172 FS Document Design with Jeremy Green of Remarq

00:00 0:40:50
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00:51 - Jeremy Green Introduction

01:10 - “Good-looking Documents”

07:13 - Use Cases

08:07 - Typography, Branding, and Spacing

13:00 - Audience & Users

14:20 - Images, Charts, and Graphs

15:30 - Markdown

19:35 - Formatting For Books vs Reports

20:42 - Fonts

21:47 - Image Enhancement

22:36 - Modifying Style Standards

24:14 - Horizontal Rules

25:50 - Decoration

26:38 - White Space and Bulleted Lists

27:53 - Breaking Up Content / Page Breaks

28:59 - How Remarq Works

30:24 - The Business Side

31:50 - Upcoming Features

32:55 - Marketing

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Transcript

**[This episode is sponsored by Hired.com. Hired.com is offering a new freelancing and contracting offering. They have multiple companies that will provide you with contract opportunities. They cover all the tracking, reporting and billing for you, they handle all the collections and prefund your paycheck, they offer legal and accounting and tax support, and they’ll give you a $2,000 when you’ve been on a contract for 90 days. But with this link, they’ll double it to $4,000 instead. Go sign up at Hired.com/freelancersshow]****CHUCK: Hey everybody and welcome to episode 172 of the Freelancers’ Show. This week on our panel we have Reuven Lerner. REUVEN: Hi everyone! CHUCK: I’m Charles Max Wood from Devchat.tv and this week we have a special guest and it’s Jeremy Green. JEREMY: Hey everybody! Thanks for having me. CHUCK: Do you want to introduce yourself really quick? JEREMY: Sure! So I’m a developer and freelancer. I have a SaaS application that I run called Remarq that helps freelancers and consultants deliver good-looking documents to their clients. And like I said, I do some consulting and freelance contract work here and there. CHUCK: So I’m going to ask this. I think I know some of the answers that you're going to give but you said good-looking documents and I have to say that for the majority of my time as a freelancer, I have actually just either – my document is like a quick email that I type out in Gmail and so it’s just text. Or I’ll send something along, like I’ll open up pages or Word if you're on Windows and have Microsoft office. And I’ll just type something up and it has kind of the default Arial font. And everything’s kind of organized but not necessarily very pretty. So you said pretty documents or nice looking documents. What do you mean by that and why does that matter? JEREMY: What I mean by that is t’s kind of an enhanced version of what you might send with a Word document or a Pages document – better looking header pages, title pages, table of contents, headers and footers on the document itself that help you know where you are within the document. And the biggest reason that I found to do that is that there’s a big difference in the perceived value of the content as far as the client goes. It’s surprising for me to realize that but I realize that you can send somebody what is really good, valuable information but if it’s just in the body off an email, oh it’s that stuff that Jeremy told us in an email one time. But if it is presented in a way that makes it look like a legitimate report or white paper or something that I spent time putting together, that just elevates the perception in the client’s mind of the total value that’s contained in that information even if it’s exactly the same information. CHUCK: I think it’s funny and it seems pretty obvious at this point to me but I’ve talked to several people that do marketing for SaaS products, for example. And people come to the website and one will be as ugly as sin but the product is easier to use, it has more features and it costs the same or less as the other product that is prettier but is less feature-full and less intuitive because it has more polish to it. A lot of these companies will buy into the less capable product because they feel like it’s more professional and better thought out even though it isn’t necessarily the case. So the presentation does matter. JEREMY: Yeah, exactly. I think of it the same as production values in a movie or a TV show. There are some good TV shows that have good content; they tell good stories but they don’t have big budgets and so the production value is perceived to be low and those have a harder time doing well than shows that have a good budget and that look like a slick, polished production. CHUCK: Yeah, I’ve heard the same thing about estimates or proposals where even though the price and the number of features do make an impact, it also makes an impact as to how nice the proposal looks. JEREMY: Yes, it does. And I think in some ways what it does is it just demonstrates to the client that you do understand the importance of how things are seen especially if you're working for a company where you're going to be working on their public facing website or something like that, making it obvious to them that you can appreciate those kind of things. I think it goes a long way and helping your case as a contractor that they might decide to work with. REUVEN:**Right, that was one of these I want to – [inaudible] because I tend to deal much more with the backend server side types of folks, and then also so with more engineer than managers. Do you think it makes a difference who you're working with or do you think everyone, even if they don’t admit it or say it, they would prefer to see a nicely formatted document?