Episode 239: WordPress As A Service

Show Highlights

Rob Cairns sits down with Adam McLaughlin to talk about WordPress as a service.

Show Highlights:

  1. How this best serves your customers.
  2. Recurring revenue.
  3. How to  present WordPress as a service to clients.
  4. Suggestions on managing WordPress as a service.

Show Notes

Today I’m here with Adam McLaughlin of Build That Agency.

How are you today, Adam?

I’m doing well, rob, thank you so.

Uh, such a pleasure and I know you’re traveling you’re somewhere in the UK right now if I remember.

Much for having me on.

Yeah, that’s right. Uh, my wife and I and our three boys are pet sitting, uh, we’re about an hour’s drive north of London right now, and we’ve been here for three weeks.

And we’re going to be over here in Europe for about six months.

Traveling and pet sitting and getting caught in all.

Yeah, that is that.

That sounds like a great vacation and just.

Be safe, that’s all I can say with everything going on in the world right now.

Uhm, so I wanted to get into and talk about a little bit about your background.

Sure, thank you.

Uhm, how you got into this crazy field which we all know can be insane sometimes.

And why you started in agency?

Sure, well, in 2011 I was working at a factory and that’s not how my brain is wired at all.

Uhm, there was a lot going on in my life and I needed to make some money.

So I went to work in a factory and.

Uh, then my second son was born and I decided you know what I’m not.

Gonna raise my kids telling them they can live the life of their dreams and they should go get it and they should go conquer their goals while I’m you know removing this screw moving apart over and replacing the screw for you know 14 hours a day.

And so I decided, you know what I have to start my own agency, I have to do something different.

And my little town in Woodstock ON Canada.

Had a lot of businesses that didn’t have a website, so I started asking why they didn’t.

Have a website.

And I found out that they didn’t want to pay upfront.

Large sum of money for a website and then have to pay later for updates and changes and requirements.

And what’s this hosting thing?

And I have to pay for the.

Host every month, but I have to pay for the domain every year.

And what are all these things?

And So what?

I decided in 2011 was I would figure out how to take all those costs that they have to have on an ongoing basis. Turn it into a monthly service package and create websites as a service.

And so I went out.

I quit my job.

At the factory, I went out and sold two websites that I went home to figure out how to build a website because I really had no idea.

But I saw the need and that was now 12 years ago and so here we are.

We’re now, you know, able to travel my wife.

And I’ve been traveling full time.

Since it’s summer of 2018, it’s not without its it’s bumps and and speed bumps and and business has its ups and downs, so I’m not bragging or suggesting I’ve got it all figured out, but I I have figured a few things out and I’ve got. I’ve got the life.

I’ve I’ve dreamt.

That’s that’s a great story.

I got up and feel that.

Are you building most your website to WordPress or are you using some other content management system?

Yeah, everything is built in WordPress and we use divvy as our theme templates, so one of my soapbox is, so to speak, is to be sure that you’ve got consistent systems and processes.

It’s one of the best ways to be efficient.

It’s one of the best ways to create website.

Quickly and to get websites live and start rolling in that monthly service package from that client as soon as possible and so we use divvy exclusively.

Yeah, it’s funny.

With WordPress for all of our hands.

I’ve I’ve actually moved away from the page builders, so to speak, so I’m kind of in the Gutenberg camp lately.

For all my builds with Cadence, believe it or not.

So I made that I made that move a number of months ago.

So, but I.

Think you gotta use what works for you?

I think most of these.

Page builders all do the same thing.

It’s a far cry from where it was like 10 years ago.

I remember page builders like if you remember headway themes at the time and and interestingly enough, the headway theme site has finally just gone down.

In the last while their website so.

There’s a, there’s a legacy and and a story that didn’t end well in the end.

To be honest with you, there were all kinds of issues there, but they were.

They were miles ahead of their time and the current generation of page builders are pretty good so.

Yeah, I mean we originally started, you know, the first website that I built.

