Google Play or Apple? Where Should I Publish My App?

It’s natural to think – the more eyeballs you get, the more money your app will make.

Developing for multiple platforms can be expensive and risky.
However, there is an easy and safe way to decide whether you should develop your app for Apple, Android, or BOTH.

In this post you will learn which app store to publish to and when it’s time to expand your app to a new platform.

APPLE OR ANDROID?

Before you start thinking about developing an app, you need to do your homework.
Specifically, you need to know:

  1. what type of device your customers use
  2. how they find apps

You should be able to fill in the blanks below:

My customer uses a ________ device and finds apps by ________.

There are 3 fast and easy ways to collect this data:

1. Facebook Audience Insights is a free tool to help marketers learn more about their target audiences.  Using Facebook Audience Insights we can find our what type of device our customers use, the OS their device is running, and if they prefer using a mobile device over a computer.

2. Survey your audience with Google Forms.  Submit forms to email lists, social groups, and in person to learn more about your customer.  Google will aggregate the data for free and make it easy to understand.

3. Ask your competition.  There is no better source to learn from than your competition.  Offer praise, ways to improve their app, and even payment in exchange for consultation.

The biggest mistake people make is jumping into a project with NO DATA.  A hunch is not good enough to make money with apps.  You need proof.

START WITH APPLE

Unless you have overwhelming data suggesting otherwise, always start with Apple.
Why?

1. You will make more money.

The Apple App Store is the preferred destination for app downloads, and according to App Annie’s latest report, generates almost twice the revenue of Google Play.

2. Apple is more intuitive and accessible to work with.

The Apple developer program, support, and resources available are far more abundant and helpful then what you will find with Android.

PLAN YOUR APP’S GROWTH – WHEN IS “WHEN” TO GO CROSS-PLATFORM?

One of the biggest hurdles is knowing WHEN to expand and introduce your app to a new market.

Most indie developers never explore other markets and miss out on thousands of dollars.
Others overspend on secondary markets and lose a fortune.

In order to avoid risks in wasting time and money in a new market…
Make sure your app is ROI positive. Your revenue should be peaking and you should have the funds for development.
Make sure there is a demand for your app on the new platform.  Are people emailing or messaging you on Facebook to create an Android version of your app?  If your support and social media channels are quiet, it’s too early to consider expanding your app to another platform.
Make sure you have exportable systems in place.  Do you have clear documentation your developers can follow so they can take any app in your portfolio, port it to a new platform, and publish it without bugging you for information?  Your company’s Master Guide should cover where codes are stored, how to find third party IDs used in apps, and how to handle support.
Make sure you will devote yourself and stay motivated with your growth plan.  If you’re expanding to the Android market, you owe it to your users and yourself to deliver the best experience possible in the short and long run.  Don’t invest time and money into unless you’re excited!

FOLLOW THE MONEY & ENERGY

Always stay focused on what will make the most money and keep you motivated.  If there is more money to be made with your iOS app, start working on an update!
If your app is successful enough that you can justify investing in porting it to a new market, do it!
For my personal projects, I created The 10% Rule.  Here’s how it works…

Step 1: Calculate the total generated revenue from your app

Step 2: Get a quote for the costs to port your app onto another platform

Step 3: Justify if the development costs are worth an overall 10% increase in sales

If it’s likely I will recoop my investment in a 4 month period through earning an additional 10% of my overall revenue, I approve development work.
If development costs are too high to justify a 10% gain, I hold off.
My apps usually see a 20% increase in total revenue when I migrate an Apple app to Android but I use The 10% Rule as a safety-net so I can calculate if my investment is worth the risk.
Don’t be afraid to make the jump and publish on a new platform!  Every platform has Pros & Cons, but diversifying your investment and getting more exposure is never a bad thing.
See ya,
Mark


The “Psychological Framework” I Use To Make Money-Generating Decisions

So you’ve invested thousands of hours and cash into your app idea or project…

And the worst possible thing happens – it bombs.
Panic sets in and interest levels go to an all-time low.
Is your app salvageable?
Is it time to give up?
In this post, I’m going to share with you the “psychological framework” I use to make life-changing decisions in my businesses and life + the 5 steps I take to analyze and overcome roadblocks to make more money.