**JEREMY:**That’s a really good question that I don’t have any data to support. My guess is that they would probably somehow vote there. I would imagine that there are some people that are just ruthlessly analytical and for good presentation, it could legitimately be an [inaudible] but I think it’s probably pretty hard to identify to those people. Even so, even as you say it maybe that presentation does actually affect them even though they don’t want to admit that it does.**CHUCK: Yeah, I was going to say – let’s say that you were sending them in an actual paper proposal and they're not going to smell the paper and feel the thickness and quality of the paper and say, “Oh wow, this guy is just on the ball.” What they're going to do is all subconscious is like, “This is very well presented,” and they're going to react subconsciously to a lot of these stuff. JEREMY: Yeah. I think that’s right. I’ve had comments from prospects when I’ve sent them proposals that are compared with Remarq that said, “Wow, I can tell you spend a lot of time on this.” To them it shows that I’m taking it very seriously and it’s really a marked down document but I kind of threw it together and then ran through a process to make it look nice. REUVEN:**It’s funny – I’m old enough that I remember when WYSISYG word processors and laser printers were the newest, coolest thing. And so for a while, if you use those, people said, “Whoa, that looks so amazing, how did you do that?” And now anyone can use any font on any [inaudible] machine and make it look amazing. But there’s still a difference between having fancy fonts and laser printers or just even an email and demonstrate that you put some effort into it and make it easier to read. And my impression is at least that your product try to go the extra mile as well. It’s not just making it nice to look at but as you said before, [inaudible] table of contents makes it user friendly – reader friendly shall we say.**JEREMY:**Yeah definitely. I tried to do a lot to make it very user friendly and use smart typographic defaults so that you’ve got reasonable line widths and line heights. It’s kind of weird; adding white space makes it feel more fancy for a better way to put it. [Crosstalk]**REUVEN: Is it really just for weekly reports or for proposals or – because when I think of report, I think of, “Oh these people want a database update,” so they want to be able to produce an update of their own. But that’s not weird to talk about. JEREMY: No, this is going to be more proposals, monthly report on how you're engagements’ going with the client. I’ve had some people use it to generate lead magnets where they're taking several blog posts or articles, bundling those together and creating a little e-book out of them. Philip Morgan actually produced his book The Positioning Manual for Technical Firms entirely with Remarq – the whole book. CHUCK: Oh wow, REUVEN: That’s a nice little – his book came out very nicely and is very appreciated, and it looks really nice. JEREMY:**I love having that one available point, too. [Laughter]**CHUCK: I’ll bet. So what is it – what should we look for when we are putting these documents together? What should we be doing with them? You mentioned typography; let’s just start there. JEREMY: Sure. Typography – most of what I did – I’m not even remembering the name of the website now. It was a site that just basically has a lot of intelligent defaults, like you don’t want your line links to be longer than eight characters because that makes it hard to jump back down to the beginning of the next line. You want to have some amount of spacing between lines to both give people room to make notes if they printed it and wanted to make notes on it. It’s easier on the eyes when text isn’t all crammed in there and really close to each other. The next thing that I do to really wow clients is just make sure that I’ve used their colors and any branding of theirs that they can in the document I think makes it feel more of an internal artifact than an externa artifact. And in some ways I think that then screens to the content that’s inside of it if that makes sense. CHUCK: Do you use your own branding on it as well? JEREMY: Just a little bit; really not a lot. For the most part I try to – all the colors of the cover page and any accent color so I try to do all of that and the client’s branding just because it’s the thing that I’m delivering to them for work that I would do on my behalf. I don’t know; it’s worked pretty well for me to do it that way. I also just don’t have a big internal brand of my own that I’ve tried to use everywhere. REUVEN: It seems kind of funny to me that you