You know you have to factor in a a fair amount of time for learning curve, but you know probably actually doing the design and putting it all together probably took me 20 to 30 hours.

Uhm, now because we serve specific niche, niche niche niche niche, I always forget Canadian podcasts, but this must be niche industries because we serve specific industries.

Uhm, we’ve now got templates that we work from.

We can get a website live in.

4 hours so that’s.

No, no, no question.

A big difference from 20 hours.

And I and I think.

You know you kind of alluded to that a lot of people in the small town of Woodstock didn’t see spending the money, but I think what we need to stress.

And I I stress it on this podcast to stress it with clients.

Is that dumb?

The only two things you really own on your website and your email marketing list and everything else that people do, whether it’s on Twitter, whether it’s on Instagram, that’s kind of space you don’t own, and the rules on those can change very quickly and fast.

Yeah, completely agree uhm yeah yeah yeah totally.

So he.

You know you’re selling websites as a service.

Uhm, how is getting the content out of clients?

’cause I know from experience that’s usually the bottleneck.

It’s not the designer, it’s not the developer, it’s the clients coming up with their content.


Well, I will say that it depends on each industry, because you know, we’ve got an industry specifically that we work with and the only thing that we require from the client is an onboarding form that takes two or three minutes and their photos of their physical location.

And so then what we do is we write their copy for them based on.

What’s required for the the template?

So for instance, the home page they’re going to give us, you know their rates, for instance, and we have a section on the home page where we talk about.

You’ll enjoy our fabulous rates and you know those headers are already written.

And then we just, you know, we have a shortcode system that we use that automatically populates things like their address, their area, the closest major city to their business.

All those fun things.

Basically, we continually find ways to develop how to speed that up up so, but you know, it really does depend on the industry.

Uhm, not that some industries are faster or slower getting US content, but.

The templates that we’ve built up kind of vary by industry.

Some need a little bit more, you know, copywriting, some some.

It’s not as important, but yeah, I would say you know getting the original stuff from the clients.

The actual onboarding form and the photos.

That’s that’s always our.

Challenge, but we also drive home to the client from the very beginning of our interaction with them.

You know, this is either a two week process to build your website or it could be a two year.

Process and it’s entirely up to you to decide if it’s a two week process or a two year process.

So if it’s a two week process, it looks like we get everything.

You get everything to us in the next two to three days we get started.

It takes about a week to build your website based on the template and then you’ve got a week to approve it and make sure that all of the information is accurate so we can go live.

That’s what the two week process looks like, and so you know if you’d like your website live in two weeks, we can definitely do that.

Yeah, yeah.

For you, it’s entirely up to you.

Yeah, that.

But you know, once you get past the content, the rest of it seems to be pretty seamless.

In terms of uh?

Uh, websites as a service, they handle all the hosting, all the security updates and everything else to go with it as well.

Yeah, we’re basically a managed hosting service. However, because we target specific industries, we’ve built templates that work for them, so we will build the website for the client. Their client pays $0.00 upfront if they’re in one of our targeted industries.

And we have a template for them, so they play $0.00 upfront. They lock into a service contract, usually for 12 or 24 months.

Uh, and that service contract includes everything from their hosting, their domain registration re registration to email addresses which we set up through Google, and it also includes 60 minutes of design time per month as needed, so some clients will call us, you know, once a month because they have a new special to go on their website.

That’s pretty rare.

Uh, most clients will call us like once a year and say, hey can you update our?

Rates, but it’s all rolled into the service package, so what’s important for us is for our clients to understand that when you are going to work with us, there are no additional costs.

There are no surprise invoices.

There’s nothing outside of our service package and we really help them understand as part of our sales process that.

The service package is I’m I’m sorry I just I lost where I was going ’cause I said process instead of process.

See Robert.

Doing it so.

Maybe they’re rubbing back off on me.

It’s all good.

Yes, no, we right we.

There it is.

