WPATX Meet-up Notes – September 6, 2011— Hosted by CoSpace
WPATX members have been waiting for this presentation since WordPress Consultant Bill Erickson touched on this topic during our 2010 WordCamp Austin. Bill’s schedule is always tight so we really appreciate his setting aside this time to share his business expertise with our group.
Knowing that Bill’s presentation would a standing-room only event, Pat Ramsey managed a Live Stream broadcast at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wordpress-austin).
We started this meet-up with a fewAnnouncements:
- Next meet-up: Back to Basics: WordPress for Blogging Sept. 13 at Cospace, 7:00 pm
- Getting Started with WordPress class on Sept. 20th, 7pm-9pm
- WP 101 plugin – Bill asked the group to look into a new plugin that offers video training inside WordPress. It’s a premium plugin but once you purchase it you can use it on unlimited websites. Bill strongly recommended the plugin as a way to control the time WP Devs need for client education.
Tools for Organizing a WordPress Development Business
Being a WordPress developer means not just knowing WordPress but how to run a business.
Tips to waste less time communicating with clients
- Clear communication eliminates frustration & sets expectations
- How much does it cost – state rates and minimum charge upfront
- Give example of projects
- What services do you provide
- Stock emails for every kind of client interaction and stage of process
- Uses email as initial form of contact – contact form rather than phone number
- Clear emails serve as a contract/agreement with the client.
- Once email contact has been established, all information goes into custom CRM (Customer Relationship Management tool) for prospect and project management
- Clearly communicate scope of work, billing, timeframe
- Once they agree, the invoice is sent out for 25%; project completion at end of one week (not including changes); balance is due in 3 weeks regardless of whether or not the client has all changes in.
- Everyone on calendar has paid 25%
- Clear rules and deadlines – everything is organized.
- Keeps track of time spent, budget, effective hourly rate
- Tracks inquiries, conversion rate
- Define time for calls – you can’t get work done if you’re always taking calls. Schedule phone calls, and be accessible by phone. For example: 8-10 am – emails; 10-12 pm – phone calls; 1-5pm – coding
- Follow WordPress development for information on new features, code
- WordPress is based on backward compatibility
Bill’s CRM tool – more info (and download link): http://www.billerickson.net/wordpress-genesis-crm/
Recommends plugins to use with CRM:
- Registered users only
- Gravity forms – for the contact form
- Gravity Forms + custom post types
- Relevanssi – makes search relevant; can search custom fields
When migrating sites, Bill recommends never use WordPress’ Import and Export tools – it doesn’t grab everything, sometimes breaks links. Bill has a different process – visit his post on how to move a website.
Toggl.com – time management/billing tool
This was a full evening with everyone’s figures flying over the keyboard trying to capture ever tip. Jackie’s notes will be posted on wpaustin.com and catching the live feed will also be a good idea. It was a lot to take in.
It was a great night with lots of valuable info. Please drop Bill a thank you email if you feel his ideas help you build your WordPress Business. See you at our nest Austin WordPress Meet-up.