Marketing your WordPress business

I recently shared a talk about marketing your WordPress service or business at the London WordPress meetup.

Dan Maby, former guest of the show, invited me on share my idea around marketing for today’s WordPress business builders. Of course this is a topic near and dear to my heart, with a spin you might not get from every other marketer on the web.

I hope you enjoy today’s episode, I’ll leave the slides from the talk below. If you did, please consider sharing this post with others!

👏 Thanks to our sponsors &! 👏

Please take a moment to thank our sponsors. They help keep the show alive! 20% of sponsor proceeds go to supporting A Big Orange Heart.

Here are the slides to my London WordPress meetup talk.

Speaker 1: (00:00)
Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Matt report podcast. Today’s episode is going to be a solo episode. I’m gonna talk about marketing your WordPress product or service, maybe even yourself. I think this could be used outside of the realm of WordPress, but some of the stuff I’ll talk about today will be specific to the WordPress community. I recently did a talk covering this topic over at the WordPress meetup in London. It was my first international speaking gig where I did it virtually. In fact, yeah. You know, it’s, I don’t even think we were allowed to fly these days. Uh, but it was a fun, exciting time to talk about marketing is a little bit different for those of you that follow me know that I’m not one of those, you know, flashy marketing types, right? The core slinging, digital product affiliate person sitting in front of a Lamborghini, blowing up my Instagram, telling you how much money you’re going to make.

Speaker 1: (01:00)
In fact, I haven’t seen that in a while. It’s amazing what a pandemic can do to those types, but the way that I do marketing, the way that I’m going to talk about it today is, is, is much more about building opportunity for yourself, creating opportunity for yourself to get another customer, make a sale, meet new people, find opportunity in doing business with other businesses, right? That’s what marketing and this practice of getting yourself out there. That’s what it means to me. It’s, it’s really how I’ve been able to run businesses for quite some time and, um, find opportunity in the WordPress space, working for other companies and you know, all of that fun stuff by doing. What I’m gonna talk about today is really led made by doing this very podcast that has led me to opportunities, right? And I think that hopefully if you’re looking to grow those opportunities yourself, this will be an interesting talk.

Speaker 1: (01:55)
It’s my Don’t forget to leave us a five star review on iTunes really helps. I really enjoy the feedback that I get on iTunes, the comments. So if you have a spare moment, if you have just a spare moment, go ahead and leave us a five star review on iTunes or wherever you listen to this podcast. Let’s thank one of our sponsors today. His name is Ronald Horeca. This is his second time. I think sponsoring the show. Thank you, Ronald. He does a ton. He’s like me. He’s probably like you just lots of projects, lots of things happening. He has a book about WordPress and Ajax, but he has two interesting plugins, a simple comment editing, right? Where you can edit various parts of the commenting system on WordPress. If you search for simple comment, editing on, you’ll find it. It allows you to do things like set the comment timer, stop the timer, hide the timer, allow unlimited editing for logged in users as a whole bunch of stuff that it does.

Speaker 1: (02:53)
And if that’s a unique situation that you’re in, where you need to edit this comment, functionality, check it out. It’s a plugin written by Ronald Horeca. His website is media run. I love that name, media And, uh, he has that book on WordPress Ajax. Like I mentioned, he has a bunch of plugins, but that’s simple comment editing looks pretty good. It’s got 43, five star reviews, 3000 active installs on Simple common editing, Ronald Horeca. He does a lot, Ronald. Thanks for sponsoring the show. Alright, so the first part I want to talk about is who this is for. Like I mentioned, if you’re somebody who is building your own business, your own practice in the WordPress space, and you find marketing kind of tricky, kind of daunting, kind of hard that’s who this is, that’s who this talk is really geared at early stage product as a service or service people specifically in the WordPress ecosystem, finds marketing difficult for many reasons.

Speaker 1: (03:58)
Now, many reasons when I post, uh, polls and things like that on Twitter often about business. And I say, what’s the biggest challenge about your business? Is it running the business, right? Is it being all hats for all departments in your business? Cause it’s a small company. Uh, is it, you know, the marketing is it, the sales is the product. And nine times out of 10 marketing is always leading the pack. It’s the one that people always vote as one of the hardest things to do. And I think if you shift your mindset, like I mentioned before, you think about marketing and not such a sterile definition, right? It’s easy to think about marketing as if you were wearing a marketing hat at, you know, Pepsi or general motors or Apple, right. Big brands, right? Lots of, you know, strategic and fine lines that you can draw experiments and things like that.