We drive home in our sales process that their their website should be treated like a utility.

You know, it’s kind of like your phone bill your your electricity bill, your insurance.

It doesn’t necessarily cost anything upfront, but if you ever walk away, you’re walking away from the service that you had.

And we keep that content.

So just treat.

And wait, and what do you do it for?

It like a monthly service.

Client says they wanna go away but they wanna take to content with them.

Do you?

Do you give them an option to do that or do?

You just say no goodbye.

Yeah, well.

We often will do an 18 month, so whatever their service contract is times 18 months and and they can buy it out if they really want to.

But the reality is, if they’re leaving us, they’re going to need somebody else to take over for them and that other person probably doesn’t work with our stuff.

You know, they probably are going to hire another sales.

Person who wants to redesign the website as part of taking on their service package as well so.

It doesn’t happen that often, and really I want to create an agency that the client is so happy with our service that they they really don’t have a reason to do that.

Short of you know they sell their property or they sell their business or hire.

You know it’s it’s funny I I see a lot of stuff and I’ve been doing this a while and one of the things are shared with you.

I’ve been working on and I might as well announce it here is we all know what link tree is.

Link Tree is a company that’s.

Valued over like a billion dollars and all it does is provide links.

Do you know you can build that so easy in any page builder like?

Why do you wanna pay for service that gives you links that you don’t get to traffic from?

I just

Yeah, it’s incredible, but they found somebody to pay the money.

Lots of money, lots of money.

And you know, at the time of this record and it’s worth mentioning the social media world, so it would have been in flux because we know our friend Mr Elon Musk just spent.

$44 billion yesterday purchasing this little omen called Twitter, which I just find Earth shattering, don’t you?

Yeah, that’s a.

It’s it’s really interesting. I saw a meme today and it said Elon Musk paid 44 billion for Twitter, but I downloaded the app for free and so it was a

It’s, it’s just it’s interesting to see.

Uhm, he’s kind of in a free speech camp, so I I don’t mind him buying it, I’m.

Different people reactions.

I’m a big fan of what people say, what they want to say and let the public and the courts decide where they go, not censor them.

I’m so not in the censorship camp, so I’m I’m OK with this.

I think so personally, but maybe I’m in a minority right now.

I’m not sure.

I, I think it’ll be really interesting to see how it pans out because I think there are a lot of of things that could be done with Twitter.

You know one of my friends speculated that, like Tik Tok’s, Twitter is going to start paying content creators to be there exclusively and I thought, well, that’s a really interesting concept. Because then if you want to.

Get content from X creator.

You have to be on Twitter so.

That’s you know.

I I just think that the possibilities are are really extreme.

And so many variables in between.

There I’m really interested to see.

What happens next?

Yeah, and and podcasts have already done that. Spotify’s got exclusives. Amazons got exclusives. We, we all know the exclusivity game in this.

And This is why, as people who are in the streaming world subscribe to five and 10 services and not one right?

Of course.

Yeah, we cut our cable so that we could add on all.

The plus, cables, subscriptions and all we did was get ourselves with VR or VR.

It’s it’s funny.

Uhm, going back to Twitter.

And you and I met on Twitter, another case where I think you know people say Twitter doesn’t have good relationships.

I disagree.

It’s a great place to build relationship.

And one of your Twitter threads when we were talking about this in a pre show you were talking about firing clients and you commented.

I had shared the post and yeah.

And what’s your quick summary?

Take on keeping bad clients.

Well, I you know if I was really to break it down, I think what started that thread for me was somebody was bragging about firing a client the the day before and I thought to myself, that’s kind of like bragging about how terrible you are at parent.

And it’s just.

It’s like if you if you have to brag about how.

Terrible you are.

At at creating a functional client relationship, it’s time to reconsider those processes.

So anyway, basically I break it down into three steps.

The first step is when the client oversteps their bounds.

Uhm, you want to help them see that they overstep their bounds but accommodate their requests as much as possible.

