A new week, a new ManageWP AMA. This time with Troy Dean of WP Elevation. Dean began as a WordPress consultant, helping people grow their businesses. As the co-founder of Video and User Manuals as well as WP Elevation, Dean knows a thing or two about running a WordPress business. He now manages a membership community of over 350 business owners. Dean hails from Australia and works as a professional singer, guitar player, and voice-over artist in his spare time.
People stopped by to ask about running an online business, public speaking, and how to get paid as a WordPresser.
Here are five takeaways.
Community Trumps Content.
When offering online courses, it is, of course, important to release good quality content. However, according to Dean, without the community to back it up, it doesn’t matter.
“It doesn’t matter how great the content is in your online course if there is no sense of community students feel isolated and are more likely to drop off without completing the course,” Dean said.
Since putting a bigger focus on the community, Dean’s seen 65 percent completion rates in classes and an increase in referrals.
Interview People You Want To Learn From.
When not consulting or singing, Dean hosts a podcast on WP Elevation. When choosing guests, Dean looks for someone who will teach the audience something, but also who he wants to learn from himself. His top three favorite guests include Cory Miller from iThemes, Andrew Warner from Mixergy, and the team of Seth Godin and Kristina Romero.
Another key to hosting a successful podcast is continuity.
“The first podcast I started failed because I did not have systems or a team in place to help me with the editing and after six episodes (including one with Vladimir) I decided to shut it down,” Dean said. “The second time around I made sure my processes were in place and had a team to help me book guests and do the editing and we successfully published 105 episodes.”
Use A Value-Based Pricing Model.
It can be hard to make money when starting out with WordPress. Part of that is the amount of competition, but another part is developers undervaluing themselves. Because of this, Dean suggests using a value-based pricing model. Begin by having a conversation with the potential client to figure out the kind of value you are bringing to the project.
Though this is easier said than done, you have to work with clients who are willing to pay what you deserve. It takes time to establish yourself as trustworthy enough to earn the big bucks. Dean’s solution to this issue is to get out there and speak about what you do.
“The best way to accelerate this process is to publish helpful content that is targeted toward your ideal client and speak at meet ups, conferences or other live events. Or interview other influences on your blog or podcast if life events are not your thing,” Dean said.
Think Of Failing As Learning.
For Dean, the work of turning a failure into a learning experience takes an enormous amount of mental and emotional energy. Since failures are based on what you expect to happen not happing, Dean changed the way his mind works to look at expectations in a different way.
“[M]y only expectation is when I wake up every day and go to work on my business I am going to learn something,” Dean said. “That way, everything that happens on a daily basis will meet my expectations and I’m in a constant state of curiosity and learning.”
Although it could sound like simple semantics, it keeps Dean positive and excited most of the time and that’s all that matters.
Australia Isn’t Covered In Dangerous Spiders And Snakes.
The Internet has taught us that Australia is an island filled with creatures who want to kill you at every turn. Dean is here to shatter that illusion.
“It is all just Internet hype unless you live in the Bush of course where you will encounter large spiders and snakes,” he said. “I do, however, enjoy eating Kangaroo.”
Check back every other Wednesday for another AMA with a WordPress influencer!