Hey, remember all those posts you might've read about:
Well here's the thing: I might've found something for you. I found it for my Notion Website Builder business, at least.
It will require some grind, but here's why it's okay: you'll see direct feedback pretty fast. And the best part? If it doesn't work, just do it until you're nauseous.
I'm not a marketer. I'm a founder (probably just like you?) who's got tired of spending 5 or 6 digits into stuff that didn't get any users.
'Product-driven growth' is a story that didn't work for me. It works naturally for some, but so far I didn't get it.
So I was back at square 1.
"Oh no, another eBook tactic" I can hear some people say.
Stick with me though — if you're one of those people who don't want to do anything that remotely makes them feel like 'a marketer', I suppose this isn't for you and you haven't had enough scars on the field. Come back to this when you get to my position (spending some nice money on stuff no one uses).
For the rest of you, hi. I'll take it step by step.
In my case, we're making a Notion website builder, as I mentioned above. That means we're turning people's Notion pages into websites.
What's a prime audience? Notion users — checked ✅.
Who else needs a website? Well... people who are interested in personal websites. Checked ✅.
But that's surface level - what about something deeper? Well, there's this growing wave of no-code (✅) which we can ride since... you don't need to know how to code. But it goes deeper.
Let me have a look at those who went this path before: Squarespace, Wix, Weebly.
What's really up there in their navbar dropdowns? That must bring them the most money, right? If not, somebody had to really think hard about what to put on #1, as opposed to #8 in that list (really undervalued trick that I don't see many talk about — the order of links in a list)
Oh, of course: blogs (✅), personal websites (✅), portfolios (✅), etc.
But that might be too broad — who knows. Who's using Notion and needs a website for a specific thing? Ah, I know: freelancers (✅).
Or let's say as well: info product websites. Pretty niche, but idk, so I'd love to be surprised. If you've got an info product, you might wanna sell it beyond just the Gumroad page, right?
So that's it, those are my audiences. People that might one day buy what my product solves.
I kinda cheated. I specifically said 'Airtable list' because I pretty much just didn't want to say 'make something valuable'.
I hate when I see that. Make something valuable - thanks cpt. obvious. That's like saying 'Wanna be rich? Just stop being poor'.
But if we go from specific to wide, it might make sense. So here's what we're trying to do:
Save those people time. Be a museum curator, not the artist. Put together something that is either valuable, or saves them hours of time. Anything that will attract those people, but something that will also actually help them — you don't wanna sell empty shit.
I'll speak about what we've done:
See where I'm going?
I needed all these things. I needed 50+ beautiful or functional personal websites, when I was doing mine. Why? Inspiration, comparison, etc etc
At this step, of course you can go the extra mile and actually make a course, or a mini-product. You'll decide the ultimate balance that all of us have to measure all the time: what I can do VS how useful I estimate it is VS how long it takes me to do that.
I suggested Airtable, but it could be anything. Airtable looks nice, but even Google Docs work. Notion, Coda — whatever website you've got where you wanna put your material.
It might even be a video. It could literally be a YouTube video
I don't know if you know this, but titles make up 50% of the piece of content. YouTube, blogs, etc.
That's why clickbait is a thing — because it's 50% of the video. The other 50% is the hours editors spend on making the thing.
In our case, the 50% will be the presenting tweet (which I'll cover in step 2.2).
In step 2.1, I'll take this chance to show you the 'stack' we use, but once again you can go your own way:
On Gumroad, so far it looks like this:
"Wtf?? $19??? Yo?!?!?! I thought this is free?!?!?!?!?"
Yes, it is.
I'll get to that in a sec.
On the product page, I make a nice screenshot (doesn't matter that much, as this won't be circulated on Gumroad itself, I think), and I set the price to $19.
In the 'redirect URL', I put there the link to the Airtable.
Make sure you put the correct link, meaning the 'public, share-able URL. To do that, click share:
Then click the right-hand-side option "Base", then do your thing in 'Shared base link' the section: click on 'create a shared link to the whole base' → "private read-only...."
Copy that link the pink box. To test that it works, open up incognito mode — if you can see it, so can other people.
Put that link into Gumroad's 'Redirect URL' and you're good to go.
Then I embedded the Gumroad embeddable on our website, but you can simply send people to Gumroad and that'll work just fine.
Don't bother about 'piracy' — who gives a shit. Some might share the URL without giving you the email address. Some will even try to sell for $$$ what you've worked for.
That's fine. That's not our mission, and it detracts us from what we're doing.
Now, why $19?
It's my personal preference, mainly, but also opening yourself up to serendipity.
Here's the thing: Gumroad, for some strange reason, doesn't allow you to set the price to $0. They used to, but not anymore. You can only have "$0+".
What that means is: people have an option to input what they consider a fair price. So they have to go through the cognitive load of typing in '$0'
So if you're getting something for free, you, as a user, gotta put in $0. That feels cheap — the list feels cheap and I feel cheap fro getting it for free, when I could 'pay to support the creator, blah blah'.
