We wrote about selling WordPress maintenance a few months back and we heard from several freelance developers who offer on-going WordPress maintenance. So we asked for their tips and insights.
What pushed you to get into selling WordPress maintenance plans?
Dave Clements: When I would have clients ask me to do a task on their site after having built their site months or years before, I would undoubtedly be horrified to see numerous updates waiting to be done. In addition, the clients didn’t have regular backups of their site, so I saw an opportunity for me to capitalize on an existing relationship, with trust already built, to recommend and carry out these maintenance tasks on the clients’ behalf.
How has it worked for you? What benefits are you seeing for your business?
Dave: It’s been a nice little vertical for my web development business. Once I complete someone’s site, I can educate them on the need to maintain their site properly, and offer the service. To sweeten the deal, as an existing client, I also offer them a coupon code. It has the really nice benefit of allowing me to continue the relationship beyond just the development phase, so whenever they have a new need for their site, I’m always the first person on their mind.
What’s changed since you started selling WordPress maintenance?
Dave: Not much has changed in my approach. The biggest change I’ve made is the cost of my development time. I really undervalued it to begin with and it was a big mistake. Once just a few clients have access to one or two hours of development time each and they aren’t paying much for it, you’re quickly losing money. So I modified that to more accurately reflect my cost and my expertise, and those who share those values are happy to pay for it, so we’re all happy.
What kind of systems or tools do you have to make things easier for yourself?
Dave: I originally used Restrict Content Pro to manage the membership aspect of the site and all of the payments through Stripe. While I’m still using RCP to protect member content, I completely rebuilt my subscription management system using Gravity Forms and (More) Stripe, and it’s awesome. Because I completely customized it, the system is as automated and streamlined as it can be. I also feed form submissions for requests like security reviews and development requests directly into Appigo’s Todo app, which I use to run my life, so the request is instantly added to the queue in the correct order.
What have you found to be the most effective way to sell ongoing maintenance?
Dave: Without a doubt, it’s been selling to my development clients. We have already established a relationship and they trust me and my advice. When the project is over, and I’m showing them how to use their site and how to manage it and maintain it, it’s a really natural segue into my maintenance offerings.
Any other tips for people wanting to offer this service?
Dave: Do something unique—don’t worry about fitting into a really small niche. If you work hard to make yourself the go-to person in that arena, you’ll quickly have a monopoly and can build upon that strength to enter another niche if you like. Also, don’t be afraid of small beginnings. It takes a while, but be persistent and just keep doing good work and the rewards will follow.
Thanks for sharing, Dave. Check out our original post on selling WordPress maintenance for more tips and details.