🗓 Rituals that help #100DaysOfNoCode community grow organically

In this episode of CommunityHub Spotlight, we speak to Max Haining, Founder of 100DaysOfNoCode: https://www.100daysofnocode.com. He walks us through how 100DaysOfNoCode started out by solving his own need and how it gained momentum, the rituals that define the community, and the tools used to keep the community engaged.
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Pramod Rao
June 21, 2021

Max: We've had a few people come through the community that, that have now gone on to do some really cool things.

The main ritual is, 30 minutes of no code learning a day. That's like the foundation and then kind of other rituals are like sprinkled on top.

I really like No-Code tools that actually live up to their marketing as No-Code tools

Pramod: Thanks Max for taking the time.  Just to give you a quick context, we started community hub as a place  to collate all the resources for community builders This includes how to guides tips for community building and interviews from community builders and stories about them.

So thanks for taking time from your busy schedule. Maybe  a good starting point is to understand more about you and how did 100DaysOfNoCode start out.

Max: Sure. Of course. Yeah. Firstly, thanks for putting those resources in place. I think it's really useful hub to refer back to when you're community building. So a little bit on me.

Started 100DaysOfNoCode a year ago at the start of lockdown for many countries in 2020 as a way for me to learn to No-Code. And then as I went through my own hundred day journey, if you will, I saw more people starting it using the hashtag and then eventually turned it into or evolved into a community of sorts.

And that's when I started thinking more seriously about the infrastructure in place how I could facilitate more connections and all that good stuff around community building.

Pramod: Alright. And what made you pick up no-code as a domain? Like why did you feel the need for the community or a hundred days to exist?

Max: Yeah, for me personally, it was very much filling a technical gap. And I needed that technical edge to really bring all these wonderful ideas I had festering in the back of my mind. But in terms of actually why a 100DaysOfNoCode itself should exist, I think, a lot of people that come into the space are generally non-techie. So they lack that maybe confidence to leverage these tools. So really a 100DaysOfNoCode is a safe space for people to, to learn this new skill without any assumed knowledge any judgment and just a friendly environment to kickstart your like ability using these tools and hopefully building businesses and projects as a result of that.

Pramod: Got it.  Maybe walk us through what happens in a hundred days of no code. Like how is it a cohort base? How does the community come together?

Max: Yeah. It's actually not a cohort based thing, which it may be at some point. It feels like it is right for being a cohort based thing, but it's actually a rolling thing. So people can start their a hundred days journey whenever they like and  it all kind of start with the system that we give them. A simple 30 minutes every day rule that you need to learn to No-code every day for a hundred days and share that learning every day. So  that's the formula, that's the system we give you, and it starts with that. And then it's propped up, or your journey's propped up by two things. Firstly, our content that we provide, so workshops and courses and member led events.

So that kind of gives you the knowledge to actually go and bring your ideas to life. But then we give you the third element to it, which is the actual accountability and support to get you over that line and take that knowledge and make it something. So that's where the community comes into play.

Pramod: Got it. Nice. And in terms of how does the community help in  driving towards outcomes, walk us through a couple of stories from the community of what they were able to accomplish through this community.

Max: Cool. Yeah, absolutely. So we've had a few people come through the community that, that have now gone on to do some really cool things.

There's someone called Doc Williams who is a content creator and started out in the community and did his hundred days basically just wanting to start a YouTube channel around all the cool stuff he was doing. And now he's up 5k subscribers on YouTube and he's helping lots of other people now learn to know code and building a business around that.

And then another sort of example of how the community has helped is simply just bringing co-founders together. We have members that collaborate on projects, but we also have a project that was called the follow-up where four co-founders met through the community. So that's just an example of the power of being amongst  like-minded people really.

Pramod: Great! And I know that, a part of the community is also about masterminds and the community coming together in smaller groups and learning from each other. And that also led to you creating Hive. So what are some of the rituals that define 100DaysOfNoCode?

Max: Cool. Yeah so as I said, like the main ritual is, 30 minutes of no code learning a day. That's like the foundation and then kind of other rituals are like sprinkled on top. We have weekly masterminds of smaller five to seven group members that keep each other accountable, problem solve in those groups. And just generally keep up that cadence of learning momentum.

So that's one key tenant that we have alongside other smaller things like in Slack, we have Monday mission. People just share in a thread what is their mission for the week? And then that is tied off quite nicely with every Friday we have feedback Friday. Someone drops a link to any project that they've been working on that week to get some feedback on it. So it ties off that loop if you like. So there's just a couple of the rituals that we have.

