I was looking through the analytics for my app like I normally do, when I saw that I was receiving traffic from Forbes. Whoa! I quickly jumped on my computer to find the specific article. There it was! The Name App was featured on Forbes! This was the first exposure I had ever received outside of the tech world. The product that I had initially made to solve my own problems, was now getting worldwide attention from all different industries. More than 60,000 people were now using my app. Beyond these media outlets, my app had also been featured on many other smaller ones. The success wasn’t only here in the US either, the app had also been shared through Medium articles written in Russian and Portuguese. This has exposed my app to new audiences that would have never used the app otherwise. So let’s back up. How did all of this happen? How did my little app get featured on all of these places? What special thing did I do?
The Secret Sauce
I’ve worked with startups that had the money to hire a PR team to help them gain exposure. That worked out pretty well for them. I’ve also worked with startups that had media connections, and they’ve gotten exposure before their app before it was even finished! I’ve even worked with larger companies that were investing in new startups and used their name to promote the new product. All these things worked great for them, but I didn’t have any of that. I don’t know anything about public relations and I don’t have any contacts in the media. With no money, no connections, and no reputation I was still able to get featured.
My secret sauce was to make a great product. That’s it. I had a small problem that I wanted to solve, so I made an app. It’s not a crazy app with a lot of features and overly stylistic design. It’s just a simple app that does one thing.
People since then have picked up my app, used it, liked it, and shared it. It may seem like an oversimplification, but that’s all I did.
How to make a good product that will gain exposure
I’ve dissected my app, had conversations with users, and asked other product makers for their input. With that I gathered 3 things that make a good product shareable.
Solve a problem
First and foremost there must be a problem that the product aims to solve. This is the core of how the product will be made. All decisions in business, design, and development will spawn from the initial problem.
Make it simple
Upon solving one problem we don’t want to create more. Therefore, the product must be simple. It is very easy to over complicate something. Be careful of adding unnecessary features and using overly stylistic design. There is nothing wrong with practicality.
Have a market
The last piece is having a big enough audience. You can have a great product without a big audience, however you won’t receive much press around it. If people don’t have or care about the problem your product solves, no one will talk about it. Look for problems that effect many people, and build your ideas around that.
The Name App: Quick Case Study
Problem: Coming up with a name for our ideas is difficult. Upon thinking of a name, we must check if it’s not already in use. To do this we have to go on multiple websites to see if domains & social media accounts are available. With the name app, you only have to go on one. With one search you’ll quickly know if your name is available.
Simplicity: In making the app, I simplified the process of finding an available name. In doing so, I also took a simple approach to design & usability. I took the lead from Google and made a huge search bar that takes precedence to everything else on the page. Once you type in your name, the app automatically begins to search. The user doesn’t have to even press enter. The simplicity of this app is why people love it so much.
Market: Lastly, The Name App solves a problem that many people have. Everyone has an idea. Now more than ever, in a day where startups are springing up left and right, finding an available name is even more crucial. Publishers share this app because there are so many people interested in launching their ideas. No matter what industry your in, or how old you are, or where you live in the world, you have an idea, and The Name App helps you find a name for it.
Work on your product
Focus on making your product great. Think about the problem it solves, the simplicity of it, and the market that’s going to use it. If these things are done right, media exposure will come. Good luck my friends!