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• nikita •

• nikita •

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Been having mini panic attacks daily lately. Revenue is down this month and it just hit me how I don't have a steady paycheck like at my day job. Some months I may make a lot of money, other months 0. I have some runway but just seeing my savings go down and knowing that if I fail I need to go back to a job...

I hate this feeling, I don't know how to cope with it
 

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Vito

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Been having mini panic attacks daily lately. Revenue is down this month and it just hit me how I don't have a steady paycheck like at my day job. Some months I may make a lot of money, other months 0. I have some runway but just seeing my savings go down and knowing that if I fail I need to go back to a job...

I hate this feeling, I don't know how to cope with it
There's always other jobs, there's always freelance/contracting work. The worst case scenario is you get more work, nothing to panic about.

I'd assume worrying is natural given the big change, if you can, embrace it and use it as fuel to work harder and smarter.

"Strange how I'm at my happiest when I have the least job security." ⟵ This was only last week, you're doing the right thing.
 
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• nikita •

• nikita •

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There's always other jobs, there's always freelance/contracting work. The worst case scenario is you get more work, nothing to panic about.

I'd assume worrying is natural given the big change, if you can, embrace it and use it as fuel to work harder and smarter.

"Strange how I'm at my happiest when I have the least job security." ⟵ This was only last week, you're doing the right thing.
Freelancing is what I'm relying on until my app takes over -- it's just that last month I had an angel of a client and made a lot more money than I normally can.

I go through periods of being happy and free, and panicking. I guess this will be my norm for now!
 

srodrigo

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Any news? How's the last month been?
 

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@• nikita • I didn’t read through the entire thread but...

Do you have an idea on “why” the big swings/flucations in sales?

How are you currently marketing the program?
 
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• nikita •

• nikita •

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Any news? How's the last month been?
Not bad, sales for the app are around ~$1.2k per month (but I spend most of it on marketing). Less freelance work than usual but should have more jobs soon.

@• nikita • I didn’t read through the entire thread but...

Do you have an idea on “why” the big swings/flucations in sales?

How are you currently marketing the program?
Yeah, because sometimes the app is featured and gets a huge influx of users, then it evens out. In terms of marketing I'm focusing on ASO, Apple Search Ads and occasional posting on websites like Reddit.
 

bdb

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Not bad, sales for the app are around ~$1.2k per month (but I spend most of it on marketing). Less freelance work than usual but should have more jobs soon.



Yeah, because sometimes the app is featured and gets a huge influx of users, then it evens out. In terms of marketing I'm focusing on ASO, Apple Search Ads and occasional posting on websites like Reddit.
Great thread.

What kind of metric do you use to decide how much of the earnings are reinvested on marketing ?

From what I see, your earnings are almost directly proportional to the amount invested on marketing. If so, how do you plan on improving this situation ?

Thanks for sharing your journey.
 
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• nikita •

• nikita •

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Great thread.

What kind of metric do you use to decide how much of the earnings are reinvested on marketing ?

From what I see, your earnings are almost directly proportional to the amount invested on marketing. If so, how do you plan on improving this situation ?

Thanks for sharing your journey.
I spend around $800 on the marketing agency (ASO, analysis of how the app is performing), and $300-ish on Apple Search Ads. The marketing agency has improved by conversion rate hugely, and frequent ASO updates really help with the ranking.

Profit is increasing slowly, this is helped quite a bit when the app is featured. My plans are to continue working with the agency to increase conversion rate, experiment with pricing, and just keep improving the app.
 
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• nikita •

• nikita •

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I feel like every week is different from the previous. Sometimes I'll have an amazing week, sometimes it'll be trash. This week is one of those trash weeks.

All my freelance clients are unresponsive and annoying, to top it off Upwork has lowered my rating because a client didn't leave a review (and no review means 0 star). So now no matter how good my work is, no one will know because they just won't bother reading my proposal due to the bad rating. What was previously a great tool to find work is now horrible.

My app sometimes does well, sometimes not at all. Profit increased this week but almost all of it goes towards marketing so I can't celebrate yet. Unfortunately downloads are dropping. I'm just praying for it to be featured soon again since that happens quite often.

I hate this, I hate how I can be trying my best and nothing will happen. When there's just no sign of success and I have to worry about my money slowly draining, and there's nothing I can do any more than what I'm currently doing except pray lol, well what then?
 

Dan_Cardone

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I feel like every week is different from the previous. Sometimes I'll have an amazing week, sometimes it'll be trash. This week is one of those trash weeks.

All my freelance clients are unresponsive and annoying, to top it off Upwork has lowered my rating because a client didn't leave a review (and no review means 0 star). So now no matter how good my work is, no one will know because they just won't bother reading my proposal due to the bad rating. What was previously a great tool to find work is now horrible.