You know, so maybe they send you an email on Sunday afternoon and by Sunday night they send a follow up email and ask why the change isn’t done.

So Monday morning hey, I just want to remind you that all of our changes happen the next business day.

Uhm, and so moving forward.

We’ll be sure that we get your changes made the.

Next business day.

So that’s kind of step one is a gentle reminder and accommodate the request.

If you can #2 is to be really clear and say hey, you know this is the second time that you’ve requested on something on Sunday.

I’m happy I was able to get that done for you first thing Monday morning, but moving forward I.

Just want to be really clear.

That we do not offer service outside of business days.

Uhm, and so if you need that service, like if you have something urgent, that’s probably going to be happening every Sunday.

Maybe there’s another agency who can accommodate that, so that’s one option is to point them to.

Another agency, but.

The other option is to say, hey, you know we do offer a seven day a week package.

It’s twice what your current service packages but.

If that’s a fit for your business, then we would be happy to to switch you to that new service.

Package so the.

Other option is to give them an upgraded service package that better accommodates what they’re looking for, you know, and maybe that’s you know your regular service packages.

You know we do changes within two to three business days, but they want it like within two to three business hours.

OK, well I can accommodate that for you, but it means I have to be on call all the time and that’s going to cost an extra X dollars per month.

Uhm, you know is so.

There’s different ways around that kind of Step 2 is is reminding them of.

What you’ve?

Yeah, I I’d like to.

Agreed to, but also.

Giving the models and then Step 3.

I’d like to stop there on Step 2 I.

Oh sorry.

I’ll share with his story.

There was a had a client recently who insisted he wanted something done on this Saturday and we had been through the same where I told him you.

Now, I generally don’t do stuff on this Saturday, but if you want and my alternative was if you wanted to do it on Saturday, I’d be glad to do it for you.

But I’m gonna charge you triple what I normally charge you.

And, uh, he kind of humming hard and I said, well, the choice is yours because you.

This is the way I’m going to in his choice.

He actually chose to pay triple what he normally does for a job that took eight hours, so I’ll take.

I’ll take that, but I gave him an alternative so he can’t say.

You’re not responsive, so.

And and.

Of course, yeah, and I think it all boils down to how clear are you with your service agreement?

Like if the client doesn’t know that you will make changes in two to three business days, then it’s not unfair for them to send you an email on Monday morning and Monday at 4:00 PM.

This is.

Ask where the change is right?

Because they just don’t know what.

So my my thought is that a lot of times when clients overstep their bounds, it’s my fault or my responsibility to check that I was actually clear with the processes and that’s why I really.

In any any word.

Hate people who bragged.

About firing clients.

I mean, I shouldn’t say I hate the people.

I hate the I hate.

The ranking part of firing clients.

And you were going to.

Go on and kind of step.

Three, sorry before we.

Well, step three is when you you just let them know it’s time to move on and so you know and do that as cleanly as possible and through every interaction in that process.

Thinking to yourself, will this help me retain the reputation?

You know my end goal for if a client has to move on, is that if the client was.

Asked about their interactions with me, I’d really want them to say it wasn’t a fit for me to work.

With Adam, but he was a great guy to.

Work with and.

So how do you do that through every piece of the process?

How do you make that domain transfer as smooth as possible?

How do you make the you know, exporting your WordPress and importing as smooth as possible?

How do you do that?

Stay regular communication with the new agency.

Let them know if there’s any.

You know premium plugins.

They’re going to need to purchase their subscription to all those types.

Of things right?

So the entire process works through.

How do I make this as best as possible so that both the new agency and the client will think of me with the reputation I want them to?

And you know, unfortunately, it’s not always possible, and in that thread.

If anybody goes digging for it.

I kind of talked about.

The only time I’ve had to fire a client.

Yeah, and there’s two things I think help in the process.

And it was straight to step.

One uhm, your contract and I I really do so I actually outline in all my contracts.

Uh, what I say what my post sales process is, so it’s right.

