Apple is famous for selling music and iPhone apps. People, including children, all over the world have an Apple account and can download a new app or song with just a few clicks.
But most small businesses don’t realize that Apple is also an amazing sales channel for business products, even if you’re not a software company.
I’d like to share 4 strategies that you can use to get incredible exposure through Apple for your small business.
Strategy #1 - Sell Digital Books Through iBookstore
A great way to partner with Apple is by selling books through their iBookstore. Suppose you have a training program to sell that includes a book.
One way to get additional exposure for that training program is to sell the book portion (or a portion of it) as a digital book format through Apple’s iBookstore.
In order to sell digital books through iBookstore, you have to obtain an ISBN number for your book, obtain an Apple ID (if you don’t already have one), and have a legitimate U.S. taxpayer ID (EIN or social security number).
You can then either format the book yourself into the required ePub format, or you can work with a third party such as Ingram, Lulu, or Smashwords to help you complete these steps.
If you’re already selling books for Kindle on Amazon, it would be worth considering adding those same books to the iBookstore through Apple.
And if you’re not selling any digital books either place, then you should definitely consider both avenues as another way to get great exposure for your business.
Strategy #2 – Offer a Podcast to Get Free Exposure
Another great way to get free exposure for your business through Apple is by offering an audio or video podcast that people can download to their mobile devices, or just play from a computer. Podcasts are audio or video programs that are produced over time as different episodes.
It is best if you set a regular schedule and stick to it, such as having a weekly podcast, or monthly podcast.
Podcasts are offered for free, but you get to include your company name (and your web site) in your logo for the podcast. You can also include advertisements about other products within the podcast.
The key to generating a lot more buzz and exposure for your business with Podcasts is to cover topics that people would find interesting and be searching for. Then, deliver good content, and direct them to what else you offer that is related. If your podcast is just a sales pitch for your product, then it will not be as effective as if you provide great information and leave people wanting more from you.
An even better way to leverage the power of Podcasts is through repurposing content that you’re already creating on a regular basis as a podcast. For example, Jynell and I are working on setting up a Thriving Business podcast that is just a spoken version of each newsletter.
We’re going to be writing the newsletters anyway, so we might as well take an extra 10 minutes and record each issue as an audio podcast. Look for ways to do the same with your own content.
Strategy #3 – Sell Audio Programs through iTunes
You can also sell audio programs through iTunes, such as music. If you are a musician who wants to get access to over 300 million people who are downloading music to their mobile devices, then iTunes is definitely the place to be.
Strategy #4 – Sell iPhone or iPad Apps Through The App Store
And yet another great strategy you can use with Apple is by offering iPhone/iPad apps (for a small fee or free) through the App Store. Most iPhone and iPad apps sell for 99 cents to a few dollars. Many are also given away for free.
A great strategy that small businesses can use is to create informational apps that provide great content that uses can consume on their mobile devices. Such free apps can then include advertisements to your other products, to a more advanced version of the app that you sell, or to third party products that you have an affiliate relationship with. The ways to monetize these apps is just unlimited.
And even if you are not a programmer, there are lots of great tools that exist that allow you to even create iPhone apps for free or a very small fee through a simple web browser. Imagine how cool it would be to be able to advertise that your business has its own iPhone app.
If you want to learn how to create iPhone apps for your business or other businesses, then check out this special report that Jynell and I created. You don’t need to know anything about programming in order to get an iPhone app created.
In sum, there are great opportunities to get incredible exposure by partnering with Apple. With the items you sell through Apple, you generally just have to pay them a small share for handling the transaction. It’s well worth the investment.
In fact, you can leverage the power of Apple even without making a lot of direct sales – by simply advertising your web site and company name. Many people may then type in your web site directly into their web browser.
So there you have it – 4 different ways to partner with Apple. I hope you put these strategies to the test and share your feedback. Jynell and I are doing a lot with this ourselves, and will keep you posted on what works best for us.
And if you want more info in the meantime, check out iPhone report that I mentioned earlier, as well as this special package that Ryan Deiss put together (that includes a report called Partnering with Apple).
*Originally published as Issue # 67 on February 7, 2012 and Issue #180 on March 20, 2013