How to Sell an App Idea: A Beginner’s Guide

The initial stages of developing an app idea require not only programming skills but also a business concepts, planning and promotion skills. In this material, we’ve pointed out the obvious points that are often overlooked, focusing on the technical side of the issue.

The steps for developing an investor-friendly app idea outlined below will help you and your team answer the question of how to successfully and quickly sell an app idea and create a competitive product in every way. You can also use this information for pitching – demonstrating and defending the app in front of a potential buyer.

How to Sell an App Idea: A Beginner’s Guide

How to sell an app idea: Part 1

Think about the business concept

Define the target audience of your app: develop its “basic profile” taking into account gender, age and education level. This is a very important step, taking it into account will help avoid many mistakes. Also, having a solid target audience will help convince an investor faster.

What to sell

Describe the main features of your application in maximum detail. Explain how the user will interact with it. This way your potential investor (as well as the user) will get a clear idea of what you hope to achieve with your product. Pay attention: a really promising idea must have a clear goal that is missing in existing applications.

Determine what “pains” your app covers. For example, it can be entertainment, saving time and money, etc. This way you immediately determine the niche in the store where you plan to place the app. As in the previous point, focus on specifying the problems that competitors’ apps can’t solve.

For example, a social media platform makes it easy to keep in touch with each other. If you are working on a fashion application, explain what it does, why and when.

Compete productively

At this point, fully disclose what the advantages of your idea are over similar apps. These advantages should directly reflect the purpose and function of your app. Mention user-friendly design, quality content, and unique features, all of which your team excels at.


Determine ways to make the app profitable. The monetization method you choose depends on your target audience and how they use the app. The most well-known ways are:

  • Paid application. Some products or features cost money to download. For example, if you create a fitness app, you can give users access to lessons of increased difficulty only in the paid version. Another example is in-game currency. Users buy it to unlock features, change the design, etc.
  • Advertising placement. You can negotiate with companies to provide their content or advertise some of their products that are similar in theme to your app.


Ideally, you need a targeting specialist who will break down what and how you will promote, point by point. Don’t count on a pumped-up investor specialist right away before he or she shows up! Write out ways to promote your product so you can expand your reach. Use as wide a network of channels as possible, and first of all popular social networks. Be attentive to text descriptions: gradual ASO-optimization starts now.

How to sell an app idea: part 2

Development from idea to product

Let’s say you’ve sketched out a conditional plan, taking the above into account. Now on to the practical steps. Implementation and pitching are just around the corner!

Explore the niche

Create a few keywords that describe the idea of the app, and use them to search for competitors in the store. Test their apps on various metrics, read critiques and reviews. Don’t steal ideas! Rather, think about how to transform yours. It is believed that a fresh idea always sells better than one that has already been implemented. See where to add uniqueness and where your product will be more functional than your competitors’ products.

Don’t steal

Many developers worry that their product will be borrowed at the idea stage. It happens. To protect yourself, you can (do nothing – 😄) get a patent. True, few people do that: it’s expensive and not that fast. But you are sure to protect yourself from “theft” and someone will release a similar product while you are working on it. You can at least talk to a lawyer to find out the details.

How to sell an Apple app idea and… why you shouldn’t do it.

The most dangerous thing awaits the newcomer at this stage – the desire to immediately “shoot” the market giants like Apple. It seems that a large network will immediately provide your idea and the patent, and income, and prospects for development. But do not hurry to type “how to sell your idea to Google” into the search engine and read the materials on this topic: Apple and Google reserve the right to appropriate ideas sent “without asking” (your letter will be exactly this). You’ll remain a no-name, and you won’t make a profit either.

Creating a prototype

It’s good if you get to this point before you present yourself to investors. Buying a work in progress is always more satisfying than a plan. But for this you need a team with clearly assigned roles (well, or you can play the universal soldier). Make the prototype as convincing and as close to what you’ve stated as possible, or even release a test version of the product: this increases the chances of selling it.


Go back to your plan, check if the intended channels match the prototype. Reorganize what’s needed and get into action. Advertising will quickly let you know if you are creating a successful product (assuming you have the right target audience). If customers show interest or even download your prototype, you can prove to customers that your idea is good. “Sarafan radio”, advertising on websites, targeting on social networks, thematic forums, expert reviews: depending on your resource, launch a campaign. Motivate users on social networks to provide feedback or create fanart.

Here’s a tip: Sometimes developers do this. They place a fictitious link to the download page on the app’s website and then use a simple tool like Google Analytics to estimate audience interest, composition, etc.

We split the profits…

…But remember, it’s not there yet. The point here is that you have to be sure to state what percentage of potential profit you’re claiming. It’s not easy until the product is sold. And yet, you can give a basic estimate: the value depends, among other things, on the extent of your contribution to the development. You can, by the way, instead of a percentage of profit, just ask for a fixed fee for the idea/development, etc. This is a good option if you do not plan to continue/start development or if the application from your point of view has no great prospects. And then it’s a question of how objective you are.

This guide will allow you if not to release it in stores at the level of top products, then at least do not miss anything when preparing to go to market. Check and act!