Advertising Your App Yourself – Part 1

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So you and your group of friends finally got that dream app developed and you’re sooo excited about finally launching it and having millions of users download your app immediately.  But how quickly the fanciful money bubble is popped by the sharp needle of reality.

After a month of your app on the App Store, you have 10 downloads, and 9 of them were by friends you asked to download it.  Bummer…So what do you do than?  Do you give up, feeling like your app is horrible and there’s nothing you can do?  Do you pay an advertising agency thousands of dollars to advertise for you?  Nope! I’ll show you how to get off the ground fast!  Here’s a list of things to remember:

Meet people personally

In the mobile, digital age today, many people just don’t appreciate the value of personal interaction with potential customers.  If people see a Tweet from your mobile device, there’s a low chance that that will turn into a customer who actually uses your mobile app.  However, when a person gets a chance to see the man behind the mobile app; the tenacity, the drive, the diligence; they’re much more apt to invest in you, rather than just your mobile app.

So get out there and meet people.  Figure out who your potential client is, print out some fliers and business cards with a QR Code to download the app, and start handing them out.  If your targeted audience is college students, than go to the nearest college to you and start there.

  1. Print out business cards and fliers with your app info on it and a QR Code to direct them to the appropriate App Store
  2. Go to high volume areas and pass out your business cards and fliers for your Mobile App
  3. Strike up conversations with people and explain the Mobile App a little bit to them to increase their likelihood of downloading your Mobile App.

Get Beta Testers

The really good thing about Beta Testing, is that it seems cool to be a Beta Tester.  People want to be part of projects, especially mobile apps.  When it comes to advertisement, Beta Testers can be the best.  So offer some cool perks to people to try and motivate them to help you with your project.  Allow them to use different aspects of the app for free.  Let them give feedback and actually incorporate some of their feedback within the app.

Look at the Pyramid Scheme, why is it so successful, because your create millions of advertisers.  So remember, an actual user is the best advertiser you will ever have.  So do the following:

  1. Go to QuickMVP and set up a quick landing page prompting users to become beta testers, it takes maybe 10 minutes.
  2. Offer some cool perks for being a beta tester like allowing them to posts for free forever
  3. Offer incentives to those who invite others to use the app
  4. Keep a good relationship with your beta testers by responding to their concerns and implementing some of their ideas.
  5. Tweet like crazy and include a link to your website to allow people to be Beta Testers

Use Social Media Wisely

Social Media can be a great tool when advertising your Mobile App, but it has to be done correctly.  How do you do this?

  1. Instead of having a ton of followers who have no idea who you are, and you don’t know who they are, try to engage your followers by having interesting tweets, and starting conversations with them.
  2. Try to focus on those whom you know personally first.  If you can get your Mobile App in the hands of 100 friends, that can turn into 10,000 quicker than you think.
  3. One tweet is useless, you will really need about 100 tweets to get any kind of real responses.  So it will literally take 1000’s of tweets to really get your name out there, and even then, you need a ton of followers.
  4. Try to get more people to follow you on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.  Until you have over 1000 followers, you’re really not going to get any kind of substantial network.  But remember, try to engage with these followers.
  5. Start getting followers before you’ve even developed the app.

Spread the Word in Your App

This is the last step we’re going to speak about.  Within the app, you’ve got to create a way for users to really share with their friends.  How can you do this?

  1. Make sure you have a feature allowing people to invite their friends through their favorite form of Social Media
  2. Offer special perks if they invite people.  For example, maybe a certain feature of your app can only be unlocked once you’ve invited your friends.
  3. Offer the user the ability to invite friends at various times in the app using experience.  For example, if they want to do something in the app that cost money, let them know they can do this for free if they invite friends.  Don’t make this annoying though.  If you are always reminding the user to do this it will get frustrating.

This is just the beginning, but I guarantee if you do this, you’ll be happy with the results.  Always remember though, you have to be diligent about this.  If you’re lazy and do this for a week or two, you’re not going to have anything successful, so make sure you stay at this and work as hard as you can with it.  You’ll find that your downloads will slowly begin to climb.

Take a look at these other articles for help too:

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229305

http://buildfire.com/free-app-promotion/

Become a Beta Tester for an app I’m building right now

http://graffiti.quickmvp.com/

graffiti-split

Great App vs Good App: Quality over Quantity

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Quality over Quantity

When the app store first opened, there were very few apps in existence, and many of them were quite ridiculous. Apps such as the Fart App were at the top of the app store, and quite frankly, it was easy to create something that could become a quick success.

But something happened. As more and more people built applications, it became more and more difficult to create an app that is considered, great! This is good and bad. It’s bad because it’s become more difficult to compete. But it’s good because now you have to be very serious about your craft in order to create a competitive application, which means that it filters out a lot of developers who really aren’t that serious about what they do.

