Recap: Get Set up with No Code To Build Your Product

Recap: Get Set up with No Code To Build Your Product

Last Thursday, we hosted an event on illume hire with Lacey Kesler, Founder of Women in No Code and the Head of Education for Adalo.  Not many people know the term “no code” because it’s only been around for the last three years. It’s becoming more popular though because people are able to build out their product idea and earn income using these tech tools.  No code opens up the ability to create an app or online product for anyone who is not a developer. And during the pandemic, even more no code tools have launched for those of us who don’t plan on ever being a developer.

Lacey said she fell in love with software a few years ago and started out thinking she’d be a developer. She quickly learned however, that coding was not for her and that’s when she discovered no code tools. When she was on a group call and advised them on what tools they should use to create their product, she noticed that the women would send her a direct message instead of asking a question in public. That’s when she came up with the organization, “Women in No Code”.

Lacey walked through different ideas that are possible to create but she emphasized that there WILL be a learning curve. She said it will give people a leg up when looking for a job or when thinking about building a product and creating the first version (called a minimal viable product). Check out tutorials on YouTube if you get stuck on working with any of the no code products you run across. 

"As creating things on the internet becomes more accessible, more people will become makers. It's no longer limited to the <1% of engineers that can code resulting in an explosion of ideas from all kinds of people."

                                                                                            - Ryan Hoover, Founder of Product Hunt

Top No Code Resources to get started:

  • Adalo is a great resource for building an app and includes tutorials as well as templates to try out different scenarios.  Adalo - Build Your Own No Code App
  • Here are some of Adalo’s predictions about the prevalence of no code by 2026. The Future is No-Code Book & Mini-Series | Conclusions
  •  Twitter No Code Experts: Lacey discussed different people to follow on Twitter such as @colleeMBrady - her site, has plenty of resources too.  The Program Director for Be On Deck (a startup accelerator) on Twitter @thisiskp is another person to follow.  She recommended following @nocodelife on Twitter as well. 
  • Ben Tossell @bentossell on Twitter who started (and was acquired by Zapier 18 months after launch) is another site to check out. They have tutorials and a no code course to help tackle your project.

If you’re having trouble landing a job or figuring out what kind of problem to solve, start playing around with some of your favorite apps and then set aside time to think about what is really needed right now. Begin by making something simple like the guy who works for Zapier (an automation and connection tool)

Listen to podcasts like the one Lacey hosts called The Visual Developers podcast. It will give you an outline of how the movement got started and more importantly where it’s headed as it pertains to the future of work. Most of these podcasts have been around for only a year so now is the time to dive in and get familiar with these tools.

Here is the replay of the event. Hope you enjoy it.

Future of Work: Get Set Up To Build Your No-Code Product



Your Network Wants to Help, But They Need One Thing From You

Your Network Wants to Help, But They Need One Thing From You

Last week when I attended a webinar about the post-pandemic job market, I heard a simple but powerful tip. It’s obvious, yet I’d never heard anyone suggest it: Provide your contacts with a brief one-pager that spells out exactly what you’re seeking in your next role. So simple, right?

How to use it

You can use this tool in a general sense, when you are talking with anyone who may eventually be a lead source. Or you can use it in a more specific way, if you’re reaching out to someone in your network who is connected to the person hiring for a role you’d like. To see the power of the one-pager, here’s an over-simplified example of how it could play out. Imagine you’re looking for a role as a UX designer, your experience has been in fintech, you prefer a Series B-funded company, and prefer to work remote. Now consider these two scenarios that make use of the one-pager.

Use case: You want contacts to think of you when they hear of openings

First, imagine you run into an old college buddy and catch up a little. You mention you’re looking for a UX designer job. The typical interaction ends there. But when you have your one-pager, the next day you follow up with an email saying it was great to reconnect, and mention again your job search. You attach your one-pager that details your target role. Then, because you’ve painted such a clear picture of what you’re looking for, when his friend at a fintech company mentions they just got funding to do a hiring round, your friend will very likely think of you because this so clearly matches your one-pager. He’ll make the introduction.

