How many apps do you have on your device? I’d bet that at least 40.
According to App Annie’s forecast, these will happen in the apps world by 2022:
aka a market with global consumer spend in app stores reaching $156.5 billion in 2022.
And everyone wants a piece of the action. Developer or not.
Because you don’t have to be a developer in order to make your own app. You can be the brains of it and have others design it for you. But from idea to the actual app, there are some steps you should go through.
In the end, building the app might be the least of your problems. The research, the planning and project scoping, the promotion, these are the challenges.
Let’s take it one by one.
Have You Done Your Homework?
Before launching into this new idea of yours how about answering some questions?
- Does the app solve a problem/pain in a market?
- Does a similar solution exist?
- How do people feel about it?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of the competition and their products?
- What would be your uniques selling proposition?
- How can you monetize your app?
- How can you create stickiness for your app?
- Do you know your buyer persona?
And these questions are just the tip of the iceberg, we wrote more on how to validate your app idea here.
There are plenty of apps that sank into oblivion, left unnoticed in Google Play or App Store, and even apps that received funds, made a lot of noise then...nobody ever heard again of them.
So, you can’t afford to skip research, else:
Project Scoping and Planning
Project scoping is the part of project planning where everything gets documented: goals, features, functions, tasks, deadlines and above all, costs.
Ok, you ticked that one, what now?
Now it’s time for:
- UX wireframing
- UI design
- software architecture planning
These actions are not quite linear, they can overlap, everything is connected.
In the aftermath of many app releases, app owners might realize that users simply don’t fall from the sky.
They’ve underestimated the marketing needed to be done. You might have built a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious app, but nobody has ever heard of it.
Your time and money have just gone down the drain.
And all of this could have been avoided, with proper promotional planning, and some money.
There are two areas where you should focus your marketing efforts: pre-launch, the launch and post-launch promotions.
- Pre-launch promotion
Now, it’s all about brand awareness, creating some buzz around influencers, bloggers, journalists, designing some PR stunt that could go viral (tip: try not to over-promise).
Don’t forget to define your brand guidelines and a pitch deck, build a website.
You could even go for a Beta version of your app, where you can collect feedback so that you can incorporate it at the actual launch.
Don’t forget about social media planning, be where your buyer persona is.
Prepare a referral program and a plan for getting reviews.
- The launch and post-launch promotion
First, begin with App Store Optimization (ASO) - make your app discoverable in stores.
Paid ads across multiple platforms. Test rich media, video! Yeah, you need to put some money on the table.
Ensure customer support! Collect feedback, make sure it’s filtered and solutions are on their way.
Design retention strategies: how to keep users engaged. Did you know that nearly 1 in 4 people abandon mobile apps after only one use?
Let’s Build It!
Now, let’s assume you’ve done your research and decided to go ahead with your idea, but you have no coding skills.
Don’t need to panic. There are plenty of solutions for you to get your idea to light!
Find a Partner
Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, ring a bell? One designed computers, the other one figured out how to sell them. It was a match made in heaven.
So, where can you find your match?
If only there was a Tinder for business partners! Oh, wait, there is one. And it’s built by Tinder itself: meet Ripple.
Still, face-to-face networking brings in the best results: conferences, meetups, startup communities, accelerators, even universities events. There are tons of opportunities out there. You just have to take the plunge.
Portfolio, ethics, costs, references - there are some variables to take into account when hiring someone from platforms such as Upwork.
The problem that might arise here is that you probably need more people for the job: developers, designer etc…
Building the ideal team can be quite overwhelming.
Use App Building Platforms
f you don’t need to build something sophisticated, but information-based apps, services such as AppInstitute or AppsBar might just do the trick.
If you need something more, these tools won’t suffice, you’ll need to team up with a developer, eventually...
Hire a Software House
Now, here’s plenty to choose from.
What’s great about teaming up with a software house is the fact that some of them are specialized per vertical, technology. This might give you an edge over the competition, because of access to know-how.
And your idea is safe with them, you usually sign non-disclosure agreements.
And what’s also good to know is that they can help you also with app idea validation and research. The so-called discovery phase helps you eliminate guesswork from your project scoping and could help you design a more proper solution for the problem you’ve identified.
How does that sound? We’ve written more on the topic here.
Now you know how to research your idea, how to plan and market your app.
Above all, now you know coding mustn’t be on your skills list.
All you have to do is find your Wozniak! Ready for the challenge?