In the contract, it says.

By the way, these are the times we take requests.

These are the times what how long you wait for a response.

That’s all right in the contract.

I think that’s really important.

And yeah, I actually go so far.

Because of running issues where somebody was, you know, with the days of scan contracts.

I actually had a client once he accused me of slipping a page into the contract after the fact.

That went to step three very quickly too.

Oh really, wow.

But what I do with my clients is I make them initial off every line item in the contract.

Of course.

So they cannot come back to me and say I in rate it, your initials beside it.

You’re responsible.

And it’s not about being heavy, it’s about making sure that they set themselves up for success.

So one of my requirements for my business is if you have a request, sending me a.

Text message doesn’t work and it says right in my contract no text message.

At all the way you get response, so to me is and my clients know this.

I’ve got to help that desk ticketing system.

They go open up a ticket if they don’t open up a ticket and they send me an email.

I may or may not get to it, depending on the mood I’m in.

Usually I’ll get to it and send them back an email and said please open up a ticket at this URL and put this information in.

Thank you.

But sure, you know.

And now I now argue and say, well, I notified you and I’m like, yeah, but you didn’t follow the process that you agree to, and that’s a sticker.

Contracts aren’t just for the person buying the service, they’re also for the person selling the service.

Uhm, the other thing I do with my clients and I’ve done for years because I’m too lazy to create a membership portal on my own website.

I actually have hacked Google Classroom and I use Google Classroom, a classroom for each client and I put all their documents in that classroom.

And then I and then I give them access to the classroom with the Gmail account and then if they need to check the contract they need to.

Oh, that’s a cool idea.

Check their terms of service.

They need to check anything that they can’t find, like stuff we’ve agreed on.

I’ll put notes right in there in a document and throw it in the classroom.

And then it’s all there for.

And then you don’t have.

Thank you and that’s another use for Google Classroom, which I’ve which is really an educational product.

Yeah, that’s very cool.

But really, when you think about it, it’s a membership product for schools, right?

That’s something I do there.

Yeah, let’s move on to one of the things you do is help agencies with reoccurring revenue isn’t.

It’s one of the biggest problems that people don’t.

Think that one.

Yeah, I mean.

A lot of people think that websites are a product, right?

And this is not just agencies and freelancers, but this is clients as.

Well, right, they’ll say little things like, hey, I need to buy a website or I need you to have me make a website.

And I think there is.

Uh, there is some effort that goes into shifting this mindset that websites are a service and not a product.

And the quickest analogy that I found is that you know you’ve updated your phone last Tuesday to the latest security update and then all of a sudden there’s an emergency update on Thursday.

Today, and that’s kind of how websites work, because at any point in time it’s no longer a bunch of code.

It’s no longer a bunch of HTML code that sits on a computer somewhere that people access when they type in your website address.

It’s now like a piece of software, a piece of software that adapts to different screen sizes and.

Can you know pull up the weather depending on the day of the week.

And a bunch of other functions, just like other software does.

So you have to think of your website like like software or an app, and that app needs constant updating, not only from security side and technical side, and you know the software side, but also from you because your clients want to make sure that your.

Website You know your menu pricing is correct and they want to know that you offer that new brand or they want to know you have a special going on right now.

So we want to make sure that your website is updated.

Uhm, you know, so that’s kind of how I I talk with clients.

About that, but for agencies.

I mean it’s really leaving money on the table to say to agencies listen.

I’m the web expert. You should pay me a premium compared to your cousin because your cousin can build your website for 500 bucks, but I’m not just building a website. I’m giving you a strategy of how to grow your email list through your website.

I’m getting more people there and making it easy for people to navigate and find their way around and find what they’re looking for or becoming your customer.

I’m the website expert, however as soon as your website goes live, you’re on your own.

And that just seems like a terrible way to suggest that you’re the expert about something and then abandon a client the day that the site goes live and you get.

Paid for it.