use their colors. Like I just think I feel kind of funny bit you seem to be indicating that they like that or they take to it more than more than offended JEREMY: I’ve never had anybody be offended or say anything about that that they didn’t like it and almost exactly the opposite; almost everybody that I’ve sent something to, that I’ve prepared that way, they’ve come back and specifically mentioned that, “Wow, this document looks really great,” whether it’s because it’s their colors or other reasons that’s hard to say but I think all of those together can help. CHUCK: I can see that they might look at it and identify it as ‘ours’ or ‘mine’ as opposed to ‘yours’ or ‘produced by you’. Anyway, I don’t know that it’s necessarily a huge deal, but I can definitely – this is our documents, it’s a plan for us blah, blah, blah. JEREMY: Yeah exactly. And I don’t know that it’s a make or break thing at all but it seems like one small little thing that you can add with a bunch of other small rule things to demonstrate that you understand how to make them look good. CHUCK: Yeah, and there’s no reason why you couldn’t put at the bottom of the page, on the footer or something, produced by mycompany.com or whatever. And maybe with your little log down there, it wouldn’t hurt anything. You do have the identification there if you want it. JEREMY: Yeah, definitely. And I almost always have my name and my company name on the cover page itself at least. CHUCK: So you have the typography, you have the colors – what kind of spacing on the typography do you put in? Do you go for one and a half spacing or double spaced? JEREMY: I think the defaults for most of the styles that you can start with is double spacing and then that’s a user settable thing if you get in there and decide that you want to adjust that a little bit, you can. REUVEN: Now, have you been iterating on these typographical conventions? JEREMY: A little bit. The first document style that I put together was just input that I have pulled from some typographical resources, and then I hired a designer who put together three additional report styles that – or a combination of good typography rules plus just getting a little designer eye on it; that’s something I don’t necessarily have. CHUCK: Right, and then you just have the template and then you build it in with your bulleted list or numbered list or paragraphs or whatever else. Like you said, a Markdown and it’ll put it in and space it out the way that it needs to be spaced and what’s nice. JEREMY: Yup, exactly. Autogenerates the table of contents based on the headings that you have in the thing. So as long as you have reasonable information architecture within your document, then your table of content comes out looking pretty good and giving people a good way to navigate into the document. REUVEN: Perhaps this is a really ridiculous question to ask, but do people really do weekly reports that require a table of contents? Re they that long? JEREMY: I don’t know – yes and no I suppose? Some people definitely don’t want to use the table of contents so they turn that off and don’t use it. Other people do like it. One of the things that had a big perception difference when it’s there or not. REUVEN:**Who do you find and who is your SaaS in [inaudible] and who do you find most effective users or the happiest users ever?**JEREMY: It’s aimed at freelancers and consultants. The people that I think are the most happy with it are really people that already had largely a markdown base workflow for a lot of their things that they do but just didn’t have one for deliverable documents. The service came about through consulting mastermind group that I’m in where a bunch of people are griping about how to deal with wordy pages and giving in and finding out that an hour has gone by and they’ve gone down the rabbit hole of formatting the document instead of working on what the document says. And then I’m in that group with Philip Morgan and he actually was the one that requested ‘I would love a markdown base workflow that could give me a good look in PDF on the other end but I haven’t been able to find anything that can do that. So I spent two hours ne weekend to put together a rough document and I’m asking, “Is this in the neighborhood or good enough,” and his response and a few other people on the chat room are like, “Hey, this is awesome. When can is start paying you for this?” So that was how Remarq came about. Just trying to see if I can solve a problem for somebody and it looks like I can. CHUCK: So how do you handle images, graphs, charts – that kind of stuff, if you want to put those in there? JEREMY: Just regular Markdown image syntax. You just include an image online and it gets pulled in and added into the page for some of the high tiered plans. There’s also an ability to, instead of embedding an image within a page, inside of a paragraph boundaries, you can just insert an image as an entire page so that it’s full bleed, don’t have the page umber or headers or anything; it’s just a full image within the document. REUVEN: To do videos at