1. TRUST YOURSELF & BREATHE

“We can’t freakout, we gotta keep our composure!” – Will Ferrell; Old School

We’ve all made poor investments, been rocked by relationships, and witnessed our hard work get tossed out like last week’s leftovers.
It sucks.  But it happens to everyone.
The same beatings can be true for app development.
Every app developer has dealt with app rejections, finding the right developer, and throwing cash and time into projects that continue to get ZERO downloads.
When you create an app and it tanks, you lose a lot. You lose:
Time.
Money.
Ego…
But you also gain.  You gain something that cannot be bought.
You gain – Experience.
And as much as it sucks to have to pay for experience and life lessons, they will fuel you moving forward.
The truth is…

App development is 95% business and 5% fun.

Unless you get a rush from programming or answering support emails, making apps is not fun unless you’re making money.
Newbies in the app field learn real quick that apps are not a get rich quick scheme.  There are roadblocks you must pass through to reach the buckets of money.
But the secret is…

  1. Most roadblocks are easily achievable
  2. Every roadblock you face results in more and more of your competition quitting

Trust yourself. And trust that you will find a way to succeed.

2. DEFINE THE “WHY”

Relationships change, opinions change, and your interest in your app projects change too.
But why?
When you’re feeling completely defeated and that it’s time to give up, ask yourself:

WHY am I not interested in this project anymore?

Is it because it’s not getting enough downloads?
Is it because another project has taken priority?
Or because I don’t have enough time to work on it…
Make a list of all the reasons WHY this project has lost interest for you.

3. STOKE THE FIRE

“Life is ten percent what you experience and ninety percent how you respond to it.”
This is the step most people don’t crystallize.

What does success look like to you?

What would it take for your project to be successful and for you to be undoubtedly fired up about it?
Is it a financial goal?
Is it a product goal?
Fill in the blank:

If my project was _________, I would be fired up and wakeup feeling energized, eager, and happy every morning.

Next, what are the measurables you can analyze that will point to the area and milestones you need to reach that success?
Lastly, list the positives and negatives of the project you are working on.
Once you have defined your measurables and assessed the positives and negatives of each project, you will start to naturally move towards the project with the most positive attributes and achievable goals.

4. PARTNER UP

We all have strengths and weaknesses.
It’s OK to want to just focus on the creation side of app development and not get involved in the marketing side.
There are also ENDLESS amounts of people out there who are looking for products and apps to promote but want nothing to do with the creation and development side of things.
If you believe in your project and things aren’t working out as expected, identify where you need help and find someone who can fill in the gaps.

5. WHAT IS SUCCESS TO YOU?

Everyone has different goals and tolerances.
Whenever it comes down to, “how do I know if I should keep going or not?”
Ask yourself, “what do I want this to be?  What is the goal here?”
What is your definition of success?
Do you want to make a thousand dollars a month?
Do you want to make a MILLION dollars a year?
Write down:

  1. how much money you want your business to make
  2. when you want to make it by
  3. breakdown how the money will come in
  4. and set a date for when you need to achieve your goals

And if it doesn’t happen, move on.
You can do anything you want in life!

See ya,
Mark

PS: What psychological frameworks do you deploy to overcome roadblocks?  Drop a line in the comments section below.

PPS: If you need a boost or help with your projects, check out our Launch Connect community and private consultation programs.


How To Use Digital Storytelling To Hook Your App Audience

WITH OVER 5 MILLION APPS PUBLISHED AND 5.3 TRILLION ADS SHOWN ONLINE EACH YEAR, STORYTELLING IS THE FUTURE OF CONTENT MARKETING.

Sometimes we get so caught up with the development side of our app projects that we forget to build the most important piece of our business, the buyer-seller relationship.
The message you project and the relationships you build with your audience will decide whether your app is a success or failure.

Over the years, I’ve talked and worked alongside a lot of people who have become app millionaires.  In 99/100 cases, it isn’t because they’ve created some amazing code that can’t be replicated.
People become app millionaires because of:

  1. timing and capitalizing on up and coming trends
  2. they’ve built a strong brand, following, or story

While you should always be on the lookout for hot trends, your business will win in the long-run with a tenacious connection to your audience.
As things currently stand, clickbait ads are crowding the mobile space.  Consumers are so overwhelmed with ads, we’ve developed defense mechanisms to tune them out.
Storytelling pivots clickbait ad garbage (that we used to fall for), into crafted messages that engage customers and increase sales.
Storytelling serves businesses by:

  1. understanding your customer
  2. defining your brand and marketing message
  3. building relationships and trust with your user
  4. provoking action (download my app!)

