TL;DR Interview with Valentin
What’s interesting about it?
✅ How can you structure your efforts to leverage shipping a newsletter and build your product at the same time?
✅Advice for what tools to use
My name is Valentin, I’m 26 years old living in France. I did marketing studies and I realized at the end that I didn’t want to work in a company because I didn’t know what I wanted to do! So I started freelancing. This situation gave me the opportunity to move to Berlin in Germany where I lived for 1 year. There I did some growth marketing freelancing and then I started to create website with Webflow for french companies. I had more and more job but I deeply wanted to create my own product so I did it with Notioneverything.com, a platform for every Notion lover.
I’m a huge user of Notion but it hard to find good inspiration. So I was looking on Reddit and FB group to find duplicate templates, add-on, and more. And at some point, I was like “It would be so helpful to have a platform where you can find all of these without looking everywhere”.
So I created an MVP in one day on Webflow for my landing page, Airtable as my database and Integromat to connect all of this.
I started with this stack basically because I know Webflow really well. For Airtable, it was easy to use and answer perfectly to my need. Integromat was the most difficult one but Zapier is too expensive. Gumroad was great to start affiliation with. I love Loom to create video easily (I used it every day for my freelance job).
I just try it! I found awesome Notion template and I said to the creator “Hey, would you like to share it on my platofrm? And maybe get paid for that”. Some of them were like “looks like a good idea!”.
So, for the pricing, you just need to try and you would see how people react. And always ask your community what they think!
VG: It has been really effective when I launched it. I received more than 1000 emails in one week. People love to receive free stuff. It’s awesome to start with but you need to understand that it requires a lot of time to create a newsletter. I did the mistake to stop during 2 months this newsletter. Now I’m starting again but god, it hard to find a good balance between what people are looking for and how much time you can put on it.
Follow up: For the newsletter, how much time are you dedicating to preparing the content for the newsletter and how often are you sending the newsletter?
For my newsletter, I’m dedicating at least 1 hour to do it. It’s not much mostly because I’m listing 3 new templates and talking a bit about what’s news on the platform. I’m sending this newsletter once a week.
Note from me (Michael): This is something that I want to call out as really important when making a side project. This is a great model to learn from when building your side project.
It is an example of leveraging content to he be used multiple times – the content that he puts into the newsletter contributes to the content that he lists on the marketplace. So while he is building value in his newsletter he is also complimentary work towards his marketplace.
This is a huge time saver and what I recommend to think about how you structure your side project and newsletter simultaneously. Time. is not your friend when creating a side project. You have to do both as a Maker. Build and market it. If you think about it correctly you can leverage marketing for it as building for your product at the same time.
Most people think in terms of blogs or twitter threads. Those are great and have a place. But when you are building something new working to get a sizeable audience the using this tactic is a massive underused one. I used it as a bedrock to my success with Side Project Stack.
Can you tell me more about how did you learn to focus on starting small? This really interests me. For example here you talk a little bit about that. Can you expand upon it? “Here my process: I focused on a specific problem and I create one step a the time things that I think would help me. “
Decided to start small: find a product market fit first. Also because I didn’t want to put too much time into a project. So let’s start small and simple and expand if there is a market answer. I’m on this part now and I’m struggling between building many features for my marketplace or just simply improving the existing ones. I decided to focus on the second option. It’s much easier to maintain as a solopreneur and also I’m afraid to saturate my brain with this project and leave it because it’s too much. For a marketplace, I think, it also needs time for SEO and reputation to take place.
Stop to create tools/services for others no-code users. They have no money. Focus on businesses which are not digitally advanced.
I think there is a lot to do in Webflow universe. Too many businesses are struggling on WordPress or with custom code. Webflow is perfect to help them boost their performance, SEO and easy to manage.
The community. If you have a community, it’s gonna be sooo easy to launch anything in your niche.
When I launched Notion Everything, the most famous Notion creators were thinking I was trying to steal their work. I talked with them but it’s very hard to get past that first impression.
And secondly, most creators don’t understand that people can pay for their template. It’s my job to convince them that, yes, you can earn money from a passion.
I spent 1,000+ hours talking with 150+ No-code Founders, who have generated millions of dollars with their businesses without actually writing code.
How are they doing it?
I spent years researching and building on what they do. I wrote The Lean Side Project so you can build and launch your product.
I started Side Project Stack to help Makers reduce the time and effort to make stuff with no-code.I launched Get Stackd. A former #1 Product of the Day on Product Hunt. It helps Makers find the best no-code tools to use to make something. It's a 100% automated web app built with no-code.
What's interesting about it? Get Stackd take's the data from over dozens and dozens successfully made no-code projects to recommend the best starting point of tools to use to make your idea. I hope that you try it out. It's perfect for just starting out.Ill be adding more to the no-code space.
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