Bringing a product to market is hard. While we have helped others launch their apps, it’s not often we get to do it ourselves. We recently attended DIG SOUTH, an interactive conference in Charleston, SC, with our new app Wires, and it was a good reminder of the things you have to keep in mind as you build and promote a new startup or app.
Know when to let go
The longer you work on something, the more time you have to come up with improvements. This is a trap. By the time you get to the end of your original development plan, chances are that through the development process you’ve thought of a couple better ways to do things than what you are building. But this cycle will go on for forever. Stick to your plan, make improvements where you can, and then launch it. The app is never going to be perfect.
Tell the best story – not all of the stories
Messaging is difficult. You need to have a simple definition of your target market. You don’t tell this to everyone, but you should use it to determine which marketing ideas/messages are on point and which ones aren’t. When you believe in your product, you’re going to have lots of interesting stories you want to tell, but with limited opportunities to get in front of your audience, you need to pick the absolute best stories to tell.
Jargon and buzzwords don’t help
Using jargon and industry-speak can shorten your value proposition, but ultimately it excludes people you wouldn’t expect. It’s easy to assume that your target market understands you when you try to make things simple. But more times than not, you need to simplify things even further, so that absolutely anybody would understand what you’re trying to accomplish. Anybody who doesn’t know exactly what you’re talking about right away fails to see how your solution could benefit them.
Don’t immediately dismiss feedback
We learned that objective feedback is freeing. Even if it’s not complimentary, knowledge of where you’re succeeding and where you’re failing is immensely valuable. Outside perspectives are invaluable. Even from people who are in a marginally related field, a critical perspective can help you clarify what your gut is or isn’t telling you. Once you have that opinion, you can choose to act on it or not, and you can move forward and make your product better.
Stop looking for the silver bullet
It’s more of a reminder than a lesson, but there are no “secrets” that are going to magically make your product or business a viral hit. Marketing has evolved to require building relationships between customers and the business instead of just advertising messaging. There is no silver bullet that you can hedge your bets on that will make you your millions. It takes human interaction and old-fashioned hard work to build a brand that people will like and ultimately buy.
Are you working on an early-stage tech product? We would love to help. Contact us!