Miguel Lorenzo, an enterprising founder of the newly launched video editing app Filma, has never shied away from hard work and failures. In his career as a Software Engineer for more than seven years, he has developed more than ten apps, but his latest one ‘Filma’ is what is giving him a taste of real success.
A video editing aficionado, Miguel wanted to create a portable tool to help him with his videos about ukulele playing lessons. Miguel, who works for CommonWealth Bank of Australia, developed the app as a side project, working in his spare time. His app, Filma, is made for iPad OS 13 (or above), and it’s available in the AppStore. It includes a One Time Purchase that unlocks all the features forever for an affordable price (check the local price for your country).
Born in 1987 in a small town of 800 inhabitants in Spain, Miguel studied Computer Engineering at the University of Huelva (Spain), and after finishing, he focused on the at that moment emerging Mobile world. Currently, he lives in Sydney and is hoping to revolutionize video editing with Filma.
USTechTimes.com spoke to Miguel Lorenzo regarding his app, his work, and his passion for music and editing.
1. Please tell me about your background, and what are you working on currently?
I am a Senior Software Engineer currently working at CommonWealth Bank of Australia in Sydney. I’m part of the mobile team, and we work on the Commbank App (best banking app of Australia). I studied Computer Engineering at the University of Huelva (Spain) and specialized in mobile iOS development after my graduation in 2012.
2. What motivated you to start your company?
Two of my passions are video editing and music. I have a YouTube channel where I teach how to play songs on the ukulele. Thanks to this, I could be creative with my video editions and play music at the same time. I wanted to be able to bring my ukulele anywhere and edit my videos with my iPad so that I could prepare quickly and easily new videos on the go.
Also, my previous attempts to create apps were always focused on video and photo edition, since it was a field that I loved. I started looking for apps that could fit my needs on the iPad and couldn’t find any good ones that could help me achieve what I wanted to. Then I thought about how many people would be in the same situation. Also, I realized that video editing and videos, in general, are highly demanded nowadays. People also want something to be portable (iPad) and professional and comfortable enough to give up their laptops. Since I had more than seven years of experience in mobile development, I decided to make it myself, and I started this journey in January 2019.
3. How did you attract users and grew the company from the start?
My main focus at the beginning was to test the organic approach. I released an early (and not mature) version of the app with plenty of “coming soon” features to get feedback from the users and detect what was more important to them so I could prioritize my backlog. I used a lot of analytics to add an extra insight on how the users were interacting with the app. For every new release, I’ve been publishing short promo videos that would highlight the main features. I think that this was powerful because people would pay more attention to a popular video showing what Filma could do rather than read a boring description of what is new.
During 2019, I was mainly trying to get an MVP that could be decent enough before I would do paid marketing. In December, I was focused on ASO (App Store Optimisation) and Product Hunt. I knew about the high impact of Product Hunt in the community and how this could help in organic growth. Many investors, blogs, and other sources check this site to find out about new products, and if you have something good, it may be highlighted in other blogs, websites, or simple an excellent start point to potential investors.
At this moment, everything has been based on organic growing, small promo videos shared across the different social platforms and Product Hunt.
I may start with paid marketing soon, but it is important to keep the approaches separate in order to find out what is working well and worthy of attracting users.
4. What’s your business model, and how have you grown your revenue? What strategy worked best?
It’s an early stage for Filma since it’s been started just one year ago, all by myself (design, creation, development, launch). At this moment the app works on a Fremium model. Thus, it’s offered for free download, and the user will get all the features of the app (so they can try it and check if it’s worthy) but with limited features such as watermark on exports, lower quality or less number of tracks to add to the timeline.
With this approach, the customer can try everything, make a quick export in average quality, and verify that it works for them so they can just upgrade to the premium plan. If your product is free to download, they get to know it first, and then you have to work hard to convert them.
5. How much funding have you raised so far? When was the recent funding round?
Currently, I haven’t raised any funding since the main launch of the app in December 2019. However, I’ve been contacted by a couple of investors. I have initiated conversations with them since the release and have featured the app on Product Hunt.
6. What are some marketing tips to help maximize the success of a product launch?
– ASO is very important for an App Launch. Research on your competitors, find out how they are doing it, and try to improve it. Using the right keywords, a proper title, and description and work on the screenshots.
