The WordPress Development arena can seem pretty darned competitive at times and in many ways, it is.
But if you’re up for a challenge, that’s part of what makes running a business fun. You always need to be on the lookout for ways to improve; ways to offer more value to your clients, and ways to boost your revenue.
It’s possible that you’re one of those WordPress developers who’s busy enough that the thought of diversifying your services isn’t even on the table. If that’s the case, then this article isn’t really for you.
But before you shun the idea of developing new services and revenue, it’s worth realizing that a lot of small and medium sized businesses can’t necessarily afford to hire a specialist for every facet of their increasingly complicated digital marketing campaigns. Nor are they likely to be aware of how they can use technology to improve the efficiency and profitability of their business. This creates an opportunity for you to provide more value.
By offering a diversified suite of services, you’ll be in a much better position to help your clients where they need it the most. Along the way, this can result in you becoming a more integral part of their digital marketing team. It’s worth remembering that your chance of selling to an existing customer runs between 60-70%, versus that of landing a new prospect, which sits at a mere 5-20%.
So, if you’re a WordPress developer who is on the lookout for a few ways to expand your skill-set, provide more value to your clients, and make more money in the process, this article should be right up your alley.
What You Need to Know About Providing More Value
Before we jump into our list of potential value added services, we should first look at the process of adding value. Our objective here is to create a win-win scenario. That is, adding value for your clients and at the same time, boosting revenue and profit for your business.
It’s not going to do you any good to pick a value added service from the list below and start offering it to your clients next Monday. You won’t find success at the end of that path because you’re putting the cart before the horse. Instead, you’re better off finding the answers to a few important questions first:
Figure Out What Problem They Are Facing
Where are your clients struggling in their business? Managing internal communication and collaboration? Generating new leads? Search engine visibility? Email marketing? The only real way to answer this question is by talking to your clients about their business. Gather feedback and look for a common thread that runs through your list of clients.
Create a Solution to Their Problem
Once you’ve determined what their problems are, you can start developing an appropriate solution. It’s always good to tie your solution to their bottom line. How much time will you be able save them through improved collaboration and communication?
If you’re designing and developing an email campaign focused on improving their customer retention, how will it affect their revenue? If you are working to improve their search engine visibility, how much will each new lead cost them, and what is their expected lifetime value from that lead?
Exploring and answering these two basic questions should help you decide which value added services you should focus on providing. One thing you want to avoid is this: Your core business is WordPress development. Don’t put yourself in the position of offering too many unrelated services. You’ll end up chasing your tail and running around in circles. Instead, pick 1-2 areas where you see potential (based upon your conversations with clients) and focus your energy there.
More Value Doesn’t Mean Free
When talking about providing more value, I want to be clear that I’m not suggesting that this value comes without a corresponding fee attached to it. Not at all!
If anything, some of the ideas for add-on services that are listed below have the potential to affect, in a very positive way, the two things most valuable to a business owner: time and capital.
Any time you provide a client with a way to free up time or make more money, you should look at charging a premium based upon the value you are bringing to the project. Because you are already working with the client as a developer, you’ll have an established relationship with a degree of trust. Due to this, your clients are more likely to listen to you, compared to someone they have never talked to before.
Value Added Services You Can Provide
The number of potential value-added services is endless so this is by no means a comprehensive list. Instead, these are solutions to some of the more common challenges faced by small and medium size businesses. Almost all of these services can be customized or combined with one another in order to provide a tailored solution.
Google Apps For Business Set Up
For people comfortable with technology, setting up Google Apps for a client seems to be too simple a task worth worrying about. But put yourself in your clients shoes. The thought of having to set up dozens of email addresses, changing MX records and configuring permissions can seem an overwhelming task at the best of times.
There are many businesses who are still hosting their website and email on the same server. It’s an old and potentially risky way of doing things, especially if their company emails typically contain sensitive information. It shouldn’t be too difficult to sell them on the benefits of a dedicated email provider.
Google Apps for Work offers what is probably the premier business-grade suite of email and collaborative tools available. What’s more, they offer both a referral program and a partner program, both of which provide you with the opportunity to earn a small commission for helping clients set up their accounts.
Email Design and Configuration
According to Salesforce, Email continues to be a leader when it comes to driving online sales, with 73% of marketers agreeing that it’s critical to their business. A full 69% of US internet users state that email is their preferred method of communicating.
