|By||http://e27.cohttp://e27.sg/2012/12/17/find-the-bleeding-neck-and-charge-money-from-day-one-says-tweetcaddy-founder/||| Dec 17, 2012 | Featured|
This is a realization that has come to Jed Tiotuico, founder and developer of TweetCaddy. He maps out the app’s journey from being a side project to a revenue-earner and gives developers a few tips on how to market their apps.
TweetCaddy is a web application that manages the posting of Twitter messages, which Jed believes will help marketers reach their audience better. The service lets users schedule tweets and automates responses and messages.
TweetCaddy used to be a freemium app, which offered a basic version, plus premium features to paying users. Since August this year, though, the app switched to the paid model, and switched to a free two-week trial in lieu of the freemium approach. Since that time, Jed shares that he had been nervous that the business model may not be working at all. But getting notified of his first-ever premium buyer was an exciting proposition. “[J]ust one paying customer” was all it took for the entire effort to be a rewarding experience.
In gist, Jed advises to “find a market that has a bleeding neck. You would then develop a solution to their bleeding necks and charge money from day one.”
Here are a few tips from Jed’s side that developers may find useful.
“I learned that charging money from customers is okay,” writes Jed. He points out, quite correctly, that app development takes time and effort. And not all software developers have the resources of behemoths like Google, Facebook and other such companies behind them. For independent developers, it’s easy to go bust if your revenues from ads or premium sales are not enough to get you past break even. Not everyone wants to accept angel or venture funding, after all.
In my opinion, though, this will depend on your market. If you are developing a consumer-oriented application, then offering free, ad-supported versions, or freemium variants might be the better option. Game developers like Rovio learned this early on, when free versions of their already-popular Angry Birds catapulted them to even bigger Internet fame. But if your primary target are the enterprise users, marketers and professionals, then it might make sense to focus on paid apps.
Of course, there’s a difference between charging $0.99 and 10 bucks. If you’re only charging a dollar a pop, as with most paid apps on the iTunes app store or Google Play market, then the barrier to entry is lower. But “free” gets your foot into the front door more easily, which could pave the way for bigger revenues from premium items and ads.
It’s an entrepreneur’s dilemma, after all — to balance between gaining traction from free offerings and deriving value from one’s enterprise by charging your customers.
As a conclusion, Jed admits that TweetCaddy still has not gained traction with its target audience, although he is proud to say it is easier to use and has better features than the likes of HootSuite and TweetDeck (both of which, incidentally, offer free versions). For Jed Tiotuico and TweetCaddy, it’s a continuing journey in addressing the proverbial bleeding neck problem.
Featured image credits: App developers / Shutterstock