The Most Effective Things You Can Do For Growing a WordPress Product Business

  1. Things that we’ve done to make our product businesses successful  01:12
    • An effective strategy for growing your WordPress product business
    • Building an audience
  2. User acquisition 03:45
    • Email list
    • Subscribe call to action on the bottom of every page or blog post
    • Frieebies
  3. Great customer support 07:19
  4. Network 05:45
  5. Build a brand 10:36


Read the full episode transcript below:

00:27 David Blackmon: Hey everybody, welcome to another episode of WP the Podcast, brought to you by WP Gears. I’m David Blackmon.

00:35 Tim Strifler: And I’m Tim Strifler.

00:36 David Blackmon: Today we’re gonna talk about the most effective things you can do for growing a WordPress product business. Tim and I have two very successful WordPress product businesses. I don’t know if we both intentionally meant to start out there. But that’s definitely where our WordPress development careers have come to. And we want to share that with you. We know a lot of people out there, a lot of our listeners have inquired and asked us questions about how did you get started. And we just figured why not cover it in a podcast episode?

01:12 Tim Strifler: Yeah, definitely. And we, David and I actually did a talk at a Word Camp. It was Word Camp Orange County 2018 about creating and growing a WordPress product company. So we got a lot of feedback on that topic. And people seem to really enjoy it. We got a lot of good questions and engagement during the talk. And then we also did a podcast episode last year about the tools that we use for our WordPress product company. And it’s actually if it’s not our most listened to podcast, it’s in the top three. I’m pretty sure it’s the number one though. And so we figured that hey, the numbers, the data, the feedback doesn’t lie. And so this is what people apparently want to hear and so we’re gonna deliver and talk about the things that we’ve done to make our product businesses successful and that we think are really good things for everyone to do if that’s what you’re trying to achieve.

02:11 Tim Strifler: You want to kick us off, David?

02:13 David Blackmon: Oh, I was gonna ask you the same thing, Tim. But sure, I’ll kick us off. Episode 450, let’s go.

02:18 David Blackmon: So the first thing that you’re gonna want to do to have an effective strategy for growing your WordPress product business. And I don’t know that I intentionally meant to do this. I just intuitively knew that building an audience was important. So I highly recommend that you build an audience. A lot of developers or product creators go out and they create awesome product. But then they have nobody to buy it. So it kind of puts them in a bind. They’re sitting there and they’re thinking the sales are just gonna flood in and they don’t. And they get down. And they get depressed. And they think that people don’t like their product and stuff. And that’s just not the case. It’s not that you don’t have a good product, it’s just that you probably put the cart before the horse. And building an audience is extremely important. So how do you build that audience? You just start content marketing. Join Facebook groups, get involved, be of service, be of help, get your name out there. Let people know what you’re doing and stuff. And more importantly, start creating content around the product that you’re creating so that an audience can find you. Solve some pain points for that audience and start doing that. That’s gonna be huge for you in the long run. So build an audience first.

03:45 Tim Strifler: Definitely. And the next thing we have here for you is user acquisition. Building a email list. Part of … It kinda goes hand in hand with building an audience. Building an audience is typically making sure people know who you are. And as David mentioned, you’re solving problems and stuff like that. But user acquisition is definitely a very important part of that. That sometimes we see businesses missing that. They might be doing a good job creating things. Maybe even creating freebies. But they’re not having anyone subscribe to get those freebies. And so an email list is huge. It’s definitely the most effective form of online marketing because you essentially have a direct line of communication to your audience and at any time, you can provide more value with more freebies, provide introductions to your products, if you’re having a sale. And David and I have fairly large email lists. And I think we both are in agreement that it is the number one thing in terms of increasing sales for our businesses. And yeah, can’t underestimate the power of a email list. And so user acquisition is huge because you might have an audience where people know you, but if you don’t have the way of really getting your message out whenever you want, then it’s not nearly as effective.

05:15 David Blackmon: I couldn’t agree more, Tim. Yeah, those two do dovetail nicely in each other. As you’re producing valuable content to users and stuff, don’t be afraid to ask them to sign up for your newsletter or giving away a freebie and stuff.

05:29 Tim Strifler: There’s different forms of user acquisition. I mean, the most basic form, which is not very effective, is just to have a subscribe call to action on the bottom of every page or blog post. But really where you’re gonna see the most … I kind of alluded to it. The most success is having someone subscribe for some sort of a freebie. And so you can do the content creation as David mentioned. That’s gonna help build that audience. But if you have something that’s gonna take them a step further, have that be a content upgrade that they subscribe for. You will have a mass of success building an email list of dedicated followers that like you, and know you, and trust you. So when you do eventually email something out as a paid product, they’re gonna buy it because they’ve already seen amazing value from the other things you’ve created and given away.

06:19 David Blackmon: Absolutely. Alright. Next on our list is great customer support. We kinda did this one backwards. I gotta be honest with you. We thought that content creators, and developers, and all that stuff were the most important and then support techs were the last. I’m gonna highly encourage you to have your customer support platform and team in place when you’re ready to launch that product and stuff. And you also want to have great customer support. So even if you’re starting out, and you’re building the audience, and you’ve got content that you’re producing in any shape, form, or fashion, of whether it’s free giveaways, just adding value to the community, don’t ignore them just because it’s free. I do know that it’s a time suck. But it is an investment in the future of your business. So great customer support is very important.

