How to get Clients for your App Company

By | November 8, 2019

Hi, this is the Daily Overpass, my name is
Eric and I make apps! Now today I wanna talk about getting clients for your app company. Ok so today I wanna answer a question by Nabster, he left this on the complexity of charging
clients from last Friday. He said “I like these videos, I didn’t know you were a motorcycle
guy, cool” – yeah, I’m a cliche midlife crisis guy, the motorcycle and stuff, I’ll get a
sports car one of these days – “Can you talk a bit about client acquisition and how to
get clients if you are in the app biz? Thanks”. now this is something I really like to do.
In fact, I love doing client acquisition, right, i love bringing in clients! I like
clients acquisition more than I like having clients, if you know what i mean. It’s nice
to go out there and toot your own horn and try to get people to come in, even though
a lot of times we don’t have time to take them on. So right now we turn away about 3
out of 4 projects, well more than that I guess. So we get about 3 to 4 requests a week and
a lot of times we just don’t have time to take them on, so I’ll either just say that
we don’t have time or I’ll go for a a bit of a higher quote, because they’ll go onto
somebody else, which I know I probably shouldn’t do. But for the longest time it was really
really hard. So I mentioned this before, when I became a contractor to begin with, when
I set up Overpass, I used it to contract first, so I needed a company entity so I set up Overpass,
but what I really wanted to do was have my pwn software company with my own clients,
all that kind of stuff. So I’d work for a few years at a contract and eventually I would
have enough money save that I could say “that’s it, I’m gonna go out there and I’m gonna find
some clients.” And then I would have these awkward moments where I would work on my own
stuff, I would do the websites, all the stuff everybody does. “I just need to fix up my
website first, I just need to read this book first, I just need to do this first”, and
I didn’t wanna get on the phone and call anybody, and when I did it was really really awkward.
And I showed you this book already before – ‘Cold calling techniques that really work’
and I’ve got a bunch of these books. So it was really really hard to do the out reach
thing. So doing outbound marketing. So actually cold-calling or cold-emailing, all that kind
of stuff. And I still do that, I cold email sometimes. So, right now, most of the clients
that we get are inbound, so they find Overpass. And there’s two different types of clients,
you’ve got the individuals – somebody like me when I started out, they just wanna do
an app and they’re looking for a developer to help them with it, or a company, so like
maybe a small company, they have something for their users. And between the two of them
I prefer the company, but we’ve done work with both. The company just because it’s less
emotional. So if somebody invests their savings in something that’s their hopes and dreams,
a lot of times it can get really stressful because they just want everything to be perfect
and they don’t want anything to go off the rails and all that kind of stuff, so you have
to be very reassuring. But anyway, I think there’s probably three ways that most of the
enquiries come through. One of them is the video. So this video is to talk to developers,
the audience for this video is mostly app developers, and none of you are ever gonna
need Overpass to do your apps, that’s just the fact of the matter. But, a lot of people
night do searches and they might find stuff and occasionally we’ll get somebody who calls
up and says “I saw one of your videos, I’d like to know how much it costs to do this”
and all this stuff. So that’s one way. So basically all the content creation, not just
the videos but the videos, the blogs, the infographics, the social media, all that kind
of stuff which seems frivolous, and this is one of the reasons why it’s hard to stay with
because it seems like I don’t know if this is really making a difference, but it is a
case of getting out there and making yourself known. Like I said a few days ago, every market
is crowded and to be an app developer is really crowded. Another way is just through SEO techniques.
So a friend of mine Matt, he now runs a company called KYO digital, I hired him for a while
and he wanted to do some SEO work, and he basically set up location pages so that if
somebody says app developer in Wantage, which is the town we’re in, Overpass would come
up at the top. But also if they put other places that are nearby, then it comes up high
there too. So we’ve got loads of them! In fact, we’ve got loads where I’ve actually
had calls from – one of my clients is in the Isle of Wight and when they called up they
said “Yea Eric, do you think we could have a chat about this requirement that we have?”
And I said “Yeah, yeah”, and they said “ok I’m in the Isle of Wight” and I said “ok cool”,
because I’m american I didn’t know where the Isle of Wight was. All those years as an american
high school student, filling in those maps of the states with no labels on them, I know
all of the states in America but my geography of the UK is still not very good. But 2 – 3
hours out there, got to take a ferry, it was awesome! So there’s the SEO side of things.
So there’s content, there’s SEO and then one of the one’s that’s really big is LinkedIn.
So for some reason a lot of people find us through LinkedIn, which is probably, of all
the social media networks, is my least favourite. It’s the most spammy, it’s the most…all
that kind of stuff. So every time we put out a new article or sometimes the videos but
not so much the daily ones, those go through LinkedIn, the profiles set up every time we
get the endorsements and all that kind of stuff. And also, when somebody gives a request
on LinkedIn, I always approve it. So regardless of whatever it is, and usually it’s like a
development company, somebody says “you got a connection request from John Smith” and
it says business development, or business development manager and you just think “ah,
that just means salesman”. That means he’s gonna email me immediately, but I just approve