So we do it right from the right from the start, and this is one of the big things that the people that I mentor, the big shift that they see.

Is we don’t.

You know, quote a website and then build it and then the day it goes live.

It’s not an Oh yeah, and here’s our service.

Package options.

Now I build that service package right into the quote even before the client gets the quote.

So my initial consultation with the client.

I’ll say to them listen, I’ve got all the information I need to get you a quote.

I’m going to be quote by the end of the business.

Tomorrow, but you’re also going to notice that my quote looks a little bit different than you might be expecting, because you’re going to see the cost to building a custom website, but you’re also going to see our monthly service package, and that’s where I run through all the software updates and bits and pieces I said.

So your quote is going to come with the cost to put the website together.

And then also the monthly investment to keep it updated and keep it running.

So just so you have a heads up ahead of time so they can then ask any questions they.

Have about that.

Uh, then the quote shows up.

It’s got the, you know, for a custom build it’s got the upfront cost plus their monthly service package.

Uhm, you know for the templates that we white label for agencies you know they don’t do an upfront cost.

We just do a monthly service package, so they’re expecting that right from the beginning.

As well.

And you have to build that into the process so you’re not surprising the client you’re not giving the client option an option, you’re just telling them.

This is how our business works.

This is how your website will service you best.

Or serve you best.

And that’s the.

I I so agree with that philosophy.

I mean I, I know when I do a new build, I usually build three months of the service package into the custom build price right off the top ’cause.

It gets them started and then they see and then I say to them and right up front as well.


And by the way, after the three months, here’s what your annual or your monthly cost is going to be for that service package, and that’s the route I go.

And it’s the same idea.

It’s just that clients gotta realize that there is a cost of maintaining that site and and let’s be honest, no matter how many times.

I’ve heard it.

The business owner is 9 out of 10 times.

Not gonna log into the WordPress dashboard.

They’re not gonna update the plugins no matter how much they swear they are.

And then when the site goes down or breaks, then they’re gonna be mad at you.

The original designer saying you did this a year ago.

And now it’s broken and it’s your fault.

Yeah, and not only that, when somebody visits their site, your footer is in the designed by space, so they’re going to see a broken website with your name on it because the client didn’t take care of it and just all these things are just a snowball reason, you know, and we’re not even getting into yet how it benefits us as an agency to have income stability.

Which is a whole other ball of wax that just it it.

It changes the mindset.

From you know I have to sell a website this month or I don’t make any money too.

I I have to service my clients because I want to keep making the money I’m making.

And and what?

It’s it’s just a completely different perspective.

And I’m going to go into the income stability conversation.

’cause I I think that’s really important that I am.

I was saying to you before we.

Went to

Yeah, they’ve got no time in this record. About 300.

Sites I maintain just from a security perspective. So for those 300 sites all I do is I update the website.

I keep them secure.

I keep backups typically going back about three months or four months.

I keep dailies, I’m I’m so anal about security and this is a service that nine out of 10 clients would never do themselves.

I mean, I looked at a site last week and you’re gonna laugh.


There was.

59 Plugins WordPress plugins 10 being used and 42 out of date WOW.

And we’re not.

And we’re not talking a month out of date.

And by the way, WordPress core, the main version out of date as well.

Yeah, I mean that just opens you up to all kinds of security issues.

So yeah, and and that, and that’s my cat and I said to the business owner, when was the last time you logged into the site and and one of the things the conversation started on is I don’t know how much traffic I’m getting and I’m like.

And oh man.


Have you had anybody look at your analytics in the last six months?

No, and and you know.

Where that conversation right goes right?

So I start digging, so I think you know, no matter how much good intention people in the DIY space are gonna say all I’m gonna do is I’m gonna do it.

My experience has been they’re not gonna do it.

And if you can foster.

You know some of those clients into you doing it for them.

That’s reoccurring revenue every month, which you’re billing for.

Yeah, and it’s not as much, at least for me.

It’s not as much about.