Speaker 1: (04:46)
I think when you’re a small business, it’s very hard to think of like marketing as a tradition, like in a traditional approach. Sure. You do customer profiling, you do messaging and all of this stuff. But a lot of times you just, you just need to get out there in order to make sales. You don’t have time for this massive like strategic undertaking. So I think of marketing as again, getting out and providing that digital handshake when we’re, when we’re talking about online marketing anyway, but this transfers over to, on to offline as well. The digital handshake is something that I’ve talked about for a while, where all of the stuff that we’re doing online, whether you’re tweeting, blogging, creating a YouTube channel, Instagramming, all of this stuff, this is what’s creating that, that handshake moment with your potential customer or opportunity. Now, a lot of you know, that I grew up in car sales and this is many, many years ago.

Speaker 1: (05:42)
And you know, one of the first things that you would do when you met a customer on the car lot is you shook their hand, right? When, when shaking hands was legal, it might not even be a thing in the U S anymore after this. But in that moment, in that second moment of meeting somebody for that first time, and you give them that handshake, you’re learning a lot. You’re learning. Are they really interested in buying? How from, was that handshake? Did they hold it for two seconds, 10 seconds, 20 seconds. They look you in the eye. What was their body language? Right? Do they really want to engage you? Do they want to hold off? Like there was so much that happens in that split second moment, that online is very difficult to gauge, but I feel like this marketing stuff is that digital handshake, right.

Speaker 1: (06:31)
And everything we’re putting together is what’s going to open up that opportunity. And another reason why I feel like people just don’t like the marketing thing. And, and I’ll, you know, I’ll read between the lines and say that most people will say they don’t like marketing. They also don’t like sales, right? Cause they feel like sales is, is this high pressure game. And again, going back to car sales, they just don’t like that. You have to build some confidence. You have to build some confidence in your solution or your service or yourself, right. You need to have that. You need to routinely build up your confidence and telling yourself you have the best product in the world. It’s purpose built to solve a problem for your customer. Like you built this product specifically to solve this set of customers and be confident in that there’ll be wishy washy.

Speaker 1: (07:22)
You know, don’t be, I’m uncertain of my product. You have to be confident in that. You’ve built it purposely for someone because that’s going to translate into everything. You do, your marketing, your messaging, your talks, all of that and saving for your service. Like you’re confident that you’re providing a great service for somebody. And it’s also, it’s profitable and sustainable. And people love engaging with you. You know, worst thing that you can do and believe me, I’m guilty of this. I ran an agency for a decade and you start out. You’re like, Oh boy, I’m afraid to charge people money. Will they pay me a thousand bucks? Will they pay me 5,000 bucks? Oh my God, I could never charge that kind of money. What’s quite the opposite. Like once you start getting into the game and you start servicing customers and you hear, you know, the needs that customers have, or you undercharged somebody and then they just become the worst customer in the world. You’re like, wow, I should have charged you 20 times more than what I charged you. You then begin to build that confidence quickly. Um, and you will have that even when you charge somebody $10,000 and you thought, wow, that’s a lot of money. And then they become the nightmare client again. You’re like, wow, I really need to raise my, I should be charging 50,000 and you should, right? Because you start to learn all of the overhead of, of the stuff.

Speaker 1: (08:43)
Confidence without arrogance, helpful and not naive. That’s what I like to say. So it’s, it’s being confident, but not arrogant. You have a product, you have a service it’s made for this person in of you. You’re going to solve many, many pain points when they engage with you by doing business with you. And you’re helpful and not naive, like you’ll give people enough help and be courteous and be a good person, a good steward of humanity, but you’re not going to be naive. You’re going to give the whole know way. So it’s a fine balance between serving those, those two, those two needs. Speaking of serving those two needs, lock down Our repeat sponsor of the show. John Locke from Lockedown, that’s a lock with an E L O C K E down John Locke. He helps manufacturing companies with search engine optimization.