Use case: Your contact works at your target company

In the second scenario, you see an interesting UX role advertised at Acme Tech, and someone in your network works there. The typical strategy goes like this: You reach out to your contact, say that you’re a great fit for this role, and ask her to pass along your resume, which is attached. 

The smarter strategy goes like this: You reach out to your Acme contact and let her know you are well suited to a job listing there. You’d love a referral. You then take the meat from your one-pager (no fluff!) and include it below in your email. The brief copy states who you are, what you’re looking for, and accomplishments that show you’re a fit for the job. You ask your contact to copy and paste this into the body of her email to the hiring manager, then attach the resume. Imagine how much more powerful it would be for a hiring manager to receive this email from a co-worker, spelling out why you’re a great fit, rather than a casual note passing on a resume.

What should your one-pager include? A few ideas on content:

  • The type of role you’re targeting
  • The size or funding level of your ideal employer
  • If you have strong desires regarding remote vs. in-person work
  • Your accomplishments, briefly stated, which make you a fit for the role you seek
  • Your personal mission or values, especially if they dovetail with the type of company you seek (or when targeting a particular company)

One way to think of your one-pager is this—your cover letter, minus the fluff. Be brief, simple, and clear. Once you have this tool crafted, you can then tweak it for any number of uses. While it can be tempting to cast a wide net, the more specific you can be and communicate that to your network, the more likely your job search will stay top-of-mind for those in your network and the more likely their referrals will be more powerful.

(Here’s a replay of the webinar mentioned above, which includes recruiters and coaches reflecting on what they’re seeing in the job market right now.)

Side Hustle Platform Ideas

Side Hustle Platform Ideas

Instead of getting back to business as usual, people have been searching for a new way forward. Oftentimes their new path includes either becoming an entrepreneur or developing a side hustle (or two).

There are so many new digital platforms that enable people to earn a livelihood that I’m excited to share a few more. Li Jin, investor and expert in the “passion economy” is committed to talking about (and investing in) companies that help lower the barrier to entry to earn money. She’s inspired by the possibilities created by the digital platforms that are helping people monetize their unique skills and she shares new products and platforms on her blog.

So yes, it's easier to get started. You can start a newsletter business with a few clicks on Substack. You can start a subscription business on Patreon. You can start a content subscription business on OnlyFans. You can sell things on Etsy. But getting to scale, getting to success, and making it your full time income is still really challenging.
Li Jin

Here are a few tools to make earning money a little less challenging.

Flexible Selling Opportunity: Upcall: Outbound Call Center for Marketing Sales Automation

If you enjoy the thrill of landing business, using upcall might be exactly what you need. Fearless cold calling is involved and you’ll be given a script by the company that chooses to hire you. They base their success on data and the best times to call a potential customer. It takes under 5 minutes to sign up for this platform and people earn anywhere from $500 to $3500 per month.

Matching System for Freelance Gigs: Worksome - Hire and manage your freelance talent like never before.

Worksome connects skilled consultants and specialists with companies that want flexible talent to solve their business issues. It makes companies’ recruitment quick, and efficient by matching talent and skills with a companies’ demand. They screen and gather the best talent in all of the knowledge-heavy fields such as developers, graphic design and digital marketing. It’s easy and free to create a job post. They use a rating system that ensures high quality for both the company and the specialist. Worksome’s digital recruitment process delivers flexible labor smarter, faster, and cheaper than traditional analog recruitment solutions. They also provide an all-in-one solution that takes care of contracts, billing, and payment, so the company and the specialist can concentrate on the work.

Build & Deepen Your Relationship With Your Audience & Get Paid: Norby: A tool to build your brand, grow your community and activate your audience.