all? JEREMY: No. REUVEN: I don’t think Remarq can handle those either, so it’s not you. JEREMY: Yeah. CHUCK: Well, you can export those to HTML but I don’t think pdfs carry the capability of inputting a video. I know that there are smarter media formats that will allow you to do that but I don’t think pdf is one of them. JEREMY: Yeah, I think you're right on that. REUVEN: you’re final product is then – what you produce to people – is pdf. It’s input Markdown input pdf. JEREMY: Yes, that’s correct. REUVEN: Okay. CHUCK: Yeah, I’m really thinking about this. I am wondering a little bit though, is there any reason why I wouldn’t be able to have a really nice looking word or page as template that I could just type into? Markdown is nice for a lot of things but if I was just going to deal with this some other way, it seems like I might be able to get away with having a really nice-looking template. JEREMY: Yeah, sure. Definitely. If you got tools that work for you, I always advocate use what works but if you don’t like using Word or Pages or something and are looking for alternatives, I think Remarq is a pretty good alternative. Especially for some web technical people who understand Markdown and want to use it. REUVEN: I must admit, I wrote my e-book using Markdown and in e-macs, which I use for basically everything. And I was like, “Yeah, it’s okay.” I still use Markdown for some things but maybe I just need to learn to master it better. It might be me and the tools that I am using or my knowledge of those tools rather than markdown itself. CHUCK:**What system did you use to publish your book? Was it leanpub [crosstalk] or something else?**REUVEN:**I actually, in the end, used the soft cover. I went through a few different iterations and tried a few different things and none of them was really amazing in my book, so to speak. [Chuckles] That really wasn’t like – in the end I went with Softcover which has very – because basically that takes your Markdown and turns it into tech. so if you do all sorts of amazing stuff including cross-references, which I really like, but still the raw writing of Markdown just struck me as a little annoying to deal with. Not the end of the world but just a little annoying.**CHUCK: Yeah, I’ve got a couple of book sin the works that are all being written with Softcover as well. JEREMY: So I’m just curious about what made the Markdown authoring a little tough. Is that a factor of it being Markdown or the factor of using a text editor instead of a word processor. REUVEN:**I’m guessing, because I’ve been using this for a long time, more than 20 years which I think count as a long time. And I’m guessing that is just my knowledge of that mode, like of the Markdown mode and what Markdown could even do. I was like, “Well, I want this.” I did the basic stuff. I did the bold face and italic, and links and then blocks of code. And that’s where it basically stops. Nothing really fancier than that. And I just find it awkward sometimes; in the end I was sort of cutting and pasting, like if I wanted a block of code, I copy paste how I did the block of code or I just remembered how to type it. It just wasn’t quite as automatic and quite as nice than I would’ve liked. But I’m guessing that it was a matter of the tool and me rather than Markdown’s capabilities. And I’m guessing it’s simply because so many people love Markdown so much that I figured it can’t be me. Or I must be the other guy or just the opposite; it must be me, sorry. [Chuckles]**CHUCK: My experience with Markdown is just that I haven’t forced myself to use it on a regular enough basis to where it’s a natural thing for me to write in. So like writing paragraphs, I just double enter and write another paragraph and that’s fine. But the bulleting syntax, sometimes I’m like, “Oh, I didn’t get that quite right,” or things like that. There are more and more advanced capabilities in Markdown that I don’t think about. And then as things go on I’ve been getting better at it but it’s just not a native thing for me where – which is funny because I use e-macs as well. I’m not a big IDE person but when it comes to word processing, the word processor makes a lot of that more automatic. JEREMY: Yeah, I agree. It can be tough to edit prose in a text editor unless you have a good mode for doing that. CHUCK: But the flip side is that I can definitely – I like representing data in Markdown, and so the ability to turn that from Markdown into a full on nice looking document, it just makes a lot of sense. JEREMY: Uh-hm. CHUCK: So I am a little curious then, you can write an entire book with a system like this. Does the formatting change a bit for the book versus doing something that’s a few page document even as a report, proposal or anything like that? JEREMY: Not significantly. The biggest changes between if you're going to do a short report and something on the level of a book, it would probably just be some of the style settings that you choose to use. For a book, you can have the system anytime it encounters and h1, it’ll assume that that’s a new chapter and so give