After the hustle and bustle of launching Olive 10 days ago I thought it was about time I wrote about the launch and the trials and tribulations of web app development and testing. This whole post is me thinking out loud, so to speak, it’s not intended as a step by step guide of how to set-up a web application. I will post about this at a later date.
Olive has had a large amount of interest, undoubtedly the most sign ups being on day 1 of launch as expected. Since then it’s slowed down, as expected, but still gaining sign ups daily which is great.
A large proportion of sign ups are on the Free account, and of those signs ups I am not able to see any personal information (of course) but I can see how many clients (out of the 2 given on the free account) they have used. Lots of people seem to have signed up but then not added a single client, without adding a client they can’t even see what Olive is, or how it works. This is quite baffling, are they just being nosy and seeing what it looks like or just registering their domain “just in case”… who knows?
I have made some mistakes whilst developing Olive, I quite expected to do so and it’s a learning curve as always. I made the mistake of not beta testing someone from outside the UK so when we launched a problem that was specific to our American friends cropped up (has been resolved now). I should have also tested the app live with my own clients prior to launch, this hasn’t been too much of a problem though and has seen some exciting additions that make the process 100% automated in terms of communication between you and the client.
The hardest thing I’ve come across is marketing it, it’s so different to anything out there at the moment. It can also be used in multiple ways, web designers, graphic designers, remote pa’s etc. Google adwords has been a nightmare as there’s nothing that performs particularly well that is targeted to specific users, to drive enough traffic to the site.
I’ve taken an ad spot on Just Creative Design which is driving some traffic to the site and also the CSS Galleries are also doing their bit to send traffic my way but as a whole, how do you describe Olive? It’s not the sort of app people search for, but if they see adverts for it, they are likely to click through and take a look when directed specifically at web designers, I know I would. Time for some serious thinking.
I’ve been really interested to see how my own clients have adapted to using Olive, I can honestly say they love it. They really enjoy the feeling of managing projects themselves as well as not having to email for status updates, my inbox has been clearer and it’s all been working as it should. I’ll be doing a large blog post on the Olive blog early next week to show exactly how I’ve got clients on board and how it’s starting to increase take-up on monthly maintenance contracts. There will be a step by step of how you can do the same to increase your monthly revenue through maintenance and support contracts.
The thing that is still niggling me, I’m not 100% sure people understand what Olive is, looking down the stats of sign ups and the proportion showing 0/2 clients added, it seems clear that either people are getting stuck or have just come in for a nose around, either way, I’ll be looking into different ways to market Olive so that it’s 100% clear what it is from the moment you hit the homepage. On the other hand, by the amount of people who have signed up to larger accounts and are using it on a day to day basis must understand and “get it”…
Olive is still so young, there’s loads that can be changed and improved upon with the first major update scheduled today, I’d love to know how you are using Olive if you have an account, feel free to send me an email, sarah at youknowwhodesign.com.