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A PM connecting remote folks, locally

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Irma Mesa
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Cafecito

A customer story from Makerpad

A PM connecting remote folks, locally

Hey, I'm Irma Mesa. I'm a full-time Product Manager at an education startup and have been working remotely since 2017. I enjoy using my PM skillset and experience to solve everyday problems and today I bring you Cafecito.

When you've worked remotely in the past have you ever had that feeling where you look and it's been 4 hours and you have not stood up from your desk chair? That moment where you realize that you're completely exhausted, mentally tired, and not feeling ready to dive back into work at all? What's been super helpful for me is every week or so scheduling a lunch or coffee chat with another like-minded stranger or networking connection.

Cafecito is for remote workers, entrepreneurs, consultants, freelancers, and creatives who are all working so hard it becomes easy to miss how far away you're getting from human interaction. The more time we cut out in our day to meet with another individual for an engaging conversation the more productive and mentally healthy we become.

There are 2 parts to Cafecito right now. Cafecito local which is aimed to match local folks to meet based on interest or goals, which is only available in 1 city for now. And there's Cafecito for everyone else at the moment which is where I send weekly reminders to meet with someone one. This is to support and engage beta users and to push them out of their comfort zone.

To build Cafecito I took to Carrd. I personally love Carrd, it's really affordable and quick to stand up. I used https://drrrac.co and I wanted to move pretty quickly so I cloned one of his templates (free to use and remix) and carried on.

I knew that I wanted a catchy heading and value prop so that was really important for me to iterate upon and after talking to a number of folks I landing on what I have now for the time being - ""Find local remote workers to grab lunch or coffee with.""

Now I didn't only need a landing page I also needed:
- A way to join the waitlist (Carrd + Airtable)
- A form to collect data (Carrd + Airtable)
- A database to store the data (Airtable)
- The ability to split people who are based in Indianapolis, IN from every other city (Airtable)
- Emailing a personal note/confirmation to each person that signed up (Zapier)

These were the basics and I was able to get this underway in a few hours. I used Airtable to store the data and mapped the field to Carrd using the 'Form' element. I made sure to test all of this manually to make sure the data was coming through to my base.

Then came, okay so after a form is submitted what happens? Well...
1) If you're in Indianapolis, IN you'll receive a personal note from me with next steps
2) If you're outside of Indianapolis, IN you'll receive a confirmation email with an ask to share the beta, update that we'll reach out when we're available in their city and next steps about our weekly reminders to meet someone local.

Zaps came into play to trigger depending on the table that had a new entry. So if the Indianapolis table has a new entry the new sign up will receive 1 custom email and if the ""everyone else"" table has a new sign up they'll receive a custom email.

I did a super soft launch with friends and family. I then started to drop into a few Slack groups. Next is 1:1 outreach! Overall this took 1 day to build but then 1-2 more days of just tweaking copy. Everything I did was after work.

Tools I chose were based on previous knowledge of each tool. I picked them because I knew how to use them and they fit my needs for the project.

~25 sign ups in the span of 2 days for both the Indy and other waitlist. I've only had Google Analytics set up for the past few days but so far I've had 63 sessions.

I love it! It makes all of us so much more able to solve everyday problems.

I'm active on Twitter at https://twitter.com/_justirma. Feel free to reach out to me! Happy to answer any questions folks might have.

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