[68] Traction & Growth in WordPress Maintenance as a Service w/ Joe Howard

[68] Traction & Growth in WordPress Maintenance as a Service w/ Joe Howard

 
 
00:00 / 00:51:34
 
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Today I’m talking to Joe Howard. He is the founder of WP Buffs, a WordPress maintenance productized service that had a massive growth in the last 3 years.

We talk about Joe’s journey, being a salary employee even through the launch of WP Buffs and finally going full time into his side project.

Joe shares how he’s been able to scale the team with freelancers and lessons learned building a remote team culture. Also structuring the productized service, analyzing competition, segmenting different customers, pricing, marketing, and more!

Enjoy!

Episode Notes

[7:06] How WP Buffs treats custom plugins compare to the more common ones.

  • “Our goals is to remove all headaches from WordPress users.”

[11:49] From Public School teacher to productize business, skipping freelancing.

  • “The first company that hired me, they knew I didn’t have the skills. But then they saw my resume and were like “Man, if you taught in Public Schools, that sounds one of the hardest jobs ever. Marketing should be a piece of cake for you!”
  • “The interesting part of doing work for government is that because there’s so many people these portals every day, the User Experience makes a huge difference in the overall happiness of someone’s day.”
  • “That’s a huge advantage of small companies, the ability to make decisions fast and move quickly.”

[27:21] Launch and getting first customers. Leveraging the weak points in competition. A business model involving nurturing agencies-clients relationships

  • “Building websites wasn’t as scalable as a process as I wanted.”
  • “There were 3 main gaps I saw. First was in the inbound marketing area. [Having some skills, I felt I could compete there]. Second, others were not working on weekends. Third, we don’t work directly with clients but with agencies.”

[32:29] Running a remote team and making it feel a team. The water-cooler tactic to provoke serendipity.

  • “For me, the feeling of working for WP Buffs is you have all the benefits being a freelancer plus the benefits of a full-time job.”
  • “You can feel when it’s not just me driving the culture of the company, it’s everyone driving it.”

Links

  • PalmerCreative

    Great podcast guys! This really resonated with me. I run something similar in the UK for my local clients! I have around 60 clients using it. I was just telling my team the other day how great a barrier to entry it is, much easier to sell a relatively inexpensive service than a brand new website, hoping to scale it up!

    I’d be super interested to ask a few questions if you don’t mind!

    1) Your reports are super cool. Do you produce them manually or use software that generates them for you? I’d love to produce these but can take a lot of time, I did use one software but no one ever even looked at them to make making them manually worth while.

    2) Do you have all your payments automated? (Stripe I’m guessing)? I have a lot of businesses who refuse that and need Invoices sending manually.

    3) How do you handle all your requests? Do you use something like Helpscout?

    4) Do you give guidelines for how your developers should speak to clients? I find myself being the middleman and “checking” every update at the moment which is a real hassle.

    What you guys said about the 24/7 support is actually an awesome thing – Maybe you need to word it differently. “Night or day, we have people online” sort of thing.. I just see a lot of people will write 24/7 365 updates, even when it isn’t!

    Thanks again!
    Chris