it a chapter title page. So instead of being a white page with black text on it, it’s maybe a green page with white text that contains only the name of that chapter to set it apart. And if you're going to do a short report, that may be overkill. You don’t need each section of the report being that heavily delineated. You could tweak wide height and widths if you are writing a book and want to get a little bit more content onto each page versus a short report where you're trying to pattern a little bit. CHUCK: Right. I do also want to ask which font or fonts do you recommend? JEREMY: There’s only a handful, maybe 10 or 12 that are built in the system right now, and those are choices that my designer made. CHUCK:**Are there guidelines though for picking the right fonts? I mean, Serif, Sans Serif – there are other [inaudible] which I think is the spacing between characters and things like that.**JEREMY: As far as Serif and Sans Serif goes, I think there are people that make recommendations on that but as near as I can tell, it’s really just a matter of preference. CHUCK: Yeah, but some are more readable than others, right? So if you do it in a certain font versus another font, it’s going to flow better; people are going to be able to read and absorb the information out of it better. JEREMY: Yeah, that’s true. I think in general a lot of people say that you should use Sans Serif for headlines and then Serif for the body text, but I’ve seen that flipped backwards and I’ve seen people use both Serif for headline and body or the other way. There seem to be a pretty wide variation on that. CHUCK: Do you use images to enhance the message that you're putting forward with the proposal and things? For example, if I were doing a proposal and I was going to say, “We’re going to build you a mobile app that has these features and blah, blah, blah,” would it help me to put an image of an iPhone or an Android phone or something else in there, or do you recommend that I mostly just have text in there? JEREMY: No, I think it’s great to include images and other visual aids. A lot of people are just visual thinker and if you can put a picture in front of them instead of asking them to imagine the picture, you're going to communicate your point to them a lot more easily. CHUCK: Right. JEREMY: So I would say anywhere that it’s appropriate, maybe anywhere that’s possible to use an image to help reinforce the point. REUVEN: Now Jeremy, how much do you impose your style standards or ideas on the people using your system? How much do you give them the chance to – if they really want to modify them? Let’s say I think your line spacing ideas are totally crazy. I abhor white space; I don’t want margins on my page. Can I go crazy and change that or are you going to force me into your little utilitarianism style of typography system? JEREMY: No, you can get in there and adjust that as much as you want. You can go down the – I don’t remember what the minimum is but you can get pretty small margins on there so you end up with just a big wall of text on the page. REUVEN:**Oh, excellent. I like [crosstalk].**JEREMY:**I don’t recommend that. [Laughter] Yeah, that’s a good way to make people go, “Ugh, I have to read this whole things?”**REUVEN: What is that done – so I entered the Markdown and it goes through your system, and then how does it then happen? How are the changes made or is it made in the style sheet? JEREMY: Yes, so there’s basically a style area where you can pick any of the default styles that are built in and then duplicate those and then start making changes. And then when you go to produce a document, you choose which style you want to have associated with that document. REUVEN: Okay. JEREMY: Does that make sense? REUVEN: Uh-hm, absolutely. JEREMY: So then, once you’ve got style set up you can reuse that for all sorts of – you can produce a series of lead magnets based on some of your old blog content. You have a reusable pipeline where you just send the document through and they all come out looking the same. CHUCK: Now, do you recommend any kind of horizontal rules between content? Of course, that’s a web term but I guess it’s a formatting term. I’m talking about a line that goes all the way across, to part the way across to delineate a new section? JEREMY: Yeah, I think that can be helpful. You probably don’t want to use them and if you're going to be doing a longer document, section title pages between, maybe better than horizontal rules, but I think they have a good place. CHUCK: Yeah, I’m kind of envisioning something like – so most of my proposals, I’ve adopted some of the style off some of our past guests and some of the things recommended by Jonathan. And so in a lot of cases I give them a proposal that actually has several proposals in it. And so it’s ‘here’s proposal number one which is the least feature-full one, what I understood, is the minimum viable offering I can give them’. And then number two and number three, and so it does occur to be that those could all be in separate pages but in some cases, the proposal is proposal A+ this, this, this and this. And then the other one is proposal A+ this stuff out of B and this other stuff. JEREMY: Yup. CHUCK: And so it seems like a horizontal rule there could be nice but it does also occur to me that I might just want to put it on the same page. JEREMY: Yeah, put them on the same page with maybe an h2 between them. CHUCK: Yup. JEREMY: It’s your number one option; number two –. CHUCK: Or in separate pages depending on how much text there is to each one. JEREMY: Yup. CHUCK: The other thing I’m wondering about is do you put any other kinds of decoration on the page? So page numbers for example, or – I’ve seen documents where they have some kind of border or something between the header and the main body of the page. It’s like a decorative thing on top of each page or something like that. JEREMY: Yes, some of the template styles have like a header that’s going to include the current chapter title up in the header as well as kind of a flourish like you're describing just a little decorative line that runs across the top of the header but then drops down on the side of it. I think most of them include page numbers on the bottom of the page and the settings are such that if you decide you don’t want those, you can make those go away. CHUCK: Yup, and then the white space – it seems like white space does make things easier to read. You don’t want – single space versus double space and double space is easier to read most of the time. But around bulleted lists and things like that, it seems like sometimes I want them to be closer together because then people can – they group it together that way but then at other times, those bullet points are kind of stand-alone things for example, if I’m proposing an application that has several features to it. Some of those features will group together nicely so I might want those bullet closer together than others. How do you make those determinations? JEREMY: At this point, there’s really not a way to get that fine-grained with, say, two different bulleted list within the same document, but you could potentially. The ones that you want to group closer together, you could make those actually all one bulleted list and then for the ones that you want to put more space between. I think if you just include the blank line between each item, Markdown is going to see those as separate bulleted lists and you’ll end up with little extra space there. CHUCK: Yeah, and you can actually put headers on those or you can also indent with Markdown and with other systems. JEREMY: Uh-hm. CHUCK: Yeah, that does occur to me. Where should you break up the content into separate pages? JEREMY: For the most part, I just let the document flow do that. I don’t try to worry too much about enforcing a page break. Really, the only times that I find that doesn’t work is if you end up with an image and then some text that’s referring to that image, you ought to want to want those to appear on the same page just so it’s easy to refer back and forth. And in those cases, you can include a new page command but will force page break, let you get things how you want it for the most part. That’s one of the things that Remarq is aimed at getting out of what you have to deal with when you're dealing with Word or Pages or something, it’s always very apparent as you're working on the document, how it’s going to be paged. And for the most part, that’s something that you probably don’t care about at all, and if you do care about it you probably only care about it as a final publishing step and you don’t need to worry about it when your document is a work in progress if that makes sense. REUVEN: I’m curious about the nitty-gritty behind the scenes. You’re obviously an experienced developer but – I was the editor off my student newspaper and we were all big typography nerds, and getting it right is really hard. I’ve bet you’ve managed to make a lot of people happy both as your direct clients, customers and the people they're serving and make it look nice. So when I input Markdown, can you give me a – between entering Markdown and getting the pdf, can you give me a rundown of how you're doing this? JEREMY: Yeah, sure. So there’s a tool called Pandoc that I’m using on the backend that basically – you can give it a Markdown document and then a LaTeX template and it will basically convert from Markdown to LaTeX and then from LaTeX to pdf. REUVEN: That’s simpler than I expected. JEREMY: Yeah, it’s not –. REUVEN: Not to belittle your work for how many years but –. JEREMY: No, it doesn’t. It sound very simple until you start diving into LaTeX and then you realize ‘Oh my God’. CHUCK: Yeah, LaTeX does everything, doesn’t it? JEREMY: It’s very powerful but, man, that’s a crazy language. CHUCK:**By the way, if you're listening to this and you want to go look up LaTeX later, do a Google search for ‘latex’; it’s spelled the same way [crosstalk] with come capitalization and then ‘document’. If you do a search for latex, you're going to be [inaudible] but it’s l-a-t-e-x and then ‘document’ and you’ll find it.