The following is a guest post by ChopDawg.com, an award-winning app development company that has worked with over 180+ startups and companies from all around the globe, helping them bring their web apps, mobile apps, wearable apps and software ideas to life.
Follow ChopDawg.com on Twitter at @ChopDawgStudios.
You’re getting close to finally launching the app of your dreams.
You spent months planning your idea, fine-tuning it until it was flawless. You spent weeks researching app development firms, reading blog posts such as this one, putting together the dream team. You spent thousands of dollars, investing into your now beautiful user interface, incredible branding, and oh yes, your functioning app, ready for primetime.
You’re about to press the submit button to Apple, waiting for them to give you the greatest gift of all time, acceptance.
Being accepted into the club that is the App Store.
Having the opportunity to accept real users, to have real downloads.
This is what you dreamt of.
This is what you worked so hard for.
Now, it is time to execute.
As much as your entire purpose has been to build the best product, the best team, the best branding possible; none of that matters now.
That is all in the past.
Now, it is about one thing and one thing only.
Seeing proof that all your hard work, the thousands of dollars you spent, the energy you poured into this, was well worth it.
So, how do you do it?
What do you need to do to attract your first few users?
After all, we all know, the first 100 users will be the hardest that you’ll ever work for it. It’s the same as the first $100 that you earn. Soon after you hit that significant milestone, it gets easier.
It gets easier because you get better, more efficient.
Now, every app is different. Everyone is focusing on different markets to tackle. However, even if that is the case, multiple strategies still translate to almost all industries and niches.
Below we’ll cover some of the most impactful ones we have found for our clients at Chop Dawg in recent years.
1) When in doubt, talk to your friends and family
More likely than not, you’ve had a group of friends and family members who have been supporting you since the get-go of your entrepreneurial endeavor. Surprisingly, when it comes time to launch, they’re the last people you go to.
So many first-time entrepreneurs and app owners focus on new users, complete strangers; they forget about the slam dunks already in their grasp.
Do not be afraid to ask your friends and family to be the first users of your brand new app, to work out the kinks. One of the reasons why so many ignore them at the get-go, they do not want to be embarrassed. They hold themselves and their new product to such high standards; they don’t want those standards not to be met to those that matter to them the most.
This is a terrible mindset to have.
The reality, your friends, and family, will still be supportive of you; especially with a brand new app. If you’re going to work out the kinks, experience bugs, go through the learning curves, isn’t it better to do so with those you trust vs. those who have no idea if they can trust you, your business, or your app?
Friends and family also won’t hesitate, when asked, to refer you to others. Again, that bond of trust will scale. It will help you find new users, but within your network’s network to maintain that level of extended trust, even if an ounce less, than what complete strangers would be willing to give you.
Above all, friends and family give you immediate “day-one” users. When strangers, newcomers discover your app, what is better than to show them others have used your brand new app, and still using it? It is much better than the alternative, of releasing an app and having your first users believe it is a ghost town. Perception is a real thing when it comes to winning over downloads and users.
2) Focus on finding your pre-built communities
Odds are, you’re not creating a brand new market.
There are more than likely, lots of online communities, even in small niches, passionate about the industry that you’re in.
Don’t hesitate to tell them about the brand new app you have built.
Far too many spend way too much on advertisements early, hoping to reach their target audience, when in reality, these communities already exist and are free to leverage.
Look online for message boards, forums, subreddits, Slack channels, Facebook groups, conversations on Twitter. The list of potential community platforms goes on and on.
Ideally, you should already be a member or user in these areas prior! After all, you want to be in the loop on the industries and niches you’ve spent so much time and energy building a mobile app for.
On top of that, you build trust in the community that you’re someone that knows their stuff, so that when it comes time to release your app to them, pre-established trust that you could do something great is already there.
3) Go to where the early-adopters go
Did you know that there are many platforms in 2017-2018 built for individuals who want to sign up for brand new things before the rest of the internet (and eventually the world) hears about it?
You’ve probably heard about a few of them.
Do not hesitate to sign up to these platforms immediately, and begin talking about, and showcasing what you’ve spent so much of your time and energy obsessing over.
If your new app resonates with even a fraction of the user base that will see your new product, they will immediately download and become some of your biggest supporters if your app lives up to the hype that you set.
Years ago, these type of places would have been a dream come true for entrepreneurs. Today, they aren’t just reality, but something you can leverage to build momentum immediately after launching your new app. Don’t squander that.
4) Shout your new app from the rooftops for all to hear and see
Lastly and perhaps most self-explanatory, do not be shy about what you’ve poured your heart and soul into for all these months, if not years!
Research writers in your industry who may be interested in writing an article about your new app.
Contact podcasts that interview entrepreneurs, new founders, new apps, and share your story.
Contact your local news outlets, your friends on social media with a lot of followers, and anyone with a following that you can get.
This is your chance to shine.
(Pro-Tip: Do not spam all writers with the same email, either. Write personalized messages to each and every writer. Show them that you’ve done your research, appreciate all their hard work, and would be humbled to have them write about you in the same manner, too!)
Sure, only a fraction at first will talk about you, but a fraction can equal big numbers if you’re willing to put in the work and locate the quantity that could be a potentially good fit to share your app and your story.
Countless options exist to find your first 100 users. 100 users is a foundation to grow off of, to begin scaling with. It does involve hard work and a bit of hustle, no doubt about it, but if you made it this far in the entrepreneurial journey, this is the part that should come easiest. Sharing to the world the amazing thing you’ve accomplished that they might love too, there is no better feeling than that.