Hey! What are you working on and what led you to building with no code? Have you got any previous experience of building sites/apps?
I'm working on Koala Rank, a done-for-you B2B content marketing service that serves founders and entrepreneurs who don't have the time to research, write, design, edit, and promote content on their own. Our goal with Koala Rank is to provide an easy path for entrepreneurs to grow and stop worrying about not being able to deliver their message to the right audience. We do that for them. I do have experience building sites. I studied both HTML and CSS in full a few years back and built a few static websites before I started using WordPress for more advanced implementations.
What platforms and tools have you used to build Koala Rank? How long did it take to build?
The core platform I'm using is WordPress. I decided to go with this for a few reasons: 1) I already had some experience with it creating various blogs in the past; 2) I felt confident that I could hit an ambitious deadline with the tools provided by WordPress; 3) You own the website, which is something that's increasingly rare with services like Squarespace where you rent your website and you're stuck paying a monthly fee for the rest of your life. I've also used multiple paid plugins to help me achieve a professional website. These are: 1) HubSpot Marketing Hub which helped me get all the forms and the inbound marketing stack set up; 2) Memberpress which helped me create the pricing page and all the different tiers available to clients (I love it, great product); 3) WP Rocket which made it easy to speed up the website and go on with other things.
How have you gone about growing your user base? What has been most effective?
The most effective way to create buzz for Koala Rank so far has been word of mouth via social and third-party communities such as Indie Hackers or talking with people on Slack. When you genuinely engage with other people in your niche, they naturally gravitate towards your offering and see the difference that it makes in your industry. If you simply pitch your site to strangers, they won't care. So, I've seen a lot of interest from people who are already part of these communities to grow their business but are struggling to do so for a specific reason, which in our case would be scaling their content marketing efforts.
Have you monetised it yet and if so, what is your revenue model?
We just hit our first major client. We work with a retainer model for one-off services and a subscription model for our content plans. The business was fully bootstrapped from scratch and it doesn't bleed a lot of cash so we're technically profitable from day one as long as clients stay for the long term (we'll make sure they do). The hardest part of this approach is finding a point of entry that people are comfortable with (i.e. how much they are willing to spend for a new service that is relatively unknown). From there onwards, it's a matter of demonstrating that we're worth the time and that we're building something great to help them grow.
What has been the hardest part of building, growing or monetising Koala Rank?
I'm going to tackle each part one by one. In terms of building the product, the hardest part was definitely getting the website itself off the ground. It's one thing to know which tools you have to use, it's another to actually bring them together and have them do something that resonates with users. I've always wanted the website to become a hub that we could iterate upon and preparing an overarching strategy for this on your own (I'm a solo founder) is taxing, both mentally and physically. In terms of growing the business, the hard part is implementing a sales process. It's easy to say "I'll go on social media and find somebody who's interested in what we do" or "I'll create a billion blog posts and rank #1 on Google" but it's much harder to find the courage to cold call and email strangers or connect with them on LinkedIn and have them interact with our product in a natural way instead of pushing it in their face.
Do you have any tips on building, growing or monetising a no code product/business?
Don't do like I did. The problem with my approach is that I built the product before there was any buzz around it. Fortunately, I was able to recoup on this, but you definitely want to do it the other way around: create a blog, a newsletter, a Slack community, or anything that has to do with what you do and start inviting people in. Then, as you grow your list of people who are part of this world, we want to gradually and naturally share some news with them, create some buzz around the product, make them feel excited about it. I feel like this is the best way to start a business without spending a ton of money outsourcing tasks and make it profitable from day one.
Where can we find out more about Koala Rank connect with you?
You can find out more about Koala Rank at https://www.koalarank.com/ and connect with me directly on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/ArrigoLupori where I share insights on content marketing and bootstrapping a business from scratch. Thank you for the time!
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