Over the past 2 years I have run into a serious re-occurring problem among mobile app startups.
A some point the “concept” of the startup mobile app came to the founder or founders and they decided, “hey we are going to fix or solve some problem or found a way to make some money!” Correct? It usually starts that way.
That’s typically how it happens.
There’s a few exceptions where a big corporation needs a mobile app and signs a deal (trust me a better way to get started), because you know where the revenue will be coming from.
Next, typically founders do a little research to see what apps are out there. They check out iTunes and Android Play Store. Founders also want to find out from test users if they would use the app. These are typical things mobile app makers do to make sure there is a market.
Then the next step for the startup typically is the creation of specs or diagrams (I have used FluidUI to do this)
Finally, a developer or third party development company is hired or maybe the founder was the developer.
And they build the app. Great. And it’s a great app!
But then there is a problem.
It’s quite simple.
You’ve built this app. It’s amazing. Your test customers may love it. You’ve done everything right. But you have missed something big. Maybe in the back of your head, you are thinking, what am I missing?
Why are their no customers for my mobile app?
Wow we may actually fail! Boo Who!
Ok, so how do you get customers?
Your friends will tell your friends, which will tell your friends. Start with Facebook, right?
Well, honestly unless your Facebook friends are the target market, you have nothing. In fact, I don’t look at Facebook as a way to promote anything.
Even Twitter, which I love, won’t help, especially since you don’t have the target market there.
You could get Lady Gaga to promote it on Twitter. Good luck with that. Starts at like $30k and probably not exactly going to get you downloads.
You could go door to door. Actually I highly recommend it. But how long can you do that for!
You need downloads!
Ok, so where do you go from here?
Without a way to get found, your mobile startup is pretty much stuck with a big chunk of mobile app code and no customers. Very common. So common, I can name 10 mobile startups right now who have sunk $50k to $1 million in seed capital in the ground and are flustered and sad and some have just quit.
And that’s when most startup guru, incubators and silicon valley experts say you need $3 to $10 million to get this baby noticed. (PPC, TV, Radio, Print, etc.)
Huh! You got to love these guys who only have an answer of spend, spend and spend some more. Works, but it can also send you to the poorhouse.
Ok, since the big capital raise does not make any sense at all to me then how do you do it?
How do you get going?
And how many startups get funded properly to advertise?
I am not talking seed capital here.
Like 1 in 100 that actually create a product. Maybe in silicon valley, it’s more like 5%, and trust me I know a dozen companies in silicon valley who did not get funded. It happens, often!
Investors just don’t fund companies so they can run ads to promote a product with no customers!
Investors want traction!
Investors don’t want to put up funds to find out whether or not they are going to lose their money!
Smart investors shouldn’t and wouldn’t.
So where does this leave you if you are a mobile app startup and you want to get traction? At least with traction you can have the conversation about raising the capital.
Well, let’s step back in the sequence a bit…
There is something called the Internet.
And the Internet has something called search engines.
And the Internet has a company called Google that makes it easy to find things!
Ok, are you getting the point here!
If you are running your own mobile startup and have not been building web pages that are organically findable and searchable by google using multiple web pages, rich snippets, schema.org, meta tags, title and header tags, WordPress, rpc pops, blogging, tagging, categorizing and everything it has to offer, then you behind the eight ball!
Web search is how it is done! That is how people will find your mobile app.
Now you need a web search strategy to get noticed. (It’s ok now that you know! So I will let you off for now till you do something about it!)
Don’t listen to me if you want!
Do you want me to list the mobile app companies that are no longer around who did not build a website search strategy. Say Sayonara to them!
If I were an investor and found your mobile app with either no website or no nicely indexed content and web pages when I put “Site: YourSite.com” into google, then you are not getting my capital ever!
So, let’s back up and fix the problem.
Get a website together if you don’t have one.
Either hire a web guy or do it yourself.
Get multiple pages.
Get great content.
Get nicely SEO’d.
Show big images on every page about downloading your app.
I would go as far as saying you need 30 pages of content to promote a mobile app minimum. That includes, about pages, product, service, management, how you got started, history, employees, testimonials, value, mission, future features, help pages, contact pages, and it goes on and on. So much you could be doing today to promote your mobile app!
Say I am wrong! Go ahead. But do it at your own peril!