How SMBs Can Monetize The Software They've BuiltThursday, August 15, 2013
Posted by Joel Thompson
By Joe Elton
Congratulations! You have managed to achieve something that very few people are capable of doing – building useful software. No doubt it was a labor of love that required inspiration, a lot of planning and research, and ultimately, many hours of laborious work to execute your vision and complete the software to your satisfaction. However, other than the satisfaction of completing a task well done, now is the time to really benefit from the fruits of your hard work and earn something for all your dedication and perspiration.
Creating software is a task that requires numerous skills. Monetizing software requires another skill set altogether. That doesn’t mean though that you can’t play a significant part in marketing and therefore monetizing what you built. After all, what could be more rewarding than not only creating something but also monetizing it?
It May Be Too Late
If you have already created your software and not given thought to its monetization prior to its creation, you have limited your monetization options, since just as every feature of your software is planned in advance, so too must its monetization.
For example, if you have not integrated a dynamic installer or created the software in different versions, you have limited your marketing and monetizing opportunities that are achieved from potential advertising revenues as well as being on the cloud as well as offering a free trial or limited trials on different versions of your software. You can always rectify this situation, but as they say, a stitch in time saves nine.
One of the best weapons in your monetization arsenal is the use of social media. Social media reaches billions of users throughout the world; it is usually free or very cheap, and enables you to find and cultivate a relevant community for your software.
Had you used social media from the planning stages, by visiting and contributing to online communities and blogs, you would have not only gleaned excellent input to implement in your software; but you already would have cultivated a market from which to monetize your software. If you didn’t use social media during the software development cycle, it is still not too late – join communities, post, and represent yourself as the expert that you are, and use the community to spread the gospel about your software.
Another preferred option if your software is ready to go and you have done little on the marketing front is to partner with an established software house that specializes in software marketing. This will require you to share revenue but that is part of the price you pay for rapid market penetration and reflected credibility. The fact is that even if you had planned ahead, this is a viable and frequently used monetization method.
To summarize, the path to monetizing your software must be planned in advance. If you have not done so, it doesn’t mean that your software will not sell, it just makes its monetization more difficult.