12 things I’ve learned from launching a successful app

Toying with the idea of making your brilliant app idea a reality? Here are 12 tips from someone who’s successfully done it!

So inspiration has struck and you have a brilliant idea for a new app or tech-based business. But what do you do next? How do you take your idea out of your head and get it out into the world?

One person who has done just that is Gaynor Matthews, founder of Wow How – an app that empowers you to make the most of your face shape and skin type by providing a step-by-step guide to creating looks tailored perfectly to you.

12 things I’ve learned from launching a successful app

To help you follow in her successful footsteps, Gaynor has put together 12 tips to help you launch an app or tech business, based on her own experience.

1) Research your market

Before you sink too much time, hope and money into your app, thoroughly research the market, your competition and prove there is a need for it.

This is common advice but essential. During your journey on bringing your idea to life you’ll see new or similar products, so be prepared for heart-stopping moments! So many times I thought someone had beaten me to it…

2) Know your ‘why’

Every brilliant business usually has a strong ‘why’ at the heart of it. And it’s important to be clear on what yours is – not only will it help you to make better business decisions, but it will help to drive your forward on days or weeks when your motivation is waning.

Wow How was created from my own personal experience of being in a makeup rut. I wanted to create an app that not only shows you makeup colours on your face, but also teaches you how to apply makeup to make the most of your features.

For me, YouTube videos were good, but they weren’t based on my features. Wow How creates a personalised mannequin and has easy to follow instructions based on your skin tone and facial features.

3) Decide what technology you need

When I was bringing my vision to life I decided to go with an app rather than a website because I wanted to give every woman access to their own personal virtual beautician available 24/7. And for me mobile was the perfect solution.

4) Protect your idea

Make sure your app fulfils a need – then protect it! I made sure that Wow How technology was patented and trademarked.

5) Develop for one platform first

I chose IOS as I was advised this was the hardest. My thought was that if I got this right it would be easier going forward.

I also wanted to capitalise on promotion and exposure to the world quickly, and get Apple to notice Wow How because it has been developed to the latest specifications and ticks all the boxes. Then hopefully get featured!

6) Test your app

Work closely with your development team and test your app as much as you can. I decided to launch on IOS before launching any advertising as the test environment is not always the same as the live environment. This means you can iron out any issues and make improvements before your big launch.

7) Get your branding right

Make sure you develop a clear brand – a strong, appropriate and memorable brand will help to grow your business much faster. The Wow How brand is easy to remember, and our logo shows we are associated with makeup.

This is definitely one area worth investing in rather than trying to do DIY. The branding team I worked with were fantastic; they totally got it and I love our logo.

8) Work out your launch strategy

Decide your launch strategy and, if you can afford it, hire a reputable PR agency. My advice is to choose someone that specialises in your market sector.

In the past I made the mistake of choosing an agency that covers multiple sectors, which meant I didn’t get the same level or exposure and penetration as quickly.

9) Get on social media

Research the right social media platforms for your app or tech business and create your profile. Then start connecting, following and engaging with as many people as you can. Make your stories relevant and interesting.

10) Start networking

Compliment your marketing with face-to-face networking. If your app is exciting and different, people will want to talk to you. And you never know who you may meet – and what opportunities or useful contacts they may lead to.

11) Be patient, plan and keep control

There are so many things to think about when developing an app pre-launch and post launch. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t have all the answers; instead talk to experts and share your stress.

12) Get ready for the next one!

What you learn along the way is amazing! I can’t stop coming up with new ideas, and now I have the experience I know how to make it happen quicker.

You can find out more about Wow How on their website.