Results & story from my past week of the #3Kin2 challenge (Mostly quotes from Discord + some more thoughts).
Google Maps Automation – Results (Day 19)
Me in #3Kin2 Discord:
I actually have 1.2GB of HTML data from Google searches collected on my Raspberry Pi.😅 And I am only ~10% through my searches..
Just extracted contact data from 1381 HTML files of Google Maps searches. Took ~10 minutes to extract all the HTML data to one CSV (automatically) by using my dedicated script. Result: 27.230 contacts (incl. duplicates) in a CSV-file with 6.57MB😅 Final result: 26.635 new contacts (after dropping the duplicates) in a 6.41MB CSV-file📝
I have absolutely no clue what I’ll do with 26.000 contacts.😄
- kept collecting results ~1150 more searches searches
- expecting another >20K contacts
- still don’t know what I’ll do with it
- crawler/Raspi/service died twice (just started again)
Scraping Educational Institutions
Me in #3Kin2 Discord:
On Sunday evening I’ve build another scraper which sorts ~200 educational institutions in my space (incl. websites) in a neat CSV file.🤗🚀
Similar to the one which I used to call practitioners previously. Maybe this was procrastination.😁 But I think it will help me to keep things organized.☺
I eventually used this data to call the first few institutions and try to build relationships in order to teach their students about building websites.
Me in #3Kin2 Discord:
Just build another script which lists ~30 contacts – scraped from a website of associations – in a similar fashion then my existing cold-call spreadsheets.
Helps me to stay organized.
This was actually procrastination…
The data turned out to stay unused so far, because they are only federal institutions of a single nation-wide parent organization.
I could use this data and these organizations if I am motivated in the long run. But currently it doesn’t seem to be an effective thing to do.
Classified Ads (Day 20 & 24)
On day 20 I’ve tried to build a scraper which posts ads on a classified ads platforms daily at different places around Germany automatically.
I quickly realized that the platforms has quite strong bot protection (blank screen when requested using basic Python Playwright or Selenium bot + Google Captcha).
Since I didn’t want to waste days & weeks with that I tried to find people on Fiverr who could build a bot which I could then extend.
I actually found people who showed proof of work. But I eventually decided that I don’t want to violate the terms and conditions of the classifieds platform (if they clearly indicate that they don’t want bots there).
And in the end I just didn’t want to pay for solution which eventually may not work for me long-term.
But most importantly I didn’t want to lose myself trying to hack outreach.
Instead I wanted to focus on making human connections (hence call associations & educational institutions instead) to leverage my project long-term. I think this is a way better way to go.
Post Ads manually
From day 24 I started to post ads manually on a daily basis.
I focus on the big cities first & alter my classified ads a little bit every time.
I’ve started to build a template. Took me ~3 days although it’s only a super basic WordPress template.🤦♂️
The basic idea is actually quite done. Only the mobile responsiveness doesn’t work as planned yet.
But I’ll figure that out once I have paying customers.
Call with Medical Law Attorney (Day 22)
On Day 22 I’ve finally had a call with the attorney. Result: Super motivating!🚀 He’s super convinced about the idea.😁
Me in #3Kin2 Discord:
Today I’ve had a call with the medical attorney from one of my webdesign clients. And he absolutely likes my idea of building standardized (mass customizable) websites with some kind of a legal guarantee. He’ll check my template and get back to me by next week💪
So far the attorney just told me that he likes the idea that much that he’d come up with a list of things to keep in mind in order to make a website legal. He’ll share it with me and publish it on his website. From his point of view the rules for that are so easy that he doesn’t even charge me for that.
The question is only whether I really want to give a legal guarantee. He wasn’t sure if I am allowed to guarantee legal or if only attorneys can do that.
Therefore the next step for us is that he’ll send the list of tips for legal websites & tell me how we can maybe give a legal guarantee.
I’d love to cut him in if it makes sense. But if it works without cutting him in (if I can get enough trust in the community to sell without even giving a real guarantee, but only refer to the fact that I work with an attorney) – even better.
Before I started to call associations and educational institutions, I tried to do some research about practitioners starting their practices each year.
And initially I found super devastating results. I thought there were only 1500 practitioners in total all over Germany. And only about 30 to 90 new one’s each year.
But this is absolutely lot true. These are only the one’s which are subject to turnover tax.
And only few practitioners are subject to turnover tax.
