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Kronda Adair on the business of websites

I’ve been in the business of serving web clients for well over a decade, and I can say with resounding confidence: it’s not getting any easier.

Digital service businesses are not exempt from the same challenges that traditional businesses face. There’s always a need to find more customers, the market is increasingly competitive, all the while, more and more information and tools are made available to our potential customer. For those of us in the digital service space, WordPress isn’t easy for everyone — even agency owners.

How can we continue to grow our practice and wrangle enough revenue to reach healthy and sustainable revenues? Kronda Adair joins us to provide her “blueprint” on approaching this problem head on.

Constantly evolving

Amongst the many awesome tidbits of knowledge shared in this episode, one thing Kronda mentioned was that of constantly evolving.

  • Learning more
  • Refining process
  • Changing the pitch

These are all important traits of not only a healthy business, but of a great entrepreneur. As I walked into my coworking space today, I thought about how so many of us become dormant in our offerings. Even worse is when we feel our business is “just right.” If you’re feeling that level of comfort, I’d challenge you to dissect it and uncover what you can do next to push the needle further.

If your business is on autopilot, believe me, someone is coming after your piece of the pie. Hell, I could probably buy a class on your niche through one of the many Internet entrepreneur ads on Facebook I see on a daily basis.

Continue throwing some resources at research and development. They won’t always work out, but those that stick tend to become part of core competency of your offering — channels that grow the business. To me, this is the natural evolution of your message or brand statement.

On failure

I’d rather learn from someone that struck out 100 times but still gets up to bat, then someone that hit a home run on their first try.

Failure brings the great lessons to the surface, the actionable stuff showing us what not to do next time. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great success story, but often we hear how much luck played a role in one’s success. Even Jeff Bezos noted how lucky Amazon has been in the opening of his letter to shareholders.

Give me the breakdown of the hard lessons learned — that’s what I want.

They say we all have a “superpower,” and one I’m constantly refining is my awareness of the business. Knowing failure will come, and when it does, understand how to deal with it. To remind yourself of the hard parts and flipping your thoughts from, “Why is this happening to me?” to “How do I navigate through this?”

It’s funny, in business, we either hear that business is going great or it sucks. In reality, I bet there’s a whole lot more “normal” time than we realize. I don’t want to go all Zen state on you, but it’s during these times we need to appreciate when a business is healthy, carving out the time to invest in new opportunity.

Podcast episode

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Show notes

Fundraiser: https://igg.me/at/websites-that-work

Business Website: http://karveldigital.com

Personal Website: http://kronda.com

On getting fired: http://kronda.com/11-awesome-things-after-losing-job/

Hierarchy of Website Needs: https://karveldigital.com/the-hierarchy-of-website-needs/

10k Bootcamp http://ugurus.com

WP Elevation http://wpelevation.com

One comment on “Kronda Adair on the business of websites

  1. Hey Matt and Kronda, I really enjoyed this episode.

    Thanks for the kind words Kronda, you made my day and I’m very humbled.

    I wanted to chime in and offer some of the things I’ve learned over the last 8 years of selling digital information products and courses.

    You mention a student drop-off rate of around 90% when selling online courses. Through my own extensive research, I had concluded around 85%, so good to know my numbers were accurate.

    I think the reason is this: people by an online course hoping it’s going to help them achieve some goal or solve some problem (usually achieve some aspirational goal in my experience) and then they get halfway through module 2 of the course and realize they actually have to roll their sleeves up and do some work.

    At this very moment, they get distracted by the next shiny object, abort mission and go and start a new course full of new hope.

    Before we relaunched WP Elevation in September 2015, we closed the doors and took six weeks to completely rebuild our offering. We had one goal in mind. To become THE #1 business community for WordPress consultants.

    This is our “Why”.

    We talked about the metrics we would use to measure success and it became obvious through this exploration that if a student actually completed our course, they were more likely to receive the benefits of our training and the relationships they develop throughout community, and they were more likely to refer their friends.

    So we set ourselves the target of a 70% completion rate of our course. Ambitious, I know.

    We use a combination of the following:

    • drip-fed content (one module per week over six weeks)
    • automated email notifications to congratulate students when they complete a module and remind them when new modules are released (these emails are tailored for each student based on where they are up to in the course – a bit of clever integration by our team of Advanced Custom Fields for design and tagging in Infusionsoft for segmenting – I can’t take credit for that one)
    • badges for each module complete (incremental micro-rewards)
    • a certificate for completing all six modules (overall macro reward)
    • surprise bonuses when a module is completed
    • in-app messages via Intercom (intercom.io) to keep students engaged within the members’ website
    • a very active private Facebook group with rewards for engagement
    • prizes for contributions and participation
    • live coaching calls throughout the six-week course to keep students motivated
    • a real sense of community through accountability partners, a world map of the members, a members directory you can sort by skill set and sometimes even real life meetups.
    • lots of Zapier stuff to keep it all tied together.

    The core technology is WordPress (of course), LearnDash, Memberium, Infusionsoft, BuddyPress, bbPress and the Social Learner for Learndash solution from the guys at BuddyBoss.

    All of this results in high engagement and completion rates. We track all of this on a dashboard using Graphly.io and is based on tags in Infusionsoft.

    Our September intake of 202 students had a target of 140 students (70%). You can see here how many students have completed each module:

    http://drif.tt/1YYRI85

    So it’s just the last 2 modules and the Exam itself where we’ve fallen a bit short, but I’m super happy that we have 127 currently who have completed the exam and printed out their certificate – that’s 62%.

    Our February intake of 170 students (we doubled the price of the course) had a target of 120 students to complete – or 70%.

    You can see the progress here:

    http://drif.tt/1YYS7aI

    So again it’s just the last 2 modules and the exam itself that we’re still working students through.

    104 have currently completed the exam – that’s 61% – a far cry better than the 10% – 15% that most online courses get.

    For me, it’s all about providing an engaging, entertaining and fun experience for the students – and I know that community is a huge part of this.

    I post this here in the hope that it helps someone in the planning stages of ther online course, because the last thing the internet needs is another course that nobody completes.

    Keep up the good work you two 🙂

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