TL;DR – How Corey used a no-code stack to create a job board for a niche market
Corey is Head of Growth for Baremetrics and has a passion for making side projects in the marketing niche. What’s most interesting about what Corey launched is creating a job board list in webflow that dynamically changes with filters and can dynamically update 100% automatically. What you might not know and learn is how he did it with new no-code tools like Jetboost.io. Find out more below.
CH: By day I’m the Head of Growth at Baremetrics where I essentially head up marketing and sales. By night I’m the creator of a few projects: Hey Marketers, a job board just for marketers, Mental Models For Marketing, a course about marketing principles and frameworks, and Refactoring Growth, a growth marketing course for SaaS indie hackers, founders, and developers who want to reach their next revenue milestone.
I’ve always enjoyed tinkering, making stuff, and exercising my entrepreneurial instincts.
CH: I made Hey Marketers, a job board just for marketers in tech, e-commerce, and SaaS.
CH: “So, basically we’re trying to figure out how to find someone like you.”
I was talking with a founder of a SaaS company who was just opening a position to hire their first marketer.
He asked if he could ask me a few questions about my role, my day-to-day, and how to find someone similar to me who could balance both strategy and execution in a small, lean business.
After telling him about all the things I have my hands on as the Head of Growth for Baremetrics, we started talking about where to post the job for the best reach.
Fortunately, there are so many great places to post jobs today: big sites like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and Indeed. Tech-specific sites like AngelList, Product Hunt, and Y Combinator. Also, remote-only sites like We Work Remotely, Remote OK, and Remotive.
But nothing seemed to serve the marketing community very well. Most job boards in the tech community are very product-focused.
The founder wasn’t sure how well their job posting would reach the marketers they want.
“Man… if I had the time, I feel like there’s something here. Job boards are a great business model and we sure have the budget to find the right candidates.”
“You’re right,” I said. “Thinking about it, I think I’ll build something!”
So I decided that I’d try to build a job board to specifically appeal to marketers and that also allowed companies looking for marketers to have a specialized place to source for qualified candidates.
CH: At first, I looked at some of the turnkey solutions. Then I thought about WordPress and job board plugins. Then I thought about just starting with an email list and a landing page.
But nothing really fit my vision and didn’t offer the flexibility I wanted to deliver on some important details. I really value design and needed something that offered flexibility without having to code changes.
And then I remembered a tweet Ben Tossell shared on Twitter.
It was a gif showing a new tutorial for a job board using Webflow and a few other no-code tools.
I’ve been a Webflow superfan for years and knew that I could probably pull something off from scratch myself, but it’d just take a bit longer than if I had a little help.
And then, lo and behold, a quick Twitter exchange led to Ben being generous enough to gift a Makerpad membership for free!
What are the odds!
I hadn’t done anything yet, but it was already starting to come together.
After following the Makerpad tutorial I started to tweak, personalize, and style it to give it a life of its own.
Here’s how it works:
Webflow is the actual job board, a Typeform is embedded into a page of Webflow to capture job postings, the Typeform sends the data to Google Sheets, and then a Zap sends it from Google Sheets to the Webflow CMS.
It’s rather straightforward if you’re nifty with Webflow and Zapier. As always, it just takes some patience and trial-and-error to sort through the nuances.
And just like that, I had a functioning job board!
Afterwards, my friend Chris Spagnuolo offered to create a custom search function since Webflow doesn’t have a good on-page search function. That little snippet of code went on to become Jetboost!
And then the final piece of the puzzle was Convertkit to handle the email automations and newsletter, which I already knew I’d use since I wanted to use it for other future projects as well.
CH: A job board has the classic “chicken or egg” conundrum since traffic and job postings are interdependent. No job postings = no traffic. No traffic = no job postings.
But it actually isn’t so black and white.
Every marketplace model always starts with the supply side, whether it’s filled artificially or for real. For Uber, it was drivers. For TopTal, it was developers. For Hey Marketers, it’s job postings.
So I began backfilling the site with open jobs from the last 3 weeks. Many employers only have a hiring window of 4–6 weeks and I figured that by the time I launched the oldest jobs would be just about to expire. One-by-one, completely manual, I entered over 100+ into the Webflow CMS.
It took me a few days, and I don’t think I would’ve survived if I didn’t have Parks & Rec playing while I did it, but it got done.
And now that the jobs were there, the site was built, and everything was functioning, the clock was now ticking.
Every day that I don’t launch is another day that the jobs get older and less interesting. Every day that I don’t launch is also another day I wait to actually make money from this project.
This pressure is good because it forced me to launch earlier than I expected.
I kept adding job postings manually when I saw them to keep the flywheel going because I knew it was key to driving traffic and building momentum but MAN is it difficult.
I’m glad I had the foresight to do this because while it was really difficult, I think it also helped launch and become a self-sustaining “marketplace.”
CH: Something unconventional I decided to do was to make the job postings a “pay what you want” model. Essentially, when a company posts an open job, they can choose how much they want to pay.
I did this originally because I felt like it wasn’t fair to make companies pay a lot when I didn’t have a lot of traffic yet and also figured it would get more companies to post jobs, which would help me launch it and build momentum.
I’m REALLY glad I did this because it’s given me a ton of price points that will eventually help me determine what a fair market rate will be going forward.
I’ve seen companies pay $1, $299, and everything in between. But now I have lots of data to see what people think is fair, which I wouldn’t have gotten if I had just made it free, charged $1, or even tried to charge a larger amount from the beginning like $200.
It’s really important to test pricing in the beginning, and I’d highly recommend testing a “pay what you want” model if you can pull it off and is a good fit for your project.
CH: You can find Hey Marketers at heymarketers.com. My personal site is at coreyhaines.co. I tweet pretty often and you can follow me @coreyhainesco
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