Personal opinion? Fuck that.
I've just added $19 and decided to give everybody a 100% coupon code — this way, it feels (as a user) like you're getting a deal. Like you're getting early access for free, when others might have to pay. And who knows?
That's what I call a jiu-jitsu: flipping something upside down to reframe it. Not a big jiu-jitsu here, but I can tell you I've gotten more love message from people, compared to what I got when they had to add in '$0 😑😑😑😑':
And we've even been asked if we accept any interns right now.
The most beautiful part?
Some people want to support this:
That's right, 3 people were kind enough to want to pay the full $19, simply because they wanted to support more of this.
I can guarantee you that it's more than we would've gotten, if we were allowing people to simply type in their price. That's a few coffees, so... hey! Pretty cool! Hope you'll get some as well☕
Once again: the packaging is 50%.
In our case, that's the tweet. Here's where skill, testing and persistence will pay off.
You will want to make this tweet as attractive as possible. Here's where we hit it out of the ballpark:
Here is a successful one (but not a moonshot like the previous one):
And here are some mediocre ones. Still hundreds of comments, but no viral effect. Still good tho!
Feel free to draw inspo from them. But what you want to keep an eye on is:
As you've noticed already... you'll want to ask people to comment if they want it. What this does is two-fold:
You will want to DM them individually, so you can send them the link and whatever info you want. Here's the message I DM to people:
Hey, so the list can be found here (https://www.simple.ink/resources/successful-info-products). Ignore the $19 price - if you add ‘_______’ at checkout (as a coupon), and it’ll be free!
P.S: I’d LOVE it if you could link the link above (http://simple.ink) anywhere 🧡 Twitter, but more so a website!!
Notice that? The P.S? That, right there, might turn out to be the most valuable thing.
If people do link your resource, that right there is a way to scale up 'backlink building', if you're into SEO. If not, the basics are: the more (good, high quality) domains link to yours, the better rating you've got for your domain.
A domain with a good rating is like the wave that rises all the ships. In our case, the ships will be any article/page/etc you make on your website. It's deeper than that, but those are the basics.
In the conclusion, I'll recap everything you're getting from this move, besides the SEO benefit I've just mentioned.
What happens next is: people are gonna comment → I DM them.
Some people don't have their DMs turned on. For that, I just create a keyboard text shortcut (here's how to do that) so that if I type 'nodm', this pops up:
Can't DM you :( Mind DMing me so I can reply with the link?t DM you :( Mind DMing me so I can reply with the link?'
Here's something that I've had to learn for myself which will save you some time and wasted potential.
IF the post goes viral, you'll have a lot of DMs on your plate. Two options:
Here's the thing: not everybody will have seen the second one. But that's now going on by itself. So for those who do see it, that's effortless for you 👍 Great success.
For those who comment afterwards → just DM them. Leave nobody behind.
And for those who commented before this → DM them too. Very few will be able to see the reply comment.
Stack as many of these 'combos' if you feel adventurous or if you want to go 'pro mode'.
I'm not too sure, but I think Twitter limits about 30-35 DMs per hour. You'll get a pink message box when that's the case, with Twitter telling you that the message was not sent.
Just stop there and don't spam. You don't want to get banned, obviously. But overall, so far this is all consent-based, so that's good.
What I can recommend is switching up the message when you can - add the recipient's first name, switch the message format, etc. This way you're getting more protected from the Twitter hammer. I haven't heard of anyone doing this getting banned, but I thought it's worth sharing my 2 cents on this.
I won't insist too much here, as it's all common sense: don't spam people, don't be shady, don't sell email lists, etc. My advice for making the most out of it:
Let people know that adding a custom domain to your Notion page is possible for your personal website (and not that you've got Help Center templates — they don't care about that. You made something for them because they were looking for personal websites!
Whow, that was a mouthful. So to conclude, if you're doing this, you'll be getting:
To end, here's how I can take this one step further for you with more value:
I'd love to share these with you, if you'll want to share with me your email. It's free — and I'm trying to practice what I preached in this article.
A bit meta, but I hope I've earned your trust so far.
Re-read the "After the email list is built" section if you've got trust issues regarding what I'll do with your email. I aim to practice what I preach.
So if you want these extra goodies, the 'Director's Cut', get it here and add 'NotionWebsiteBuilder' as a coupon for 100% free
— Peace out, Ch Daniel ✌️
P.S: If you've got a 'lead magnet' (apparently that's how marketing people call these?) that is SUPER GOOD, DM me and I'll put it on our Resources page. You get to keep your $$$ from people, we get to have a nicer goldmine.
UPDATE (2 Oct 2021): I've mentioned earlier backlinks. I'm stilll figuring backlinks out, but we've got these many new backlinks, from this technique explained above.
Ch Daniel is the co-founder of Simple.ink and chairman of the CH Group. Daniel is leading the development of new products of Simple.ink, as well as strategising how else the company can reach its main mission: empowering 1M+ people to build using simpler no-code tools.