Creating Apps for Fun and Profit
The life of a modern woman never stops. Rush to work, drive here, and drive there. Entertain the kids. Try to get some grocery shopping done. Shove down some food before hitting the stack of dishes that doesn’t seem to go away. Forget the 9 to 5, honey. You are working it 24/7. Isn’t it about time that something came EASY for a change?
That’s what Jennifer Noonan and Cara Hall were thinking when they started Appsnminded. It all started with a single app in December of 2008. Now, the moms of Appsnminded have produced over 50 apps for the iPod, iPhone, iPad , Google Android and Microsoft Windows Phone 7. Today, Appsnminded has 30 of those apps that have made it to the Top 10 in their category on the iTunes appstore.
Jennifer and Cara don’t have advanced technical degrees. They are moms, just like you, who wanted to control of when and where they worked so their families could be the focus of their lives. Isn’t that the dream of every mom, to run a business, raise a family and rock them both?
All it takes to develop apps is a little bit of ingenuity, a great idea and the motivation to find the right people to help you make it all happen.
Put on Your Thinking Cap
It all starts with an idea! You know you have a lot of good ones. Like a shopping list app that would remind you when the milk expires, the party planning app that tracks what your friends are bringing to the potluck or that app you have been dreaming about that would keep your daughter creatively occupied.
There has to be something that makes you smile every time you talk about it. If you are incredibly organized and love it when your friends ask for organization tips, maybe an app that helps keep people organized is your thing. Fashionistas might like to put together an app that helps women make wise style choices. Figure out what you love. If there are others out there who love it too, pursue it!
Get Your Ducks in a Row
Sure, there are a lot of moving parts to starting a business. But once you have it down, you will be up and operating in no time. Appsnminded created a community called Appsolutely Easy that helps moms get a handle on what it takes to start an app business. They did all the heavy lifting and filled the community with helpful items like a video tutorial, production resources, marketing tips, advice from professionals, a handy app showcase and a forum so you can get feedback and support from other members.
Build Your Team
Once you are in business, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. Don’t overload yourself or burn yourself out by trying to do too much at once. Release one app at a time and do what you are good at. If something isn’t your strong suit, source it out! You can always turn to Guru, ELance or ODesk for talent. Isn’t the Internet wonderful?
Launch and Promote Your App
Now that the technical part is done, it’s time to introduce your app to the world. Go back to when you were first thinking about your app idea. Do other people like to do this too? Of course they do! That’s why you made your app. But WHO are they? Answering this question is also known as determining your target market. Once you know who the target is, you can hit the bulls-eye when you are promoting your app to them. First, you’ll need to write some catchy copy for your headline and product description. People who are browsing the iTunes appstore will see this copy and decide, right then and there, if your app is for them. Then, use all the free resources that are out there for promotion. Start a Facebook fan page for your new app company and promote your app there. Get a little press for your app by searching the Internet for blogs and web sites that review apps and submitting it for review.
Enjoy Your Success
Last step! Just keep it up! Keep up all of the great work you have been doing. Don’t stop promoting your app. Freshen up your Product Description frequently. Issue frequent updates and even change your icon if you think you can improve it. Keep social networking your app. Add some of the kudos your app had gotten on your Facebook page or blog! Monitor your success via the iTunes appstore and, of course, enjoy the money that you are making. You’ve earned it!
Appsnminded Tips that Apply to ANY entrepreneur:
1) Be passionate about what you do. Passion + Commitment = Money
2) Always keep the people who are using your products in mind.
3) Never be afraid to ask for help. If something isn’t your forte, outsource it!
4) Keep it up! Tenacity equals money in the bank for you and your family.
Founded by Jennifer Noonan and Cara Hall, Appsnminded is an LA based app production company that makes fun and engaging mobile apps that entertain, teach and inspire creativity.