Learn how I did it and how you can too!
My last post talked a little bit about how we are using Instagram (among other things) to launch apps for free + set them up to bring in consistent revenue over time.
It was called, “Generate $1,000+ with your app on Instagram with $0 costs!” If you haven’t checked it out, click here.
A lot of apps launch and die. That’s not what we want. We want our launch to pay for any costs we had creating the app + give us a little cash in bank. Then everything after that is profit.
This current post >
$0 Marketing / Advertising Budget Still Yields $1587.25 App Launch!
At the time of posting this we are up to almost $2000 in revenue with $0 spend on ads or marketing.
See revenue screenshots from Apple and Android >
The Exciting Part
Now I know some of you are probably thinking $1587.25 might not be that much revenue. Others might think it’s a lot. Regardless of your position on that, my point is more about the costs involved (which were $0), and with that I could still yield this revenue.
I also didn’t use any influencer marketing where I split the revenue. I wanted to launch with only things I could measure and since I knew what I was and was not doing, that was easy.
What This Means For You
It means that there are things you can do with $0 cost that can connect your app with the people that want to use / play it. If you’ve ever made a cool app (to you), launched it and then saw only a few downloads trickle in until you stamped failure on it, then you know the value in this. The value of having people that want to see your app exist before you finish it. These people help you dial in the app. They also keep you on track and motivated to finish it because some days can suck right? Maybe to you think little feedback from people is trivial, but when you let others into your world and build up some suspense, the launch can be much better.
Save Time & Money
If you start to build up a following and bonce your idea off these people and they hate it (collectively), then it can save you a ton of time, cash and your sanity by shutting down a project early.
It really is a win win.
You either fix what you screwed up and ask them again to find out you nailed it this time.
You have to scrap the project and move on.
Usually if you do these right, there won’t need to be any scrapping of a project. What I mean by this is you are going through steps and if you don’t skip them, you should be ok.
- Have app idea and scribble it down on a bar napkin, send yourself an email, memo.
- Figure out who your prospective user is and if they exist
- Find out more about them by researching
- Build up a following (can be small) to bounce your idea off. I often do this by starting a exclusive email signup to be on a list. They take the time to sign up makes sure I get people that are going to help.
- Elaborate on the app / features / price
- Once the idea is a go and people will pay for it or use your app with ads you move to pre-production
- Now you can do a cheap animated mockup with tools online or just use Photoshop showing some screen shots of the app and UI
- You can tweak things a little and go on.
- For your app icon, it’s always fun to do a poll. These are subtle things, but get’s people involved. They feel invested in the process and are much more likely to purchase / download + (BIG ONE HERE) tell people about it. They are your little mini free sales force.
- Depending on the app, I sometimes try to either incorporate some of the top prospects ideas or something they can say they helped with.
- By the time you launch, you may have a facebook page for the app, insta account, email list, other channels, that you can push it to. They are already interested because they are on the list, following, commenting, liking, hearting, etc.
- You can ask them to share on their channels or just tell people they think would like it.
- It’s also nice to have a little bit of a following of your diehard fans to make your channels look legit. Sure, we have to start with 0 at some point, but maybe launching with 0 isn’t such a good idea. So instead you do some work up front to set your app up to look appealing and exciting when it launches.
Why Does This Work?
It works because you are amassing a real following for something people show genuine interest in and then building it for them. It’s not just some crazy idea you had that people “should” like. The “should like” projects are fun. Believe me, I know. But they are risky and expensive, so when I do one of these, it’s like a side job or gamble.
It’s also important to mention that you aren’t rushing through things to just get an app in the store and then go tell everyone that you think would like it + people that don’t care.
You are taking the time to not only understand who is going to use your app, but what they want and where they hang out (online or whatever).
By sharing, commenting, talking, giving value they are much more likely to download / purchase the app than if you just spam people when your app is live.
I’ve had Facebook pages of 5-10k fans get less likes and engagement than 100-200 engaged genuine followers on Instagram.
Instagram is great, but that’s not the key here. The key is the people. It doesn’t matter if it’s Instagram, twitter, facebook, email, etc. You need to be on and use what your prospects are using.
I found that some prospects in my demo for an aren’t on insta, but love facebook. Some are over Facebook and use insta. So what did I do?
I used both of course.
Some liked to sign up to an email list and just get the direct update from me.
What It Means For You
It means that if you have an app idea, but don’t want to waist a bunch of time and money on it to find out no one want’s your app, start with the prospective users.
Start there with the steps I talked about above and work through what you think people want and get to what they actually want. Maybe that leads you down a road to see:
- Someone already has an app like you wanted to build and it’s way better / expensive to build than you can afford”
- Someone build a cool app, but didn’t market it so it’s just sitting there. Maybe you can use it to mock yours up or even buy that app for ponies on the dollar and save a ton of time and $.
- People don’t really care about your thing
- People think it’s stupid
- People won’t pay for it, but you don’t think a free model will work with ads
- People want a free app and the ability to buy the features they want (IAP’s)
- People are willing to pay you monthly to put out fresh content and features (sub)
- That you totally just had a bad idea and can move on to something else
- That there is a better way to do what you want to do
The Fun Part
Over time, some of the original steps above go faster than when you first start. You learn that you can get closer to what people want right out of the gate. Sometimes you nail it and things come together quick.
BUT, sometimes that experience can work against you because you can get over confident and rush through steps too fast without really doing them right. You start to speculate or assume instead of going into it with hesitation.
So, sometimes you totally miss the mark and have to start over, but that’s part of it.
They key is you are working with real people to create something they will love, use and rave about.
Sometimes it’s hard and sometimes you just kinda lean into something great. Lastly, sometimes it seems random when something comes together, but your previous failures / insight influences you to create / build better things the next time around.
So when I was a kid I always remember people saying it’s ok to screw up, but you have to learn from it. Pretty basic right? Well, just like a lot of basic things we did as kids, we forget as adults.
So if you are learning from the screw ups, then eventually things can come together if you are working with real people rather than chasing the trends and your “research” or the “data”.
Until next time
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