Norby was launched in 2020 and I learned more about them on product hunt (which I highly recommend checking out frequently). If you already have an event, how do you get people in the door? Norby solves this problem. They believe that when creators own the relationship with their followers, they are incentivized to build on those relationships and make meaningful content. Platforms, on the other hand, are incentivized only to keep people's attention for as long as they possibly can, regardless of the net effect on people's lives or livelihoods. Norby helps creators and community builders reclaim the relationship with their audience and create experiences that meet people where they are while retaining the control and ownership creators need to survive. Norby is a one-stop shop for building and managing creator and brand communities. It has all the tools you need to get started, from your link in bio, signups, and landing pages to your SMS campaigns and email newsletters. It has tons of integrations and you can use it to host events on any platform, create personalized experiences, track follower analytics, and more. Check out their events here.

Knowledge is power, and knowing your skills as well as all the different kinds of platforms that are available now will not only help earn money but it will also help gain more tech knowledge about these “all in one” platforms. There are several holes in the world right now that need filling. Perhaps your skill set can fill a few of them.

Reviewed & Recommended

How and Where You Can Make Money Testing Websites

Get Paid to Test

50 Profitable Side Hustle Ideas

Why Is No-Code Such A Big Deal?

Why Is No-Code Such A Big Deal?

Yesterday morning I was excited to speak with Lacey Kesler, Founder of Women in No-Code. We met via Twitter because I wanted to learn more about her courses. She’s also the Head of Education for Adalo (a no code platform to create apps). No-code is a method and a movement of programming that does not necessarily involve writing code but instead works with GUI (Graphic User Interface) tools. No-code technology has one objective: to find a way to get the most work done and deliver the most functionality in the smallest amount of time. The most repetitive, manual tasks that take up your time can be automated with no-code. 

Lacey and I talked about how people in technology and startups share no code tools they’re using on social media. Non technical founders “build in public” and share how they’re using no code tools to gain an audience and revenue. Her belief is that the people who are exposed to no code opportunities are relatively small. Even the term “no code” is not familiar for a majority of people. 

Coincidentally, she met with her manager last week regarding the need to expand their audience to people who are life learners who could also benefit from knowing about no-code opportunities. She believes the greater population has no idea these tools exist. To be fair, no-code tools are relatively new and they’ve gained tremendous traction during the pandemic. There are also new products that have launched within the last year. Lacey said she wants everyone to know about these tools since it democratizes the ability to build a tech product and earn an income. Oftentimes people who don’t have a tech background are at an advantage when it comes to creating something innovative using no-code. They’re starting with a fresh perspective and recognize an opportunity, trend or a pattern sooner than people already immersed in technology. It was a great conversation because when I meet people who are passionate about teaching and helping others (especially about earning money), I tend to fall in love. 

“No-code is creating a new revolution in tech (and the world) because it's giving the power of software development to the masses,” 

                           Lacey Kesler, Head of Education at Adalo and Founder of Women in No-Code.

Tara Reed is another leader to watch in no code. While she worked for Microsoft full time as a Marketing Director, she learned how to build an app using no-code tools and created Kollecto, a personalized art app that she was later able to sell. Now she offers courses on how she did it and asks her students three questions in order to figure out what kind of app they should create:

  1. What do you do for work?
  2. What do you spend time/effort on at work?
  3. What alleviates that stress?

Once those questions are answered, she digs into the responses further to gain clarity and figure out if your app idea is a viable product. She has over two hundred thousand YouTube views and is now the Founder and CEO of Apps Without Code, a startup school that offers webinars, coaching and an intensive boot camp. She helps entrepreneurs turn their app ideas into viable businesses. Tara shared success stories from some of her students. One example was a music teacher who sold his app to schools to help alleviate music budget cuts and is earning over $30k per month. Tara emphasized that selling the app to an organization instead of direct to consumer may be a more lucrative option. Your app could also be “white labeled” with another company’s logo on it which would garner even more revenue. 

It is the best time to jump on to no-code train now. No-code is the future. If you become an expert now, you will be one of the most in-demand people in the future.

