Launching Our Startup Through Notion

We fell in love with Notion the second we started using it a year ago.

We've built and hosted courses on it, we run our company on it, and recently we discovered that we could also develop our initial startup idea on it too.

This idea is something I've dreamed of building for almost seven years now.

While running the agency, and working with hundreds of clients, we began to realize that very few small to mid-sized companies actually track their results from marketing.

And it makes sense, with the metric truckload of 'tactics' out on the internet, and the initial difficulty non-technical people can face when trying to install and understand analytics, it's hard to balance trying to keep a business alive and thriving, with everything else.

And while most of the people in charge of marketing could tell us that Facebook delivered 3x better results than Adwords for example, they could never tell us what exactly they did to get their Facebook ads working that well.

Or what changes to the website actually delivered results, and what just cost money, or worse, actually reduced results.

So by hand we started building these experiment sheets to help them track their journey of growth.

And over the course of a few months at the agency, we had hundreds of them, each one containing an experiment we ran, the goals, the outcomes, and our next steps.

But as you can imagine, having a huge stack of paper, even when we uploaded and moved the process to Basecamp (the tool we used back then) made it hard to quickly navigate and review.

And then we stumbled on Notion and we started to see what this idea could really look like, and the impact it could have.

Here was the first version of our MVP 2.0!

It might look simple, but wow it was effective.

All we did was create a gallery on Notion where we started hosting these experiments.

And to save even more time, we created a template for the info we needed to fill out each time.

This idea was finally starting to take shape.

And while we've used the Growth Hacking tools of ol', they were so clunky and hard to use that no one seemed to want to track anything on there.

This simple Notion tool was already turning out to be more effective.

And although we were getting excited, we knew getting an idea developed can get expensive quickly, so we decided to test our initial idea out as much as possible before spending taking that next step.

And we quickly hit a snag.

While working with our clients, and testing these experiment sheets out, the issue we found was that while tracking the result is one issue, knowing what the next best marketing step should be is another big issue.

Essentially how can you sift through the thousands of 'tactics' out there on the internet and know which one you should do next for your business? Again all while balancing your precious time and resources as a small to medium sized business owner.

So, again using Notion, we started building out these copy-paste experiments which companies could arrange in order of highest impact to lowest impact.

The goal is to both teach people how to grow their business and help them track the results!

And with our validation of these two phases completion, we decided to take the plunge and begin development!

An early look at our dashboard
An early look at our experiment sheets

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This to me was a super fascinating lesson in patience, and doing the best with the tools you've got.

Obviously the Notion sheets were never going to be the end result, but they really helped us figure out what the end results should be.

And at a cost of $8 a month per user, using the no-code approach has saved us thousands of dollars and hours by helping us make sure we are building the right thing!

Essentially we skipped developing our minimum viable product, and could move straight onto building our minimum lovable product 🤯

We can't wait to share this new tool with you!

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Written by Steven Male
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CEO of Hello Mellows. My mission in life is to help marketers have more fun at work. Say hi to me on Twitter at @stevensomething.

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