If you’ve been following the launch of Polyphonic, my first app on the App Store through Flip Studios, then it’s likely that you are probably a friend, fan, or family member of mine or my cohort TJ Hill. For the most part you’d have to be, because outside of word-of-mouth and simple social networking, you wouldn’t have even heard about Polyphonic.
The Key Elements to Launching an App
- Create something that you enjoy
If you don’t enjoy the product, or don’t intend to use the product yourself, there’s a good chance you won’t be driven to innovate something that is truly unique or special.
- Create something that others will enjoy
That means you have to share the idea and the work-in-progress with others. If they don’t get it or can’t understand it, work to simplify the concept or idea. If they still don’t get it, you risk falling in love with your own idea and wasting a lot of time if you can’t get others to understand your vision!
- Give it away for free initially, but for a limited time only
This is a good way to get people to get try things out, and build some buzz. Make sure to set a time limit, if it’s free forever then there’s no rush to download it.
- Share it with your friends, family, and fans
Use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter to share your app like you would normally share some bit of news. Just share what you are up to and ask your friends to share it if they like the app. Make sure to give them updates on how things are going. We did our best not to spam everyone too much, but keep in mind that not everyone checks things all the time so you may have to share a few different things at a few different times to reach everyone. Be sure to engage your audience as you grow!
- Ask for feedback
If you really want something to be the best it can be, ask people to give you honest feedback. Reading 5-star reviews is lots of fun, but make sure you build a way into your app for gathering suggestions and feedback.
- Fix critical bugs as quickly as possible after launch
Show your new audience that you are listening. If you’re actually using your own app and find something broken, it’s a no-brainer to fix it. (see #1 above)
- Launch your app
No matter how many ideas you have, no matter how many features you’d like to implement, no matter how painful it may be, you have to launch something. Just prepare yourself to deal with your own personal insecurity as you hear your closest friends and family tell you their ideas, which you already thought of. (Read more on about creating a “minimum viable product” (a.k.a. MVP) to see what I’m talking about)
Following the steps above, within the first 24 hours, give or take, we experienced:
- Over 1,000 downloads of our app
- Downloads in 48 different countries
- We made the Top 100 Free Music Games list on the App Store
- We’re maintaining a 5-Star Rating with 25+ Reviews and counting!