience will pay for their content. It’s a good question to ask. If the answer is no, there’s a much bigger problem. If you think people will not pay for your content, you should re-evaluate the kind of content you are making. If people love you and your work, they’ll definitely follow you and pay you for your content.

Support

There will be trolls who will, like anywhere on the internet, come and rant about how selfish you are by charging for the content. These are the people you want to separate from your loyals. Your loyals will love the fact that you are taking a bold new step. They will be happy to help you. These are the people who realize that making content isn’t easy. It takes time and effort and you are being fair by asking them to pay up for it.

When in doubt, double the price

Never hesitate to charge for your work.


We write a lot about what we’ve learnt about making money through digital media. We write about what we learn and what we think. If you’re interested, you should subscribe. We don’t spam.

Categories
Press Coverage

Deccan Chronicle writes about Socionity

Deccan Chronicle, a leading daily in South India, ran an article about Socionity on their front page!

Here’s the full article :

Categories
Livestreaming Paid Content

Digital performance for artists

You are probably used to performing live at events, not digital performances. Many of your fans can’t make it to your events every time – sometimes because of location, sometimes because of timing and now because of the lock-down. Here’s your chance to continue to connect, and get paid.

Lockdown

The lockdown has affected all our businesses. Most people are stuck at home. There’s so little people can do to entertain themselves at home. They’ve watched through all of YouTube and are craving for a human touch. They miss you.

Ofcourse, you cannot do events in such situations. Even when the lockdown ends, the attendance is expected to be sparse. The world is changing and this is your opportunity to change with it.

This is the time when events move online. Yours should too.

Digital

Going digital is not about just performing the same thing on a live stream. People are there to have a different experience. They don’t want to just listen to your songs, just listen to your jokes, just watch you dance. They have the entirety of YouTube at their disposal. They crave a human connection from home. How does your performance adapt to that?

We’ve seen many performers on who use Socionity to livestream their performance keep it very interactive. You cannot always keep talking while at an event. But the audience can keep sending messages you can respond to. That’s a difference right there which people have started exploiting. But it’s nothing new. Livestreamers have been doing this for quite some time on YouTube, Bigo, Instagram, Facebook. But never have there been performances. People usually go to Instagram lives just to have a session of chit-chat.

We’re here talkking about taking your performance online. Your digital performance. How will your performance alter itself for the digital realm? How will you bring out your personality in your digital performance?

Reach

With your digital performances, if you keep it fun and engaging, you’ll be able to amass a lot of audience from around the world. If your events are really good, your users will be happy to invite their friends to it too. They’ll all have a gala time together!

Needless to say people from around the world can attend your digital performances. If you go online your fans can tune in from Russia, UK, Nigeria, USA, India – where ever they might be, all they need is a mobile device to join in.

With Socionity, we add one more tool to your arsenal. A small hack that gets you more reach. Read on.

Empty Room

No one wants to perform to an empty room. That’s why we present to you Minimum Audience Livestreams.

This is how it works :

  1. You set a date of your digital performance
  2. You set a price
  3. You set the minimum number of people who should register for you to go online

For example, you say you’ll go live at 8th May at 4pm if there are 25 people who register.

If only 20 people register by 4pm on 8th, the show gets cancelled and everyone who’s paid gets their money back.

If 25 or more people do register, the party is on!

This is a great way to make sure your digital performance doesn’t happen in an empty room. What’s also great about this model is that your friends will invite their friends to make sure the performance actually goes ahead. That means more audience!

Paid

None of this is charity. It’s your business to perform, and should be treated as one. All these digital performances are to be paid. Charge your audience for your art.

If you want to make it paid, if you want to build your business online doing what you love, if you want to be a freewill entrepreneur – you must charge for your digital performances. Make it happen.

If you’re looking as to how to get started, you might like to logon to Socionity.com and launch your own app. Conduct all the events here – keep your audience involved. If you need any help, we’re right here for you!


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Categories
Features Livestreaming Paid Content

Paid live-streaming with a twist

How do you make money talking about things you love to talk about?
Livestream your ideas.

How do you make money with livestreams?
Make them paid.

How do I get people to pay?
Keep it authentic, original.

How do I get more people to pay?
Read on.

Engage

One thing that separates livestreaming from regular YouTube videos is the engagement – people can chat with you and you can respond in real time. That is what makes livestreams so interesting. It is in vouge today.

When you have paid livestreams, you give a sense of belonging to your users. They are here because they are your loyals. They want to support you. They will follow you where you go. They will pay you for exclusive access.

