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Solutions Before Development: Creating WordPress Products That Actually Sell

Originally presented at WordCamp Chicago in June of 2014.

This presentation discussed the process of successfully transitioning from selling WordPress services to digital products. It will span the development and sales process, which will cover key steps within concept creation, identifying a target market, product development, logistics, marketing strategy, sales, and ongoing support.

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Solutions Before Development: Creating WordPress Products That Actually Sell

  1. 1. Rebecca Gill Web Savvy Marketing solutions beforedevelopment Creating WordPress Products That Actually Sell
  2. 2. The Internal Fight To launch a theme store or not? That was the question.
  3. 3. The Concept Was Simple Create premium themes designed for the Genesis Framework.
  4. 4. In the beginning… We were completely and utterly clueless. I thought we were doing great. Then I realized we could triple sales. And we did.
  5. 5. At First We Were Just Another WordPress Theme Store We failed to create solutions, therefore we failed to attract buyers or sell themes.
  6. 6. Find Your Niche Create solutions designed around specific target markets and buyers. It’s more than features and functions. It’s an industry specific solution. Wait - is it really industry specific?
  7. 7. Holy Cow, It Worked! People started to buy themes and more themes and customizations and developer licenses and more customizations. And then they started to refer other buyers.
  8. 8. Start With a Plan Evaluate the entire process from concept through development, sales, and support.
  9. 9. The Small Town Solution Tiny towns in the middle of nowhere defined what we would build.
  10. 10. Develop a Marketing Strategy Each theme starts with a review of search volumes. Then we analyze actual search results and evaluate competitors.
  11. 11. Know That Good Design is Critical If you don’t see ugly, hire someone who does. If you need pretty, hire someone who can create it.
  12. 12. Structured Code Was Key By using the Genesis framework, we had clearly defined best practices. This allowed multiple programmers to play well in the same sandbox.
  13. 13. Pay for a True Code Audit Hire an independent, respected expert to audit your code. Our review with Gary Jones was invaluable.
  14. 14. It’s a Team Effort So Have Clearly Defined Roles and Assignments  Concept creation  Market research  Requirements defintion  Wireframes  Graphic design  Theme coding  Demo data  Set up instructions  Theme audit  File assembly and change logs  Sales pages  Promotion via posts and social media  Affiliate management  Pre-sales inquiries  Store management  Ongoing support  Paid customizations, support, and training  Accounting
  15. 15. Use the Right Tools Basecamp, Github, WooCommerce, Premium Plugins
  16. 16. Understand Your Cost Structure and ROI  Research  Graphic designers  Coders  Demo data entry  Stock images  Marketing  Pre-sales inquiries  Credit card fees  Payment gateways  Refunds  Affiliates  SaaS software  WordPress plugins  Ongoing support
  17. 17. Success Formula awaiting your arrival. Plan for Trouble and Protect Yourself Buyers don’t read. Software breaks. People steal.
  18. 18. Expect the Unknown What you think people will buy and what they actually buy are sometimes completely out of sync. Just learn from it and move on.
  19. 19. What’s your product idea? What WordPress magic will you create?
  20. 20. Rebecca Gill Sell solutions, not products. @WebSavvyMrkting #wcchi Think marketing strategy and not promotion. @WebSavvyMrkting #wcchi Make magic with WordPress! @WebSavvyMrkting #wcchi