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WP Buffs: Learn from their team how to differentiate your maintenance business

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As with any business, it's important to stand out, and with more and more successful WordPress maintenance businesses, I wanted to know what it takes to be different, rather how to get customers to choose you. Joe Howard from WP Buffs has already shared insightful information on how to get started in the freelance world, and wanted to know how WP Buffs came into being, what is unique about them, what tools they use, and how they stack up in the WordPress community . Joe, who if you haven't met him yet is the friendliest person around, made sure I had all the answers I was looking for.

How did you get started with WordPress and what led you to start a WordPress website technical support business?

The first startup I got involved with was a very early SEO agency. I was appointed director of operations. The title sounds awesome, but when you're the first employee in the business it really means you're doing a little bit of everything.

We have conducted digital marketing campaigns for clients from different industries. But it turns out that with digital marketing services, people wanted new websites too! We have decided to respond to this demand and use WordPress as the content management system of choice. The reasons were pretty straightforward: It was pretty straightforward for non-technical people (like us) to host, launch, and build websites and the open source component meant a vibrant community to get help when we got stuck. .

After experiencing the income roller coaster of website building in startups and as a freelance writer, I wanted to find a solution in the WordPress space that 1) would allow me to help people improve their websites and 2 ) generate more predictable recurring monthly income. So I started over the weekend when I was still working full time as an IT consultant.

A few months ago I switched to WP Buffs full time and haven't looked back since!

I like your slogan, " We are your new CTO " - What does this mean to you?

I wanted a slogan that describes exactly what we do in a concise and straightforward manner. I've always been a huge fan of the original iPod slogan: " 1000 songs in your pocket.“I wanted WP Buffs to engage with the WordPress community in the same way, and after trying 10-15 other descriptors, we decided to be the people's WordPress CTO and the WordPress technical partner. It just resonated well with our audience and the WordPress community.

Short, sweet and full of punch!

Today there are many support companies, why choose WP Buffs?

That's a great question! The same question applies when asking which hosting company should I choose? Some people prefer a concierge service like Anchor Hosting while others go for a cheaper but comprehensive solution like SiteGround. It is difficult to have a definitive answer with so many options available.

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That being said, there are a few things we have done to differentiate ourselves from other WordPress maintenance companies:

  • We offer 24/24 support. Because I've built the business around a 100% remote working environment, we have staff working here in the US and around the world.
  • Our showcase customers show the world exactly what we stand for. Take Their team gathers, organizes and shares precise information from reliable sources. We help promote the distribution of qualified content in the fight against fake news. We run their website so they can knowledgeably tackle noise. Hope that the fact that we are giving away a 100% free maintenance plan to support the type of work they do is a big differentiator.
  • We let our customers speak for themselves. Most other maintenance companies have significant flaws on their record. Since I started WP Buffs, our team's highest priority has always been to please customers.
  • We have a white label partner program. (more on how it works below)

Tell us how you landed your first customer. Any advice for other beginners?

You really bring me back with this question! The first official WP Buffs client we received contacted us through the contact form on our website.

Stand out from your maintenance business
I wanted to focus on simple maintenance instead of building and supplementing websites, but like most start-ups, I was more interested in generating income than providing a single service.

We took D. on board and we still maintain his site to this day!

This answer is not very helpful for other people starting WordPress businesses because inbound leads usually don't end up landing your first customer. Here are some other ways (besides running a successful SEO campaign):

  • I hired one of my freelance clients to pay WP Buffs directly for me. This gave the company $ 700 / month in revenue immediately (SEO client) and eliminated the need to do taxes as a freelance writer.
  • I asked my friends and family if I could help them with their websites or if they knew of anyone involved with WordPress that I could contact. Don't be ashamed to ask for help from those closest to you.
  • I attended each WordPress DC Dating I could. Meeting new people means meeting potential clients and networking with important people in your local WordPress community who can recommend a business to you.

Our main source of new clients and partners is content marketing. It's a long-term strategy, but it's worth investing early while you use the 3 approaches above to get started.

We currently operate almost 100 websites and have free trials started almost daily. It all started with one customer. Be persistent and work smart and the rest will happen.

