Getting your mobile app out, part I — Series Introduction

Do you have that idea for that one app that might make it? Are you getting ready to start developing but are you not sure just about how to go about it? Is the development itself something that you are confident you will handle but the road to market is that one elusive challenge you are not sure about? Then these series are just for you! Come join me on a journey I have recently taken myself, where I will be explaining all the non-development related steps that are needed to get your app out to the market.

Photo by Yura Fresh on Unsplash

What this is

I imagine you as someone, most likely a SW engineer, who has an idea for an app and the skills to make it but is unsure on how to get it out. That all the steps outside of the development involved in the proccess of publishing it are a bit blurry to you. You have some idea that you need to have a privacy policy, a captivating store listing or that you might suspect that you should promote the app for it to gain a traction.

You, dear reader, are very familiar with so much when it comes to apps, but yet with so little. And this app, you are now working on, is not an app from your place of work, where there is a marketing department, finance, operations, business development and customer support. This isn’t an app of a startup where you are the co-founding CTO and all except for the development is in hands of your experienced serial entrepreneur CEO either.

This app is yours, you know how to make the code work, yet it is not and most likely will not be your primary source of income. You are spending your free time on it and therefore you need to be as efficient as possible in all the other aspects of getting an app out to the market. And for that, I will be your guide for the duration of this series. And maybe, it might so happen, that what is currently your mere hobby, will one day turn out to be a successful product.

What this is not

This is definitely not a fit-for-all type of guide on your app’s road to market. What might have made sense for me, might not work for you. However feel free to cherry pick all that you find useful and to modify it to your specific use case.

Who am I

Long story short, I am the guy I have described in the “who is it for” part of the article. I am originally a SW developer, although since then I have moved into more managerial IT roles, working for the big and the small, and I am also a tech co-founder of a startup. But at the same time, I have come up with an app, that I have decided to put on the market myself. So I had to get through all of those steps that will be the topics of the next articles in these series myself. And since all that I have learned going through this process is quite fresh, I have decided to share it with you. Let me know in the comments if you have found it useful.

What will we cover

Here is an outline of the individual articles in this series. While the list is here already for you to see, I will be publishing one article each week. Whenever I will publish one, I’ll add a link to this table of contents.

Prepare for the development

Do not skip this part. I know you have it all in your head organized just fine, but let me explain why making flow charts, wireframes or designing and documenting your API first will save you a lot of time in the long run.

Article link: Prepare for the development

Prepare your ecosystem

Start using tools that will help you set up your processes and will keep you organized. By setting up processes for the steps needed to be taken, you will be free to focus on the core work only and will leave the rest for the tools.

Article link: coming on March 29th

Understand your market and monetize your app

Lets see who you are catering for and how to make some money out of it. We’ll take a look on how to define your target group, estimate the size of the market and how to select the right monetization model based on those results.

Article link: coming on April 5th

Getting your social networks presence right

We should not rely solely on the store presence to promote your app. Lets take a look how to set up Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other pages dedicated to your app and also how to use your existing follower base to get the initial traction.

Article link: coming on April 12th

Putting analytics and engagement tools in place

For the most part of these series we are just guessing what is right. By setting up analytical and engagement tools, we will be building a groundwork for the guessing to turn into a data driven approach from which we will benefit after the app is launched.

Article link: coming on April 19th

Launch your app

Here we will cover testing, store presence, preparing supporting materials and eventually going live. Exciting, right?

Article link: coming on April 26th

Set up a feedback loop

Oh no, the users started to interact with your app and there is an avalange of incoming e-mails and store reviews. Set up an automation to stay on top of issue handling.

Article link: coming on May 3rd

Register your app for reviews

Gain some more traction and drive organic traffic by taking an advantage of engaging relevant users of your app through having the key people review your app.

Article link: coming on May 10th

Understand the analytics

Remember when we were setting up to gather all of that data? Well lets now make use of that. See how to leverage analytics to make your product better.

Article link: coming on May 17th

What will not be covered

We won’t be covering the development of the app itself. As stated in the purpose of this series, this is to cover all BUT the development. Not only I do imagine you as someone who knows how to develop mobile apps, there is also so many articles, guides, courses and tutorials for that that it doesn’t make sense to add to the plethora of the content already available. I will however at least mention what technologies I have used and provide the links for their “get started” articles just in case.

I will completely leave out a company formation. While this is an important part of the journey, this varies country by country and region by region so much that I wouldn’t be able to cover all the possible options that are out there. Therefore I will assume that you will find out yourself all about the company formation (or a personal business license if your country has that option), accounting, setting up a bank account and all that is related to that.

Now that we have our expectations aligned and cleared up, lets start going into the first article in the series. The next article explains how to prepare for the development. Continue to the next article.

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Michal Roth

SW developer, IT manager, entreprenuer and lecturer based in Prague, Czech Republic.