⁃ Contact tech blogs and share with them a brief of the Product, a promo video, and a landing page with information ready to go. I highlighted the main aspects of the app on the landing page and also included a Press Kit folder with assets, branding, biography, history, and media. This will help the blog writers to write about the product easily and quickly.
⁃ Product Hunt launch. It has been one of the crucial parts of the successful launch in terms of organic marketing. I prepared the post on Product Hunt very carefully, keeping in mind screenshots, a good video to summarise what the product does, a comment to explain to the community the journey and the vision of Filma. I also contacted the top hunters and talked them about Filma and my intentions to publish a post on a specific date. The launch was successful, and it became the product of the day during half of the day and ended up staying 2nd Product of the day at the end of the period.
⁃ Social networks. Start spreading the words using Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, TikTok. I’ve been offering promo codes to Influencers so they can get to use the Premium Plan for free if they talk about the app to their followers. Since Filma is a video editing app, most of the target users would be somehow connected to a social network.
⁃ Taking any chance to talk about Filma. I’ve been offered to do some talks and interviews. The more channels you use, the bigger the impact it is going to have.
7. What is a good product launch checklist?
⁃ Have your landing page ready with all the required information, including a contact field, analytics, and download button.
⁃ Prepare a Press Kit with assets (screenshots) of the product, features, information about the founders, pictures, videos, branding. The easier is for a blogger to write a post, the better your chances to get your product published by them.
⁃ Have social network profiles created and linking to your product. Keep the same branding in all the accounts.
⁃ Make sure that your MVP or product is working and is ready to receive a lot of customers. You want to start getting good reviews on the launch.
⁃ In case of an app, prepare all the screenshots, title, description, legal before you hit the publish button.
⁃ On the launch, make sure that all the channels are synced, and you are making the noise across all of them. Including talking to your friends, family about it, or even doing an event of it. It will help with the downloads and exposure and, therefore, with the ranking of your app in the App Stores, Product Hunt page, or social networks.
⁃ Be ready for the launch. Be there present and ready to reply to any feedback, question, or opportunity on the launch.
8. What’s the hardest thing about product launches?
I guess the hardest part is to have luck in your side. Sometimes you can have all checked and everything ready to go, and the day you decide to launch, but something else takes the focus, and your launch exposure gets compromised. You want to make sure that you are choosing the right date for your launch. However, you can’t stop a hurricane if that is what would stop people from checking your product that day. Therefore, luck is not everything, but it actually plays a role as well on the launch. Nevertheless, most of the factors can be in your hands, and you can make it happen with the right research and hard work.
9 . What are the most common mistakes founders make when they start a company?
I certainly wouldn’t know about this one since I’m starting at this moment. Maybe I will figure out what I did wrong at this stage in a near future. However, I would have a tip on this: consistency and patience would solve a lot of problems in the journey. If your product is good and you have a vision about it, don’t give up on the first trial. I’ve launched more than ten apps before, and none of them have had the impact and success that this one is having. I feel like the previous ones were just my learning curve to expertise the field (video editing) and finally do a better and proper tool by knowing about my failures. I only could do it because I’ve never stopped believing in it and trying to improve on every new iteration.
10. What do most startups get wrong about marketing?
This is a good one. I believe that marketing is not everything. You can pay $ 1 million on a marketing campaign and reach millions of people, but if your product isn’t good enough or even if it isn’t what the users want that moment, you will be wasting your money with no benefits at all. Get to know your users, find out what they want, how they want it, and when they want it. You just need to be there with the product just when they demand it. Research about trends, technologies, the best way of delivery, etc. find out what they want and be the best one to deliver that.
11. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? And what advice do you have for someone interested in doing similar things like yours or in the same direction?
One friend and old colleague at work told me once the following:
“Ship it now! Even if it’s not finished.”
This sentence has an intrinsic message. You need to be out now in the present if you have a decent MVP. Then listen to your users. In my case, it was just using analytics, behaviors, requests, and feedback. Then you can serve them what they’ve been asking for. A/B testing is a good example of this. Making an early release of an MVP will allow you to shape your product to the thing that the users want.
12. What are the one or two things that you would do differently if you could go back to 10 years ago?
I guess I wish I could have started earlier to build up a good network in the business field as well as in the technology one. Learning about launching a startup and how businesses work at the same time that I was learning how to build a product from a technical point of view.
You can follow Miguel Lorenzo’s updates on Filma on twitter.
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