Speaker 1: (09:41)
So they get more requests for quotes. Hey, things are opening up. I think, I mean, looking at the news, I see some people opening up some States opening up others, not, but look manufacturing. I don’t think ever really had that much of a drop. I could be wrong, but if you’re working with manufacturers and you don’t know the business, you’re like, Hey, I really don’t know manufacturing that well, but I need to serve somebody. I need to make some money myself. And this manufacturer wants me to build them a website. Well, John does that all day long. He works with manufacturers. So if you’re stuck or you want to partner up with John, check him out at lockdown, He will help manufacturers get those leads coming in. And he’s a great guy. A lot of the marketing stuff that I talk I’m talking about today, this is how he’s built his business and his character.

Speaker 1: (10:29)
Right? And I trust John to provide a great service and process for you. And look, if you’re just, maybe you’re maybe you don’t want to engage with John. Maybe you can’t afford John, right? Maybe you can’t afford John. Bring them onto the project. They get it. Maybe pay John A. Little bit of money to consult with him. As you engage with other manufacturers. He’s a good guy. Maybe he’ll talk to you a little bit for free. Don’t quote me on it, but maybe you send them a message and say, Hey, look, I I’m trying to get into the game of helping our manufacturers. I have a few people that I’ve helped that manufacture goods. How do I do this? How do I get them? WordPress? How do I get them? SEO? Maybe he’ll take a moment to talk to you about it. If anything else, he’s got a great YouTube channel search for John Locke on YouTube.

Speaker 1: (11:10)
And he does a ton of YouTube videos. I am jealous the amount of YouTube, YouTube. I sound like an old guy or the amount of YouTube that he puts out there. Uh, he does a phenomenal job and it’s all about SEO. So if you want to learn something, check it out on YouTube. John lock locked down, a lock with an E locked down, John, thanks for always being a sponsor of the show. And just like John, the next component of this talk of marketing is have purpose and opinions. Why customers are compelled to do business with you or recommend you. So I have this thing called the blue collar digital worker, right? People in the digital space. Well, especially in WordPress, who are not these highfaluting engineers getting paid $400 an hour to code you the most simple, you know, HTML page under the sun, blue collar digital worker.

Speaker 1: (12:07)
That’s my purpose. That’s my opinion. Right? And the lots of threads behind it. But I feel like there’s a strong set of individuals, teams, people who are out there using WordPress, doing SEO, doing marketing that just 200 darn good job, right? That up formerly educated. They taught themselves just like me, taught myself a lot of this stuff. I just feel like I want to provide a great service at a fair and valuable price. Not going to charge you $400 an hour, but maybe you’ll pay me 200 bucks an hour to do something really good for you. Do it the right way. Do it the sustainable way. So having purpose and opinion in your marketing, I think is what’s really gonna make people connect with you. This is why they want to do business with you in this, in the light of, you know, Amazons and Googles and Facebooks, who cares about them, right?

Speaker 1: (12:55)
Like who cares about Amazon? The brand. We care about Amazon, the brand, making sure that they deliver us this item in X amount of days, because we pay them $120 a year for prime. You know, we better get the goods that we’re paying for it because you’re a trillion dollar company. We care about it to deliver us what we want. We don’t care about them in a human way. We care about our local businesses. Maybe we should be doing more business locally, right? Instead of Amazon. So have purpose and opinion in your marketing. And a lot of this stuff is habits and not tactics. So that’s the thing. Like I see tactics come and go, right? Keywords and blog posts. Five minute YouTube videos. Now 10 minutes that YouTube videos, landing pages, funnels, automated emails. Like all of this stuff to me is just tactics and they, and they just, they just go away after time.

Speaker 1: (13:49)
What you want is habits. You want to be in the habit of telling this story and being out in Kerr and meeting people, understanding who your customers are. It’s a huge part of marketing, like go in the right places and you find yourself in the wrong place. Now you’ve learned I’m in the wrong place. And nobody’s listening to me over here. You moved to the next place and you remember never to go back to the other place. A perfect example would be like marketing and Facebook groups, massive opportunity. That’s attack. It’s a tactic though. So you find some Facebook groups, you engage, right? There’s a lot for WordPress page builders. My God, they’re a cult like following, but you go into these groups and you engage with people. You help other people. It’s a great form of marketing. They see, you know, Sally helping out all these people and they click on Sally’s profile.