**REUVEN: Can I ask you a little bit about the business side of things; I don’t want to wind you up in terms of time. So to describe the genesis of this SaaS product, how much of this, proportionally, in terms of your time do you work on in terms of your client stuff. And is your aim just to remark another SaaS product? JEREMY: Yeah, I’m definitely on a trajectory where I would like to get to being more of a product focused person that a consultant, but I’m not there yet. At this point, Remarq will pay my mortgage every month but not all the rest of my expenses that I have/ so it’s up to a good start; not there yet, but I can spend full time on it. REUVEN: How long have you been doing it for? JEREMY: Launched in February. REUVEN: Okay, February 2, we’re now at the end of September to pay your home mortgage every month – not too terrible. JEREMY: Yeah, not bad at all. I can’t complain a bit. REUVEN: Are your customers happy to give you feedbacks, suggestions on how to improve it? JEREMY:**Yeah, I’ve heard a lot of good suggestions from people. Few of them I’ve started working on because they’ve come from enough people that it seems like it’s worth doing. And then there are a few other suggestion that I have on the back burner than trying to run by new customers to see how it fits in with what they might want to do. So I make sure that something I worked on is broadly applicable and not just one person’s [inaudible].**REUVEN: So can you give us examples of one or two things that are coming down the pike in the near future? JEREMY: Sure. One that I already have in progress that a few people are beta testing for me is Dropbox integration. You basically have a Remarq folder inside of your Dropbox folder, and anytime that Remarq notices a new Markdown document show up there, it’ll grab it, run it through the processor and then stick a pdf back in your Dropbox right next to it. CHUCK: Wow. JEREMY: And then anytime –. REUVEN: That’s pretty snazzy. JEREMY: Anytime you update that Markdown document, the same thing happens; you get a new version of the pdf right next to it. CHUCK: That’s slick. JEREMY: Yeah, that’s been working really well for people that have been testing it. At this point, I just need to make the interface for it a little nicer. Right now, it’s literally the stupidest, simplest thing that I could get to work. But I think it does – I’m on the right job. This needs to polish up a bit. And then I’m along the same lines of working on Zapier integration to allow people to hook up Remarq to be in the middle of a pipeline. REUVEN: And how do you market Remarq so far? JEREMY:**Poorly. [Laughter] It is the main answer. It’s mainly been word of mouth, some blog posts here and there. I’ve done a couple of podcasts. I’m trying to get better at that; that’s one of my personal goals with Remarq is to figure out how to get out of being a developer and more into the marketing side of things. So I think I have that thing that a lot of developers have where when I find time to work on Remarq, it’s awfully easy for me to sit down and look at the bud list and go, “Hey, I can fix these things,” instead of looking at how can I drive more people to the thing. So that’s something that I’m really consciously getting better at.**REUVEN:**I don’t know if this is poor marketing; I’m almost afraid to think of how you're going to do when you do good marketing. [Laughter]**JEREMY: Yeah, I was lucky that it – I think it hit a nerve with a good, nice core group of people that really helped it get up the ground quick. CHUCK: Yup. REUVEN: Perhaps this is not a coincidence that you're in a mastermind with Philip Morgan and everything, but it’s interesting to me that you're not targeting anyone who wants to report your document. It’s very clear; developers who want to report to their clients. So you're dealing with a relatively technical crowd as opposed to –. You’re not saying ‘we’re going to replace Word’; Remarq is not to replace Word. JEREMY: No, no chance. REUVEN: I’m not for both the population. JEREMY: No. It’s a specialized tool that needs a specialized audience. CHUCK: Yup. Alright, well I don’t know if I have any other questions or anything else to bring up. Do you want to give us just a brief – let people know where they can go get Remarq and how people can follow you and then we’ll get to picks? JEREMY: So the website is remarq.io. Remarq is spelled with a ‘q’.io. And then if you go to remarq.io/freelancers, I have a special offer for listeners of the freelancers’ show where if you sign up from that page, you get a 25% discount. CHUCK: Woohoo! JEREMY: Yeah, everybody loves discount, right? CHUCK: Very cool. Alright, well let’s go ahead and do some picks. Reuven, do you want to start us off with picks? REUVEN:**Sure. So I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I really like the Planet Money podcast from NPR. Recently, I have three episode all which I think were interesting and talked about marketing in different ways. So first of all, I’ll put links on the show notes obviously, but episode 650, what they call is The Scariest Thing in Hollywood, was all