5 Ways to Begin Attracting Users to Your App

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When is the best time to start attracting users to your app? The answer is now! You should always be gathering information,  talking to, and enticing potential users. Feedback is free and super useful in determining whether your app idea has legs. Here are some simple things to do this weekend that will help you get users before you launch:

 

Create a landing page for people to join your mailing list

Creating a landing page to capture email addresses pre-launch can be a huge marketing tool. Having a subscriber base to send a launch email to is every app innovators dream, and can ignite the virality of your app. Imagine being able to tell hundreds, or even thousands of targeted users about the launch of your app. Whenever you speak to someone about the project you’re building, always refer them to your landing page to receive updates. For a free service to create your landing page check out Launchrock.

A simple and effective landing page:

 

Start talking to potential users

Getting feedback early is a great way to learn what users want  while creating interest in your app. One way to do this is by sending regular feedback newsletters to your mailing list. Explain the progress you’re making with your app, and ask for feedback. More often than not you’ll have a bunch of interested people telling you what they think. By sparking their curiosity you’ll leave them wanting more. Once it comes time to release, you’ll have already secured a customer!

 

Start a viral promotion

Here’s a great example of gaining exposure: An app called Heedly is running a contest to win Starbucks every day for a year. All you have to do is signup to their mailing list and you are automatically entered. They’re getting tons of press, and have about 10k fans on Facebook – all because of a clever marketing campaign! When they’re ready to launch, tens of thousands of people will receive an invitation email. Giving away free Starbucks was a great low-cost way to gain an incredible amount of exposure.

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Make an explainer video

Explainer videos are an excellent form of marketing. They enable you to capture users attention, while explaining your app in an entertaining way. Think about it: how many times have you  scrolled through a page describing an app vs. watching a video of the app? When you stick this on your landing page it’s almost guaranteed to get more attention than text alone. There are many services that create explainers, if you need a referral please let us know.

Here’s the Brightalyze explainer:

Establish social media accounts, add them to your landing page

Social media has become a very important and free marketing tool. Tools like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allow you to  directly interact with potential users and customers like never before. You can market your app, respond to user feedback, and build interest with updates. Services like Hootsuite allow you to schedule updates as often as you’d  like. You can spend one afternoon creating content and have Hootsuite schedule updates for an entire month, or more! It’s simple to build user engagement through social media, so start early.

 

Shoot us an email if you have any questions or comments. Thanks for reading! 

Elliot
Founder, Brightalyze

Stop Being Complicated! How to Simplify Your App Development

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In the world of app development, innovators often think up great ideas and pack them with features. They explain that there’s a  need for features, categories, and lots of interesting things to keep users interested. We’re here to tell you this theory is not only flawed, but can negatively impact the viability of your app.

 

The most successful apps started out small and simple

Instagram was recently purchased by Facebook for $1 Billion. Despite being a hugely popular social network, their sole unique feature was for users to post pictures using a filter to distort the image. They didn’t spend time on unneccessary features, their  concentration was focused on bettering its core. Facebook itself was born out of a tiny feature set, and only allowed users to view each others’ profiles and send them messages. When it comes to building great products the solution is generally to start off small and simple.

 

The KISS method – Keep It Simple, Stupid!

It’s best to test the viability of your app by cutting down everything but your core differentiating features. Planning this is the hardest part of the decision process – slimming down your feature set and deciding what goes in, and what gets cut. Think of it like this: what are the absolute only things you need to make it work? Figure out exactly what you could do without. Remember, you can always add more features in your second version.

Example: An innovator recently came to us with an idea. They had a long specification sheet full of many interesting features. There was a budget they wanted to stick to, and we had to find ways to simplify the app and keep costs down. One feature was in-app purchasing. Their app would allow a user to select a product from their brick and mortar store, and make a payment via their app. We questioned the idea – why not have users reserve items via the app, have them ready before users came to the store, and process payments there? This would not only reduce the cost by thousands, but would also allow people to pay cash or credit without having to enter their info into the app.

 

Developing your an Minimum Viable Product – MVP

This is the part where you take your slimmed down specification sheet and start building. An MVP is a direct result of the KISS stage, whereas you’re developing a product that has the bare minimum features as quickly as you can. You want to get your product in front of as many beta testers as possible. The whole point of the MVP stage is to get an idea of whether people like your app, or not.

This stage can save you a significant portion of your budget allotment. By gathering feedback on the features you’ve already included, you’ll be able to determine what you need to develop next, or leave out completely. By skimping on the features you guessed might work in the beginning, you’ve actually allowed yourself more budget for features that you know users will want! Isn’t the MVP strategy a beautiful thing?

 

 Only develop one platform at a time

Don’t develop versions of your app for Web, iPhone, and Android at the same time – instead, develop one platform at a time. You need time to figure out your initial strategy and see if the MVP is working. There are so many variables, and you’re going to make so many changes, that its not cost effective to make changes to all three platforms. Making three changes, will multiply the price per alteration by three! The best advice is to stick to one platform for your MVP.

 

Theres always an opportunity to continue building features

Congratulations – your app has a great user base and is generating tons of feedback. This is the perfect opportunity to add features to your app. Now that you know exactly what users like and dislike, you have a sense of what will work and what won’t. By not adding many features up front, you’ve attracted users to your core features, and saved yourself money. You now have the tools to make an educated decision on what to add next.

 

Thanks for reading!

Why expensive isn’t better

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Nowadays there’s a trend for new startups to open shop offering “top freelancers” for hire. Their premise is that if you hire a high priced developer located in the USA, your project will come out better. It’s perfectly acceptable for a great freelancer to command a high hourly rate, but does living in America and charging a ton necessarily make you a good freelancer? We believe this philosophy is flawed, and serves only the interests of the said startups to make more commission. Discriminating will only alienate many great freelancers and innovators.