With statistics like those, it shouldn’t be too difficult to convince clients of the importance of email marketing. It seems like an easy task to manage but consider what’s involved from your clients perspective:
- Email template creation
- Content and image creation
- List management and segregation
- Campaign setup & creation
- Life cycle marketing
- Reporting and more
Creating an effective email marketing campaign is more complicated that it appears on the surface. Even offering the initial design and setup for a fixed fee could potentially save your clients hours of work.
Landing Page Creation
Landing pages have become a major point of focus for most businesses. HubSpot reports that companies with 40+ landing pages typically generate 12 times more leads that companies with 5 or less.
Although there are several SaaS options that would allow your clients to build landing pages, a more custom option might be appealing. This is especially true if you offered fixed rate pricing instead of the monthly plans more common with the SaaS options.
Right behind and closely integrated with landing pages (for obvious reasons) is conversion optimization, a service that more often than not, uses value based pricing. Conversioner created a great info graphic worth investigating. Of particular interest are the following statistics:
- 61% of organizations plan to start A/B testing by the end of 2015.
- 73% of companies have no idea why consumers abandon their shopping carts.
There are plenty of intuitive tools available like Visual Website Optimizer that will allow you to help clients achieve a better return on their investment. Of all the potential services you could offer as a developer, conversion optimization should be a leading choice. Not only does the logical side of development lend itself well to optimization testing, but you’ll already have intimate knowledge of how the site was developed, making small changes and tweaks a task that is easily accomplished.
Managing PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns for clients can quickly become a time consuming task. That said, if in addition to development you also have a love for SEO, seeking out long-tail keywords and testing ad copy, then PPC might be a service to which you are well suited. While not mandatory, becoming a Certified Google AdWords Partner will add some legitimacy to your promotional efforts.
Competition has certainly increased for all organic keywords and there are many scenarios where simply relying on organic rankings is no longer an option. Additionally, social advertising including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are becoming increasingly popular platforms and being able to advise your clients on multiple platforms might provide you with an advantage.
Providing ongoing maintenance should be the most obvious off all the potential value added services you could offer. Just taking a few seconds to glance at the WordPress version statistics should quickly answer your question as to why a maintenance service is valuable. A mere 37.6% of WordPress installations are currently running the most recent version.
It’s a simple truth that left to their own devices, clients either forget or can’t be bothered to keep their website up-to-date. Its also worth noting that those statistics haven’t even taken into consideration the out-of-date plugins that are in use.
Ongoing maintenance can include a variety of services including:
- Updating WordPress and plugins
- Publishing and formatting blog posts
- Managing back-ups
- Small updates and fixes
- Monthly reporting
You could offer this service on a basic monthly retainer or an hourly fee. Either way, ongoing maintenance provides a great way of keeping your client relationships fresh. Being in front of clients every month increases the odds of landing and new work when it becomes available.
Social Media Management
Many businesses get social medial completely wrong. Somewhere along the line they have made the mistake of assuming social media was a sales channel. When they don’t see the results they expected in a relatively short time-frame, the strategy is often discarded – dismissed as ineffective.
There is an opportunity to provide ongoing social media management to companies who either don’t have the manpower or the knowledge to manage an ongoing social campaign. HubSpot reports that 59% of marketers are using social media for 6 hours or more per week. Even at half that amount, those kind of hours represent a great opportunity for social media management on retainer. A nice break from coding if you enjoy social media!
Marketing automation is changing the way businesses interact with customers. Helping your clients introduce marketing automation to their workflow has the potential to add massive value to the services you provide.
SaaS companies like InfusionSoft and Ontraport can help your clients automate and systematize their marketing, lead generation, sales and CRM. But your customers face significant challenges when they decide to head down the path of automation.
The initial setup is time consuming, labor intensive, and presents a complex learning curve. It’s not uncommon to find consultants providing a “done for you” setup service at rates ranging between $100 – $165/hour.
If your clients are currently paying for an email marketing platform, it’s probably worth investigating the benefits of marketing automation. Especially if they are already paying for an inferior platform.
As a WordPress developer, you probably find yourself in situations where you garner a deep understanding of a client’s business. A direct result of the information you gather during the development process. You end up learning about their products and services, their sales funnels, how they track new leads, who the key employees in the company are and much more.
All this information can provide you with the unique ability to see the big picture. Often spotting inefficiencies that even the client was not aware of.
“You mean I can automate that process?” asks your client.
“You sure can” you say, “let me show you how I have helped some of my other clients solve that exact same problem.”
If you are a Developer, have you experimented with introducing other related or unrelated services?How have your clients responded and have the effects on your business been positive? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Article thumbnail image by Vasya Kobelev / shutterstock.com