If there ever was a case study to learn from, this is it. With no-code Janel proves that anyone can develop an expertise in something and productize that knowledge into massive returns.
Say hello to Janel! The Founder of NewsletterOS who leveraged no-code to solve a problem for herself when starting a newsletter. She then realized it could benefit others and generated thousands of dollars in revenue.
What stands out about Janel?
I’ll never forget how quickly she burst onto the scene in 2020. She has executed a textbook example of the following so impressively:
1. Build a twitter audience from nothing to thousands in a very short amount of time
2. Generate $30k in revenue from a single product
3. Give consistently great value
I would follow Janel here to really learn how she engages and grows an audience. I promise you will learn and become better at Twitter and giving value.
Check out her full interview below.
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your story and getting started with no-code.
I’m a maker, marketer, writer and community builder based in Barcelona, Spain. I work at On Deck as the Program Manager of the On Deck No-Code Fellowship, curate a weekly newsletter (BrainPint), and create fun side projects.
I dove into the world of no-code in mid-2020, starting with Glide then moving onto building in multiple platforms. I’ve built so many things and it’s all been super fun! The thing I love most about the no-code community is the scrappiness everyone displays and the willingness to share and help one another.
2. Can you tell us about a recent product that you have built?
I’m known for my product, Newsletter Operating System (OS), which is a comprehensive dashboard built in Notion that helps newsletter writers to curate, write and grow their newsletters.
My most recent product is Podcast OS, which I’ve co-created with Josh Kaplan, the brains behind Morning Brew’s first podcast Business Casual. We help others start, grow and streamline podcast processes.
3. What is your stack to create NewsletterOS?
- Notion – where the product is built
- Gumroad – sales platform, payments, emails
- Carrd – landing page
- Crisp.chat – chatbot
- Flaticon Pro – icons
- Namecheap – domain
- Savvycal – scheduling for calls
- Copy.ai – finding copy for my landing page
- Integromat – recording sales via automation
I wrote about this in detail in this post – have fun reading!
4. Why did you want to solve this problem?
I started my curated newsletter, BrainPint in 2020.
I was up against an incredibly steep learning curve as a new newsletter writer. There was no one-stop place where I had access to everything I needed to create, organize and grow a newsletter, so I hit up my good old friend Google a lot and spoke to other writers to learn everything I needed. It was a lengthy process.
I built an Operating System in Notion (initially for myself) to help me manage my newsletter and store all the quality resources I found for quick reference.
Having a dashboard helped me to get organized. I was able to methodically tick off distribution channels (e.g. newsletter directories to submit BrainPint to) and track important milestones.
In the wee hours of a night in fall, I had an epiphany. I saw the opportunity to package it up and sell it as an info product. I had spent months putting all the resources together for myself in my drive to improve & grow my newsletter. Why not give it a facelift, upgrade the content, systems & workflows and put it up for sale?
I decided to name it Newsletter OS. I knew this would help a lot of other writers with their writing, curation, and growth processes. Over the weekend, I worked hard on an upgrade before launching a preorder to see if there was a real need for the product. The response blew me away and I decided to go ahead with it!
- What would you have done differently?
I probably would have increased the price of Newsletter OS a lot earlier on. I had crazy imposter syndrome and was afraid that if I raised my prices, sales would dry up. As a result, I was severely undercharging for my product and leaving a lot of money on the table.
My friends had to convince me to increase my prices. On an unrelated note, having a great community and circle of friends around you helps so much in the journey.
6. Where do you see Makers/Startups/Businesses missing opportunity?
There are a lot of talented people with expertise who are not jumping on the chance to monetize it.
There are many ways you can add value to an audience, and have them pay you without resorting to slimy tactics. Just make sure that what you create helps people to either save time, save money, become smarter or learn better, and that a version of yourself earlier on in your journey would have been happy to pay the same for the product / service you’re charging for.
7. I’ve never seen a Maker go from 0 to thousands of followers on twitter in such a short timespan. How in the world did you do it? Can you share about what are key things you did in this project to generate sales with $0 in marketing?
I built credibility in my niche by giving a lot of value to others, writing about newsletters and sharing my observations with others. I was also extremely active in a number of communities and built authentic relationships with other creators, writers and makers who did lend me a lot of support and gave me a signal boost when I launched.
I think the recipe to Twitter growth is pretty simple – provide value, engage with others, always help teach someone something new. I did a lot of giving before taking. It’s very obvious to others if you’re a grifter who is only extractive from communities. Don’t be that person.
I got most of my early traction from Twitter, which I had invested a lot of time into. I think good launch tweets for info products need these ingredients:
- Headline (What is being launched?)
- Who is this for? (Audience)
- What is the problem? (Problem faced by your audience)
- What is the solution? (How your product helps solve this problem)
A good product will naturally create a viral loop. If people feel it’s worth it, and feel that you’re a genuine creator who can help others level up, they’ll be happy to share about your product.
A quick tip to boost viral sharing is using a tweet intent generator like Share Link Generator to create a pre-filled tweet to help take the friction out of the sharing process.
Hi👋🏼, I'm Michael.
The maker of this site