Is your app or business in need of a good story?  Storytelling could be the push you need to hit 100,000 downloads and put you in position for a BIG exit move.
In this post, you will learn 1) how to define core values, 2) how to create stories your customers can relate to, and 3) where to publish stories for more app downloads.

DEFINING CORE VALUES

Core values are the fundamental beliefs of a person or organization.
When you tap into someone’s core values, you influence their behavior to follow your message (download my app).

BELOW ARE 5 METHODS TO DEFINE YOUR AUDIENCE’S CORE VALUES:

1. ONE-ON-ONE INTERVIEWS

There is no better way to understand your audience than to interview and observe them in person.

2. STUDY DEMOGRAPHIC AND BEHAVIORAL DATA

OK…
It might not be realistic to interview everyone your audience in person.
But you can better understand your audience with tools like Facebook and Twitter Audience Insights and Google Analytics.

3. JUST GOOGLE IT…

You’d be surprised what you can find from a simple Google search.
Start by searching, “benefits of [insert topic]?”
Or, “what do [insert topic] help you with?”

4. STUDY APP REVIEWS

When you study your competitor’s app reviews, you get a better understanding of Why people download the app.
Is it to help the user relax?
The ease of access to information?

5. OBSERVE OPEN FORUMS AND GROUPS

Join social media groups and discussion websites that your target demographic is active in.

CREATE STORIES YOUR CUSTOMER CAN RELATE TO

Good stories – the ones that win over a customer’s heart, follow a simple structure:

  1. Capture attention
  2. Familiarize themselves with the audience
  3. Detail a problem
  4. Trigger an emotion
  5. Demonstrate how using the app or product improved their life
  6. Show they care (act like a lover or close friend)

Your mission is to “wow” your audience.
Create a resonating message that builds a bond between the storyteller and the viewer.
Types of storytelling:

  • short posts
  • long posts
  • video
  • image/illustration
  • animation
  • podcasts
  • case studies
  • interviews

Lastly, be specific.  Don’t forget about the details.  The details are what bring the story to life.

WHERE TO POST YOUR STORIES

One of the biggest mistakes people make is only publishing content to one channel.
Minimal exposure equals minimal results.
Post EVERYWHERE.
In your ASO, screenshots, description and reviews.
On every social media network including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube.
In your paid advertising and PR campaign.
Reach out to influencers and podcasts.
Most importantly, post your stories where your audience will see them.
People want more content and they want to learn more about you.
That’s why big networks like Instagram, SnapChat, and Facebook have created short-term broadcasting features like Instagram Stories, Snap reels, and Facebook Live.
Technology is telling us – We want to hear from you MORE.

NEXT STEPS…

Storytelling is the foundation of the buyer-seller relationship.  Having a great relationship with your app users not only makes for happy customers, but it can turn single transactions into long-term beneficial relationships (AKA more sales).

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make, but about the stories you tell.”– Seth Godin

Here’s what you can do next…

  1. Define 3 or more core values your audience has from either interviews or research
  2. create at least 2 stories for each core value
  3. test on multiple channels
  4. measure which stories and core values convert best with different demographic traits of your audience
  5. partner with influencers to create and/or broadcast for you

Remember, people buy from people (P2P).
If you don’t have a strong narrative for your app, now is the time to get to work.
See ya,
Mark

PS: Drop a line in the comments section with your experiences from storytelling.


The TRUTH About Managing a Million Dollar App Business. Creating Goals, Staying Focused, and Daily Success Habits

TO AVOID GETTING SUCKED INTO THE VORTEX OF BEING UNPRODUCTIVE, YOU NEED TO SET STRUCTURE AND ROUTINES THAT GET RESULTS FOR YOUR BUSINESS (AND LIFE)!

High-level organization and productivity skills are the #1 factors for huge profits and losses.
Over the last decade, I’ve developed thousands of apps, managed million dollar businesses, and found a way to take care of my own health and sanity in the process.
Below is my personal regiment for building motivation, focus, and discipline + the daily success habits I perform to stay on track.

STICK TO YOUR NATURAL STRENGTHS AND TASKS THAT EXCITE YOU

When it comes to productivity, I’ve found that it’s really about who you are and what makes you tick.
Focus on tasks that you are good at and excite you.
It could be coding, management, sales…ANYTHING you are good at and love doing.
For everything else, partner with someone or outsource it.

