From the blue gates of Babylon to buying hamburgers with Bitcoin in Venezuela, Drew Binsky creates travel stores that revolve around humanity and culture.
His audience has followed Drew’s incredible journey to all 197 countries in the world, watching him twist through distant markets, sweat through military checkpoints, and experience the extremes of tourist travel. Drew’s mission is to help more travelers break beyond their comfort zones, showing the warmth and generosity that every culture offers.
With spectacular social media reach, brand partnerships, an NFT travel collection, and a successful travel hacking course, Drew knew that his next chapter would be about community.
When he came to Mighty Pro, he was looking to diversify his revenue beyond social media platforms and bring together all the pieces of his brand into a centralized community.
He reaches a young audience of 25-33-year-olds who are digital nomads, so having his community hosted via native mobile apps was key. And with his strong brand, he wanted to go further than just running a community on Discord server or creating another Facebook Group.
Drew has now launched his own branded iOS, iPad, and Android apps using Mighty Pro. Inside Drew’s “JUST GO” apps, travelers can join groups for local meet-ups, trade tips with other travelers, and attend events such as their first event in L.A.
His membership soared right out the gates. He gained over 20,000 members and cracked the top 50 on the Apple App Store global rankings.
In this piece, I’ll break down what other YouTubers and course creators can learn from his app launch strategy.
Your app is NOT about bonus content
While it might be tempting to say that Drew’s success is a result of his massive social audience, we’ve helped hundreds of high-profile personalities and YouTubers launch their apps.
Even if you’re globally famous, you still need to entice people to add another app to their phone. The lazy approach is to just create an app and stuff it with more content.
If people want to consume travel content, they can watch Drew’s Instagram Stories, viral TikTok videos, or in-depth YouTube videos. For his app, it’s not about content consumption.
With JUST GO, travelers go from watching Drew’s content to creating their own adventures by visiting distant cities and meeting up with the members who live there, sharing travel tips, and meeting lifelong friends.
JUST GO is a community. It's all about the people, talking about travel experiences, meeting other people, and achieving things that are hard to do alone (like visiting a distant country).
His value proposition is sharp and tangible. “The JUST GO APP is a place where travelers can connect, make new friends, join real-life meetups, and get inspired by each other!”
Five quick tactics you can steal from his app launch
With the foundation in place, Drew has been promoting his new app. Here are five tactics any YouTuber can steal if you’re thinking about launching your own branded apps.
Drew Binksy’s Social and Community Engine
3.1M YouTube Subscribers
750K Instagram followers
500K TikTok followers
10M community members
5 Billion social views
JUST GO APP on iOS, iPad, & Android
#1 - Do a 24-hour giveaway to avoid people arriving in a ghost town
To kickstart his community, Drew created a 24-hour giveaway. The members who joined in the first 24 hours got a chance to win a free Sony ZV-1 vlogging camera ($750 value).
This sparked the first wave of members joining right away, helping to fill the community with posts, questions, and travel photos. There’s nothing worse than a community app that isn’t alive with conversations, so setting the tight timeframe for the giveaway ensures that the community gets that first critical boost of traction.
#2 - Create social profiles for your apps
Drew’s team created dedicated social media profiles for his branded apps.
He uses these profiles to promote meet-ups in different cities, where members of the app can attend events in their cities. Members also share photos of them meeting other members. One group of women met up after only two days after joining the app!
Having dedicated profiles for your app helps to not clog up your main social channels with content about meet-ups or member profiles. It also helps to keep retention of existing members high, reminding them of key events coming up in your app.
#3 - Make your app your new CTA
Many of the YouTube creators we work with are looking to diversify their businesses beyond follower counts or email lists. They’re seeing that getting people to join a platform they have 100% ownership over is 10X more valuable than asking people to subscribe to their YouTube channel or enter their email addresses.
Drew makes his branded apps one of the first actions people can take after they discover his content. As Drew’s Instagram’s Linktree shows, driving people directly into your branded app is a great way to turn fleeting impressions into truly deeper connections with the people who love your work.
This is also the benefit of hosting your community, courses, groups, and meet-up invites within your own app—it’s a direct CTA that makes it simple for people to download, without getting lost in a Discord server, forgetting your Slack channel, or losing interest in a Facebook Group.
Drew also features his app right at the top of his website.
#4 - Create a welcome video that sells your vision
Drew created a welcome video that paints his vision of what members will get from your app.
“If we can get 100K people in this app, which I’m confident we can do, imagine how cool it will be. If you’re in Berlin, you can open the app and you can actually see with the Members Near Me feature people who live in Berlin. You can connect with people in real life through this incredible travel community.”
Inside, he also encourages a culture of contribution rather than people feeling like they need to post.
As he writes in his app’s welcome message, “Even better than posting? Comment, reply, and contribute to other people's posts and questions. Nothing is lonelier than a post without comments or cheers, or a poll that is flailing in the wind.”
#5 - Use your app to help people discover other products
While his apps are free, Drew has his travel hacking course, merchandise, and his personalized travel booking website that members can discover when inside his community.
But it’s important to remember how clear and direct the entry into the app is. He leads with the biggest benefit—download the app to meet other travelers and make friends around the world.
He saves all the other ways you’ll improve your travel experiences, courses you can buy, and bonus content you get inside the app for people to discover after they’ve joined.
If you’re a traveler yourself, download Drew’s apps! You can find them in the Apple App and Google Play stores. Or watch his mesmerizing travel content, particularly his incredible and never-ending Instagram Stories.