                               Arun Saigal, Cofounder and CEO Thunkable

Check out the resources below and try out different tools and watch different tutorials. So many people are taking advantage of no code who have zero experience building a tech company. Also, Lacey Kesler will be our guest on the illume hire happy hour on June 17th at 5pm PST so I hope you can join us. Space is limited so please reserve your spot soon. 

Reviewed & Recommended:

No-code represents a huge opportunity, but few understand what it is

Why Low-Code Automation Is The Tech Of The Future Low-code/no-code

Makerpad: Build & operate businesses without code

No-code workflow automation platform I Advantage of using no-code workflow

E1148: Apps Without Code CEO Tara Reed teaches how to bootstrap no-code startups to profitability

Nailing Your 60 Seconds: Elevator Talent Pitch

Nailing Your 60 Seconds: Elevator Talent Pitch

When interviewers or anyone in a position to hire asks, “Tell us about yourself”, many people either wing it and end up talking way too long or they only mention their job title and a few unremarkable things they’ve done in the past. In a workshop I attended recently, the instructors outlined the ingredients for a perfect elevator talent pitch. It’s an opportunity to give brief but powerful information with a few “wow” achievements. In a sea of job applicants and the need to impress connections, being memorable is even more important. Knowing your skill set, passion and the value you can bring to an organization will lead to an elevator pitch that’s natural instead of contrived or boring.

This can also be an opportunity to explain where you see yourself in the future and why, especially if you’re planning on pivoting careers. Explaining why you took the leap into a different field by talking about your transferable skills helps people understand where you’re headed. The first step is to prepare a short pitch about yourself that outlines three talents and ties them to the proof of your accomplishments. Keeping it to three skills is one way to keep it short and memorable. Second, practice it several times before your next interview. Try it on someone you know and see what their response is to it. My friend, JoAnne, was able to tell her elevator talent pitch to someone she met on a plane and landed a new job a month later because of her career storytelling ability. 

6 Steps To Create Your Highlight Reel:

  1. Write It Down: Kerri Twig, a career story coach, recommends setting aside 5-10 minutes a day for a week in order to write out your most amazing achievements. This helps clarify which ones you want to highlight. She also recommends writing your own job description/ad that you want. Keep it to three talents at the most.
  2. Time Box It: Try two versions. One is 30 seconds and one is 60 seconds. It will come in handy when you actually only have :30 seconds to impress someone casually. You may also want to have a few different versions based on who you’re talking to at the time. It will be more relevant for them and because of that - will make you more relevant and memorable.
  3. What’s Compelling? Anyone can say they are awesome but few can prove it. Have one or two lines with the proof. Consider including hard numbers and goals achieved so the other person can visualize how you can contribute to their company or who they’d want to introduce you to in the future.
  4. You’re the Product: Treat yourself, business or product like a brand. What’s the one thing you or your business can offer than nobody else can? How are you different? Think about your unique value proposition and what you bring to the table.
  5. Keep It Fluid/Revise It: Your elevator talent pitch should be a living, breathing thing - just like your resume. As you learn more and upskill, it will evolve and become stronger.
  6. Add A Tagline: Including a phrase at the end of your elevator pitch can help solidify a positive first impression in the other person’s mind.  Examples could be the following:
    • Building X has taught me
    • Leadership has recognized X 
    • I help transform X
    • I’ve been passionate about X

Since your “loose connections” tend to be the strongest in terms of landing a position, it’s time well spent practicing your elevator talent pitch.