My app sometimes does well, sometimes not at all. Profit increased this week but almost all of it goes towards marketing so I can't celebrate yet. Unfortunately downloads are dropping. I'm just praying for it to be featured soon again since that happens quite often.

I hate this, I hate how I can be trying my best and nothing will happen. When there's just no sign of success and I have to worry about my money slowly draining, and there's nothing I can do any more than what I'm currently doing except pray lol, well what then?
Can you contact that client and ask him to leave you a review?

What can you do in the future that would help prevent clients from not leaving reviews? Could you briefly explain to them how important reviews are to your continued success? To get them to agree to leave you a review once the service has been completed?

Have you done anything to reach out to prospects outside of Upwork?

You said you "occasionally" post on reddit; what does that even mean? Have you taken the time so develop a comprehensive marketing action plan that you apply to Reddit?

You said you also market via the app store. Ponder this...

If you were a fisherman who relied on fish to eat and live, how many fishing poles would you put in the water?

One?

Two?

Three?

Every single one you could find?!?

Would you spend your time away from fishing to find, buy, and build more fishing poles? Probably.

Right now you have two "poles" in the water... go add more.

Where do your potential customers hang out at online? What facebook pages do they like? What youtube channels do they watch? Who do they follow on twitter and IG? What blogs and websites do they visit? Who likely has them on an email list and who owns that email list? What other apps are they downloading and using? Etc.

Find a way to be visible in all of those places. Place ads, make deals with influencers, reach out and connect with people.

Put more poles in the water!
 
OP
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• nikita •

• nikita •

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Can you contact that client and ask him to leave you a review?

What can you do in the future that would help prevent clients from not leaving reviews? Could you briefly explain to them how important reviews are to your continued success? To get them to agree to leave you a review once the service has been completed?

Have you done anything to reach out to prospects outside of Upwork?
Upwork doesn't let you change feedback once the job is complete unfortunately. I now ask all my clients to leave a review, I think my only option going forward is to complete more jobs so the rating rises.

I've listed my business on several directories, I even have a sponsorship for one of them which is quite a small investment if I get a job. I've had 2 leads contact me so far, but they go silent. Updated my website yesterday with more examples of my work and that should help improve my ranking and hopefully bring new leads in.

Other than that, just applying to more Upwork jobs and hoping that one works out!

You said you "occasionally" post on reddit; what does that even mean? Have you taken the time so develop a comprehensive marketing action plan that you apply to Reddit?

You said you also market via the app store. Ponder this...

If you were a fisherman who relied on fish to eat and live, how many fishing poles would you put in the water?

One?

Two?

Three?

Every single one you could find?!?

Would you spend your time away from fishing to find, buy, and build more fishing poles? Probably.

Right now you have two "poles" in the water... go add more.

Where do your potential customers hang out at online? What facebook pages do they like? What youtube channels do they watch? Who do they follow on twitter and IG? What blogs and websites do they visit? Who likely has them on an email list and who owns that email list? What other apps are they downloading and using? Etc.

Find a way to be visible in all of those places. Place ads, make deals with influencers, reach out and connect with people.

Put more poles in the water!
I posted my app to subreddits like /r/sideproject or /r/design_critiques. These type of subreddits you can only really use once unless you have a big app update. I find reddit really hates when you post about your project and it looks like an ad. The initial few posts led to a nice boost for 2 or 3 days though.

I contacted maybe 100 influencers a few weeks ago and only a few replied, disinterested.

I'm having a difficult time finding places to post about the app where I won't look spammy, but the results will lead to a relevant increase in users (rather than just a few after days of hard work).
 

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OP
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• nikita •

• nikita •

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Decided to stop being a little bitch and start taking action again. I didn't coincidentally make $15k in May.

What I'm doing

For my app

  • Joining forums relevant to the niche and contributing a lot. Linking my app in the signature. It might take a while, but if I establish a presence on the forum, it could result in more downloads and connections in the niche.
  • Contacting Apple employees. I submit the App Store Promote form once a week and I believe this is what leads to it being featured often. I really need that glorious Today Tab feature.

For my design agency
  • Contacting app developers and offering them a free logo design in exchange for a review for my agency. Logos are something I do very quickly and very well, and reviews are very valuable on Clutch (directory for agencies).
  • Submitting 5-10 Upwork proposals a day. My rating has gone from 90%+ to 75% due to a client not leaving a review (why this is a thing I don't know. Upwork must hate their freelancers). Unfortunately this means I almost never get jobs, because 75% is pathetic. Submitting proposals also now costs money. If I'm able to get above 90% I'll be over the moon.

I have maybe 6 months runway.
 

Vito

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Decided to stop being a little bitch and start taking action again. I didn't coincidentally make $15k in May.

What I'm doing

For my app

  • Joining forums relevant to the niche and contributing a lot. Linking my app in the signature. It might take a while, but if I establish a presence on the forum, it could result in more downloads and connections in the niche.
  • Contacting Apple employees. I submit the App Store Promote form once a week and I believe this is what leads to it being featured often. I really need that glorious Today Tab feature.

