Sep

Creative Ways of Designing Solutions That Help People Ship Their Art

Adventures In Digital Marketing Episode 4

Make lemons out of lemonade. Or maybe it’s about scratching your own itch, right?

That’s what so many have pointed out as a great source for finding ways to help and serve and build a business.

Well, that’s what I’m talking about here. In this episode, I talk about how a conversation with a client  I couldn’t help lead me to create new solutions that focused on helping people meeting people where they’re at so they could ship their art.

Transcsript

Good morning everyone. Welcome back to The Adventures in Digital Marketing podcast. My name is Rob Orr and I’m a web designer and developer.

This is a podcast I started just to document the things that I’m working on and things that I’m trying and things that I’m experimenting within my own work. Hopefully, as I share these things it will be something that hopefully, if you’re listening to this then it can help you do what you’re trying to do.

I just wanted to document it. This is the podcast that I get the most out of are the ones that are coming alongside.  I don’t necessarily need a three-point lesson on how to do x number of things, or some kind of list of things. It’s just people talking about what they’re doing and how it’s going.

That’s what this podcast is all about. If you’re new and if you’re listening to this, welcome. I appreciate you tuning in and listening to what I’m talking about here in the early mornings.  I’m driving into the office.

Right now, it’s about 5:30 in the morning and one of the things that I wanted to touch base on is something that I mentioned I believe in the last episode where I had mentioned a few months back that I’ve started my own first sales funnel. My personal business for the longest time has been as a freelance web designer and I’ve built a modest business that has been pretty successful with.

I’m definitely well over by this point as you’re earning six figures in that business. It’s been really good. It’s been an enormous amount of work.

It’s certainly far more work than I ever anticipated when I first got started. I’ve worked with all kinds of clients over the years that I’ve been doing this. The fun thing has been the different kinds of people that have been able to work with.  I’ve built websites, or for coaches, for writers, for e-commerce people, building some kind of crazy functionality into custom web stores.

I’ve built websites for a HMOs and everything in between. But one of the things that eluded me for a long time was being able to help people that were just getting started.  I remember a call I had one time where somebody had reached out because they wanted me to build them a website.

As I always do one of the first things that we get to talking about is a discovery call. So we can figure out what’s going on, what they need, what they want, and what their budget is. We get into start talking about this thing, and he’s telling me about his blog and his business and how he’s just getting started.

He’s got a little bit of traffic on his blog and ironically enough I took that phone call in my car when I was sitting in the parking lot of a mall one day. We’re sitting there and we’re talking. It sounds like he’s got some things going, but it’s really still in the very beginner stage of what he wanted to do.

You had a little bit of an audience, a little bit of traffic, but my business at that time was really just focused in on custom design work. We got into and we started talking and so I started going over what a custom web design project look like.

I started talking about what the budget would be for a project like that and what would be involved and the steps and doing site maps and wireframe concepts and revision rounds, custom functionality and those kinds of things. As soon as we got into budgeting everything stopped.

The conversation kind of ground to a halt, I gave him a number of what that would kind of look like. He was floored. He’s like, “Man, I don’t have that kind of budget.”  What he had wasn’t bad with his existing site. We talked a little bit more.

We finally came to the conclusion that it just wasn’t going to be a great fit for him to do what he thought he was going to be able to do. That was a couple years ago and it kind of led me to this point where I was like, “Man, I wish there was something that I can do for him because he was clearly struggling with his website. He definitely wanted something other than the kind of stock look and feel that he had.”

There were some functionality needs that he wanted to have. He needed some help with his email integration and a couple other extended functionality kinds of things that he wanted to be able to sell and do with his website online. But he just couldn’t afford to pay somebody to do that or at least to do it the right way.

We decided, I told him it probably wouldn’t be a good fit, but I wished him well and the call ended. Like I said, at the end of the call I was feeling kind of bad. I’m like, “Man, I wish I could do something to help those people.”

And so I went to thinking about what was going on and what the situation was, what he needed. I spent a lot of time just thinking through those things and I’m like, “Wouldn’t it be great if I just had a package where there wouldn’t be any custom design work, but it would be something that I could do for people where they would be able to get a great looking website off the ground that had some very competent and real professional features in place that wouldn’t cost them a lot of money and something that would be worth my time to do?”

Because if I’m working on it, it’s got to be worth my time to spend the time on it to get it done I mean, nobody likes to work for free, right? So what I did, I had this flash of inspiration. I’ve seen somebody who had started doing like a WordPress installation thing.

The way he did it was completely different than what I ended up with. He was just installing WordPress on Blue Host for people who signed up through his affiliate link which really wasn’t kind of a big deal at all. I would imagine if I remember correctly, he did reasonably well with that with his audience.

I’m like, “Man, if I could come up with something that would be a little bit more than that and I would charge them and build something for them that would be budget friendly, that would be something that they could use from day one and start worrying about creating their art, shipping their art, writing their content instead of getting buried in the weeds of the tech stuff. I think that would be really helpful.

So what that did is it led me to create what ultimately became my service which is called WP Launch. And what WP Launch is a service where I do exactly what that is. We provide hosting, WordPress installation, setup and configuration.