So now, why the title, quality over quantity? Well, it’s a fact that humans are excited about new stuff; new features, new designs, new everything. As a developer, or simply someone who wants to make an app, it can be easy to get caught up in the madness of wanting “new” features. Most apps that begin to be developed are never finished because people simply want to do too much. So what’s wiser, is actually to focus on the quality of the features you have, rather than the quantity of features, in order to be competitive.

Now how can you do this?

Well make sure that as you implement new features, it’s polished before you move on. Always go for the wow factor. For example, instead of just having an alert box pop up to display something to the user, why not add an animation that displays the information in an eye catching way. Make sure that every little detail is well thought out for the feature. Make sure that it’s not only functional, but beautiful. Then after you’ve done this; move on. Don’t wait for perfection, but just make sure that it’s as good as you know you can make it before advancing.

This will take your app from good, to great.

3 Tips for Simple, Elegant, iOS Design

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As an iOS Developer, you fully one understand one absolutely essential aspect of marketing.

“The apps that are beautiful…sale!!”

The thing is though, not everyone has a limitless supply of funds to pay designers.  And not everyone knows a designer who if you pay him, will actually deliver a quality product.  So the question is, how do you make sure that you’re design is one that will make the end user go…wow!  I’ve put together three simple tips and principles to think about when designing.  In the future, I’ll add more.  Hopefully this will help you in your endeavor of creating beautiful UIs.  At the end of each tip, I’ll show you an example of what I mean for each tip.

Tip 1 – “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery”

It is a fundamental truth that there are many apps out there that are stunningly gorgeous.  When you are going to create an app, why not look at some designs of others.  Here is what I do.

  1. I do a search on the app store for an app similar to the one that I’m about to make.
  2. Then I look at the first say 20 of them, and I narrow it down to about 3 that I find most beautiful.
  3. Then I just analyze the three apps and try to determine what makes them so elegant.
  4. Then I read the reviews and see what others are saying about them.   (Customers know what they want and they’ll be honest if they want to see something different.)
  5. After all this, I generally have an idea of what I want, and I begin my mock up.

The great thing about this system is that you have an idea of what others have already done that worked and that did not work.  Also, I find it easier to build something after I’ve seen something that I can kind of build off of.  Now this isn’t copying, it’s simply imitating.  Eventually you’ll be happy that others are imitating your app designs.

So let’s see an example.  Look at the Yahoo Weather.  What makes this so nice?

yahooweatherapp

1)      Beautiful background pictures?

2)      Fonts are easy to see on the pictures because they make sure the images they use have dark areas where there is text?

3)      The icons are very consistent, and very simple?

4)      They utilize Flat UI?

5)      The font selections are perfect?

So then you would strive to imitate this screen, of course not an exact replica, but strive to use beautiful background pictures with well-placed fonts with good font selections, and Flat UI.

Tip 2 – “Keep it simple Socrates”

“Wisdom is with the modest one.”  What does that mean?  It means you have to understand your limitations.  If you’re not a graphics designer, don’t try to make some epic design with all kinds of rotating images and parallax scrolling, with particle affects.  All that’s going to happen is you’re going to have a jumbled up bunch of nonsense.  Instead, focus on simplicity.  Instead of having 20 things on the screen that are all kind of just thrown together, have 3 things done beautifully.   A good example of this is an app made by Fueled called Elevatr.  Look at the app screenshots below.

elevatr

Do you notice how simple the first screen shot is?  There’s nothing fancy at all about this.  It’s simply a static picture with some text, but it does its job.  The second screenshot, is extremely elegant but simple, it’s simply just a table with some text.

Look at the 3rd screenshot.  What makes this screen so elegant?  Notice the user of colors makes the app very pleasing to the eye.  The way they have the information compressed in the boxes, and when you want to view all the information you SIMPLY click on the plus sign.

Now what makes all this so nice though, it’s well thought out colors, a well thought out image, and well thought out font selections and locations.  That’s it!!  Nothing fancy!!

Now ask yourself.  Could I do this?

The answer is an emphatic YES!!!

That’s what makes this so awesome.  It’s not overly complicated.   Simplicity is often better then complexity.

Tip 3 – “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”

If you want to have good designs, it is very important that you keep your eyes open for good designs in everything that you see.   What do I mean by that?  Well, it’s interesting how everything that we see, really has some sort of design, you just need to keep your eye open for it.  For example, when I went to CES in 2014, I was taking pictures of everything from cars to the carpet selection.  Why?  Because hidden there was design.

mustang

Look at this picture of a mustang interior.  Now, this looks like a beautiful interior, right?  Why not use these colors for a color scheme of an app?  Metallic silver, yellow, black, with maybe some ribbons of red and white.  You’d be amazed at how something like that could look!

Do you get the idea?  Use designs that you may have not thought of to give you ideas for an app.

So these are just a few tips that I wanted to share to help people to get some killer designs for their apps.  If anyone has any good links to their own designs, or to some cool tips, just leave a link or something in the comment.  Hope that this helps everyone who reads it.