CREATE A 5 YEAR PLAN

Yourself, “What do I want 5 years from now?”
If your 5-year plan is to only be working 10 hours a week or running your own app gaming studio, define your objective and build your strategy backward.

  1. Define your needs and wants (vision boards work great)
  2. Create a plan
  3. Believe in your plan
  4. Stick to your plan!

Not sticking to your plan is a really good way to burn through a lot of money and energy.

SET DAILY, WEEKLY, MONTHLY & YEARLY GOALS

This sounds like overkill, but if I don’t set short and longterm goals I end up getting flustered doing a million things at once.

DAILY GOALS:

What are the 3 things you NEED to get done today? At the end of the day, completing these 3 tasks will push your business forward.
NOTE: Your work day is not complete until you cross these 3 items off the list.

WEEKLY & MONTHLY GOALS:

Same deal.  What are the 3 things that need to get done to improve your business?

YEARLY GOALS:

These are the skills and processes you need in place to accomplish your longterm plan.
So if your objective is to make $800,000 a year, you need to set the skills and processes needed to accomplish that goal.  Next, breakdown your objective into action items in your Monthly, Weekly, and Daily goals.
Lastly, make sure the skills and processes you dedicate your energy to are scalable, repeatable, and profitable.

SET PERSONAL GOALS AND HEALTH GOALS.

For me, setting personal goals has been 10X more important than business goals.
I don’t respond well to goals like generating $6M dollars income, or getting 500k MAU in my app.
But achieving a fitness goal, or reducing stress/anxiety through daily meditation, or traveling 2 months of the year keeps me motivated to live a healthier more productive life.
Similarly, I’ve been on the pizza and cheeseburger diet.  Eating healthier has reduced the digestive stress on my body and increased my productivity.
Same goes for sleep.  I’m a huge proponent of sleep.  I know when I work long hours, I have difficulties sleeping if I don’t take the time to switch my state of mind.
Personal goals translate into much bigger successes for both business and life.

Remember, small actions can lead to big results (Slight Edge).

ORGANIZE & PRIORITIZE YOUR TASKS

A couple of years ago, I was managing over 2,000 apps at once!  Different accounts, different app platforms, different coding languages…
Even thinking about it makes my eyes twitch.
Click Here to get my App Organizer Sheet [Free].
Presently, my management style has flipped from mass-management to only managing a few projects at once.  I use tools like Asana to keep a record of my projects and tasks (I like Asana because their Project Management tool works great on both desktop and mobile).
Don’t focus on the apps themselves, focus on the systems.

RECOGNIZE YOUR WEAKNESSES

Guiltyyyyyyyyyy.
I have a lot of weaknesses.   I love having SportsCenter on in the background if it’s sunny out I’m headed to the beach, and Tuesday are for tacos, not TPS reports (OfficeSpace shoutout)…
You have to own your weaknesses.
Recognize + monitor your weaknesses by:

  1. Download Chrome extensions (for Facebook and other distractions)
  2. Get a time-tracker (RescueTime works really well)
  3. Schedule every hour on your Google cal (I do this for 1-2 days a week)
  4. Accountability partners
  5. Change your working environment

Finally, change your mindset.  You deserve success.  You deserve more cashflow.  Don’t let fear of failure (or fear of success) dictate your work and life behavior.

*STAY FOCUSED*

Spend 30 minutes prioritizing before your workday and at the end of your workday.
Put your phone on silent, turn off Skype, Slack, FB Messaging and anything else that will sidetrack you.
Daily successes that keep me focused include:

  1. Morning meditation and routine
  2. Spending 30 minutes writing down my goals for the day
  3. Swimming and stretching
  4. Salads > Pizza and burgers
  5. Drinking a ton of water
  6. Helping 1 person a day who did not expect it
  7. 1 epic adventure every 2 weeks (travel)

NEXT STEPS…

Put your effort in the right place.
Guarantee that your daily actions are the best investments of your time.
The more you can justify your actions and prove that they have a positive effect on your business, the more realistic your 5 year vision will come true.
Lastly, believe in yourself and in your plan!

See ya,
Mark

PS: Don’t forget to leave a comment and share your daily routines to stay organized and productive!


What I Wish Someone Had Taught Me Before I Jumped Into Apps: How To Guarantee Your App Will Make Money

HOW DO YOU KNOW YOUR APP INVESTMENT WILL PAYOFF?