Reviewed & Recommended:

Kerri Twig is an expert in career storytelling and has recently written a book: The Career Stories Method: 11 Steps to Find Your Ideal Career—and Discover Your Awesome Self in the Process

Kerri also has a huge YouTube following with loads of content on career storytelling: Land a job without applying | Career Stories Live Episode 10

How to Answer Tell Me About Yourself - the opening line

The Benefits of a Paid Community

The Benefits of a Paid Community

Last week I was at a Zoom event hosted by a popular coach for older professionals. There were over 700 people on the call and she was primarily focused on the benefits of LinkedIn. While LinkedIn is the default social media platform for career information,  I had anticipated the topic of networking and developing deeper connections to be a bigger topic.  I began looking up people on LinkedIn who were on the call and I connected with someone who was also from Portland. During the presentation, we wrote back and forth about the content we were listening to and I said, “I’m surprised the speaker hasn’t mentioned paid communities as a way to network and land a job.” She responded, “What’s a paid community?” If a person’s background is not in technology or the startup world (and if they are not following any of those people), I can understand how they might not know about some of the terminology used.

Although digital communities have been around for awhile, paid communities have been on the rise since the pandemic as a way for people to connect on a national and global level. If you’ve taken an in depth course that includes workshops, live events and an area where people can post articles and respond to one another, you’ve most likely participated in a paid community. In the last year, I’ve been able to network through paid communities with people who are interested in social impact initiatives and building tech for good. These communities provide an area to discuss ideas, share articles and connect when it’s clear we have similar interests and goals and can help one another.

5 Benefits of Being A Paid Community Member:

  1. Provides a private and safe community for members - without any trolls.
  2. Opportunities to expand your network whether it’s to find a job or business partner or someone to connect with about ideas.
  3. Learn about resources that you didn’t know existed through other people who have similar interests.
  4. An opportunity to showcase your talents and thought leadership - whether it’s posting a blog you’ve written or providing a short video course on something you’ve learned that could help others.
  5. If you want a career pivot or want to learn more about a certain topic, this is the perfect way to gain insights about what to read, courses to take and the paths people have taken in order to achieve their professional goals. 

Building Your Own Community

Building your own community is another option. It’s a monthly financial investment and it will take time creating content to include on a community platform.  If you know you can gain an audience large enough for the numbers to work, it’s worth your time and effort. Making sure there are consistent and interesting people who are contributing will be critical. It’s also important to have extra products available within the community such an eBook that’s just for members. Many businesses have found success by testing a community concept (for free) by using Slack. That way, the person who wants to build their own community can gauge whether or not there’s enough interest to move forward with a community platform and charge a fee for it.  If you already have a significant following on Twitter or LinkedIn or even Facebook Groups, consider steering them over to your own community where you have more options to organize different topics and set up live events. As a community builder, paying for a community platform such as Circle or Mighty Networks or Kajabi might be worth it. There are also plenty of wordpress plugins that serve as an online community platform. Here are reviews of different platforms to check out. Building online communities saves time and resources—while being impactful when it’s filled with valuable information that people are unable to find elsewhere.

Direct to Community 

The new “direct to consumer “(DTC) terminology in marketing circles is now emphasizing the importance of a “direct to community” strategy. It’s one way for brands to engage with their audience and provide valuable content while also getting paid by their audience through memberships. The communities I belong to have rules of engagement and explain who they are and why they exist. It’s also a way for people to opt out who may not be a fit for a certain kind of community.

3 Tips When Building Your Community (by media cause)

  1. Understand the purpose of your community.
  2. Understand the rules of engagement.
  3. As a Community Builder, it’s important to be empowered and excited to contribute to the group.

The Benefits of an Online Community for Your Business:

Having a community can elevate your brand and be an additional revenue stream.

According to Software Advice, these are the top reasons to build a community in order for businesses to achieve their goals:

  • Provide a forum for discussion/feedback and better insights about your audience’s needs.
  • It can foster a unique community culture and purpose.
  • Most importantly, communities should provide value to the end user.

Whether you decide to join a community to expand your network and learn or build your own community focused on a particular niche, it’s another way to build amazing connections and help each other with career and life goals. 

Reviewed & Recommended:

How to Create an Online Community That People Will Pay For

Building a Community-Based Brand

How to build an online community (and why I'm all in on Circle)