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Starting a Successful Premium Pluging Business


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Justin Ferriman of LearnDash and Ross Johnson of Project Panorama discuss starting a premium WordPress plugin business.

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Starting a Successful Premium Pluging Business

  1. 1. Creating a Successful Premium Plugin Business Ross Johnson & Justin Ferrmin
  2. 2. 2 Going from nothing to profits What We’ll Cover Getting off the Ground Going to Market Expecting Challanges
  3. 3. WordCamp Ann Arbor Justin Ferriman Founder, LearnDash – WordPress LMS @learndashlms Welcome Ross Johnson Founder, Project Panorama @3pointross
  4. 4. 4 eLearning Expert Since 1995 Justin Ferriman Started Career as a Consultant Consulted with Fortune 500 companies Created LearnDash in 2012 Industry blogger
  5. 5. 5 Story of LearnDash From idea to thriving business Inspiration Exploration Build Launch Evolution
  6. 6. 6
  7. 7. 7 Designer, Developer and CEO at 3.7 DESIGNS Ross Johnson Designer & Developer Teacher Entrepenuer Launched Project Panorama in 2014
  8. 8. 8 Story of Panorama From internal tool to independant business Inspiration Internal Use Free Release Premiumify Launch
  9. 9. 9
  10. 10. 10 Every journey starts with a single step.... Getting off the Ground 1. Finding your muse 2. Validating your market 3. Getting it built
  11. 11. 11 IDEAS Of course to get started you need an idea....
  12. 12. 12 You can build or design anything, but not sure what? Finding Your Muse Scratch Your Own Itch Scratch Your Clients Itch Research Popular Free Plugins Create an add-on WordPressify a SAAS
  13. 13. 13 What’s better than free?
  14. 14. 14 RESEARCH You might have something useful, but will people pay for it?
  15. 15. 15 Before you invest time and money, research the market wants and needs Validating Your Market Keyword Research Release a Free Plugin Research Competitors or Similar Offers Search the Forums
  16. 16. 16 Usefull doesn’t always mean profitable Will people pay for this? Make / Save Money Vanity Solve a ProblemSave Time
  17. 17. 17 MAKING IT HAPPEN You have your idea flushed out, how do you make it happen?
  18. 18. 18 Sure you’re a subject matter expert but who can you trust? Getting it Built Start with feature list “Must-have” vs. “Nice-to-have” Test script & mock-ups Finding a developer
  19. 19. 19 You can build it, but how do you find time? Finding the Time Make it a partial client project Simplify your scope Small frequent bursts
  20. 20. 20 If you build it, will they come? Getting attention in a crowded marketplace is no easy task. What works? Going to Market
  21. 21. 21 MARKETING Marketing doesn’t start the day the product is finished...
  22. 22. 22 Using Connections and Current Assets Going to Market Use your existing network and audience Explore low cost paid opportunities Do giveaways or discounts for sharing Optimize for search Create a free version for the plugin respository
  23. 23. 23 Using Content for Pre-Launch Going to Market Articles, videos, blog posts Collect emails (incentive) Pre-launch contest Go-Live Discount Mutually beneficial opportunities
  24. 24. 24 It’s not going to be all rainbows and lolipops. You’re likely to run into some challanages, it’s best to prepare for them. Expect Challanges
  25. 25. 25 SUPPORT If you’re getting sales, you’re getting support requests
  26. 26. 26 Nightmare Support
  27. 27. 27 Nightmare Support What “the world” sees…
  28. 28. 28 Nightmare Support What we see…
  29. 29. 29 Nightmare Support its great to see when a company holds true to the promises it makes to its initial supporters in case you fail to compute i am being sarcastic its damn f**kin lucky i find your crud usable or else id be seeing you in court for false advertising and using deception to obtain funds honestly pathetic to find dudes with such skills being such scum surely noted and will be passed along to any who will listen i hate being lied to by scammers you will not now ever get another cent out of me you skunks and if you once more tamper with my licensing and again change the original agreement you FRAUDULENTLY took my money by selling me you will be coming in direct contact with my legal advisers f**king pathetic lowlife crap and to think i thought you worth even a cent off my hard earned money
  30. 30. 30 attached is the original fucking copy of the license you gave me TAKE F***KING NOTE OF IT SAYING CLEARLY UNLIMITED SITE USAGE YOU C**K SMOKING F***KING DOG YOU REALLY WANT TO MAKE THIS F***KING PAINFUL RODENT GO THE F**K AHEAD READ IT YOU C**K SUCKING PIECE OF F**KING S**T ITS GOING F**KIN EVERYWHERE TO SHOW YOUR F**KING PUTRID SCAM FOR WHAT IT F**KING IS EMAIL STATES EXACTLY THE SAME INFO D**KHEAD QUESTION MY MOTHER F**KING INTELLIGENCE AGAIN DOG PLEASE -- might want to seriously think of what your site was representing itself as around june as i am fairly certain i will find an archived copy and or screencast and with such i will see you stripped of every f**king cent your scams have ever f**king earnt your piece of f**king s**t a**
  31. 31. 31 it appears i owe you an apologyif that would measure for the abusive attitude towards yourself and staff. i see where my mistake was and see also i was very wrong in my accusations as it is i have breached your terms the refund is unnecessary as the mistake was my own and you should not suffer financial repercussions due to my suspension for my own misguided and over inflated ego. i apologize for any inconvenience and any untoward and insulting behavior and communications. Long Days And Pleasant Nights
  32. 32. 32 Optimizing Support Take some of the pain out of great support Resources (docs, videos, faqs, etc.) Forum & help desk Set expectations Avoid timelines PhraseExpress
  33. 33. 33 Optimizing Support Take some of the pain out of great support Use a ticketing system See the value in every ticket Use forms to your advantage Attitude is everything Some souls are not worth saving
  34. 34. 34
  35. 35. 35
  36. 36. 36
  37. 37. 37 Set the tone, use psychology to keep people happy
  38. 38. 38 RELEASES Pushing out a release and cringe?
  39. 39. 39 Releasing Updates A neccisary risk? Core versus add-on Beta test period Multiple testing environments Everyone on standby Be accessible
  40. 40. 40 Releasing Updates Exciting yet risky? Phased releases Release early and often Get a beta team Develop a QA system Use your own product
  41. 41. 41 COMPETITION If you’re making money, someone is thinking of joining in...
  42. 42. 42 Competition Should you be worried? Competition = market Control the controllables Monitor, don’t obsess Respect goes a long way Focus on customers first
  43. 43. 43 Compitition Should you be worried? Focus on a niche Find ways to be different Lead, don’t follow Add value beyond the product Create an ecosystem
  44. 44. 44 Go out, make something great Questions?