We are fortunate to have a vibrant community of hundreds of members from all different places across the globe. We come together to talk about tools, tech, no-code and new ways to make creating & building even more productive than before. 

At Makerpad we love sharing our member’s journey through learning no-code, using new skills in their workplaces, building projects and even launching businesses. 

Each week we’ll be highlighting a member from our community and sharing their story, background and previous projects through our Member Spotlight blog post series.

This week we are chatting to Luke Marshall from Melbourne, Australia.

Luke is a Digital Marketing Consultant at LukeMarshall.net.‍

Hey Luke, great to have you be part of the Member's Spotlight. Can you give us some background on how you got into no-code? How long have you been using no-code tools and what got you first interested?

I'm a digital marketer by trade, and have always had an interest in startup culture and tech. I noticed no-code was picking up steam, and I joined the Makerpad community in Jan 2020 with the goal of learning more about it and adding additional tools to my existing skill-set.

 So far no-code has integrated well into my consulting and I find myself optimising my own workflows with tools to save time and also being able to do more things for my clients. Offering more creative solutions and services.‍

No-code is really relevant to the digital marketing space. I’m sure that more marketing specific tools and products will start to become popular in the no-code space soon. So can you take us through some of no-code projects have you built in the past. What tools did you use for them?

I’ve created quite a few projects but here are some that spring to mind. I built my own CRM as I was always dissatisfied with off-the-shelf software as there were set ways of doing things and I always felt that adapting it to suit your own needs was really cumbersome. I did some on-boarding with Makerpad and learned how to build a CRM in Airtable. I connected it into MailerLite for email and and also integrated my website which is built in Webflow with Zapier.

Two things I really got into in 2020 were learning about online writing from @david_perell and the no-code movement from Makerpad. In a recent video David talked about something called The Capture Habit which is an awesome method for capturing research and ideas.

So I combined these 2 interests and I decided to build a note capture system for myself. I'm a long-time user of Pocket, but sometimes I had a need to capture different formats and append notes. I used to rely on Evernote but I found it a bit bloated. So using no-code I built a prototype with Airtable, Zapier, and some integrations into common places I like to capture and read notes. ‍

‍These integrations included Gmail, Goodreads, Drafts, Dropbox, and Pocket. It was like a Pensieve from Harry Potter to capture your ideas in an efficient way and to sort and organise your thoughts. I shared how I built it on Twitter and I got some good feedback on it. Since then I have stripped that system back and I now use a more simplified version of the same thing.

I’ve also spent time on building my website, LukeMarshall.net. I learned Webflow and am growing more confident as each day goes. I like the ease of deployment and being able to create landing pages, embed forms, and tweak copy near-instantly. This year I ported over my wife's Kinesiology business to Webflow too at VanessaMarshall.net, which has seen consistent appointments getting booked for her home clinic. 

That’s fantastic to hear how no-code has helped so many different areas of your life, from your learning, your business and also helping family too! So let's bring things up to the current day. What are you currently working on and what stage is it at?

My freelancing has seen me take on more varied projects that embrace no-code and its capabilities.

I have recently been working on an automated proposal solution. It has been an interesting one to solve, as I know that I can connect the various parts, OneDrive, SalesForce, Xero, Microsoft Word & Airtable. However it has been slowed down by unforeseen hurdles like the client website in WordPress not accepting plugins, and overall tech-literacy around some of the terminology I use. It has really been a good lesson in patience and communication. Having a problem-solving mindset for this project has been key.

I’m also due to be teaching some no-code for a startup accelerator soon too. A startup hackathon is happening on the other side of Australia and a friend thought I'd be a good fit to participate. We're still finalising all of the details, but I am planning to teach three or four, one hour topics and then I’ll facilitate a no-code weekend later in the year!‍

It’s definitely important to remember that problem solving is a key mindset whether you are using code or no-code. You still need to come up with creative solutions and make sure you are on the same page with your client. It seems you really have adopted no-code in all areas of your life. Thinking more of the future, what are you looking forward to seeing happen in the no-code space in the years to come? 

The no-code space is already huge and I yet feel like we're still early days in what we can do. No-code benefits everyone by providing more ways to build and architect solutions with integration, automation, manipulation of data, and simply getting software to talk to each other!

SAP, Google, Microsoft, AWS and others are all starting to lean-in to developing more user friendly tools. I see integration tools that help no-code solutions talk and connect to each other, like Zapier and Integromat, becoming even more important in future. 

At the same time I’m looking forward to improving existing integrations and being able to merge solutions together so they don't become a 17+ step ‘Frankenstein’s monster’ type of workflow! The simplification and refactoring of no-code solutions will become a more important maintenance task as no-code complexity grows within an organisation.

No-code optimization is a relatively new area and one that lends itself really well to consultancy and freelancing. Do you have a favourite no-code tool that you rely on in your consultancy? What's the next no-code tool you're thinking of trying out?

I keep finding more and more uses for Airtable and I really love it. I think I need to bite the bullet and learn a more complex app-builder to be able to level-up the type of solutions I can create. At the moment I’m deciding between Adalo and Bubble. I'll likely learn both in due course!

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us Luke. We look forward to hearing more about your journey soon! 

Keep an eye open for our next Member Spotlight blog post coming soon!