Could your training app hit a million downloads?

Got a killer training app idea? Adrian Hon tells us how to hit that first million. 

So you have an idea for a training app and you’re ambitious. Hitting a million downloads is your first target. Then you’ll know you’re onto a great idea! But sometimes having a great idea isn’t enough. The app market is swamped with great ideas that just never get that much interest.

The main pitfalls are:

  • Because the market isn’t ready for your app yet
  • It’s too similar to another popular app
  • Cost is turning people off
  • Bad reviews are killing any progress

Here are a few top tips to hit the million download mark:

Spotting a killer idea

First, check the relevant app stores to find out if any similar training apps already exists. You don’t want to be leaping into a market overcrowded with popular apps. Yet, if you find nothing even similar, it might be a sign that your idea isn’t ripe yet.

The greatest power of crowdfunding is that it allows you to create an engaged community, from scratch, in a relatively short time.

If the idea holds up, consider whether you have the skills and resources to make the app. When there are hundreds of new free apps released every day, you have to be very special to stand out.

Finally, remember that this app idea may take years to fully come to fruition, so make sure it’s something you love. If the training app idea is one you’d enjoy using then you really will be working for yourself.

Testing the water

You’ll often hear app developers saying that the only way to measure the popularity of your app idea is to launch it and see.

I disagree. All you need is to create a demo and launch a crowdfunding campaign.

Not only does crowdfunding help raise the money to develop the full app, it allows you to test your idea on a paying audience. In return, they get a copy of your app once it’s been developed.

The greatest power of crowdfunding is that it allows you to create an engaged community, from scratch, in a relatively short time. The investors want to see your app become a success so they can see it come to life and get their hands on a copy.

Using feedback productively

A lot of apps fall at this penultimate hurdle. They launch their app, watch the first 10k downloads trickle in, mark it a success, and then move on to their next idea. Reviews and feedback get pretty much ignored.

But great customer service is the foundation of your app business. If you can respond quickly and solve the user’s issue you’ll develop a loyal customer base.

Investing in customer support actually saves money in the longer term. Why? Because you can fix any bugs and streamline usability based on the feedback. So, when your user base skyrockets, there are fewer support issues to deal with.

Building on success

Feedback might also provide you with the seed of your next idea. Using feedback to develop new ideas shows your users three things:

  1. You’re listening to their feedback – It isn’t just a bot replying to reviews with “Thanks for your feedback”, you are real people who are really listening.
  2. They’re valued – The community is valued as a good source of new ideas which you will actually use.
  3. You’re reliable – If you have big plans for the future then you plan to stick around. That means they can rely on you for updates, support, and new features/content. Their money isn’t going to waste.

You show you’re here, you’re engaged, and you’re not going anywhere. If customers feel confident in these key points, they will be confident in spending money on your app. To sum this advice up in one sentence I would say: Love what you’re doing and seek feedback at every step.

If you believe in your app, it has space in the market, and you listen to what your audience want, you’ll be on the right track to hit that magic million downloads mark.


About the author
Adrian Hon is CEO of Six to Start (creators of Zombies, Run!), author of ‘A History of the Future in 100 Objects’ and a former neuroscientist and tech writer. Follow him on Twitter here @adrianhon


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