Speaker 1: (14:37)
Oh, Sally does web design. Well, maybe I’ll hire her for my next project, but you just have to get into the habit of wanting to help and wanting to be out there and wanting to create content, wanting to connect. And you form a habit with that stuff. The tactics can follow that, but form a habit of being out in the open, lots of opportunity by being out in the open, talking about what you do. And as the podcasting gods would have it, somebody is jackhammering outside on the street. So I do apologize if that comes through, let’s move onto the next slide. Um, look, when it comes to creating habits and here’s some, here’s some tactic right here, some strategy a little bit too, to get into the habit. A lot of people say, I should start a podcast. I just started a YouTube channel.

Speaker 1: (15:24)
I should be blogging. I should be doing webinars and all this stuff. Yes, it’s yes to everything, but you can only take it in, in the strides that you can handle. You don’t need to go overboard because as soon as you start to feel like you’re going overboard, you get overwhelmed. And then guess what? You don’t do it. I’m trying to get back into running. I’m trying to get back into shape, you know, and the first hundred paces of my run, I’m like, Hey, I don’t want to do this. I just want to turn around and go home. But you know, you plow through it and then you get better the next day. So instead of thinking about my God, do I do an hour long podcast, three times a month? You know, how am I going to handle that? Well, maybe it’s a five minute SoundCloud clip to get you started.

Speaker 1: (16:02)
You don’t want to create a YouTube channel, maybe an Instagram story, right? Instead of a 10 minute video, you do a 32nd Instagram story. You don’t want to do a series of blog posts. Oh God, how am I going to blog? Then it’s out there. And people are going to see the dates in between. Well, maybe you just do a monthly newsletter instead of doing a blog, do a monthly newsletter, get people to sign up over there. It’s better engagement. Anyway, you don’t want to do a webinar and do a live stream, right? Do a live stream. I mean, it’s the same thing. It’s about creating content and connecting to people. That’s the good thing. That’s what these tools allow, allows us to do. And all of this is going to start to compound with your audience in creating trust. Because to me, great marketing is about trust.

Speaker 1: (16:44)
It’s word of mouth is still the most common means of getting new business. Without a doubt. It’s not your Facebook ads. It’s not your click throughs. It’s not your email list. It’s word of mouth. And it’s the number one trusted source. When somebody refers you and they say, Hey, I need somebody to build this, this manufacturing website. Who do I go? I go to John Locke. How do you, why him? Because I trust him. Not only does he specialize in it, but he, he, he talks about this types of this type of content. He’s showing me stuff on YouTube constantly. I trust him to, to build a website for manufacturers or the consultant manufacturing. What would you think about a pizza shop? Will he do a pizza shop? No manufacturers. That’s what he specializes in. I trust him to do that. And you can kind of build that same model.

Speaker 1: (17:29)
I mean, when I started my agency over 15 years ago at this point, well, maybe 13 years ago, uh, I started doing a podcast because I wanted to build trust. I saw, you know, how many people were connected to the WordPress community, uh, in how they were finding other jobs. And big brands were all turning to WordPress at the time. It was a gold rush at the time. And I remember seeing Jake from TenUp sort of lead his business. Like, how am I going to compete with him? I’m not an engineer. I don’t have these connections in the WordPress space. So I made my own. That’s why I started the Matt report podcast was to get out there and build trust.

Speaker 1: (18:15)
That’s what great marketing is to me. You build that trust and then people will connect and restart to refer you. So let’s get into some of those tactics. We slowly started transfer there. Now I said that you want to create these habits first and then move into these tactics. Um, I think number one is you should probably do more podcasts, right? Either do more podcasts and show up on podcasts or create your own podcast and tell your own story. But you have to have the right pitch. You have to tell the right story and provide value. I get pitched a lot to be on the Maryport podcast. And I’m not saying it’s like, I have this, you know, revered shut people are knocking down the door to get on my podcast. Right. But for the right audience, a lot of people want to knock, knock down the door.