I wish someone had sat me down 6 years ago and taught me the realities of app development.  The secret recipe to app downloads and the actual revenue I could expect to make from my investment.

A simple phone call could have saved me thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours learning the tricks of the app trade.

This is YOUR chance to learn from my biggest successes and failures.

If you’re brand new to apps (or about to dive into your next app project), keep reading to learn the 5 steps to guarantee your app will be successful.

STEP 1: THE BIG PICTURE

What fires you up about apps?

Why are you doing this?

If you don’t know why you chose to develop apps, you will not be able to take it to the next level.

Your answer cannot be, “I want to make money and quit my job…”

Start by being specific with your “Big Picture.”

Write down what you’re going to do with all the money and time your app business has earned for you. 

Vacation?  Buy a new car?  Pay off student loans?

It could be as simple as something that makes you feel good.  Makes you feel proud or prove to yourself that you are a business owner.

To take it to the next level, your Big Picture must be so powerful that it is impossible to fail.

When I started working on apps, I was desperate.  I was tired of barely getting by and wasn’t living the life I wanted.

I tried bartending, working in cubicles, and even got into the medical field. 

Nothing fulfilled me.

I wasn’t happy.

It doesn’t help that I have a heavy addiction to travel and a stubbornness to work when and where I choose.

But I also have huge medical expenses that I need to pay in order to live.

I got into apps because I needed a way to relieve the pressures of money, to feel self-fulfilled, and to prove to myself that I can build successful businesses.

For my Big Picture, there is ZERO room for failure.

STEP 2: THE APP FUNDAMENTALS

Once you have your Big Picture in place, it all comes down to fundamentals.

I could go on and on explaining each micro-detail involved in creating a successful app (check out the 5 Step App System for that), but I’ll cut to the chase…

The 3 app fundamentals you need to make it in apps are:

  1. To create great products.
  2. To be unique.
  3. To make someone’s life better.

WRITE THESE DOWN!
Slap a post-it on your monitor.
Set a reminder.
Add them to your research document…

Just be sure you checkoff all 3 before investing anymore energy on your app idea.

STEP 3: THE CUSTOMER FUNDAMENTALS

In addition to creating great products, you also need to know the details about who you’re selling to.

You need to know:

  1. WHO is your user.
  2. WHERE is your user.
  3. And HOW you’re going to convert them into a customer.

If your answer is:

  1. Males 6-50 years old
  2. Anywhere in the USA
  3. ASO and Facebook Ads

You’ve missed the point!

You need specific traits, language, interests…that makeup the intimate details of your customer so you can better understand and market to them.

You can obtain the best information through interviews, social media interactions, emailing questionnaires, A/B testing ad campaigns…

One of the most powerful research tools is Facebook Audience Insights.  It’s free-to-use and will teach you more about your future customers then you ever imagined.

For a crash course on Facebook Audience Insights, signup to our Paid Traffic Hacking Session.

STEP 4: THE DEVELOPER FUNDAMENTALS

You don’t need to be a programmer to kick butt in apps, but you DO need to be well-informed.

That means interacting with people who have more experience than you.

Don’t worry if you feel or sound stupid, we’ve all been there!

Pitch your app idea on phone calls with other developers.

Ask questions about costs, marketing, and unknown hardships.

Join premium app development communities like Bluecloud Select for direct feedback and help…

HERE’S A SCENARIO I EXPERIENCE DAILY ON PHONE CALLS AND EMAILS THAT YOU WANT TO AVOID AT ALL COSTS:

Disgruntled Newbie Developer: Hi. I just spent $10,000 on my first app.  It’s been out for a month now and has only made $3.

What did I do wrong?!?

Me: (Quick Google to find an app template almost identical for only $500…).

How are you getting downloads to your app? 

Cross Promotions? Paid traffic? Content creation? Building up audiences on social media? Partnering with influencers? In person interactions?

Disgruntled Newbie Developer: Huh?

Me: Tell me a little bit more about your app.  Why is it unique?

Disgruntled Newbie Developer: Because it’s the only app that does XYZ.

Me: (Quick search on the App Store).

What about these 10 apps that have the same features and over 1,000 positive reviews?

 Disgruntled Newbie Developer: Oh.  I’ve never seen these before.

Me: Who is your target demographic?  

Disgruntled Newbie Developer: (Panic…)

What?

Me: Who is your ideal customer?

Disgruntled Newbie Developer: Oh.  Anyone who likes Games.  My app is for everyone! ?