For my design agency
  • Contacting app developers and offering them a free logo design in exchange for a review for my agency. Logos are something I do very quickly and very well, and reviews are very valuable on Clutch (directory for agencies).
  • Submitting 5-10 Upwork proposals a day. My rating has gone from 90%+ to 75% due to a client not leaving a review (why this is a thing I don't know. Upwork must hate their freelancers). Unfortunately this means I almost never get jobs, because 75% is pathetic. Submitting proposals also now costs money. If I'm able to get above 90% I'll be over the moon.

I have maybe 6 months runway.
How did last week go?
 
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• nikita •

• nikita •

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How did last week go?
Better.
  • I managed to raise my Upwork score to 80%, should go up to 85% once they recalculate the scores again in a few days. I might have two more jobs from there too. But I've decided to move off Upwork completely. They keep raising the fees and have been known to kick people off randomly.
  • Signed a contract for an app design project! Off Upwork. I'm happy I was able to close it.
  • Going through the interviews for a freelance job that's really highly paid. Landing it would mean I can increase my marketing spend for my app, which is what I ultimately want to keep as my main business.
  • After analyzing the app stats I'm redesigning it and it should improve sub rates. Ditched the forum plan though. Most have strict rules against promos and you need to have some 1000 posts to even have a signature link.
 

SamRussell

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Is the app a one time fee?

Can you add a recurring payment for some sort of additional service?

Are you able to contact / send notifications to prior users?

Is there an additional feature you can add that people would pay for?
 
OP
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• nikita •

• nikita •

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Is the app a one time fee?

Can you add a recurring payment for some sort of additional service?

Are you able to contact / send notifications to prior users?

Is there an additional feature you can add that people would pay for?
It's a subscription app, payment is either weekly or yearly. I can't send them emails as it does't require email login, but I can send notifications.

I'm working on creating more monetizable features
 

SamRussell

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If it's subscription, why is your monthly income so varied?

I think you said one month you got $15k and another $1-2k, and some months nothing.

How long is the average subscription length?
 
OP
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• nikita •

• nikita •

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If it's subscription, why is your monthly income so varied?

I think you said one month you got $15k and another $1-2k, and some months nothing.

How long is the average subscription length?
I make around $1.5k from the app a month. The rest is from freelancing. Most common sub duration is yearly
 

SamRussell

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Do you know why people stop using it?

Is there a high percentage of users that stop using it after 1-3 months?
 

Vito

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Better.
  • I managed to raise my Upwork score to 80%, should go up to 85% once they recalculate the scores again in a few days. I might have two more jobs from there too. But I've decided to move off Upwork completely. They keep raising the fees and have been known to kick people off randomly.
  • Signed a contract for an app design project! Off Upwork. I'm happy I was able to close it.
  • Going through the interviews for a freelance job that's really highly paid. Landing it would mean I can increase my marketing spend for my app, which is what I ultimately want to keep as my main business.
  • After analyzing the app stats I'm redesigning it and it should improve sub rates. Ditched the forum plan though. Most have strict rules against promos and you need to have some 1000 posts to even have a signature link.
Great work.

What's your churn rate for the app?
 
OP
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• nikita •

• nikita •

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Do you know why people stop using it?

Is there a high percentage of users that stop using it after 1-3 months?
Usually with apps lots of people subscribe the first time they open it due to that "subscribe to access more" popup. Some cancel, some remain. Some subscribe later on.

Great work.

What's your churn rate for the app?
I don't know about churn rate, App Store's analytics don't measure uninstalls. Though I did implement Firebase recently to get more data in a few weeks
 

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• nikita •

• nikita •

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My Upwork score is now 100% again! So I'm sure I can get more jobs from there now if I ever need them. No one will hire someone with 75%, or even 80% (I don't even look at people who have less than 95% for my own projects), but 100% is perfect. Just have to keep it there.

Released an update for the app, downloads rose again yesterday. I'm praying for a Today Tab feature, because the first feature brought downloads up from 4 a day to 200, for months. This one could fling it into the 500s and beyond.
 
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• nikita •

• nikita •

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So, my app was finally featured on the Today tab as App of the Day yesterday! Should have got around 5-10k downloads, and hopefully it'll skyrocket my daily downloads for a few months, like the first feature did. I'm happy, because this is big recognition from Apple that my app is good.
 

cy-

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So, my app was finally featured on the Today tab as App of the Day yesterday! Should have got around 5-10k downloads, and hopefully it'll skyrocket my daily downloads for a few months, like the first feature did. I'm happy, because this is big recognition from Apple that my app is good.
Thats awesome to hear!

I hope you will find a great success with this.

Been following your thread for a while - I love when these kind of things start to happen.

Its usually a good indicator that you might be moving the right direction.

Good luck onwards, looking forward to see further progress.
 

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