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No-Code Go To Market

I wasn't expecting this post to come out so long, I feel like it’s still rough around the edges so I
No-Code Go To Market
By Aron Korenblit • Issue #16 • View online
I wasn’t expecting this post to come out so long, I feel like it’s still rough around the edges so I expect to come back to it/refine it.
If you’re here for the exclusive tutorial, it’s here. I show how to automatically fill in a Google doc template based on data in your CRM (Airtable in our case). It’s also Lesson #7 in my Upcoming no-code automation.

Heyo!
I had the joy – privilege really – of discussing go to market strategy with a few no code startups recently. Some you know, some you don’t.
It got me thinking about what is go to market for a no-code company? How is it different from, say, a traditional SaaS company? Is it really different?
I looked at the break-outs - Airtable, Webflow, Zapier - and those who didn’t quite make it (won’t name those) to try to find some patterns.
The No-Code Playbook (as I see it)
Find an initial audience that loves you
My mom, sad to see me unwed and without children always says, “Aron, you just have to find that one person that loves you”. The advice translates to successful no-code company: you just need a few people who absolutely love you initially.
For Zapier, that initial audience seemed to be productivity junkies – marketing and operation teams tired of doing things manually. I know that’s broad but looking at the blog posts from 2012-2014, you can see a clear emphasis on productivity.
For Webflow, it has always been designers who want to go from handing off designs to developers to building the website themselves. I wasn’t an early early adopter of Webflow but it seems like their adoption grew through designer meetups and community building. Their facebook group is called Webflow Designers.
Let’s be clear, building a product that an audience loves is the hard part. But once you have that, it’s important to distill exactly who uses it and to double down on that audience regardless of how small it is.
Create SEO value through those initial users
So once you’ve got a few users who love your product, logging in every day, building stuff, why not use what they’re building to showcase what’s possible in your tool? How exactly you do this is specific to your company but it’s essential that you leverage the work that users are doing in your tool to your SEO strategy.
One thing I’ve learned is that if you give early adopters a path to showcase how they’re using your tool, they’re going to do it. Maybe not all of them, but a lot of them. Why? Because they want you to survive! And, ultimately, we’re all about bragging rights at the end of the day! You can leverage their work without explicitly cooperating with users. I’m sure Zapier looks at the most popular zaps to guide its blog and generate automatic landing pages.
Some other examples:
Airtable has the Universe a user submitted gallery of bases including (most importantly) what they’re good for. Need a Personal CRM? Guess what happens when you Google it.
Guess who shows up first organically?
Guess who shows up first organically?
Webflow has the appropriately named Showcase page where users’ work is displayed. Imagine being a designer and seeing all the cool websites being built – by designers alone, without devs! – in Webflow. Of course you’re going to sign up! We flow makes it easy to share your work publicly via the dashboard settings. Win for users, win for Webflow.
Create An (Internal) Expert Network
If your tool isn’t simple or you expect that it’ll be implemented or managed by consultants, you can create an Expert Network. Your early users have an expertise that they want to monetize. So why not publicize that expertise to increase referral leads.
I know of a few webflow designers (are we calling them visual developers now?) who get most of their business from the Webflow hire section.
Now if you’re aiming for the enterprise, you should internalize this expert network. This is what Airtable and Tray have done. Entreprise being a different beast altogether, you want a tight feedback loop between product and users only possible via an internal support team.
The Holy Grail: a Marketplace
You’ve got users, you’re leveraging them to create SEO and (internal) experts are promoting and implementing your tool. The holy grail of software is creating THE application your users lives in (and can’t live without).
Now, with a lot of interest comes “gaps” in your product. It’s not that you’re missing core functionality but that there’s an increasing number of use cases you aren’t ready (or want) to satisfy. Entrepreneurship being what it is, someone out there is going to fill those gaps.
Webflow doesn’t support memberships? Here comes Memberstack satisfying that need. Want to migrate your Webflow site to Wordpress? Udesly’s Webflow to Wordpress adapter’s got you.
Airtable’s also got an ecosystem that it does not control. For instance, Table2site (create websites from Airtable) or Miniextensions which is literally a marketplace for Airtable.
Withiut proper support, the ecosystem is shaky: changes in the product could break implementations at any moment. Why not internalize the applications by offering a stable integration route. You promise to maintain a level of stability/integration, and, in return, 3rd party tools offer you a % of revenue through a marketplace. Users will trust that integrations are maintained (win), find your app more useful (win) and you make more money (win). Just don’t go charging 30% of revenue to cut off innovation in your ecosystem as Apple did.
I expect Webflow and Airtable (through blocks) to godown this route in 2020.
This isn’t sequential
A caveat here is that although getting dedicated users always comes first (in my mind), the following steps really depend on your tool and market. Zapier built a marketplace very early (4th blog post) because its core to their product but has only recently created an expert’s marketplace. Whereas Webflow prioritized the expert network to spread the word.
Exclusive Tutorial
Last week I shared part 1 of automating a pipeline from my no-code automation class, here’s part 3 where we automatically create a contract for a lead!
S3 L7 Automating our pipeline #3 Contracting
S3 L7 Automating our pipeline #3 Contracting
No-Code tab dump
Pat Walls talked about automating the creation of thumbnails for blog posts so I went down a rabbit hole. That’s why there are a lot of similar tools in the tab dump :)
Are We Entering The "no-code" Age? | Top Business Tech
No Code API — Build Third Party Applications APIs with NoCode
Placid – Automate your Social Share Images - Placid.app
Auto generate social media preview images | Previewmojo
Bulk Image Search on Airtable - miniExtensions
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Aron Korenblit

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