#6 How a Camp Marketplace was built, promoted and acquired
The story of Maja and Hejcamp
How is everyone’s week going? I have some exciting updates.
👀 Katt's Week
We crossed 1.000 subscribers with No-Code Exits 🔥. Thank you everyone for subscribing, sharing and replying with such positive comments. I absolutely love it ❤️
This weekend I joined the 100 Days of No Code Build Weekend and created this tiny fun chatbot. It helps people who love buying domain names for every new idea, in facing up to the fact that I, ehm I mean them, have a problem 😅.
You will notice some advertisements in this issue. I don't want the newsletter to become an annoying walking bill board. I will only promote tools and businesses that I use or am excited about myself. I hope, like that, it can bring value to everyone. It all started with this tweet.
The interview this week is with Maja Overgård. Her story truly blew me off my socks. She built a marketplace on Bubble and sold it after 1,5 years to the European market leader.💪 Read on to learn how.👇
📣 Cool Classifieds
Do you like to discover cool new tools and websites? I love it! One of my favorite resources is the weekly newsletter of Insanely Useful Websites. Every week new gems in your mailbox. 🔥
We can build anything we want, but without marketing it will result to 0 🦗. This week, I have been doing some actionable marketing tasks from the Makerbox Workbook. It inspired me to try to reach out to people on Polywork and to try to write a guest post this week. Their list of 100 actionable marketing ideas will keep me busy in the coming months and help me to do more than a tweet here and there 😅.
Landmark is a (beautiful!) website that has for every business model (Agency, Ecommerce, Freelancer, …) a highly curated collection of tools, resources and customized Notion templates. I'm blown away by the quality. 👌
🔥 Maker Interview
Hello Maja, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hey, I'm Maja Overgård. I'm a 32-years-old No-Code freelancer and maker from Denmark 👩🏼💻🇩🇰.
I got started in No-Code to launch my startup.
First, I'd have a couple of frustrating months trying to hack a marketplace together on Wordpress, but kept getting stuck because, yeah, I cannot code.
I was almost giving up on launching the platform, when I had a massive Google session with the thought "it's 2020, it MUST be possible to launch digital products easier than writing code".
From there I kind of stumbled into No-Code and I still remember that tinkling feeling of finding this whole space of No-Code tools, cool makers and indie hackers (all of which was completely new to me).
From finding No-Code to launching my startup took me 1,5 months. I was blown away by the power of the tools and how much power they gave me as a one-woman startup. Love at first sight, and I'm still enjoying it so much to be in the No-Code space.
Before entering the startup space, I did 5 years of consulting with e.g. Deloitte and Adidas. When not sitting behind the computer, I love to jump in the ocean and surf some waves (luckily, I live 5 min. from a surf spot).
Which product did you build?
I build and sold a digital marketplace called Hejcamp. Basically, it was AirBnB but with a niche focus on stays in nature, i.e. people could host and book stays in e.g. glamping tents, cabins or find a place to pitch their own tent.
The platform had full functionality of host signups, booking, payment, reviews, management of bookings for the hosts etc.
The idea started when I got a tent myself and realized it was super difficult to find great places to stay in nature in Denmark. The places existed but were all hidden on old hard-to-navigate websites, buried in Facebook groups or through local newspapers.
And from there, the idea took form and I went ahead and started building and launching it.
Which No-Code tools did you use?
The entire platform was build on Bubble.
In addition to Bubble I used:
Stripe for handling payments
Sendgrid for sending transactional emails
Parabola.io for automating a few processes (such as review reminders, payout emails etc.)
How did you launch and grow your product?
To kick-start the wheel of "supply and demand" on the marketplace, I utilized a public database of free, public camp sites. This enabled me to attract visitors to the website, which in turn I used to pitch to potential hosts ("see, I got a lot of interested people wanting to stay in nature - don't you wanna get them to book your place"?)
From there it was a lot of cold calling to hosts to increase the supply side and a dedicated focus on Instagram to grow the demand side.
Why and how did you sell it?
I was approached by the CEO of the acquiring company. At that time, the platform had been live for 1,5 years.
I'd spend 2 months building the very first version. When it launched, it was really a bare MVP to see if anyone was interested. I did not have a host sign-up flow developed or payment setup.
Once the first host showed interest, I build the sign-up flow based on discussions with him. And once this first paid listing was live, I build the payment flow.
From there, I continuously developed the platform based on feedback from customers while growing the business.
I bootstrapped the entire way through and kept marketing spending at a minimum, but instead “played” the Instagram game and ensured high organic SEO ranking.
At the time of sale, I had 100+ listings, Instagram following of 13K+ and really great SEO ranking, which combined made a profitable business.
Why did the buyer want to acquire your project?
The buyer is the European market leader who wanted to expand their market presence and capture market shares. Hejcamp.dk is now closed down and integrated with the Campspace-platform.
What kind of advice would you like to share with someone who wants to get started with No-Code?
Just get started! Play around, experiment. Have fun.
Seek community, follow passionate people on Twitter and never be afraid to reach out and ask questions on e.g. forums.
I've only met super friendly people on my way, and I see that the No-Code community in general loves to share and help others on their journey.
What kind of advice would you like to share with someone who wants to sell their No-Code project?
Make it clear with yourself WHY you started your project and whether that aligns with selling or keeping your project.
I never started Hejcamp with the intention to become the next big boss with market expansion and hundreds of employees. So for me, it was the right time to sell when the business was established and profitable, so I could move on to new projects instead of growing and scaling the business.
Where can we go to learn more about you and your projects?
Today, I'm 100% dedicated to freelancing, where I teach other entrepreneurs to build their idea with No-Code.
Check out (in Danish so with auto-translate😁) my website
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