With exclusive access comes exclusive engagement. Once you get into the groove, you’ll know what your loyal fans want. And you can tailor your content to their specific tastes. On other free content platforms you are usually left guessing. The trolls far out number the loyals – that’s why YouTube comments are a source of constant depression for YouTubers.

A place for your most loyal community. A place of infinite positivity. On the Internet. Did you imagine that?

Growth

The immediate next question becomes how to grow your audience. You’re probably doing really well if you have a small number of people paying you something. It’s a big deal. If there exists one person who’s willing to pay you, there will be thousands of such people in the world. How do you reach them?

More like them

Ofcourse there are more like them. But how do you find them. Ask people who are your fans to find them for you. Afterall, they’d be friends with people like themselves.

Talk to them, ask them to suggest their friends to join in. If not, ask them why they wouldn’t recommend your livestreams to their friends – and make your content better.

Incentivize

Once you’ve done the basics, you’re probably ready to grow fast. Let’s add a viral loop to your livestreams.

If a user’s experience becomes better with more number of people joining in, it gives them an incentive to invite their friends.

Minimum Audience Livestream

Introducing Minimum Audience Livestreams on your own app using socionity.com

Here’s how it works.

  1. You set a date & time when you’ll go live
  2. You set the price
  3. You set a minimum number of people who should register for you to go live

Once you launch this, people can install your app and see the upcoming livestream.

If they like it they’ll pay for it and register.

Let’s say you are going to go live on 8th May at 4pm if there are a minimum of 25 people attending the stream. If on 8th May 4pm, only 20 people have paid – that’s less than 25 – the event gets canceled and all the 20 people get their money back.
However, if 25 or more people pay before 8th May – you’d go live and everyone gets to have a great time.

Why

We know no-one likes to talk in an empty room. So we want to help you safe-guard your self-esteem.

Also, people who really want to see you go live will push their friends to join in. And boom! You now have new people like your loyal fans. Hopefully they’ll love your content too and become your loyal. Rinse and Repeat!

Growth Hacking

This might get tagged under growth hacking, as much as we hate the term. But the truth is this is a small tool we add to your arsenal. The weaponry is still your content. Make that great, tweak it with the tools and build a successful online business on your own terms.

Building a business doing things you love is a privilege, we want to support you to make it possible. We want to enable you as a Freewill Entrepreneur.


Thanks for reading. We write a lot about what we think it takes to build a successful online business in the times of digital media. If you’d like to hear more, you should subscribe. We don’t spam – I promise.

Categories
Uncategorized

Picking between Zoom and your own app

This is part 2 of Zoom v/s your own app. If you haven’t read our previous post on “Offline classes online using Zoom?”, you should read that first.

Here, we’ll give you a systematic set of questions you should ask yourself to choose between Zoom and launching your own app. Let’s go.

Paid or Free?

This is the easiest question to answer. If you are looking to have free sessions, you should definitely go with Zoom. You should quit reading forward. But, if you’re looking at this as a business, you might be looking at doing paid sessions. In which case, keep reading!

If you are running a serious business, you should probably go online. If you are serious about going online, you should now. You’re already late. If you’re using digital as a way to just buy time till the Corona effect ends, after which you’ll go back to your in person sessions, you should not bother making yourself your own app and owning precious real estate on users’ phones.

Zoom : For free session hosts

Your own app : For serious business looking to make money

Ambition

If you are content with the customers you have, you have sorted out your business. And, if you are able to sustain that business using free to use tools, why even bother about making your own app?

If you are looking at growing your business and want to reach out to the vast global population, you must operate that way. You cannot have people from across the world join you on Zoom, and you coordinate with each of them for a payment. That’s when having your own app makes sense – make it seamless for someone you don’t even know to pay you and become your customer.

Zoom : If you’re looking to serve only your existing audience

Your own app : If you are looking to scale up to reach people around the world

Positioning

What do you be want to be known for? Is it for the little offline class you run down the street, or a formidable freewill entrepreneur?

Your customers could be anywhere in the world. Many people make the mistake of catering only to customers on their street. The mistake here is not in choosing this path. You can live a great life just catering to people around you. However, the mistake people make is they never think about expanding online – even when they want to expand. If you want to build your life on your own terms and make money doing what you love doing – be a freewill entrepreneur. You should have your own app.

Zoom : Content with current audience

Your App : Expand formidably


We write a lot about how you can shape your digital media as a business and reach a global audience on your own terms. Join us for freewill entrepreneurship updates.