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Building a productized content service to $20k MRR without code

Scribly

A story from Makerpad
Quick Stats

Tools used: Zapier, Notion, Airtable, Contractbook, Mailchimp, Webflow


Sales: $20k MRR

Build time: 6-8 weeks

Building a productized content service to $20k MRR without code

Hi! I'm Dani and I'm the founder of the productized content service: Scribly.io.

For the last 12 months we've been providing businesses with unlimited copywriting packages, however we've just shifted to become a done-for-you content service covering research, planning and production.

I think the most important thing you should know about me is that I'm *not* your typical founder type.

I have zero entrepreneurial experience. I'm not technically illiterate, but I definitely can't code. And I really never, ever imagined myself running my own thang.

I think a large part of how I got here is down to the doors that NoCode solutions opened for me, which is why I was so stoked to be asked to do this interview and contribute what I learned along the way.

So, a bit about me: my journey to this point is a personal journey; but one that ended up shaping the course of my professional life. About 18 months ago I quit my job without any plan B. I was burnt-out and lost, and I needed a radical change.

I started freelancing as a copywriter during that period, and found that my love of writing came back full force. It was then that I realised that it wasn't *what* I was doing that was making me unhappy, it was just *how* I was doing it.

Fast forward a few months and I found myself at max capacity as a freelancer. There's only so many hours in the day, and I had filled them.

So I got to thinking: how could I scale the service I was providing, without compromising on quality?

That's when Scribly was born. I wanted to kind of bottle what one freelance copywriter can do in an affordable, scalable solution, which I've been refining ever since, helped in large part by NoCode tools.

So, in a nutshell, Scribly is powered in large part by 5 NoCode tools: Airtable, Webflow, Google Docs, SPP and Quickflow.

Until very recently, interactions with customers were fairly manual, but we've just added SPP to the mix which I think will have a huge impact in making Scribly more scalable.

Effectively: SPP is an end-to-end customer portal: customers can login and purchase new product online, submit requests for content, chat with their account manager and also get their final content ready to publish.

We're only just starting to roll it out slowly to test the waters before going full throttle.  But, theoretically, the flow looks something like this:

1) A customer visits the website, which is built in Webflow

2) They buy a product on the website using SPP.

3) Once a product/package has been purchased, the customer can then submit a brief directly in SPP. Previously, we used Airtable forms for this.

4) The account manager will move each brief into Airtable, where it will be assigned to a writer. (The writers aren't integrated into SPP right now purely because of the cost of adding so many extra users, but at some point this may need to change). Writers get an automatic slack notification as soon as they are assigned a task, and a reminder 24 hours before the due date (done using Quickflow).

5) As soon as a new task is created in Airtable, a google doc will automatically be created in the correct client folder, with the right permissions set, thanks to a custom integration that Ricky Charpentier, founder of Quickflow, created for me.

6) The writer will work on the content, and when it's done, mark it as ready to edit. This triggers a Slack notification (again, using Quickflow) that notifies the editor assigned to the task.

7) Finally, the account manager will deliver the content back to the client via SPP.

This is quite a high level overview of a nice and smooth use case, but you can see how the mix of NoCode tools here have enabled us to automate this process almost completely.

There are still parts that could be more streamlined, for example - we still manually assign writers but this is something that could be automated as it's almost always the same writers working on specific clients. Similarly, moving information over from SPP to Airtable is something we could look to optimize, too.

Getting to this point has been a bit of trial and error, and I made iterations as we added more complexity.

For example, the precursor to Airtable was Trello - but that is pretty useless at handling multiple clients. Similarly, it was a chance encounter on IndieHackers that got me speaking with Ricky From QuickFlow. The integrations he's created for me have literally saved me countless hours each week, and it was a totally opportune thing that he  got in touch as he was building his product!  

Best of all? Most of the tools here are FREE. With the exception of SPP ($49/m), Quickflow ($20/m) and the Google business accounts costs (around $15/m).

All in all, I would say it took around 6-8 weeks in total to build to its current form (split into chunks), and so far these tools have enabled me to grow the business to $20K MRR in a year.

"I genuinely think it's going to change everything. People will be able to create almost anything irrespective of how technical they are, which is going to really help to bring more diversity and creativity to the entire entrepreneurial space."

Two words: Big. Fan.

I mean, I can't overstate how excited I am that all these things that used to be closed off and complicated are suddenly being democratized. It's going open the gate to so many cost-effective and innovative solutions that are crazy quick to build.

I genuinely think it's going to change everything. People will be able to create almost anything irrespective of how technical they are, which is going to really help to bring more diversity and creativity to the entire entrepreneurial space.

"All in all, I would say it took around 6-8 weeks in total to build to its current form (split into chunks), and so far these tools have enabled me to grow the business to $20K MRR in a year."

If you have any questions then don't hesitate to hit me up on either Twitter https://twitter.com/dani_scribly, or just drop me a line at dani@scribly.io

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