Over the years we’ve dealt with many great freelancers from across the world. There are many excellent programmers from Ukraine, superb user experience designers from the UK, and graphic designers making beautiful designs in India, just to name a few. They might not charge a whole lot due to their lower cost of living, but they were definitely very talented. On the flip-side, we encountered not-so-great freelancers from places that commanded respect and top dollar.

-A huge company outsources successfully to India

One great example is fab.com, which has received over $300 million in funding. Development of their site was entirely outsourced to India, and it was going so well they eventually bought the whole outsourcing company. Their site handles a huge amount of daily traffic, huge amount of sales, and its all built in a country 8,000 miles away. How do they do it?

-Don’t throw cash away, be smart about how you spend

I recently played around with a new phenomenon – the cost estimator. These calculators are based off actual projects completed by the freelancer sites. After plugging in specifications of projects we developed here  at Brightalyze, the results were astounding. For each of these projects our cost was a third, and a half of these quotations. These freelancers are charging double or triple what our clients paid, and we still developed a quality app for them. Don’t get me wrong – we might not be the cheapest around, but our freelancer pricing is definitely reasonable, and our quality standards are very high.

The 2 different quotations we received:

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-Why many projects with freelancers fail, even though they’re high cost

Let’s face it – freelancers aren’t known for their business or communication skills. But have you ever met an Accountant who specializes in sales? A Doctor who specializes in contracts? Even though you may hire a great graphic designer, they might not be experts at all the other little things that come with the job. It’s up to you to fully manage your project, know what to expect, and know how to communicate what you want in a technical manner. This is why most non-technical people have issues with freelancers, because they just don’t know what to do. No amount of money being thrown at a freelancer can change the issues on the ground. This is exactly the problem we’re fixing at Brightalyze.

-How I can hire a reasonably priced freelancer and be successful

Do as much research as possible. Read posts like this, books on app development, talk to people who’ve made apps in the past. This way you’ll come in with technical knowledge that will prove beneficial, and most likely determine the success on your project. If you come in with technical knowledge, you can often hire a more reasonable costing freelancer because you won’t have to hire someone who specializes in communicating with clients.

-Remember, the expensive sites are not always bad

The sites mentioned above definitely have their usefulness. Often, higher priced freelancers are more experienced than their peers, and deliver good experiences. But can you find a good freelancer who doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg? Yes, you can. There are many talented freelancers out there who are reasonable in cost, they’re just harder to find.

 

This is why we’re building Brightalyze. When you develop an app your project is created by talented developers & designers relevant to what you’re looking for, not solely based on price. From the moment you begin, your project receives a strategic overview and we plan a detailed roadmap. Your project is covered by our quality guarantee, and you receive unlimited free 24/7 support and guidance.

Shoot us an email if you have any questions or comments. Thanks for reading! 

4 Steps to Developing A Great App

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We often have clients come to us with a problem – they’ve been developing their apps for months, but completion is nowhere in sight. They outsourced to a freelancer or development firm because the price was outrageously low, but now they’re in trouble. The app isn’t working as  planned, or work just isn’t getting done. Outsourcing will usually involve dealing with a person who may not understand your language or goals, and leave you stranded seeking help and guidance. Unfortunately many people get burned by hiring the wrong individuals or companies, and waste precious time and money.

Here are a few ways to make sure your app development goes smooth:

 

1) Extensively plan out your project in the beginning

The best way to avoid confusion during development is to plan before development. This may sound obvious, but most projects don’t have a in depth specification sheet listing all planned features. You should always have detailed mockups, ideas, and features BEFORE speaking to a potential developer.

2) Focus only on necessary features for the first version 

Avoid throwing every feature under the sun into your app. Too many features will confuse users and dilute the usefulness of your app. You should keep the initial feature set small, as you’ll have plenty of opportunities to add features later on.

3) Hire great developers & designers

It goes without saying that a major factor in the success of your app is hiring the right talent. The old school way was to interview, research, and test dozens of freelancers and companies. Nowadays there are various solutions including Brightalyze, which review and screen potential candidates for you. This is the recommended way to go, and the cost difference is often negligible.

4) Hold developers & designers accountable 

You need to constantly be monitoring the progression of your app project – the developer or designer should be providing frequent updates, usually weekly. If there is anything of concern on these updates be sure to speak up and let them know. Unless you tell them otherwise, most people will just assume the project is coming out exactly what you want it to. This can lead to problems down the road. Some companies help you manage expectations and work, and Brightalyze does just that. If you ever experience problems, be sure to tackle them right away so they don’t become larger.

 

Introduction

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Welcome to the launch of our Blog!

 

This Blog is meant to give you updates of our service, and provide relevant life tips & tricks. Here, we’ll discuss our industry, where we’re going, and give insight into how we’re developing our service.

 

Developing Brightalyze has been an incredible experience — we’ve gone from a totally different initial idea, to a pivot, to another pivot, to our current product. Through our pivots we had bad experiences with freelancers, and freelancer sites. We wasted a bunch of time and money, and thought there ought to be a better solution. Our friends and clients have  also aired frustration with the current options, and that’s why we decided to pivot Brightalyze into solving this major problem.

 

We’ve made a number of  decisions regarding our pricing, features, and level of engagement that we hope will allow us to scale into a major business. The site is currently in beta testing, so expect things to change rather quickly. Any feedback is great, whether you’re in the beta or not.

 

I hope you’ll all take a moment to look at what we’re solving and give us a try. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback let us know and we’ll be sure to address them.