Speaker 1: (19:06)
Quite literally, they want to promote their plugin, their service. And it’s fine. I get it. There’s a lot of WordPress podcasts out there. I, you know, build a little bit of confidence. I have the highest rated one for at least for the business side of things. So I get it, but you gotta have the right pitch. I mean, just the other day I received a pitch and this, this gentlemen said like, I need, I want to talk to your audience. I’ve had other people say, like, I need to talk to your audience. I would, you know, your audience would love my, my product would be amazing for your now. These are all things that people want from me and from you as my listeners. And I put a pretty good shield up for that. Number one, like I really only bring on guests that I have a general interest in, but if you’re pitching me something, that’s an, that’s an interesting story.

Speaker 1: (20:03)
You’re telling me, you have some great value to provide. You generally want to connect or meet me first. I get it. Like, that’s a good entry point. Don’t just knock on my door with a pitch to say, you want access to, I want to give your audience this, like this just doesn’t work that way. But podcasting is an amazing means to grow your brand drive awareness and get connected. Another interesting thing in the WordPress space is connect with more YouTube personalities and tutorial makers to share your plugin, right? So I also do a YouTube channel, Tut right, show off a lot of products and do some small tutorials on how these plugins work and some cool new features. This is another great way to connect with a personality. Somebody who can promote your product or service and get to visually explore your product or service.

Speaker 1: (20:55)
And that’s always a great thing. Um, and it’s just another, it’s just like going on a podcast or, you know, now it’s YouTube. I mean, this isn’t rocket science, but there’s different. There’s, it’s a different thing. It’s a different medium, right. Podcasts are much more intimate, generally longer, longer form, deeper conversations, much more portable to a degree. Um, whereas YouTube, I think it has to be a little bit more exciting, a lot more visual obviously, cause it’s video, but lots of potential out there. There’s a lot of interesting personalities on YouTube that creates some of them I’ve interviewed before. In fact, one of the episodes in the future, I’m going to repurpose some of the live streams that I had. Um, but check out the YouTube stuff. Lots of people out there.

Speaker 1: (21:38)
And at the end of the day, like I hinted before you can become your own storyteller and build your own audience, start small, help others share your story, start some I’m going to repeat that. Start small, help others share your story. You don’t have to think of this massive undertaking to create a podcast, a YouTube channel, or even a blog. You start small, you focus on helping others first. And meanwhile, you’re share your story and yes, it’s going to take time, but all good things do. And that’s how I’ve always created opportunity, right? That’s how I’ve always created opportunity. And at the end of the day, what, how people start to see you as you become a champion for a given thing? And what do I mean by that? Like when I talked about purpose before an identity, you know, you can become a champion of people, uh, of, of give WP, let’s say a very popular donation plugin.

Speaker 1: (22:40)
If you were the champion of give WP, you interviewed people only building give WP websites and how they drive, you know, traffic and monetary donations for nonprofits. You find these silos that you get into, you become that champion for that space. You’re helping others. You’re diving into those Facebook groups. You know, you’re diving into the forums, WordPress pressed out org, Slack, right? Virtual word camps, virtual WordPress meetups. Hopefully when we get back to in person stuff, you can be a champion in person as well. A lot of this stuff will translate into people, wanting to do business with you.

Speaker 1: (23:23)
Another great thing that, you know, if you’re a service provider and you know, I know I I’m hinting a lot of this at being product, but if you’re a service provider, productize your service, let the product speak for itself and then educate others and onboard them with ease. And what I mean by that is, you know, sometimes people who are running like agencies or small consultancies, the trouble with that is, is the marketing and the sales side because you’re the one doing the work. So you’ve got this great service. But as soon as you go heads down to execute on the service, you’ve sold to a customer. Well, no, one’s, there’s nobody out there selling your product anymore. Marketing your PR your service, I should say, because you’re building it, you’re doing the thing that you said you would do. So then marketing and sales, where it takes a backseat.

Speaker 1: (24:13)
But if you can productize your service, if there’s a way to do it, like a learning course, an onboarding series of videos, maybe you can sell some digital assets, a checklist, a walkthrough, cliff notes of your service. You turn it into like a membership site kind of thing. You can let people engage with your product or your service through a product while you’re still building the service in the backend. Right? Perfect example is building out a learning management course for your service. Let’s say you’re building websites for manufacturers and maybe there’s these top five things that every manufacturing company should do. Maybe there’s five, these five things. You can train them on what to do, how to set up a Google profile, how to set up analytics, how to set up MailChimp, all this stuff. You create a little course on that. You sell it for a couple hundred bucks, and then you anchor your services to that price.

