Hi all! In what is my first Creator Lounge post in over a year, I’m hoping to help some Thunkers with a breakdown of the method I’ve used for a while now to get free, reputable media features for my Thunkable X app. I first mentioned this tip in an episode of The Millennial Entrepreneur Podcast, which you can listen to on Spotify or iTunes.
For those of you who don’t know me, hi – I’m Ayush, an 18-year-old student near London, England. It’s great to meet you! I’ve been using Thunkable for almost 4 years now, and my flagship app, Veggie Alternatives, has been featured across the media – including many times by the BBC, in HuffPost, Entrepreneur and more - all completely for free!
So – why does media help your app and how do you get featured? In answer to the first, good media coverage can really rocket your app to success. It can bring you hundreds, if not thousands, of new users, and can both professionally and reputably showcase your app for the world to see. For the answer to the second, just keep reading…
Before you reach out to journalists
Before you try to get media for your app, you need to consider whether your app is complete. By this I mean:
- Is your app the best it possibly can be? Does everything function as it should? If not, go back, review it and make the necessary changes. Get as much feedback as you can too – if the people you ask like it, there’s a higher chance that journalists will too.
- Does your app (and its store listing on app stores) look attractive? The way an app looks is the first thing a journalist will see before they even use it. If it looks good, you’ll have a higher chance of them wanting to feature you in an article. See this for help here. I also recently redesigned the UI of Veggie Alternatives and will be sharing how I did that on here soon!
- Is your app published? Before getting media coverage, you should make sure your app is published either on Google Play or the App Store (or, if possible, both) so that people can easily download it. See this for help here.
The key thing to remember throughout this process is to be respectful. You should certainly emphasise your qualities and try to convince journalists to feature you, but not be pushy when you do this.
Step 1: Finding journalists
- You want to find only journalists who report on the sorts of topics that your app covers, so you should Google things such as “[media outlet] [your industry]”. For example, I Googled terms such as “HuffPost vegan”.
- I would then scan the results for articles written related to things that my app covers. I’d then look to see who wrote it. If their email address was readily available, for example on their ‘info’ page for their outlet, on their website, or on their social media (usually Twitter), then I’d note it down. If it wasn’t, I’d move on and search for other journalists. You shouldn’t dig deep to find a particular journalist’s email – if you can’t find it online, it’s probably because they don’t want people sending them pitches.
- Make sure you note down the names and email addresses of the journalists you find. Once you’ve got a few, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
Step 2: Sending pitches
If there’s one thing journalists hate, its receiving copy-and-pasted pitches. You should always make sure that your pitch is tailored to them.
- After doing a basic email greeting, try to start off your pitch with a reference to a recent article that that journalist has written – this article should also somewhat relate to the essence of your app. Try something like “I really enjoyed reading your recent article on…I found it really interesting that…, etc. etc.”. You should show genuine interest.
- Then, move on to yourself – but keep this concise and to the point - you don’t want them to lose interest. Tell them about your app, what it does, whether it has received any sort of attention previously, who you are, and why both you and your app would be a good fit for an article. If you want, you can attach a graphic from your store listing to show them a bit more – but limit this to 1 or 2 pictures maximum.
- Finally, your closing remarks. Say something like “Please let me know if this would be a good fit for a [insert publication] article. I really appreciate your time.” Finish with your usual email sign off.
Step 3: What to do next
- If the journalist agrees to feature you – congratulations! They’ll likely ask you for more information and make sure you give them everything they need with this. Also, try to ensure that you mention that the app was built with Thunkable – its nice to give some recognition back to the platform that made your app success possible.
- If you don’t receive many or even any replies – don’t give up! In my experience, the vast majority of journalists won’t reply, but this rejection will make you stronger. Try to work on improving your app even more (based on the above tips) and maybe reach out to different journalists.
- If you are in this situation, don’t pester the journalists who perhaps didn’t reply to you – just accept that they’re not interested. If you do want to follow up, do this respectfully, only once, and not less than three days after your initial email.
- To try and get more media coverage, make sure your app is active on social media – such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Journalists often use these to find the subject of their next article. You can also use these handy tips to promote your app on social platforms.
- You can also enter entrepreneurship competitions – winning or even just participating in these not only gives you a wealth of new skills, but it also often comes with media coverage.
- If you’ve already been featured in a few articles, the media may now come to you! In fact, my largest media feature, on BBC One’s The One Show, came after one of their producers read an article about me in HuffPost! Just make sure you’re frequently checking your email inbox. It’s even better if you have a website, which can serve as a handy place for journalists to find you; you can make these cheaply – see this for help here!
That’s all for my third Creator Lounge post – if you’re reading this, I hope you’ve found it useful! If you have any specific queries, feel free to send me a message.