Pramod: Got it and coming to engagement in general. So two things, one is , when you started out, how did you end up acquiring your first customers? Because zero to one is always the toughest part. And second is how do you drive engagement today? The journey would be great to know.

Max: Cool. Yeah, we we're fortunate in the sense that we have a reasonably organic growth mechanism in the 100DaysOfNoCode hashtag itself. So people share every day and that's obviously seen by their networks and their networks.

But as that was a really good early source of traffic and new members at the start and it still is. But now we've turned to, or will be turning soon to more content focused stuff. Interviews with members And just highlighting like the spotlighting, all the cool stuff people are making in the community as a driver for for more, incoming leads and sort of new members.

Pramod: Got it.  Essentially a way for showcasing what each member is doing and that helping them drive more creation and I think it'll also help you acquire new customers. . Going back to mastermind , tell me a bit more about Hive and what led you to start Hive and how is it helping scale a 100DaysOfNoCode for you?

Max: Sure. Yeah. So I smile cause it's still painful to this day in terms of running masterminds in the a 100DaysOfNoCode community. We haven't quite released hive just yet. So the process at the moment is when they join, each member has specific time preferences that they can only attend to, and then we only have a specific pool of available slots that people can join. So it's very much like a time zone Jenga allotting those members to the right groups.

And at the moment it's a really manual process. I'm looking between different spreadsheets and thinking, okay, cool. This person can just fit into here, but this person actually at the moment, there's not a slot for them. So I'm going to need to reach out and tell them, look, we haven't got a slot for you.

We'll let you know when we do. So all of that is quite manual and will become more when there's an increase in the amount of members. Where Hive kind of sits into that is firstly, taking the headache away. The algorithm will just automatically a lot members according to their time preferences and other variables. Great. So that's like a big headache at least removed from for me. And then the other thing which makes communities or will make communities more scalable is the the assignment of members to actually run masterminds themselves. So Hive will assign automatically members in a round robin like way to run their own masterminds.

So that means I don't have to be there. And the last kind of piece in the puzzle there is okay. But then now the community manager, me, is blindsided to not knowing what the hell is going on in each mastermind, which isn't great. The last bit in that puzzle is Hive actually tracks feedback, et cetera, from each member from every mastermind.

And from that data, a community manager will be able to like, understand - we've got 10 masterminds here, this is the best performing one, this is the lowest performing one, let's intervene in whichever way they want to. Yeah, that's a quick summary.

Pramod: Awesome. Looking forward to the launch of Hive and whenever we plan to do masterminds with an audience we'd love to explore it as well.

We have time for a couple of more questions. One is, what is your community tech stack that you use?

Max: Sure, so there's some fundamental ones. We use Slack for our messaging and all that good stuff.

We of course use Zoom for a lot of calls and masterminds. And then we use Softer.io, which is a no-code tool. It's an unconventional use case. But I'm sure it will become more of a conventional one.  Using it for our landing page, our member portal. So where we host manifestos perks , all that stuff.

And then I actually also have our beginner course in there as well. So hosting a course, that's all in Softr. And then the other one that is slightly more off the beaten track we use is Grain.co which is a way to take highlights and snippets from any call that you have in your community.

So this way, if members can't attend events or anything like that you can take out the best bits from them and then share them with any members that don't want to miss out. So those are just like some of the core tools we use at the moment.

Pramod: Yeah. And so you're managing this community all on your own or do you have a team behind this effort? There's quite a few tools and the community is growing, so is it like a one man superpower?

Max: Yeah. I wouldn't quite go to say superpower, but it is unfortunately just me at the moment. Yes.

Pramod: Would love to know what does a day in your life look like managing the community?

Max: Yeah.  I try and optimize my time for working on things that are gonna improve the community. So working on proactive things on the roadmap versus reactive stuff, replying to messages, et cetera. So I'd allot time in the day and the week specifically for more, okay, this member has this request or I need to book in another calendar event, more like admin or low leverage tasks at certain times in the week. And then the more high leverage stuff, like things in my roadmap for bigger chunks of deep work.

Pramod: And last question. So what are your most favorite No-Code tools?

Max: Favorite No-Code tools?

Yeah. Good question. I really like No-Code tools that actually live up to their marketing as No-Code tools. Some are actually harder than they say they are. And I don't think that really epitomises what No-Code is all about. I tend to like tools like Softr.io because it is very drag and drop and block based and Lego-based if you like. I like Airtable, I like Zapier and Notion yeah and that's probably what you'll see me using most of the time.

Pramod: Thanks for those recommendations and thanks Max for taking the time. This was a lovely conversation. Wishing you all the best for your 100DaysOfNoCode journey and looking forward to more awesomeness in the future. Thank you once again.

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