Me: ?

I hop on calls everyday and answer questions about apps.  I’ll tell people about development requirements, costs, and give insights to realities that could make or break their business (if you’re interested in hopping on a call with me, Click Here).

After each call, people leave fired up and have a clear idea and plan for their app.

The people I LOVE talking to are the ones who do the research before risking their time and money on development.

Don’t be the Disgruntled Newbie Developer who jumps into app development without doing the proper research and communicating their idea to someone with experience.

STEP 5: HAVE PROOF

Lastly, before diving into your app project, you need proof.

Let me repeat that.  The BEST way to guarantee your app will make money, is to have proof.

What hard data do you have that GUARANTEES your app will be successful?

The App Store is not some magical marketplace that is going to reward you with thousands of downloads and dollars just because your app made it to publication.

You need to go into app development assuming your app will get ZERO downloads unless you have hard data that people want your product and will download it once it’s live.

NEXT MOVES…

Spend as much time as you can researching apps, target customers, and talking to as many people as you can. 

Start small and spend as little money as possible.

And finally, make sure this experience will change your life and your customer’s life.

See ya,

Mark


Apple Rejections – 5 Steps to Guarantee Your App Gets Approved

Worried Apple will reject YOUR app?

If you’re hearing whispers that Apple’s new Review Guidelines make it IMPOSSIBLE to get an app approved…
Don’t panic.  They’re simply not true.

Today’s developer forecast is ? with a good chance of ???

What Apple IS doing, is cleaning house and rejecting apps that don’t meet their standards.

“The App Store has enough fart, burp, flashlight, and Kama Sutra apps already. Spamming the store may lead to your removal from the Developer Program.” – Apple

Apple is saying “enough is enough.”
Keep reading to learn what “App Spam” is all about, how to handle rejections, and the 5 steps to guarantee your app gets approved.

WHAT IS “APP SPAM?”

The rejection that has app developers blowing gaskets is Guideline 4.3 – Design: Spam.  Meaning, the app submitted is not good enough for Apple’s standards.
Apple’s definition of Spam is:

  1. Apps that are not particularly useful, unique, or “app-like.”
  2. Publishing multiple versions of an app within similar themes.
  3. Piling on a category that is already saturated.

If you’re planning on publishing 20 dog breed emoji apps or developing another Egypt/Vegas Casino app, expect a Rejected notice in your Inbox.
Below are answers to frequently talked about Spam Rumors:

* Apple has banned the use of App Templates *

FALSE:  Apple is NOT using AI software to sweep for App Templates.  In fact, templates are allowed and recommended for app developers.

Use app templates as the foundation of your project and build ‘on top’ of templates whenever possible to create a unique and custom experience for the user.

* Apple will not approve skins *

TRUE: The skin era is over.  If you’re looking to make easy money with apps, skinning is not going to work.

* You cannot publish multiple emoji apps *

FALSE:  You can publish multiple emoji apps.  Just don’t publish multiple emoji apps of a similar theme. For example, if you want to create an emoji network of dog breeds – Apple will recommend you submit a single app and provide the variations using in-app purchases.

For more info on Apple’s Emoji/Sticker Guidelines, visit (Section 4.4: Extensions): https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/#design

5 STEPS TO GUARANTEE YOUR APP GETS APPROVED

Step 1: Follow Apple’s Review Guidelines
Apple does have A LOT of guidelines, but they’re mostly no-brainers and easy to follow.
Research the exact guidelines App Reviewers use before submitting your app: https://developer.apple.com/app-store/review/guidelines/
Step 2: Be the First & Provide Value
The easiest way to get your app approved is to submit unique and quality products that serve a specific need to improve the lives of mobile users.
Do your research and strive to be the first to publish a unique feature or concept.
Step 3: Go Above What is Required
Apple rewards developers who go above the minimal requirements needed to submit an app.  Use the development and marketing options Apple makes available whenever possible.
Although Apple only requires 1 screenshot, we are allowed to submit 5.
You only need to include a few words in your app’s description, but Apple allows for 4000 characters.
Promotional text, video previews, and marketing URLs are ALL optional.
But the more you show Apple you have invested in the project, the more likely your app will be approved.
Step 4: Monitor your Submission Volume & Frequency
Stick to quality over quantity.
Apple does monitor the number of apps and how often you submit.  Developers using app builders and submitting multiple apps in a short timespan are risking getting rejected.
Step 5: Include Review Notes that Support All the Above
Add as much information about your app as possible for the review process. Include information needed to test your app, such as app-specific settings.
In many cases, I will even include an attachment video of how to use an app.

