Welcome back to the How to Build a Dating App Podcast, chronicling the journey of a group of Marketeers building and launching a brand-new dating app.
In this episode, our enlightening conversation John Kershaw, mastermind of niche dating app Bristlr, and founder of M14 Industries, continues. John breaks down his best tips for getting great PR, how to make sure your app actually works once people are interested and rounding out your skill set to capture every part of the app-build process.
Exciting points from this episode include:
01:13: Mapping Marketing for Bristlr
John explains how he initially marketed Bristlr beyond the PR of “Tinder for Beards” and snagged those all-important initial users, and his experiences on how not to market your brand.
06:53: Testing Functionality and Aesthetic
How can you make sure your dating app works properly, and doesn’t send your information to Russian cryptocurrency scammers? Can you make it look better than a website from the late 90s? It’s all about testing.
09:58: Getting Competitive
Who’s your competition? Do niche apps even have competitors? John discusses his competition with Bristlr, and how he’s dealt with it since Bristlr’s launch.
14:06: Does that App Really Exist?
Dating apps often start life as a website or sign-up form. Is it all just PR guff? How many niche apps do you need to increase your user base? John shares his experiences with PR, how many apps is too many, and why so many dating apps launch as a broken mess straight from the app store.
22:44 Bristlr’s Launch: Android vs Apple
We ask if it’s better to launch an app on Android, Apple, or both? What are the pros and cons of each? John talks about how he took Bristlr in a certain direction at launch, if it was the right way, and a blow-by-blow account of Bristlr’s early days.
27:41 Skills That Pay the Bills
Can you wear two hats at once? John talks about his development background, learning how to create a ‘business’, and what the most important skill-sets are for creating a marketable app.
34:26 The Future of Social Apps
John goes through the possibilities of creating social apps that can be purpose-built to serve large under-served social communities.
How to Quote a Dating App:
- “Don't get me started on the beards/moustache thing. It's a whole thing. There's a reason that it's called the Beard and Moustache Championships. I have learned this the hard way after dropping quite the clanger to a local beard group"
- “I ended up in Manchester Market Street … I just had to stand there getting humiliated as these random people just come up and they just randomly touch my beard. Or tell me that they hated beards to my face with a camera crew there"
- “My to do list at [launch] was just five post-it notes stuck to the side of my monitor”
- “I've built dozens of stupid websites, and [Bristlr] just happened to be the one that took off”
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Episode TranscriptionDownload as PDF
John Kershaw is the founder of dating app Bristlr, which connects those with beards, to those that want to stroke beards. He’s also the founder of M14 Industries, a social app creation platform that allows anyone in the world to have their own branded app. He appeared on Dragons’ Den in 2017 and achieved bid offers from all five dragons.
Speaking about his experience on the podcast he said: “Chatting with the hosts about the ins and outs of online dating was great fun. It’s really enjoyable to talk frankly about an industry which is often shrouded in mystery, especially with a team looking to jump right in! I’m excited to see where they go from here".