If you want to read the whole thread including images & emotions in the Discord, you can maybe do that here (if this link works long-term)
Call Associations (Day 23 – 24)
- write script & call
- postponed writing script for educational institutions for ~3 days (until website template was ready & called with attorney) – then decided to start calling associations first
This have been my thoughts/doubts about calling associations on Day 23:
Actually I wanted to call educational institutions. But I also want to call associations to get more info about the size of the market (amount of people who start self-employment as alternative practitioners).
I am not really sure how I can communicate my objective to the associations without appearing like the guy who just want to grab some data to calculate if it’s worth it to build a business there (which is actually just exactly what I want😁).
I need a reason/cold call script which justifies my call and gets the data about the market…
Later on Day 23:
Okay, been busy today writing that script which created my CSV list of associations in the different states. And afterwards I’ve started to google for more nation-wide associations and built another cold calling file for that.
I’ve finished my cold calling script, but didn’t call anyone today.
Feels quite like procrastination. Feels like I rather do the quite comfortable and fun stuff (writing scripts to collect & organize data from websites) then actually doing the hard work (calling people, eventually get rejected & finally be forced to actually build a business and take over the responsibility😱).
But I think it’s good that I am in the process. Since this project should only be one of many ventures in my life, I’ll hopefully learn to act quicker and quicker for every new business.👌
Finally calling Associations (Day 24)
I’ve finally started to call associations:
I’ve basically asked them if they can share total numbers about practitioners who start self-employment.
After the 1st call (& a lot of previous work & postponing of calls) I realized that they obviously don’t want to share numbers & in general only have numbers about their own members – not about nation-wide foundations of practitioner’s practices.
I called more associations anyway, because I hoped that this would be a good practice of cold calling.
And I thought maybe I could get a lucky shot – maybe.
But the most important thought was that this may be a good way to make 1st contact & to put out a few feelers to see which associations are open to collaboration and willing to help even with a difficult concern.
So I rather started to see it as groundwork for potential future relationships. And 2 out of 6 even asked me to send my question so that they could redirect the email to the board members.
This is what I did today. I framed the email in a way which hopefully expresses that I’d actually wanted to find data and called them to find more. I explained that during my call I found out that they also would love to have more detailed data.
I actually shared the best data I found about nation-wide practitioners.
And finally I told them that I hope to stay in touch with them in the long run, because I’d like to support them and their members. And I offered a phone call next week.
So I hope that they perceive this as the giving act which it actually is – hopefully.🤔 And I honestly hope that this helps them. (Because if it helps them, it hopefully opens opportunities.😉)
Call Educational Institutions (Day 25)
Me in #3Kin2 Discord:
I’ve had calls with 9 educational institutions today. Most of them asked me to send more info via email (which I expect to be a deadlock in most cases).
Hoped that it would be easier. But during the calls I also realized that this will certainly not help me to get customers right now. This can be a good long-term thing.
But if I want to get customers now, I need a different strategy.
In general it’s going to be tough to leads for alternative practitioners from the educational institutions now, because they only have exams twice a year (spring and fall). So I may expect customers from April or so if I start collaborations with the educational institutions.😅
But my original idea was actually to get 60 customers for basic websites until April. This will be hard with that strategy so far.😅
So I need a better network. And I can imagine that this project can be a reasonable long-term thing. But actually it doesn’t really make sense in the short-term (#3Kin2).
But I think I’ll at least keep at it until the end of 2022. And in January I’ll evaluate and decide whether I’ll go on there or start over somewhere else.
On the calls I basically told them that an alternative practitioner graduate told me that she would have loved to attend courses about building websites & online stuff during her studies (which is true).
Therefore I just called them to ask if they are actually interested in a collaboration where I give such courses/info events.
That’s basically it. Then they either told me that they aren’t interested. But most of the people on the phones have simply not been decision makers.
So similar game as with the associations: “Please send me a mail with info & I’ll discuss this internally.”
Well, I still got ~190 educational institutions to call, if I decide to go that route. So plenty of opportunities there.
I just want to spent the rest of my life giving talks about websites at different institutions.
Actually it would be great if I could collaborate with the largest institution. And I am pretty sure that I know which one it is (because I’ve called dozens of alternative practitioners recently & there was one school which super many of them mentioned).
And this educational institution is actually willing to collaborate with companies. So you can give presentations there. But(!) they want you to pay for it.😅
So I’ll probably try to sneak my way into that institution by contacting somehow influential individuals inside – make friends with them (in a professional way of presenting my good intentions). So that they’ll hopefully suggest me as a regular lecturer. Or we’ll just directly find a way to build a win-win-win collaboration.🤗
Practice Foundation Info’s – Government😣
During my calls with associations and educational institutions, I figured out that there are indeed institutions which have reliable data and direct contact to practitioners who’ll start their own practice soon.