HANDLING REJECTIONS (AND THE 4RS)

Rejections DO happen.
In most cases, developers simply forget to include a vital piece of information or fully test their app.

The #1 rejection Apple Developers see is Guideline 2.1 – Performance: App Completeness.  Meaning, the app submitted is incomplete or does not work.

In fact, 25% of all app rejections are due to Guideline 2.1.
(C’mon guys!)
It’s also not uncommon for Apple to make an error.  Apple employees human reviewers which sometimes leads to human error.
Lucky for us, we can write the resolution center, file a dispute, and even call Apple directly.
If you get a rejection, follow the 4Rs:

  • Research
  • Reply
  • Resubmit
  • Reach-out

My favorite “Reach-out” method is to contact Apple by phone.  Apple offers worldwide developer support and they’re very responsive (you’re not going to be put on hold for hours).
You can give them a ring here: https://developer.apple.com/contact/phone/
While not perfect, Apple is doing a great job reviewing apps and I for one am thankful they are improving their review efforts to make room for better apps.

IN CLOSING…

Thank you, Apple!
Thank you for the opportunity to move to San Francisco and learn a new up-and-coming industry.
Thank you for the ability to support myself while traveling abroad for over 8 months!
Thank you for connecting me with thousands of new friends around the world.
And thank you for consistently testing my limits so I deliver the BEST app experience and service to the mobile community.
I’m up for the challenge and ready to step up my game!

Best wishes and happy reviews,
-Mark

PS: If you have questions or comments about Apple’s new Review Guidelines or app rejections in general…drop a comment below and we’ll be sure to answer!


How Much is your App Worth? 3 Tips to Position Yourself for a BIG Exit

You’ve built an app, but how much is someone willing to pay to acquire it?

If you have a really good app, your app’s worth is typically equal to 1 year’s revenue (App Value = 1 year’s revenue).

But don’t sell yourself (or your app) short, below are the 3 tips to guarantee a lucrative sale.

 

1. CREATE YOUR PITCH/OFFER

The first thing you need to do is create the offer you’re selling. 

What NOT to do:

Provide the buyer with your app’s download numbers + revenue reports, and ask how much they’re willing to pay.

Instead, show the buyer how they can integrate the app into their brand.  Demonstrate how your app is the solution to their biggest problem + walk them through exactly how your app fits into their business.
Remember, you are selling a solution, not a product.
Your offer can turn an app that might be worth $30k in an open market into $250k simply because of your pitch.

2. SELL A TURNKEY BUSINESS

Put a higher premium on your app by selling the systems that made it successful.
Have all the documentation, operating procedures, reports, update strategies…in place and organized.
Show that your business is easy to run and repeatable.
Make it so simple that anyone, even someone with zero knowledge about apps, can walk in and run your business.
And put a price-tag on EVERYTHING:

  • App Code ($20k)
  • Documentation ($3k)
  • Operating Procedures ($8k)
  • Update Strategy ($1k)
  • Next 6 Month Strategy Guide ($5k)

3. MITIGATE RISK

Buyers fear the unknown.  At any moment a competitor could blow your app out of the water and completely devalue your business.
It’s your job to make risks less severe and painful for the buyer.
If the buyer is hesitant because of their lack of app experience, offer to consult 6 hours a month to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Help them with ASO, technical issues, marketing strategy implementation, reading analytics…
You’re not guaranteeing anything, but you are relieving some of the unknowns and putting the buyer’s mind at ease.

NEXT MOVES…

If you want to make a lot of money selling apps and businesses…step away from the marketing data (downloads/revenue) and find a way to position your app as an unbelievable solution to the buyer’s biggest problem.
Here are a few steps you can take for a lucrative acquisition:

  1. Organize your app business’s assets and reports
  2. Create more value by including documentation, operating procedures, etc.
  3. Put a price-tag on everything, not just the app itself
  4. Find 5 buyers (with money) who have a problem that your app solves
  5. Contact them and pitch your business as a solution

Solve a problem, add even more value, and make your offer impossible to turn down.
See ya,
Mark


Develop a Etsy-inspired App

You have to face it.

If you don’t offer great mobile experience, you are deliberately cutting yourself from more revenues.

