So, you want to create an app. Good news: So does everybody! There are a combined 4.83 million apps between the App Store and Google Play. But! It's for a good reason: The demand is there. If you're looking to bring your own app to the marketplace, strategy matters. Let's talk about how to create an app and some of the more important steps you can go through to build your own.
How to Create an App in 13 Steps
1. Find an Audience That Has a Problem You Can Solve
This is App Building: 101. Your app needs to alleviate a pain point, plain and simple.
Headspace helps people meditate so they can improve their wellness. Acorns make it easy for anyone to get started investing, so they can have a better financial future. TikTok sucks the attention out of you so that you're not nearly as bored at work. (Kidding. Maybe.)
This is where you need to start. Who is your audience, what is their problem, and how can you help them?
Let's keep going with this.
2. Niche Down Even More
"I'm going to help EVERYBODY!" you yell as your beta goes live.
One second there, Barbara.
"Everybody" isn't your target market. While it sounds nice to create an app that literally every human will want to use, this is an excellent way to reach... absolutely no one. The solution? Niche down.
Who specifically can your app help the most? Soon-to-be moms? Recent retirees? Millennials who are struggling financially? Go deep, not wide. That's your target market, and that's who's going to sign up for your app.
3. Get Real Feedback From These People
Now that you know who your audience is, you need to learn what they think of your idea. It doesn't matter how brilliant you think it is. If people aren't going to sign up/pay to use it, it's a moot point.
4. Define Your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
No need to put on your developer hat right now. Just think like your average user — like the person who's going to be using your app. Plan out the features in a very general outline. From a high level, what will the experience look and feel like?
5. Get the Financial Backing You Need
In this day and age, it's possible that you can create your app with a very modest budget... or it might cost you a fortune. What kind of funding are you thinking you need, and where's it going to come from? Your own personal savings? Crowdfunding? Friends and family? Loans? Investors?
6. Get Building
Trying to save money? Think you're going to build the app yourself? Learn to code, and we'll see ya in five years.
You might very likely find it's in your best interest to invest in a great development company. Here's what you should be looking out for:
- Do you like them as people? Yes, this matters! This is going to be your partner.
- If possible, meet in person.
- Prioritize local companies over off-shore developers, even if you're spending more money.
- Go through their portfolio and testimonials.
- Review their process. Do they have bulletproof systems set up so that your app development will run smoothly and efficiently?
7. Develop in Stages
Don't try to tackle the whole thing in one fell swoop. That's a great way to turn everything into a giant mess.
You need to build the:
Setting shorter, more actionable milestones is the key to success. Baby steps. Progress over perfection.
8. Stick to Your MVP
During the development process, you might get excited and find all sorts of ways to add little bells and whistles.
At this stage in the game, focus solely on the most useful features. Overdeveloping will only get you off-track and cause you to lose time and money. We promise: You'll have time later to go back and add "extras."
9. Ask for Feedback Early and Often
Finding a mentor/advisor who's launched successful apps can give you invaluable insight into your own progress. You might even consider asking your development team for their thoughts, beyond the technical. They know things that you don't.
10. Build the Hype Early On
Don't wait until your release date to start talking about your app. Get the buzz going now. Let people know what's coming, share progress, and build the excitement.
Having a pre-launch marketing strategy is going to work in your favor. This might include social media, blogging, and email marketing. If you can gather the contact information of people who are interested in using your app, all the better.
And that brings us to our next point.
11. Prioritize Getting Users Over Monetization
Yes, making money with your app is more important. However, you can't make money without users. Therefore, your primary goal should be getting as many users as possible, both pre- and post-launch.
12. Review Your Progress at Least Once a Quarter
You should be sitting down with your developer(s) on a regular basis to take the temperature and see where you're at.
13. Test, Test, Test
Start early, and do it on a regular basis. You're not only looking for bugs but also for ways to improve user experience. Using the feedback that you're always gathering (you're asking for feedback, right?) will help you make the necessary improvements.
Additionally, use something like Testflight to make your life easier. This platform makes it painless to beta test your app and get valuable feedback, before launching it to the public.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, and as you might've guessed, it's sometimes easier to leave this stuff to the professionals. That's where we come in. Book a free strategy call with Adlava today and let's talk about your next big project.