I listened to a new podcast this morning called Under the Radar and hosted by David Smith and Marco Arment. Both David and Marco are indie iOS developers, meaning that they are not part of a big company and they make iPhone and iPad apps.
Their primary discussion on the show was about making money in the App Store and they brought up some great points, like how many developers want the world to work a certain way rather than changing their business strategy to how the world actually is. They talked about how each of them adapted to the world. Marco rode the first waves in the App Store and was able to charge higher prices at the beginning and has since moved to different sales models including free up front with in app purchase and now patronage. David has attacked the problem another way, building a wide variety of apps that offer less utility but have advertisements integrated.
Both of them have adapted their strategies as times changed and both have been successful.
But they didn’t mention another factor that I think is the most critical to their success. They are both podcasters.
From my own experience, I have given them money for apps and services because I “know” them from their podcasts. I’ve listened to every episode of David Smith’s Developing Perspective and all of Marco’s Build and Analyze. After all that time listening to them I feel a connection, as silly as that might sound since I am a nobody to them.
There is something about listening to a human voice that brings you closer to that person in a way that the written word doesn’t quite match. Through your voice you can build a fanbase of people that want to see you succeed, and you could also call it a personal brand or audience – it is all the same. What it comes down to is people trusting you which leads to them wanting to see you succeed and going out of their way to help you do so.
Put yourself out there, be generous, and share who you are and what you know regularly. Slowly build your fanbase and set yourself up for success.