The mobile commerce market share is expected to hit $284 billion by 2020. And guess what? Americans are not even the biggest mobile spenders:

We’ve decided to take Etsy as an example of a popular online marketplace for a few reasons:

  • Their app UX and design are great.
  • Etsy has 25 million of active shoppers worldwide and 35 million product listed.
  • They are a bit more distinctive and appealing than Amazon, eBay, and other large online marketplaces.

Yet, a popular question we receive is this: Does my e-commerce business really need a dedicated shopping app? I already have a well-optimized (sort of) mobile website.

Let’s break it down in details.

 

Shopping App or Mobile Website: What To Choose?

Now, let’s get back to another pressing question: how to make an online shopping app like Etsy?

Shopping App Development Essentials

UI and UX Design Tips For Mobile Shopping Apps

Simple & Uncluttered UI

Simplified Signup & Checkout Process

Keep The “Add To Cart” Button Prominent. Always.

Save For Later/Wishlist Features

Stick The Thumb-Friendly Zone

Mobile Shopping App Features

Push Messages

Product Demos

Social Shopping

The Cost To Build a Mobile Shopping App

And if you need a more accurate price or would like a developer to assess your requirements list, get in touch with us using the form below!


Develop a Stock trading-inspired App

As mobile apps have penetrated almost every industry, financial and stock sector is no exceptions. Traders and brokers are betting big on mobile devices due to the unstoppable rise of users, now in millions. And even though most traders have been using mobile apps for long now, the possibilities to innovate and earn on broker apps. So a trading app like E-Trade or Stash could be your path to glory.

Mobile trading apps can be not just about news feed and conducting trades, but the whole trading experience in mobile. One could build an app with various trading tools, multiple types of bids, charts, data research, and more. Already established financial apps like TD Ameritrade, E-Trade Mobile, Fidelity, OptionsHouse Mobile, Interactive Brokers are the ice-breaking examples.

This is why we’ve decided to analyze the mobile app by the leader in the broker industry and online trading, E-Trade. We’ll review what development consists of, typical features of an app for traders, technologies, and cost of such an app.

 

E-Trade is a US pioneer in online trading with over 30 years of experience. Focused on innovation, solutions for traders and investors, the company has 30 branches across the USA and employs over 3,000.

One of their main trading platforms is a mobile app E-Trade Mobile. Streaming market data, real-time quotes, dashboard, stock screeners and other features crucial for any trader. Many experts say E-Trade free mobile app is the top stock trading app today.

 

How does E-Trade app work?

E-Trade trader app features

  • Dashboard
  • Real-time streaming of quotes and charts
  • Portfolios with sortable data
  • Watch lists
  • Stock filters/screeners
  • Market news
  • Stock alerts, account notifications, calendar
  • Money transferring

 

Technologies/tools to make trading apps

Back-end and services

Developing a trading app like E-Trade

Cost summary


Develop a Wallet-inspired App

I’ll go straight to the point.

Mobile payments are among the hottest industries today.

The global mobile payment revenues will top $780 billion by the end of 2017.

Also, consider this: in 2015, 39% of all mobile users in the US had made at least one mobile payment.

Of course, when there is a steady flow of mobile payment transactions, there should be a payment method and a secure storage for it.

That is a mobile wallet.

What is a Mobile Wallet and Why You Should Develop One

Conditionally all mobile wallets can be grouped into three categories:

A retailer app with a mobile wallet capacity, which allows users to store and redeem coupons, loyalty cards, and bonuses. It can come as a standalone solution or as part of your branded online shopping app. The development costs would be in $25k-$65k range.

A mobile wallet app developed specifically for cardholders of a certain FI (e.g. bank, credit card issuer). This option would be slightly cheaper – between $20k-$45k

An intermediary mobile wallet and online payment app that allows users to store and use a variety of cards. Think PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay. The development price tag goes up here and expect to cash between $70K-$250K.

To get an accurate cost estimate, get in touch with our team directly!

When you create an app project brief for the developers, clearly outline the type of mobile solution you are interested in. You should realize that mobile wallet app development costs will vary based on your indication.

Now, let’s dive deeper into mobile wallet development.

What Kind of Payments Do I Plan To Support?

NFC

Near field communication protocol

Bluetooth and iBeacon

QR Codes

Payment Apps

Mobile Payments and Wearables

How To Make a Mobile Wallet App That is Secure

Tokenization

Tips For Building a Mobile Wallet That Consumers Actually Use