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Unicorn Factory

Portrait of the maker

Connor Finlayson



Tutorial: https://www.connorfinlayson.com/ncc

Download the slides about making of on that url above.

Mid level
hours to build

Build a revenue-generating marketplace app with no-code and Webflow

What is it:

Unicorn Factory - Hire NZ best freelancers

Maker Insight:

Tutorial: https://www.connorfinlayson.com/ncc

What did I learn:

1. Product Strategy: WAMZ stack. This product is an example of one popularized by Makerpad. Used here as well it is a preferred by Makers who love using Webflow. Honestly you could build this in Bubble and some would argue that it would be better because all of the parts of the stack that you use in addition to Webflow, (Airtable, Memberstack and Zapier) would exist inside of Bubble.

So then why do Makers prefer Webflow? That's a great question. However, what I have observed from seeing many Makers use Webflow I noticed a trend. All invested time into Webflow, were a designer and are familiar with a tool like Photoshop, had some type of technical background or preferred the superior front end and mobile responsive experience to Webflow. That they stick with Webflow, because it is what they know.

When Memberstack came along about 18 months ago, this was a game changer for Webflow users. Because now any pages could be locked behind user accounts and it was all taken care of in Memberstack. Additoinally, Webflow CMS plays nice with Airtable. So you can effectively use Airtable as a database to populate your CMS within Webflow.

The reason why this matters, is because Connor explains that its actually in Airtable that many of his workflows are automated and the business of actually adding freelancers, sending new requests actually happens in Airtable. Not in Webflow. Webflow is strictly a good looking front end that does not house any complex workflow logic.

If you were building in Bubble that workflow logic would exist within Bubble.

Honestly both stacks WAMZ and the tool Bubble are world class right now. However, in my experience talking to new folks getting into no-code taking on Bubble and Webflow is a steep learning curve. And it takes time to learn these platforms.

No matter which platform you go with my recommendation would be to use one and stick with it, also leverage pre-made templates to start, then sprinkle in tutorials to fill in the parts that you want to change so that you can get going faster.

2. No-code tool feature: Airtable - a feature in Airtable that is small but helpful in so many workflows that I observe is the binary toggle checkbox within Airtable. In this product created by Connor he uses it to review new freelancer requests before he sends them. He does this by setting up a Zapier to ping him in Slack when a new submission is made.

Then when he reviews it, he checkmarks the box in Airtable, it moves the record to a new Airtable base and this creates another automation that takes Zapier to send an email draft to the freelancer to review the project.

It's these internal workflows that Airtable is so great at and allows someone to manage the largest New Zealand freelancer base by himself with no-code, no developers, and no financing help to get the company off the ground.

3. Product strategy: Distribution - Using Schema.org + Twitter - I was really impressed with how Connor thought through distribution.

He executes this in two ways that really drive aweareness and value to his freelancers.
1. He used schema.org to create a rich text file for google to scan his database of freelancers. To be honest with you, I have no idea how this works but it appears to be very impactful. Connor shared a screen shot of the google results appearing in the top box position of. a google result. This is gold.
The part that I would like to do more research on is how do you create this and then where to do put the schema so that Google can read it?
My assumption is that this could be stored somewhere in Webflow.

2. Twitter - Connor has even thought through that when each new freelancer signs up, automating the process to posting on twitter. He is able to use Airtable to generate everything he needs to post on Twitter. Connor mentioned that he spends about 2-4hours a week maintaining his marketplace. That is remarkable and world class.

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