it anyway. So I just get loads of spam. and the reason I do that, my strategy for LinkedIn
that way is that the search works that the closer you are in connection to the person,
then the higher you show up in the ranks. So if you do a search for app developer, it’ll
show first all your first degree connections, the people you’re directly connected to, and
then your second degree connections where you’re just one person between you and them.
So, all these people who are massive connectors and they connect with as many people as possible
and they connect to me also, then that means that for a lot of people, for 20,000 people
or whatever, I’m higher up in the rankings because of that. So it’s surprising how many
people, when I say how did you learn about Overpass, they say LinkedIn, which is kinda
like the most…it’s the one I don’t like the most. It’s like “I looked you up in the
phone book” kind of thing. I like it when they find the videos, when they find some
of our content, all that stuff that we worked on, but it isn’t. And then of course there’s
the apps, so when people see the apps they get to see that kind of stuff. I think, if
you’re gonna run an app development company, your apps are primarily to generate revenue,
so primarily to bring money in, but also in a secondary way they work as a portfolio piece.
So if anybody wants to know what kind of work we do, I don’t need to show them every other
client we’ve had, and believe me, I don’t like it when a software company contacts me
and they give me a list of their apps, but they’re not their apps, they’re other peoples
apps. I prefer it if it’s their own because that means that they worked on give
you an example, the first company that I hired to work on Ear Spy, they started including
Ear Spy in all of their marketing material as well as a lot of my other apps, and those
apps were not all their intellectual property. I brought in designers from other places and
I brought in people from other places to work on these, but it was still part of their thing.
So for me, I was so terrible at doing the outbound marketing, although it is fun to
do and I have done it, I’ve had some really good meetings with companies based on outbound
stuff, but we’ve been so busy lately that we’re just doing inbound stuff. And you could
say inbound is really nice, it’s nice when somebody contacts you and you don’t have to
go out there and reach for something because they’re already sold, they’ve already done
their research for the most part and they’re really eager to get that done rather than
cold-calling companies that may or may not even need an app. That’s just my experience.
I think that if you’re going to do an app development company, work on your own – appearance
is everything – work on your own social media, work on your own apps, establish yourself.
like with every job, whatever you’re gonna do, try to establish yourself in the industry.
Say if you were hiring window washers for example, and you had two people come to you,
one guy said “yeah, I’m a window washer, I’m from john smith window washing” and another
guy said “yes, I’m with fantastic window company and I’ve written articles, I’ve done blogs,
I’m an established authority on window washing”, even though you don’t need all that because
it’s just a simple job, that’s more the person you’re linked to because you think “well,
he’s a professional, he knows what he’s doing”, and professionalism is probably one of the
biggest things you could do in terms of getting new clients. It’s difficult because it always
feels like it doesn’t make a difference. It feels like it doesn’t make a difference to
make the app a little bit nicer or to do a keyword research, or to do those extra blog
posts. it’s easy to say “I don’t have time to do a blog post today” but in the long run
it’s like going to the gym, it’s important even though you don’t see the immediate effects
of it. Anyway, that’s it for today. I hope it makes sense. People will disagree with
me on that. And doing client work – if I had a choice between our own apps that generate
revenue and the client stuff, the own apps, all the time! But the client stuff is good
too, so if that’s something you’re looking to do start establishing your brand now, start
looking at it from the people contacting you, and don’t be that person who sends the email
that says “Hi, we’re a company, we specialise in this, this, this” and name like 50 things
and everything, because if they go to you rather than you go to them, then you have
a lot more in your favour. so anyway, that’s it for today, I’ll talk to you guys tomorrow!

9 thoughts on “How to get Clients for your App Company

  1. shivam pandey Post author

    Good Points.

    In India, when someone in locality came to know you're an individual app developer.
    "Hey Shivam, would you make an app for me but I can spend only 1000-2000rs ($20-$30) "
    (Then me inside: Hi it's too much money don't waste it on app Go get an Audi. -_-)

  2. Nabster Post author

    Hey, i'm back with another question, i know i should go get a life right ..
    So do you ever think about investing/moving to other types of businesses like building an online SaaS (Software as a Service) business, or even doing some e-commerce with the drop-shipping bubble that's going right now.. ?

  3. Matthew Harris Post author

    Great points, I never use LinkedIn – it was a surprise to hear that is your main client source!

    I'm not really getting into apps to get another client-based business going… it's going to be hard to resist the temptation to get the cash but I want to make money for myself, not others.

  4. Blog Tornado Post author

    Great advice. Thank you!!! Confidence booster for me.

  5. Filip Post author

    What source do you use for cold emails? Something like d7leadfinder or?

  6. iFoodieTV Post author

    What if you have an app that promotes the EATERIES worldwide on Apple appstore & Google play store. It is FREE for them to participate and it is FREE for customers to download. I monetize when the customer actually use my app. My website is


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