What tools do you use in your business?

I could write an entire article on this topic just! Here are some of the tools we use on a regular basis that have a direct and positive correlation with revenue and customer happiness.

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  • Team work - we use this SaaS solution for project management, our helpdesk and the team's internal chat. It's our one-stop shop for operations and systems and helps us be a well-oiled machine.
  • SEMrush, & Mozbar - I use them for the majority of my keyword research and competitor analysis when it comes to our SEO strategy. It's not easy to research long tail keywords and handy fruits, but these tools make things a lot easier for me.
  • WP Simple payment & Gang - accepting payments has never been easier. Some people go for really complex and complex payment systems, but I prefer to keep mine as simple as possible. This combination is exceptional.
  • Great - although Stripe is really great at what they do, they don't have systems designed for everything. Stunning makes it easy for me to make it easy for customers to change their payment information and send all the automated emails that Stripe doesn't.
  • ManageWP - most of our WordPress related maintenance goes through ManageWP. Backups, uptime monitoring, automated speed and security scans and reports come from here, so it's a vital part of what we do.

What do you think is the most useful ManageWP feature and why?

It's hard to choose just one here! I guess the backups take the cake. They give our team a lot of flexibility to restore websites, which is really invaluable to our team and our clients; the ability to reliably restore a site with one click takes a lot of pressure from our team and gives us the confidence to push our project and maintenance to new heights.

Few agencies have a white label partnership option. What's great, and do you find that a lot of people are looking for it?

This is one of the services that really sets us apart from the pack in my opinion. WP Buffs partners with design agencies, marketing companies and freelancers in offering a simple and efficient white label solution. For anyone with clients or clients who need continuous website changes, performance improvements, additional security or any kind of regular maintenance, we are able to step in as a technical partner. basic.

  1. Our partners enroll their customers in a maintenance plan, an execution plan or a Pro execution plan. They can actually offer everything that is included in any WP Buffs plan, including free trials. They can even add prices to your own website.
  2. Our partners create a @ our help desk email address so that we can provide changes to their customers. The best part - their customers will never hear about WP Buffs. All changes will be made as if they came from their team.
  3. Our partners get all the credit from their customers, we take care of the speed, safety, maintenance and weekly white label reports (with their company or personal logo) and their customers are delighted. It's a win-win-win.

How do you plan to grow in the future?

To be honest, the sky is the limit. At this point, we are quite familiar with the WordPress maintenance space and are already outperforming just about every other maintenance company.

Financially speaking, the most successful release to date has been the sale of WP Curve to GoDaddy. Our goal at the moment is to help as many people as possible with their WordPress websites and to provide unparalleled customer service; if we can move forward there, the rest will be done by itself.

How involved are you in the WordPress community? What do you think is the best and the worst thing about it?

Personally, I am very invested in the WP community, and the actions of the company are proof of that. I am hiring via PostStatus job sites, meet people at WordCamps and my bcc email list of friends and associates in the WordPress space. So you could say that WordPress space is essential to the growth of my business.

Taking it a step further, any successful WordPress business knows that it will live and die on its reputation in the WordPress space. Because community is a powerful engine of open source software, community can either lift you up or stop you in your tracks. This is one of the reasons I help stimulate the growth of our local WordPress DC Meetup and try to speak at Meetups and WordCamps. This is also why WP Buffs will have sponsored 5 WordCamps this calendar year. WordPress space has given my business legs so it's only fair that we give back.

No matter what business I run, being a part of the WordPress space is something I don't take for granted. It's a really vibrant community filled with genuine people who are themselves without apologizing. There aren't many places where you can put an extroverted marketer and an introverted developer in the same room and see them get along easily; it's really special.

Where can we meet, upcoming events?


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When you're not using WP Buffs, where do you hide?

WP Buffs HQ is in Washington, DC. I live in Mt. Pleasant, nestled directly in Rock Creek Park where I get my dose of nature. When I'm not working on WordPress, I'm probably hanging out with my wife, Sterling, a bunch of Sandboxers or my dog, Marvin.

It's a magical world, my old Hobbes. Let's explore!

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