Speaker 1: (25:16)
So maybe your service is 3000 bucks now, but you come out with a course and that course is $300. Now you can make the leap to say, you know what? My service is now $5,000. And if you want to engage with me, it’s $5,000. And they say, Oh boy has a lot of money. He said, that’s okay. You can take this $300 course. And you can engage with me that way. You’re productizing your service, let them do it, let them figure it out. And they pay you that 300 bucks. And they say, boy, that was tough. I don’t think we can do it. I think we need your 5,000. I think we need to pay you 5,000 bucks now. So it helps onboard them into your service and having that product I service is a great marketing piece. You can market the heck out of that, right?

Speaker 1: (26:02)
You can write a lot of content about it. You can write, make videos. You can really promote that. It’s done for youth kind of thing. They just sign up. You can run Facebook ads, you can do all this stuff. And again, it’s a great anchoring. You can just say, Hey, yeah, it’s 5,000 bucks, but you can just take my courses 300 lots of stuff. There’s a lot in that one, but definitely some, some good advice there. If I do say so myself and all of this stuff, culminates to my last slide here, create things out in the open when marketing and storytelling becomes a habit, doing things in the open can create opportunity for you. And like I said, I already mentioned this. I think already you want to be doing this stuff out in the open to, you know, to where you’re comfortable. A lot of people don’t like sharing things online.

Speaker 1: (26:49)
I mean, I’m not just talking about sharing about like how much, you know, customer, how many customers you signed last a month, or how many products you sold last month. You can, if you want, there’s a, there’s an argument for that to be helpful content, but doing things out in the open you’re recognized. And I do this for success and failures. Like, I don’t know if it’s, you know, all I know is where I’m at today is because I’ve been doing things out in the open and I’m fairly happy with where I’m at today. Uh, and I don’t know if you’re pumping out the stuff I’ve pumped out online has, uh, you know, ever really detracted from where I could be today, but I feel pretty successful. And I, and I’m, and I’m happy about that. And I, like I was saying, I put out success, successful stuff and stuff that I fail on.

Speaker 1: (27:32)
Right. I’m constantly trying new things. I’m constantly promoting them and if they don’t work, they don’t work. And I’m fine with that. Fine with that business, 5,000 was one that was pushing for quite some time. The pandemic hip, I got super busy. There wasn’t a lot of interest after the pandemic and getting people engaged the first, you know, dozen or so people were very engaged, but then it became just this very daunting task. That’s been a recent quote, unquote failures and even failures, their lessons. We’ve heard that before that failure has become these lessons and that’s, you know, it’s a way of learning. It’s a way of building the building blocks to your business. Everyone’s always looking for these blueprints. Just tell me how to do it. Nah, maybe you should learn and fall a few times. Then you can understand how to do it.

Speaker 1: (28:18)
It’s kind of the model that I, I, I lead with good or bad, but create things out in the open, create that opportunity to connect with others again. That’s what a lot of this stuff is about. At least for me, that is my talk on marketing. It’s a, a lifelong journey. It’s a practice. And this is how I’ve always been able to build audiences, connect with others and create with opportunity. I hope you found something useful here. If you did tweet at me, let me know at Matt Madeiras at Matt report, subscribe to the show. Matt Check out that YouTube channel Tut. Thank today’s sponsors, John Locke over at lockdown,, Ronald Herrera, Eureka who at media I’ve always wanted a chuckle media media Thanks for sponsoring the show. Sponsorships 20% of the proceeds or the proceeds, Matt, I don’t know, are they called proceeds profits?

Speaker 1: (29:23)
Uh, 20% of what I charge to sponsor the show goes to a big orange heart, a big orange heart, formerly known as WP and up. It’s a great nonprofit supporting mental health across, not just WordPress, but freelancers consultants in the tech space. You got some amazing things going on over there. So I donate 20% of my sponsorship to that organization and store dot Matt If you buy a hat, t-shirt 100% of the profits go to a big orange heart. I think I’ve raised a, probably about 500 bucks for them so far since I started this initiative last year. So it’s a good thing and I really appreciate what they do and I hope you appreciate what they do as well. All right, we’ll see you in the next episode.


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