07:19 Tim Strifler: Absolutely. Yeah. Another thing we have here is network. So Word Camps are a great place for that. Not necessarily because you’re gonna meet people, and you can pitch them your product, and they can go home and buy your $15, $20 product. That’s not what we’re talking about. It’s more about creating partnerships and people that have similar goals and maybe complimentary products. And you can do co marketing things together. For example, this is just off the top of my head. David met Josh Pollock, the developer of the Caldera 00:00:07:52] Forms Plugin. And they did some co marketing and created some layouts that used his form plugin. And so it was a win win situation. They both promoted it, both benefited. So those are the types of things that you can do from creating relationships and connections at Word Camp. This doesn’t have to be a Word Camp. That’s just kind of the low hanging fruit. The easiest thing because you have a lot of people there that are doing similar things to what you’re doing.

08:15 David Blackmon: Absolutely. And next on our list is create content that solves problems. We’ve kinda touched on this and alluded to it. When you’re building an audience, one of the ways that you can do that is creating content that solves problems. So if you’re building an events calendar plugin for WordPress and you don’t have an audience and start producing some of the content that solves those pain points for people who are looking for solutions in that industry. Tim and I are big Divi guys. We’ve been in the Divi community since the beginning of Divi. We’re pretty well known in the Divi community. And one thing that we do really well and we’ve constantly continued to do, even with successful product businesses, is we still create content that solves problems. Tutorials, just different things that help that … Whatever it is that you’re creating and stuff. And you know what that product’s gonna be in the future. Start creating content that solves problems. That’s gonna rank you in Google. It’s gonna find … People are gonna start finding your website organically because they’re trying to solve those problems and stuff and it’s gonna be huge for you in the long run.

09:29 Tim Strifler: Yeah. And then that leads us to the next one on the list, which is create products that solve problems. So as David mentioned, you have content that’s gonna solve particular problems around a particular thing. And then you have a paid product that’s gonna take it 10 steps further. And again, people already know you and they trust you because you’ve created that awesome content and the product is gonna hit it out of the park for you. And so you can kinda do all of these things for a while as you’re building the product. And so people think that, oh, you can’t create a product business until you have a product, which isn’t true. And actually, it probably would work better if you started with building the audience, the user acquisition, the networking, creating lots of content and building a loyal following, a loyal audience so that when you do introduce that product, you have all these people that are already interested in it because you’ve created content around it and so forth. So it all kinda goes hand in hand. And I think the important thing is to get out there and solve problems with content. And then the rest kind of naturally takes care of itself.

10:36 David Blackmon: Alright. And last but not least on our list is build a brand. Once you get this stuff going, make sure that you’re branding yourself really, really welcome. Have all of that plan put in place to where you can start building the brand so that people … Take Divi, for instance, or either one of Tim and I’s companies. Divi Space or Divi Life, they’re very well branded. And people know our companies. They even know our faces. I’ve had people come up to me. People have come up to Tim when we’re at Work Camps and stuff. Even if they see just our URL, or our logo, or our faces, they’ve said, “Hey, I watch your … I watch Divi Chat. Or I listen to WP the Podcast and stuff.” And it’s been really, really neat. So I think building that brand when you get all the pieces together is gonna be important. Be consistent across all social media platforms, across your own website, any marketing efforts that you do and stuff. Make sure that you’re always putting that brand out there.

11:41 David Blackmon: A mistake that I see a lot of people do is they try to … Unless you’re building the brand for yourself, for your name, they let ego come into the play and they want to put themselves out there and their name out there and stuff. Unless you’re a speaker and you’re gonna be that’s your brand. It’s better to build a brand for your company and stuff so that your company gets recognized and it’s not just an individual product or you. That’s it. Tim, anything else?

12:15 Tim Strifler: Yeah, one thing I want to say about building a brand. There’ snot one way to build a brand. It’s complex and that’s why we have it on here last because a lot of the things in there that we talked about. Creating content, user acquisition, creating awesome products that solve problems, those all kind of contribute to building a brand. And so it’s … Building a brand is something that happens long term. But it is by far the best way to increase sales because people know you. And so it doesn’t matter what you put out. Because they trust that brand, they’re gonna buy it type of thing. And so yeah, it’s a tricky thing. And there’s not a set list of here’s how you build a brand. But it’s by solving problems, being helpful. Getting your name, or your company name out there, as David mentioned, those all help contribute to building a brand to where … A brand can’t be ripped off. Products can be ripped off, but a brand can’t be. And so if a product all of a sudden ceases to exist, well, if you have a brand, you can create something new and your business isn’t over type of thing. And so a brand in a lot of ways is like a safety net. It’s a consistency.

13:30 David Blackmon: Absolutely. Alright. Tomorrow we have another great topic. We told you about it yesterday. What we’re doing this year to increase personal and professional growth. I think you’re gonna want to listen to this one because we’ve already started to implement some of these things in 2019. And it has made a huge difference in both of our personal lives and our professional lives. So Tim, until tomorrow, we’ll see you then.

13:57 Tim Strifler: Take care, bye.

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