Growing Audiences and Helping No-code Startups with Jens Lennartsson
Hi there! Who are you and what’s your background?
I’m Jens Lennartsson from Sweden and my newsletter is Make&Market. I started my career as a travel photographer/journalist and spent 12 years traveling around. Now I help no-code startups to market themselves and grow their audience. My main service is coaching and consulting, together with e-books and courses.
What’s your newsletter about?
Every week, I make a deep-dive into one growth marketing trend. I find success stories, talk to the people who did it, and give the exact steps to do it yourself. I want to help makers and founders to understand how they can grow their business without a huge marketing budget.
The very first trend I wrote about in Make&Market was “Permissionless Apprenticeship.” By re-purposing the content of someone else — someone with a large following — you are hoping that they will share your content, by retweeting it to their following.
That way, you can get tens of thousands to see your stuff.
When did you get started writing your newsletter? What motivated you to get started?
I’ve had my personal mailing list for over a decade. I started it for my photography business, pairing it with my blog, The Zen Photographer. It slowly started to pivot towards how to market yourself as a photographer or creative, until it became all about marketing.
Writing has always been something that I love and that's come easy for me. I’d choose email over social media any time — with email there’s no algorithm preventing people from receiving what I post.
I blog at jenslennartsson.com, and besides Make&Market I send a weekly curated newsletter about Vanlife at vanlife.buzz. We are also about to launch a weekly email for RabbitRabbit.io — a referral tool that you connect to your newsletter and it’ll give your subscribers different rewards for referring new subscribers to it. This is a product I’m building with Michael Gill from Nocode.Coffee.
What does the process of writing your newsletter look like for you?
I have a long list of topics I want to cover; cross-posting content, content stacking, minimalistic landing pages, 3-tier pricing etc.
Whenever I run into something that could fit in one of the issues, I add it to that specific episode in my Notion database.
Each week, I pick one and start searching through a list of resources (Indie Hackers, Reddit, Google, RSS feeds) to find examples of what I’m writing about.
I reach out to people on Twitter, read blog posts and articles. I usually end up with an enormous amount of information that I then trim down to an easily digested email. All in all, it takes around 10 hours per email.
What do you do outside of writing your newsletter?
I work with no-code startups and entrepreneurs to help them organize their marketing. The most common problem is to automate it, i.e. to set up a system that’ll attract and capture the right kind of leads — without constantly having to do it manually.
The consultant/coaching gigs are my flag-ship product, something not everyone can afford. I also create courses to make it possible for more people to learn the tricks: my ebook Twitter for No-Coders and the course The Startup Funnel are two examples.
What’s your favorite part about writing your newsletter?
I really enjoy creating it. Choosing the most interesting parts and making sure it looks good. I’ve always struggled to focus, but with this I can sit for hours. I do of course enjoy getting replies and feedback.
Do you have a monetization strategy for your newsletter?
At the moment, I haven’t thought too much about it. I want to make sure I’ve got the format and content in the best way possible and after that I’ll start researching different ways to offer subscriptions or selling other things.
How do you grow your audience?
I cross-publish each newsletter on several different platforms; Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Indie Hackers etc. Soon, I’m also about to connect it to RabbitRabbit.io to enable subscribers to share it with their friends.
What are some of your favorite newsletters, books, and podcasts?
I’m subscribing to a ton of newsletters. Way too many, probably. But I’m filtering all of them so they’ll skip the inbox and go directly to a separate folder in Gmail. That way, I can read them whenever I feel like it instead of getting distracted all day.
My two favorite podcasts are Business of Authority, with Jonathan Stark and Rochelle Moulton and The Graham Cochrane show. I’ve kinda grown tired of all the interview podcasts, listening to podcasts that are more like audio books is so much more interesting to me.
What goals do you have for the future?
My girlfriend and I are just starting to build a tiny house on wheels. Hopefully by next summer, it’ll be ready and we’ll have a place to move it to.
Right now, I’m focusing on building up my product and service portfolio, mainly the “passive” part. Passive, as in e-courses, e-books and other services that don't need me to be hands on all the time.
In the future, I’m hoping to be able to focus more on this business during the winter half of the year, spending the summer time in nature, growing stuff and traveling around Sweden and Europe in our vans.