Uh, convincing the client to actually do it, but it’s, you know we have plugins we update and they cause a conflict.

So yeah.

I mean to assume that the the client is then going to do their own tech support and dig dig into the Java conflict and whatever else is just.

It’s not reasonable for somebody who runs a restaurant and is trying to figure out what next Tuesday lunch special is going to be, and so it’s it’s not.

It is about creating recurring revenue for my business, but it’s also about relieving the headache for somebody else is business and that’s really what?

And and it’s so true.

I mean, how?

How do you expect a restaurant owner to realize that this plugin conflicts with this version of PHP?

That’s a common one right now and and then they look at you and like I didn’t know I should be able to just push.

The update button and.

Right, and now they’re kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place, right?

Because they’re stuck between maybe I have to just leave my website broken.

Or maybe I have to call a designer and pay a bench fee that I find out I can’t afford once once everything said and done, and that’s really not where I want to position anybody.

That I would want to be my client so.

So it really.

Makes sense for both my business and their business that we maintain their website as.

No, I I would.

I would agree with you.

A model.

Where else do you see that agencies can do reoccurring revenue better?

Oh, there’s so many opportunities so I had this conversation with somebody I was mentoring last week.

I’m going to say, yeah, I think it was last week and you know, she gets so excited about all the possibilities in digital marketing.

So when she talks with the client, she says, well, you know we could do blogging or we could do an Email newsletter.

We could do an ebook opt in or we could do a coupon opt in or or we could you know start you a podcast or we could do a Twitter feed.

Or we could do threads and there just really is so many opportunities and she wants to offer all of them to clients and each of them are a monthly service.

And you know she was ending up giving.

Basically clients.

It looks like the menu from you know, Cheesecake Factory where you got 17 pages and I can never decide what to eat.

And So what happens is she was, you know, getting really excited clients who really wanted to work with her and got really great referrals.

And then she would hand them a menu of all these things.

They could pick and choose to add on and they couldn’t figure out what to add on.

And so we I’ve created this system where I’ve got like a five stage funnel.

And so the first stage is you have to have a functional website.

The second stage is that you need a reason for people to opt into your newsletter, but you can’t do the reason for people to opt into your newsletter unless you’ve got a.

Functional website that’s you know.

Good on mobile and all those.

Things OK then the next one is that you send them an Email newsletter and then the second, the fourth stage is that you will do SEO, so you might help them with blog content and then the fifth stage is you might do some retargeting ads on Facebook or Instagram and so this is kind of a five stage funnel and you know.

There’s there’s a couple aspects to this, but each one of those stages presents new opportunities.

For recurring Rev.

The problem, I think with clients or with how agencies handle clients I think should be more specific is sometimes we throw out, you know here are 17 pages worth of options.

Rather than saying OK before we do anything else, we need to get your website in tiptop shape.

We need your website to function.

Completely properly we need to clean up those 42 unused WordPress plugins. We need to make sure it’s mobile, responsive and so I think given.

Thing you know, people a clear strategy.

So now when somebody comes to you and says OK, you know what I really need.

This happened to me three weeks ago.

Now somebody came to me and said, hey, I’d like to do some Facebook ads and I said to them, well, I didn’t use these words, but I essentially said your website sucks and so driving people to your website.

Using Facebook ads is going to be basically burning money on Facebook ads.

And and so let’s walk through this five stage strategy so functional website a reason for people to opt into your Email newsletter.

An actual Email newsletter that you send out regularly and then we’ll move to go and then we’ll move to a retargeting strategy.

Each of those comes with recurring income, but if I can’t get the clients website as the baseline strategy in place, then they’re not going to see result.

And so I think there are, you know, there’s there’s all kinds of opportunities to create recurring revenue through blogging through social media management through Facebook ads.

And you can outsource a lot of that stuff and still have great profit margins.

But I think.

You need to have a clear strategy.

For the client that says listen, some clients might go week one is stage 1A functional website. Week two is stage 2.

