3 Things You Must Pay Attention to When Building Apps as an Indie Developer

3 Things You Must Pay Attention to When Building Apps as an Indie Developer

Whether you are building a mobile app, web app, game, SaaS, or any type of software as an indie developer, there are some things you must pay more attention to than others.

Being an indie developer means that you must take care of every stage of the software development cycle, from product design to coding, testing, deployment, marketing, sales, customer service, and more.

It is easy to get lost in the processes and forget about what matters most. When I was developing a Biology Revision app for first-year university students, I learned that some processes are more important than others.


Here are 3 things you must pay attention to when building apps as an indie developer.

MARKETING

Marketing is one of the hardest parts for many indie developers, as a developer, you have an — attachment to your product because of all the time and effort you have put in.

As a result, you think of your product as the best product on the market and you spend less or no time in marketing it, often thinking that people will find it automatically on app stores or search engines.

This often ends in disappointment. When I had finished developing the Biology Revision app and deployed it on Google Play Store, I thought every student would download and share it with their friends.

Days, weeks, and months went by, not a single download. Then I decided to do a little bit of marketing by talking to students at a local university and sharing the app with them, then I saw a surge in downloads.

After some marketing efforts on social media and local universities, the app got about 1200 downloads. I have not been marketing it since, but I learned that marketing is very important.


Some of the strategies you can use to get more attention to your app is by building in public.

You can share your development progress and challenges on social media or in your newsletter if you have one. This will build interest around your product and you will have somewhere to start from.

You can also make content (content marketing) around your product on different platforms such as YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, or on your website.

Whatever product you are building, just let others know about it, even huge companies spend more on marketing.

You may not have the budget to spend on marketing, but you can use the power of social media and building in public.

SHIPPING QUICKLY

Indie developers often develop their product to perfection before they can ship it for fear of being judged or something along those lines.

Perfection is a never-ending state, there is always something to tweak, always another feature to add, always.

You can always add some features later, you can change the colors later, maybe you don’t even have to add dark mode.

Shipping quickly is a superpower in itself, it will give you more time to test the market and get feedback.

Just work on the core functionality of the app and ship it, the rest will fall in place in due time.

Please note that I am not encouraging you to ship mediocre products, there is a lot of competition out there and there is no place for mediocre products.

What I am vehemently advocating for is that you should not strive for perfection. You should not wait until you feel your application is good enough.

In some cases, there are many other developers and companies who are working on a product/application similar to yours, if you delay shipping, they will ship first and they may have an advantage over you.

FEEDBACK

It is easy to dismiss what users say about your product, after all, they do not know what you went through developing that app, right?

Users do not care whether you had sleepless nights developing that product, they just want a solution to their problems.

So, whether you get negative feedback or dumb suggestions, it is worth the consideration. Take negative feedback as constructive criticism and use it to make your product better.

When I was developing a Fellowship Hymn app for Baptist churches in Zambia, I received a lot of feedback and reviews for the first version.

Some of the feedback was unhelpful, but most of it was valuable and allowed me to develop an app that most Baptist members find easy and straightforward to use.

So, make sure you make it easy within your application to get feedback from your users.

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