Building the product with all the awesome no-code tools is really approachable, especially if you have a decent command of HTML and CSS to take advantage the real power of webflow. Facebook Workplace is actually a great tool for creating a community that people can opt into and engage with. Building a job board with JobBoardSheet is super easy and the product is really high quality.
The real challenge I've run into is cracking distribution. There is a lot of advice about using existing social channels like Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit to find early users. Where communities don't already have a big presence online it is especially hard gaining initial traction and finding repeatable mechanisms to access users!
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.
Helping dentists find great jobs, find great employees, and find practices to buy and sell.
"Building the product with all the awesome no-code tools is really approachable, especially if you have a decent command of HTML and CSS to take advantage the real power of webflow. Facebook Workplace is actually a great tool for creating a community that people can opt into and engage with. Building a job board with JobBoardSheet is super easy and the product is really high quality.
The real challenge I've run into is cracking distribution. There is a lot of advice about using existing social channels like Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit to find early users. Where communities don't already have a big presence online it is especially hard gaining initial traction and finding repeatable mechanisms to access users! "
1. Distribution - Problem, sometimes If there is not a big community online in an existing social channel like Twitter what do you do?
Here is how Brad thought through distribution for his product:
"I’ve set up a workplace instance for my project and then created a group that allows people to join who aren’t part of my domain.
The idea is to use that as a tool to build community with folks who are interested in finding a job and might want to hear from other folks. "
This is a great way to build a community where your audience is. This reduces the friction into them joining your community.
There is a lot to think about when discussing distribution.
Example say for Dentists there isn't a strong community on Twitter? How do you get users into your product? I haven't personally tried to create a Facebook Workplace community but trying something like that sounds like a good approach because likely your niche of Dentistry is scattered through out Facebook, that connecting to them through Facebook is an approach with less friction because they won't have to leave the Facebook platform to join your community.
This can go for Facebook groups, slack channels etc...
If you have to learn the lay of the land in what that group dynamics are like. Sometimes in Slack groups like #100daysofnocode there is a specific dedicated channel for promotion. But often even that might not get the engagement that you are looking for.
I'd recommend you first start with what are your goals and what are your limitations. Gary V. stated in his book #askgaryvee he talks about having to spend 3 hours a day on social media to engage and build and audience. This is an insane amount of time.
So that may not be feasible. Instead a more reasonable approach is to first locate and zero in on one place that has high engagement and one that you feel you could start to contribute to. The problem is you're not going to have time to spread yourself too thin. Not if your goal is to launch a side project. You need to focus to engage enough in one place by adding value and responding to other people's questions in the community, giving encouragement and then also sharing resources that you found helpful (do not share your stuff yet).
The problem with joining other communities is that you know there is a high concentration of people interested in your niche. But the more that area is concentrated with your niche and it's not your audience, it's another community, then self promotion is more highly frowned upon. You likely only have one shot of sharing something at a launch stage like, pre-order or beta or product hunt launch. Then you will have the chance to get good traction because you've contributed and helped people first before you self promoted.
2. Webflow feature analysis - If you have no prior designer or front end technical experience, I wouldn't recommend using Webflow as a beginner. Especially if you have not validated the product yet. "Building the product with all the awesome no-code tools is really approachable, especially if you have a decent command of HTML and CSS to take advantage the real power of Webflow."
Webflow is similar to a tool like Photoshop. Incredibly powerful in allowing you to create custom designs. If you already have this type of technical proficiency then all the power to you! But if you do not, I would advise there are no-code tools with less of a learning curve to create a job board. For example JobBoardSheet or Pory.io are ones that you might want to explore. JobBoardSheet uses google sheets or Airtable as a database. Pory.io using Airtable as a database to house all your job information. If you comfortable with Airtable I'd recommend using this tool because it is so flexible for using with other tools or for other products you might have down the line. Like for example you can apply custom logic and rules within the Airtable base to add your own customizations or information within each row of data.
3. JobBoardSheet a no-code tool - This tool is recommended by Bradley and if you are focused on creating a niche job board, these types of tools are perfect to use for a few reasons:
1. This tool focuses just on jobboards. You can find other tools like Sheet2site.com or Pory.io or Softr.io that have job board functionality, but the value of a tool like JobBoardSheet is their entire roadmap is going to be exclusively focused on building a better job board.
2. Using an out of the box tool helps you focus on adding value on other areas for your audience
3. Using an out of the box tool helps you spend more time on distribution which is the hard part of a job board
Another hidden benefit of using tools like this is they are built by Indie Makers like @matthlavacka. If you have a specific need or request for a feature, in my experience Makers like Matt are very approachable in helping. Especially if a tool is newer in launching you have the ability to be one of the first users you can give input that helps shape the product while also getting features added for your products benefit. This is a sweet spot there if you can catch a newer tool that is just getting started because you can influence what features you need. I don't know if that is the case particularly with Matt and JobBoardsheet because I have not worked with this no-code tool directly, but in the space of no-code there is some opportunity to try new shiny tools.
So how do you know when to use. anew shiny tool or stick with a product that is more established?
When to use a new shiny tool or stick with more established. Here are some general guidelines:
Evaluate four things:
1. Where are your in the stage of validation? Just starting out with an idea to build a job board? what do you know about building a job board? My recommendation is to use an out of the box pre-existing tool that you can use that doesn't require high learning curve so that you can spend more time talking to users and working on distribution.
Most of the time it's best to use tools that you know will get what you need done when you are trying to validate your product.
2. Do you have an established audience yet? If not, you'll need to build that first and while you build the product. If you do not have an established audience first, lean towards using the tool with less of a learning curve. Better to spend time figuring out what that audience needs and what additional unique value you. can provide in addition to your product.
3. Are there features missing from an established tool that you need? Depending on your answers for the first two questions, you will have to make the decision if you really need these features. How closely do these features directly impact your core value prop? Will it allow you to be the only business that has this feature that delivers so much value that people will talk about it and your product will spread because word of mouth? Many times we hear about products needs to be 10X better for people to switch. That's hard to measure and unnecessary when you are creating a side project. Just think about what is really unique or different about what you are trying to build that you will become known for that thing or that people will share it because it is different.
4. Is there a tool that is more niche focused that is more aligned with your goals in providing differentiating value? Like JobBoardSheet I'd talk to the Maker of it. What is their roadmap like? Do they publicly share what they have on their roadmap like Pory.io does? Reach out to the Makers of these products and get their input on the exact feature you need. Many times the Makers of these products will either have a roadmap and if they do will be more focused on building what you need instead of a previous established generic tool. Or they may just be creating the initial concept and not improve it like Table2site. Sometimes it's worth reaching out to see if there is any response at all and the Maker is hungry to hear feedback on improving the product. This is a great sign that creating with this new shiny tool will be less risky.
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