Public Health Offices
These institutions are the public health offices. That’s where alternative practitioners take their final exams.
The health offices are organized in fractional mini-offices all over Germany and certainly don’t have a central place where I could get all the data or even contacts at once.
In general they’ll just absolutely not share any data with me.😅
Another institution which has the direct connection to my target group are the revenue boards.
That’s where alternative practitioners register their practice when they start.
But the revenue boards are similarly decentralized as the public health offices and won’t send me leads either.
This would actually the super best connection I could get – leads directly from the revenue boards.
Although it’s certainly super impossible: If you have any idea about that – hit me up.😁
Follow-Up Emails & More (Day 26)
Today I’ve wrote the emails as agreed with the associations & educational institutions in our calls.
That way I hope to get in touch with board members & built collaborations with some educational institutions.
Avoiding the smart/hard work?
Here I am. A few steps further. But feeling like having made very very little progress.
I’ve spent huge amounts of time in writing scripts, emails, calling people & still didn’t sell anything or am even near it.
Partner up with Influencers & Mentors?
I feel that the most effective thing I could actually do is to contact and partner up with private teachers who sell exam preparation courses or mentoring.
There are a bunch of them. And one of them actually looks really professional & friendly.
I didn’t get in touch with any of these private teachers so far because I feel like I don’t really have a valuable business model. Hence I fear to burn bridges if they think that I am a douchebag AND/OR think that they can just implement the idea themselves to complement their existing business model perfectly (just because it’s so easy).
Fear: People Steal my Business😱
So generally I fear that people will steal my business idea, which is probably one of the most childish things you can do.
It’s also something I thought I wouldn’t do anymore.
Instead I thought that I’d talk about my ideas and approaches openly, because I actually believe that if you are actually working on a valuable business, no established entrepreneur will steal it. Because they are usually busy with their own business.
And on the other hand you almost always have some kind of competitive advantage if you are already working on something and if you already built valuable relationships and eventually even business partnerships.
I am not sure if this is already the case for me (having built valuable relationships). But if I’m honest with myself I’d say if anyone steals the idea I’d probably even be happy, because this would be a perfect reason to shelve it and start to work on something else.
In the end it’s you who actually has the idea and the idea of the bigger picture.
Everyone with whom you are potentially sharing your ideas only knows a fraction of your idea.
Therefore I’ve got a rule of thumb (mostly for my future self):
Share your idea generously while your are implementing it. Share it especially with people who could eventually become multiplicators or business partners.
Idea: Facebook/Instagram Ads?!
Over the past days (I think since yesterday) I just had the idea that I could try to run Facebook &/or Instagram Ads to sell my productized websites directly.
I can imagine that this could actually work reasonably. This could be a way to get my first few sales quickly.
Since I am selling a product for about $500-1000 with a profit margin of 100%, I could spend exactly that amount of money into ads for each sale and still be break even.
I think that’s a huge amount of money for Facebook ads. But I am not sure, because I simply have no clue about Facebook ads.
The only knowledge I have about Facebook ads is from Thomas Gonnet’s SMMA YouTube Channel basically.😂
But maybe this could be a promising way to go. I’ll try to consult some people who have some more experience with that and see if they can help me to get started with it.
What else happened
Finally another few random facts:
We are now 9 members in the #3Kin2 Discord.🙌😂
I’ve had an amazing interview with the super friendly Arvid Kahl🤗.
The great Krishanu published a Twitter thread about my Interview with Dagobert:
I listened to @SamHartmannCom
‘s Never Employed Chat podcast with @dagorenouf
& it was 🔥🔥
For someone who is just getting started in the indiehacking, entrepreneurship space this podcast will help you have the right mindset to succeed.
Here are my top 5 learnings from it. 👇— Krishanu Borah (@krishanu__borah) November 23, 2022
It’s a super great honor to see one of my interviews mentioned in a great, summarizing thread.🤗 Thank you Krishanu!👍
And the most important thing of the week: Today I’ve had another interview for the NeverEmployed Chat with a cocain addict YouTuber who pretends to be a badass OnlyFans agency owner, stock trader, ecom master & crypto forecaster.
I don’t know what I’ll do with the recording. But some friends suggested my to just keep it in the archives for now.