Because for all the apps out there, we still use them everyday (think: Facebook, Mindbloom, and MyFitnessPal (evil, it is!)). They’re a great way to market your biz and increase your customers level of engagement. And engagement in this market’s gold.
So you want people to like your biz and use your goods? Give them something they need (or didn’t know they needed – think iPod).
That’s what’s behind the App Battle Royale. Jason and I are part of the Brogan Brave cult and we’ve been butting heads over the whole app building scene. So to settle the score once and for all, we decided to take our beef to the mat. And
And I’m going to wipe the floor with him. :) Just sayin’ :) The App Battle Royale is essentially a race to the App Store by March 11th with a non-site based app (meaning it has to be built, we can't plug in a web address to a service and have it convert the contents into an "app") AND if we're both there on the 11th, we'll have a tie-breaker round to see who can get the most downloads.
The stakes are high, Jason, I mean the loser, will have to promote the winner's app in their email signature for a month, promote it in posts and email for a month, plus they have to put up an ad on their site for the winning app. (Thanks to Tania Shipman and Renee Fishman for these ideas! We're also open to other humiliating forms of punishment for the loser, so hit us with your idea over on my Facebook wall!)
What YOU will get from our App Battle:
1. The best ways to build an app (think: price, strategy, and marketing) 2. The best tools to use 3. And the best show since WWE Smackdown of 2003
Let’s get this party started!
1. How do you know if you need an app or not:
- Does your market USE apps? No? Then, don’t.
- Do you have an idea that’s going to make people forget it’s time to eat because they’re so involved in your app? Yes? Then YES! Duh.
- Is there already an app out there like the one you want to build? Yes? Then YES! (Competition’s good for your soul! DO IT! Just make yours 34,876 times better)
- Do you want to build an app portfolio that you can eventually sell for 200 times the money it took you to start up? Well….
2. Why do people use apps?
- They use them because they bring relief. Yep. Candy Crush? Isn’t about crushing candy, it’s about forgetting the dirty dishes, the screaming kids, the pain-in-the-ass boss (unless you are the pain-in-the-ass boss, in which case, we need to talk).
- They use them to get organized, to get healthier, to make life easier. To make life easier. Hm. Let’s think about that. Will you increase the quality of life for your market by creating your app? Yes? Then move on to number 3.
3. How do you build an app?
So far we’ve uncovered LOADS of ways to start building apps. And we’re going to discuss the pros and cons of each one and hold your hand through your own process.
4. How long does it take?
That depends on the route you want to take. Of course, you’ll likely be at the mercy of others for part of this journey (unless you want to learn to code and skip 98 meals plus a couple of month’s worth of family time to be totally self-reliant – I’m not skipping a meal, so I’m not diving in this deep – Mr. Croft can if he likes!)
5. How much does it cost?
Again, depends on your idea. More complex = more expense. Who'd a thought, right? But, a general rule I’ve found is not to spend more than $500 on your first app. It’s a learning curve and you don’t want to foreclose on your home because of it.
6. Should I build for iOS (Apple) only?
No. The global market is predominately Android (don’t worry, we’ll convert them soon enough), so you want to build for both operating systems so you reach more customers.
7. How can I sink $500 into an app I’m going to offer for free?
You’re doing this to build your engagement. This is about marketing and filling needs, staying top of mind. So, if you spend $500 on an app that brings you one high-paying customer, then it’s done its job. You’re not in the app-building biz, you’re in industry X and you’re using this to build your authority, increase your engagement with your brand, and bragging rights so when you’re at your next cocktail party, you can say, “Oh, is that my app you’re playing with? Awesome!”
Chances are there’s an app you can build that your clients and customers can use
Here are a few ideas to get your gears turning:
Service based businesses
a. A “cheat sheet” of your industries secrets b. A tool to help them eat better, exercise more, sleep more efficiently c. A CRM of sorts d. Log to keep up with the changes they’re making toward progress e. Something fun that relates to your brand – doesn’t have to be specifically related to your services f. A reminder app to help keep them on track?g. Motivation app (you know, one that sends an electric shock through the phone when they stick their hand in the cookie jar :D What?)?h. A simple mobile version of your site
Product based businesses
a. Games related to your products b. A coupon app c. An extended shopping experience d. Uses for your products app
Step one in building your app is not to try and reinvent the wheel. Go for formats and apps that are already winners. You can find a list of what’s exciting in the App Store to help you decide on an app that could do well.
Always consider your ideal client and what they want most from you, too. After all, you’re not building an app just to have one in the app store, unless you are. :)
Do your research first, but don’t spend too much time on it. You want to act fast and get that ball rolling as soon as possible. Questions to ask yourself:
1. What does my customer need most from me? 2. Do I have any current products/services that would be a good fit as an app? 3. Is there already an app that does what I need to do?
Give this some thought and in the next post, we’ll uncover what to do after you've developed an idea. Kick ass this week!
PS Thanks for reading and if you liked this piece, I'd appreciate it so much if you could click the little social buttons and share it!
You can check out Jason's delusional post right here!