#2 How Mathilde went from recruitment to growing her own product 😎
The story of how Mathilde started her own web3 job board
Hello and welcome to issue #2 of Indie Insiders ⚡️
18 new subscribers have joined us since the last issue, and it’s starting to get pretty crowded over here— we might just have ourselves a little community 🥲
Today’s interview is with Mathilde, an indie hacker from France, but living in Portugal. She’s building Woody3.xyz, a platform to help the next wave of non-technical talents transition into web3.
Let’s get into it and learn more about her indie hacker journey 👇🏽
👋🏽 Hello, Mathilde! Nice to meet you 😁
What’s your backstory?
In the past, I co-founded a recruiting agency and helped fast-growing startups hire senior-level talent. I built a team of +20 people. It was my first entrepreneurial experience building from 0 and loved it!
After 5 years, I decided to move on because of 3 main frustrations:
It was a service-based business, meaning that to scale we needed to hire more people.
I ended up managing people and clients all day while my favorite topics were product and marketing. I felt on the sidelines watching my clients build great products. I wanted one thing: build the product with them! 😄
Finally, I was obsessed with creative roles such as designers, animators, game artists, and companies like Pixar, Procreate, and Figma. I was so far away from this world.
My question from there was— how do I go from a recruiting agency to more of a creative company?
I had the opportunity to join a gaming studio and manage the zero-to-one talent acquisition but also work on studio branding. While I was still on the recruiting side of things, I got closer to the product!
How did you get into indie hacking?
I was a lurker for a while but always wanted to build my own “product” skills. I spotted the perfect opportunity while freelancing for the gaming studio. We were launching a new game, and I was looking for top talent to join us!
Web3 was new, and exciting but messy and I struggled to find non-technical talent. Job boards are always built by tech founders, so they rarely target non-techs like me! That’s why I decided to build my own site. So with that in mind, I joined a 30-day build challenge with Women Make and shipped the first version of the job board 🚀
I talk more about my 30-day build challenge in this post.
What challenges did you face in the building process?
I first needed to get validation, which wasn’t too hard for me because I could leverage my existing network.
I did around 6 calls and felt confident with my decision for 3 reasons:
Companies and recruiters are always looking for new ways to advertise, meaning that they have the budget.
Linkedin works well but it’s too broad, if you’re niche enough, you have your chance.
A job board was the perfect product (easy enough) for me to learn how to build. I found the right tool to build it with Softr.
I later realized that the main challenge wasn’t building, but growing the job board. I now find myself spending a lot of my time learning about marketing, SEO, and testing a lot of things.
Shipping the first version as fast as possible is the easy part.
Increasing traffic is by far the hardest!
What was your main focus for this project?
I didn’t have much time to work on it because of my freelancing work, but once I had a testimonial and a few leads reaching out— I slowly reduced my days freelancing to spend more time on woody3.
First, I focused on building the MVP with Softr, it was great because the tool gave me a lot of constraints. Then, I started promoting a lot on Twitter, Reddit (etc) and slowly realized how organic search was essential to growing.
How did you launch your project?
I did a series of mini-launches on Linkedin, Twitter, Polywork, Reddit, and Indie Hackers. I realized how important it was because even if you don’t get comments, you might still gain traffic or even backlinks! Launch quickly and often!
All this feedback can help create more awareness around your product, which is what I hope to leverage for my Product Hunt launch (coming soon!) 😎
It’s hard to launch all the time, but it’s an important skill to develop and I go into more detail about this in my blog article.
How do you celebrate your wins?
I have a Notion page where I keep all of my wins and positive feedback. I love to look at it whenever I have a down moment and it helps me feel better and keep the momentum up.
What’re some unexpected lessons you’ve learned?
There are 3 lessons I learned in this process:
It’s really hard to go from a service to a “product” mindset. Do things that don’t scale, yes but don’t stay in that mode forever!
It’s not so much about building/coding, but more about SEO/marketing. I wished I learned about this sooner.
Service skills are still 100% useful when building a product as soon as you have to do sales, customer calls, etc.
What advice do you have for someone new?
Keep experimenting with projects. You’ll learn more about yourself and find work that fulfills you.
Every project is a good excuse to learn new skills and find the type of work that truly fulfills you.
What’re your goals for the next year?
I have enough runway to work full-time on my indie projects for a few months. I’m laser-focused on increasing Woody3.xyz traffic and learning all I can about marketing— and of course fully embracing the indie life!
You can follow my journey by checking out my Twitter or my blog!
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