about this guy who basically treats movie producing like venture capital where he puts a little bit of money into a lot of different movies, and says basically, “Maybe they’ll fail; maybe they won’t. I don’t really care, I want to get a big return.” And he’s really strict about his budgeting and I saw that as, in some ways, similar to the idea of these simple small content sites or sites that we put up that could also talk about what we put together, if it works great; if not, move on to the next thing. The next point that I also enjoyed was the next one, 651, The Salmon Taboo. Those of us who like sushi often have salmon sushi and apparently this was anathema in Japan for a long time. No one had salmon sushi; that was considered disgusting and weird. And it was this huge marketing campaign by, who else, the Norwegian salmon fisherman to try to get salmon sushi to work. And it took like 20 years, but when they finally did it, it was because they outgrew the older generation. The newer generation saw this new and I thought was a fascinating insight to how marketing could work. And the third one I mentioned was what they called The Anti-store about price club and costs to another places where they say, “We won’t let you buy from us unless you first pay a membership fee.” And then people say, “Oh, I’ve already spent this $50 to join.” So really, I should buy a lot of stuff to make up for the $50, otherwise I’m throwing the $50 away, right? I was victim to that and I’m sure many others were, not that I have anything at Costco or Amazon Primer and these other things, but I thought it was a very clever way to get inside into if you push people away a little bit, they actually want it even more. Of course, it’s important to bring [inaudible] but perhaps that’s a bad example of how people take it [inaudible] to do this. Anyway, I thought all three were just – put them into the show notes for people to listen to it and enjoy.**CHUCK: That’s funny, I listened to that episode about Costco this morning. The other two were really fascinating as well. I’ve got a couple of picks. As some of you may or may not know, I just got done with Angular Remote Conf and that’s an online conference for Angular developers and it was a resounding success. There were a few minor glitches on my internet during one of the talks where I was actually asking the project manager for the Angular project questions and then I would disappear, but other than that it went off really well so I’m going to pick a few of the things that we used to run that stuff. One is Stripe – that’s stripe.com. I wouldn’t be shocked to actually – if Remarq uses Stripe. I don’t know if you do or if you use Braintree or one off the others but I really like Stripe. The other one that we used was Crowdcast; that’s crowdcast.io. That’s also what, incidentally, we’ve been using for our freelancers’ Q&As and it’s pretty darn awesome so I’m going to pick both of those. Jeremy, do you have some picks for us? JEREMY: Yeah, I do. My first one is something that’s been one of your picks before, probably, Calendly. Helps me schedule meetings for clients, basically just lets them pick a time at my calendar that is open that’s going to work for them. Say it’s a lot on back and forth ‘will this time work for you?’ ‘no, that’s no good; how about this one?’ I really like that. And then the other one is a book coming up soon called The Traffic Manual from my friend Kai Davis. It’s in pre-order right now; I’ve had a sneak peek at it. It’s really good. He really knows this stuff. I think it’s going to be a great book when it comes out. CHUCK: Kai, I want a copy if you're listening. JEREMY: I bet he can manage something for you. CHUCK: Yeah, he’s been on the show before and I got to meet him in person on MicroConf. It was awesome. REUVEN: Friend of the show. CHUCK:**That’s right. [Laughter]**JEREMY:**I think Kai is a friend of almost everyone. [Crosstalk]**CHUCK:I was going to say friend of me as well. [Chuckles] Alright, Jeremy one more time if people want to reach out to you or get that discount, what should they do?JEREMY: So if they want to hit me up directly on Twitter, I am @jagthedrummer. And if they want to get the discount for the freelancer show on Remarq it’s just remarq.io/freelancers or /freelancersshow – either one will get you to the right place. And at the top of that page you should see a banner that says you can have a 25% discount. CHUCK: Alright. Well, we’ll go ahead and wrap up the show. Thanks again Jeremy, and we’ll catch everyone next week. [Hosting and bandwidth provided by the Blue Box Group. Check them out at BlueBox.net]**[Bandwidth for this segment is provided by CacheFly, the world’s fastest CDN. Deliver your content fast with CacheFly. Visit cachefly.com to learn more]**[Would you like to join a conversation with the Freelancers’ Show panelists and their guests? Want to support the show? We have a forum that allows you to join the conversation and support the show at the same time. Sign up at freelancersshow.com/forum]**

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