We include doing a set of what I call startup plugins that are kind of common to all beginning WordPress sites that you kind of need to have there. There’s a security plugin. There’s a commenting plugin. There’s a social sharing plugin, and an SEO plugin.

And a handful of these plugins that basic WordPress installation, and make it into a much more usable website. We also provide a theme. When you sign up for our service, you get to use one of the themes that we offer, or if you’ve already purchased the theme yourself then you can send that along and we’ll get that installed and configured for you.

The whole idea was to create this package that was kind of all in one package. Everything you would need to get started and get off the ground and get rolling with your WordPress site.

I’m really encouraged because I’ve had this service of place for a couple years now. It’s done pretty well. We still do big custom web design projects.

We still do some crazy things on thee customized side. But, now I’ve got a service that I can use to help these people that are getting off the ground because lots of people are pretty serious about getting off the ground with their WordPress site. Some of the solutions that are out there are really just affiliate place for those that are providing them.

WordPress itself has a tutorial called the famous Five Minute Install where they basically walk you through what it takes to get WordPress installed on your hosting service. What a lot of these affiliate folks are doing is they’re sending you to their affiliate link and showing you how to do WordPress in like 20 minutes and basically leaving you hanging once you get everything installed.

You’re on your own after that. I think that a lot of those people out there are genuinely trying to help.

In my opinion, it really doesn’t go far enough for the people that are serious about building a blog and that’s why I created WPLaunch because I want people to be able to have the full package because even now I get people that are starting and they’re like, “Man, I’m stuck on this, can you help me? I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what plugin I need to use for to be able to do this, or I don’t know how to connect my newsletter service, or I don’t know how to do these different–.”

The questions I get are all across the board. I don’t know how to do SEO. I don’t know how to secure my WordPress site that got hacked. I mean, there are lots of different questions. The whole idea was to answer those questions in the WP Launch package.

So that instead of you as the person who needs the website getting bogged down in the technical side of things. You’re not starting a website because you want to be a webmaster, right? That was kind of what it was for me like I explained in earlier episodes.

When I first got started in this I decided I was going to just learn how to be a web developer and that was my path, but 99% of the rest of the people out there are not really into that.

They want their website up. They want to be able to do what they want to do with it. They don’t want to be bothered with the tech side of things.

That’s where WPLaunch comes from is the idea to serve those people. I just wanted to update you on that because we have just rolled out a new design for our homepage and a couple of new services that are available through the WPLaunch site.

Then one of the things I’ve also been working on is some supplementary stuff because one of the things I’m learning right now is that once people get up and running, there’s a whole host of other things that they need.

What I’ve started including as an option for some of our new WP Launch customers is the website content blueprint that I’ve mentioned in previous episodes. To kind of take that next step because once you’re up and running, so what, what is the next step that you need to take? What is the next thing you need?

And once you’re up and running, yes, you maybe you want to be a blogger, for instance. You want to be able to start posting.

Well, in order to start your blog you need topics and you need pages. You need your about page and your contact page and your various different pages that you have that you need to fill out your website.

Because when people come to your website they want to know who you are and what you’re about and why you’re doing what you’re doing so those kinds of things. I’m actually working on some stuff for that now, which I think is also going to be very helpful to people who are on WP Launch to help with some of that content.

That’s what it’s all about really more than anything else. There’s just a few of the things that I’ve been working on.

So if you are trying to get started with your website and you don’t want to get buried in the tech stuff, WPLaunch is definitely one of the options for you available there. Then way back at the beginning, a few minutes ago, I was talking about I started my own first sales funnel earlier this year and that sales funnel is actually a DIY course for the people that don’t want the WP Launch kind of service.

For those people that want to do it themselves. They want to build their own website. They want to roll up their sleeves.

I think one of the things that’s kind of common for every website unless you’ve got a reasonably sized team with a website person on your team is you need to know how to do some basic things when it comes to managing your WordPress site.

My WordPress training course that is available through my sales funnel is the solution for that.  I’ll tell you more about that in future episodes. The whole idea here is it’s I’m using the sales funnel concept to deliver it.

As I’ve mentioned with WPLaunch, it’s been modestly successful and I’ve gotten some great feedback on it.  I got some new things that I’ve got that I’m working on that I’m working on a challenge aspect of that where we’re going to put together a group of people I think to work on doing a maybe a four to six week boot camp challenge kind of scenario where we’ve got lessons that we cover and videos and training and worksheets and that kind of thing to kind of build out a website over a specified period of time.

That’s still in the idea phase, but I’m excited about it. I think it’s going to be very helpful for people. That’s just a couple of the things that I’ve got going on right now.

If you’re interested in any of those things, you can go to wplaunch.com or if you’re interested in looking at the WordPress course, you can go here.

You can take a look at that funnel there and see what’s available. It’s been really helpful I think. I’ve gotten lots of great feedback on the course.

That’s it for today. Just wanted to update you on those things that I’ve been working on and a couple of the different options that have come out of the conversations that I’ve had with folks over time and what kind of solutions that I’ve been building.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep working on your stuff and go ship your art.

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