Week three is stage.

Three, you know in a month and a half, they’re completely running on all five of those stages.

For another client, it might be five months instead of five weeks, and for another client it might be five years instead of five weeks.

But basically what you’re doing is you’re creating a system and you’re saying listen.

This is what it’s going to take to get you to where you want to be.

How fast do you want to get there, and on each of those stages you’re building recurring revenue, but if you just start with somebody who says listen, I want to do Facebook ads and.

You go OK.

Let’s buy some Facebook.

Look at.

Uhm, you’re really not creating any results for your clients, and as months as much as that seems like you’re building recurring revenue, it’s not going to last very long.

Yeah, I would agree.

And then it might.

As well, just.

I would also say you know, as we talk about all this and you you know you clean up the website ’cause I think that’s the biggest problem people like to leak before they get to foundation Bill.

Uh is to know your numbers and and I mean use Google Analytics use and if you don’t like the privacy issues with Google user privacy based analytics package don’t care.

But the bottom line is, without those numbers, how can you actually get the customers those results and optimize?


Yeah, and that’s The thing is, you also like if a client comes to you in two years and say, listen, I’m, I’ve got a $3000 a month service package with you.

I’ve got all five stages going, but I don’t think I’m actually seeing the return.

You can then pull up the analytics and say, OK, this is your cost into Facebook.

This is the cost to get them to your website and this is how many people bought from you. You know you spent 1000 of that 3000 on Facebook and it turned into $2500.

Worth of say?

So we can cut everything off if you want, but you’re going to cut off your nose to save your face and the analytics is the only way you can fill that to them.

Yeah, and and I can guarantee you the small business owner doesn’t know their analytics.

They’re too busy running their business.

They have no clue how many visits they had.

They had no money cooler.

How many visits converted and most of them you know, kind of look into once I didn’t say oh it’s there and that’s a problem too.

Sure, yeah, and a lot of times I mean they might not even have Google Analytics installed.

It’s not that they don’t look at it or they don’t know how to read it.

They don’t even have.

It installed and so all of that you know kind of gets rolled into that first stage for us in the functional website.

Level, like you said, it’s it’s the foundation of the house.

We’re not going to put up.

We’re not going to hang.

Pictures if the foundation isn’t bored yet.

Uhm, are you also doing some one on one coaching with some specific clients as well, Adam?

Yeah, so I do mentoring for a few different groups of people.

One is agency owners who want to scale their business with recurring revenue and this could be an agency owner who’s just starting out.

This could be an agency owner who’s been doing it for a long time, but hasn’t built building.

Recurring revenue, right?

They’ve been selling websites and, and they’ve been successful selling the website, but they haven’t been selling a service package to go along with it.

And so that’s kind of 1 category of people that I mentor and then another category is people who know an industry really, really well and they want to basically have an agency that services that industry with websites.

But they don’t want to do any of the design in tech themselves.

So they basically want to be a salesperson.

For their industry, I’m going to mentor them to to sell websites and then we look after all their back end.

Yeah, that that’s an interesting model.

Is it doing really well?

Yeah, it’s a.

It is actually in the last two years, so I have a thread coming out today and it’s going to talk about this a little bit more, but in the last two years I had a salesperson who exceeded what I did in business in the.

First nine years.

That’s not a bad thing.

Hey Adam, thanks for jumping on today.

If somebody wants to get ahold of you find out more about what you do or your business.

What’s the best way?

Well, I would say that the best way to connect with me is on Twitter – @Adam_McLaughlin – and you know in my bio you can find my blog https://blog.buildthatagency.com/  follow along on Twitter and send me a DM and that’s kind of a a good place to get all the bits and pieces to track me down and ask question.

And I would say that’s the best place because Adam’s threads are a must read and very engaging.

Find out what amount.

And he likes to engage with you.

So make the time and get in touch with Adam.

Thanks, Adam.

Have a great day.

Thanks, Rob.


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