Alois Bělaška has created a third party application called Friends+Me that is used to magnetize and magnify your target audience by allowing you to share your social media activity on Google+ with other social media websites.
Bělaška started his business because he thought Google+ was a great social website. He enjoyed it, but there was a problem because all of his friends and family were on other social media websites such as twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. He didn’t want to duplicate his work and have to repeat himself to share on other social media websites. As a developer he decided to create the Friends+Me app to make his life easier. He discovered there were other similar tools, but they did not have the functionality he desired. He has continued to improve Friends+Me and offered it to other Google+ users. He first offered it for free. People started using it and it was an amazing time of growth and learning. He relized people liked what he created and had a real use for it so Friends+Me was started.
Alois Bělaška feels the hardest challenge for him in building his business is work/life balance. It is not easy to work long hours and have a family. It can get really crazy. He thanks his wife for supporting him and helping to create the success of Friends+Me. The life of an entrepreneur is not easy. He feels he has not yet conquered work/life balance and acknowledges that it is something he will work to master his entire life. He is learning and shares with us that is is hard to draw that line to seperate the two.
Alois says there is no business without people and people are found on Google+. Alois has found amazing people on Google+ and they have offered him support, expertise and helped him spread the word about his buisness. If you care about what your customers need they will be very understanding if problems come up and make a difference in the success of your product. People liked it and the response was great. Google+ users are amazing and they taught him how to grow. They were talking about it and sharing very fast and people where recommending friends+me to their friends. Alois feels that customer support is essential to growth. When he treats people with respect and transperancy and when he responds quickly it increases the value of the product. Good customer support helps you develop and audience and your business will slowly grow.
Growing your business
Alois has grown very slowly. He did everything himself and was sharing information about Friends+Me everywhere he could think of. The key for him to growing his business was starting to talk and engage with customers. He asked them what they needed, what their problems were and exaclty what they needed from Friends+Me.
One of the benefits to Friends+Me has been the increased awareness of Google+. Many people have migrated to Google+ as a direct result of Friends+Me which has further allowed him to grow.
Keys to success
Alois’s best advice is to leave fear behind. He feels he should have launched much earlier, but fear drove him away from the real launch. Alois want you to go for it and just do it! He feels that unseen fear may hold us back. We are better off to try, see where it goes and then make a decision.
Alois also wants us to know that we should never give up. There were times when he felt really low and wondered why he was doing this and if it was worth it. He kept moving forward and found success. You have to always push forward.
Benefits of Friends+Me
The interface of Friends+Me is user friendly and simple to use. Friends+Me currently supports the following social media websites:
- Facebook profiles, pages and groups
- Twitter profile
- LinkedIn Profile
- Tumbler blogs
Some of the developments for future use are LinkedIn groups and LinkedIn company pages. Alois would also like to integrate Pinterest and WordPress along with a long list of others. He is also working to create a buffer so your content is always fresh on other networks.
Friends+Me is using an API from Google+ that only allows access to public posts. When you publish to Google+, Friends+Me will find all your posts and post them to all the social networks you have connected to your Friends+Me account. Reposts can also be controlled by special hashtags. The user is allowed to create his own custom hashtag and Friends+Me will then know which social media websites to post on. Friends+Me knows what to send and to where easily. It is very easy to set up and useful when you are managing more than one brand or social media account.
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