No-Code September 24, 2020

Lessons learnt building a clothing brand for no-code makers 👕

Lachlan Kirkwood @LachlanKirkwood

Hey no-coders 👋

At the beginning of August, I was 2 years into building a product that was gaining little traction.

I decided to take a week off and experiment with another idea. I needed a new creative outlet.

I used no-code tools to build a simple ecommerce store.

I started selling minimalistic startup shirts for makers like myself.

I didn’t have any expectations for this to grow, but in just one month, I got more traction than my previous 2-year project.

As I started talking to customers, I noticed that a large portion of my audience were also no-code makers like me.

Most of them would often ask if I could design custom no-code tees that reflected their favorite tools.

I got to work, spending the last few weeks collaborating with the no-code community.

Today, I finally got to release this project - a collection of minimalistic tees for no-code makers.

I’d love to share the collection with the community, but also some lessons I’ve learnt along the way.

1. Don’t be afraid to find a niche

When I originally created my store, I was prepared to serve every maker in existence. I wanted to cover a range of tees for developers, designers, marketers, VC’s, and everything in between.

As I continue to grow the store, I’ve found that the bootstrapped and no-code community are where I’m starting to focus my time.

Fitting into both these categories myself, I can offer the most value and use my own experience as an advantage.

2. Talk to your customers

We hear this all the time, but it’s so important to actually put this into practice.

As an active Bubble user myself, the original range of no-code tees was heavily biased towards this product.

After speaking to potential customers, I found there were so many preferred tools to include.

Finally

If you’re a maker like myself who lives and breaths no-code, I’d genuinely love to see you grab one of my new tees.

With over 20 happy customers already, you’ll be sure to love the quality and designs of each thread.

You can check out the full no-code collection here.

  1. 2

    Lachlan,

    Great brand and idea... I have been seeing this around twitter.... I had a similar idea and did nocodemerch.co but I think your site is better lol.

    How do I redirect my traffic to you and become an affiliate?

    1. 1

      Love what you've built so far. I initially used Teepring as well when I got started.

      Did you gain any traction with sales at all?

      I'm currently working on mapping out an affiliate model, so would love to get in touch once I've got something ready.

      1. 1

        Thanks... you're site is awesome ... I think it is the maker standard tees. I will be buying mine soon

      2. 1

        No traction yet re: sales but at the same time haven't done much promotion or marketing.

        You should check out nocodeaffiliate.com

        1. 1

          Let me know if you buy a tee, would love to see a photo of you rocking it!

          Your store will be a great revenue stream as No-Code Makers grows. Once you have an audience, it's easier to gain traction with Teespring.

          Will definitely check out no code affiliates. Thanks for shooting that through.

          1. 1

            Thanks a lot for that... it's what I thought the audience from nocodemakers would do as well.

            Your article on validation just blew me away, that's exactly where I am in my mental process right this minute. I wont take another step forward or spend another dime until I have validation.

            It's why I wrote Upvoted.io

  2. 2

    Gratz Lachlan, how did you get the store in front of the first pairs of eyes?

    1. 2

      Thanks Martin!

      So far, it's largely been through my own personal brand. I've been building products for years and actively sharing the process.

      I've managed to build a small following on Twitter which helped me gain some initial traction.

      Would always recommend building in public as often as you can.

  3. 1

    Hi Lachlan,
    Congrats on your launch.
    I've had a similar idea for almost a year now, never acted on it :D
    I bought the name nocodegear in 2019.
    Do you only sell T-shirts?

    1. 1

      Thanks Nadia, appreciate it.

      This first release was just shirts, but I've got a few other items coming out soon.

  4. 1

    Love the tshirts and the minimalistic designs!

    1. 1

      Thanks! Would love to know if you'd consider buying one.

      If not, it'd be great to know if you'd have any feedback on how I could make the product better.

  5. 1

    Love the merch!

    The Flexbox one is my favorite :P

    1. 1

      Thanks mate!

      Would love to know if you'd consider buying one? If not, it'd genuinely be helpful to get some candid feedback on any objections you might have.

      I'm still in the process of growing, so any feedback would be valuable!

      1. 1

        Hmmm... not at the moment, but will definitely suggest it to my friends :)

        1. 1

          Appreciate it!

          Would love to know if you'd have any suggestions on how I could improve the product - whether it be pricing, adding social proof, etc

          1. 1

            I think the product itself looks great - nothing to change their.

            I would try to do some A/B testing on prices and find the sweet spot :)

            Other than that, I think it’s great. Best of luck!

            1. 1

              Awesome, really appreciate it!

  6. 1

    I like these t-shirts! very nice!

  7. 1

    So cool! How do you go from logo idea to actual shipped t-shirt?

    1. 2

      Thanks! As I mentioned, I try and involve potential customers as much as possible throughout the process. Their insights are feedback are essential.

      As for the logistics, I use Canva to design the logos, Printful to handle shipping and deliveries, and Shopify to host the store.

  8. 1

    Good stuff! I've dabbled in eCommerce clothing as a side hustle too but didn't have much luck. It's just such a hard market to penetrate. Good work on picking something very specific so that it's easier to target!

    1. 1

      Thanks. Having an audience-first approach is helpful.

      Most ecomm stores do well if they already have a userbase to sell to. I've been fortunate to have a small following on Twitter that's helped with initial sales.

  9. 1

    Looks pretty interesting, have you seen any traction (sales, etc.) by now?

    1. 1

      Cheers. I've had $550 in sales to date with about half of those coming from no-code related tees.

      It's slow progress, but I'm looking forward to growing.

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