Almost ready to roll but 1 more piece of the puzzle eludes me

18 replies
I'm dealing with small businesses and want to sell them wordpress sites to upgrade them from their ugly 10 year old sites. I need to find versatile themes that allow useage on multiple domains, AND MAY BE RESOLD. The latter seems to be the kicker. What themes do you use for approaching offline businesses?
#eludes #piece #puzzle #ready #roll
  • Profile picture of the author BillyParadise
    send em to themeforest and pick out one they like.
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  • Profile picture of the author BillyParadise
    unless you were planning on soaking them for an 'original design' that ain't.

    ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author vndnbrgj
    You need to look for a theme with developer's rights.
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    • Profile picture of the author CreekChub
      Unless you're doing some serious volume, and I don't get that impression, just buy a new theme for each one. You're talking $50 for a premium theme. Most developer licenses are $2500 plus.
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      • Profile picture of the author J0hnnycl1ckz
        Originally Posted by CreekChub View Post

        Unless you're doing some serious volume, and I don't get that impression, just buy a new theme for each one. You're talking $50 for a premium theme. Most developer licenses are $2500 plus.
        Yeah volume isn't going to be insane or anything. The way I'm marketing to clients makes me not want to charge them directly for the theme, being out the money myself would be the only way I could go. Not to be shady but I would prefer to have it appear I'm doing all the legwork. Of course if they asked I would show them everything.

        Do you know anything in the $500-$750 range for a license that would give you access to resale of themes similar (obviously not equal) to themes found at Theme Fuse dot Com?
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        • Profile picture of the author CreekChub
          Short answer - no.

          Themeforest.net is from my experience the end all be all. Anyone with a premium theme tends to put them up for sale there. You're looking at $50, give or take, for a one-off license. I don't know what you're charging per site, but unless it is way too little you shouldn't have a problem covering that $50 as a cost of doing business.

          I'm no programmer. I quit my day job a few months ago, and once I got my head on straight and got things going, I started picking up sales left and right. For the most part, I'm selling wordpress designs to small businesses. FB, Videos, SEO, etc. as upsells to increase the monthly bottom line, but it all starts with websites. Wordpress lets me do that without having to re-learn the programming end. I do pretty nice graphic work, which helps.

          That said, I haven't seen a theme that I wanted to use often enough to pay for a developer license, and I'm doing roughly 15-20 sites per month. At least this month, we'll see where it goes from here. Customization aside, there's only so much you can do with a particular theme. If I had to choose one, it would be U-Design.

          All of that being said. your clients don't want or need to go pick out their own theme. They don't even want or need to know anything about "wordpress" and "themes". All they want is a nice, clean, modern website that converts. Leave out the rest. Getting caught up in wordpress, joomla, html5, etc. is something that happens on this web site, and among developers. In the real world, business owners just want to have something that looks good, and makes them money. They don't really care how you make that happen.
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          • Profile picture of the author J0hnnycl1ckz
            Originally Posted by CreekChub View Post

            Short answer - no.

            Themeforest.net is from my experience the end all be all. Anyone with a premium theme tends to put them up for sale there. You're looking at $50, give or take, for a one-off license. I don't know what you're charging per site, but unless it is way too little you shouldn't have a problem covering that $50 as a cost of doing business.

            I'm no programmer. I quit my day job a few months ago, and once I got my head on straight and got things going, I started picking up sales left and right. For the most part, I'm selling wordpress designs to small businesses. FB, Videos, SEO, etc. as upsells to increase the monthly bottom line, but it all starts with websites. Wordpress lets me do that without having to re-learn the programming end. I do pretty nice graphic work, which helps.

            That said, I haven't seen a theme that I wanted to use often enough to pay for a developer license, and I'm doing roughly 15-20 sites per month. At least this month, we'll see where it goes from here. Customization aside, there's only so much you can do with a particular theme. If I had to choose one, it would be U-Design.

            All of that being said. your clients don't want or need to go pick out their own theme. They don't even want or need to know anything about "wordpress" and "themes". All they want is a nice, clean, modern website that converts. Leave out the rest. Getting caught up in wordpress, joomla, html5, etc. is something that happens on this web site, and among developers. In the real world, business owners just want to have something that looks good, and makes them money. They don't really care how you make that happen.
            Thank you for taking the time to respond. I'm basically getting in to what you're already doing. I was hoping to offer free design to the 5 page "my website is a business card" small business types that built their site 8 years ago with website tonight type crap. I guess if I want it to be free for them I'll just have to eat more cost.

            Thanks again!
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            • Profile picture of the author ClicProject
              I personally use a template framework, I have tried a load and settled on WARP framwork by yoothemes - which is free. I do mostly joomla sites, but they do one for wordpress that is essentially the same concept
              It is basically a blank template, with built in module positions, is responsive (changes dynamically to fit different screen sizes).
              From this, I can knock up a template from a PSD in a day or two. I have created a few basic styles, then I just change the colors, the fonts, the background textures etc.

              I have chosen a slideshow plugin for the front page, and several other plugins that I use on the vast majority of sites, so It is really quick to get the site up and running.

              Granted, you are going to need to know css pretty well to be able to do this, but if you are planning on doing lots of sites it would be a very good idea to do this anyway.
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            • Profile picture of the author digichik
              Originally Posted by J0hnnycl1ckz View Post

              Thank you for taking the time to respond. I'm basically getting in to what you're already doing. I was hoping to offer free design to the 5 page "my website is a business card" small business types that built their site 8 years ago with website tonight type crap. I guess if I want it to be free for them I'll just have to eat more cost.

              Thanks again!
              Why do you want to do this for free??? You will have more success by charging them for your services. You will find you'll be able to sell more upfront, than give them away for free. Your strategy seems all wrong, and if you want to make money, you should re-evaluate your business plan.

              Charge enough to cover all of your expenses and make a profit. That is not business 101, it's 'how to run a lemonade stand 101'!!!
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              • Profile picture of the author J0hnnycl1ckz
                Thanks for the comments and references everyone. Much appreciated I'll check them out.

                Originally Posted by digichik View Post

                Why do you want to do this for free??? You will have more success by charging them for your services. You will find you'll be able to sell more upfront, than give them away for free. Your strategy seems all wrong, and if you want to make money, you should re-evaluate your business plan.

                Charge enough to cover all of your expenses and make a profit. That is not business 101, it's 'how to run a lemonade stand 101'!!!
                The types of companies I'm targeting use their sites as a business card. This makes it much more difficult to convert them on higher prices because they are already unable to recognize any value from their current website and are hesitant to invest more into a new website. They just have a website because they were told years back they needed one.

                I'm not exactly "giving it away for free", and the "free" route is only 1 option out of many I will offer. However, after talking to local businesses in my area, they would rather pay a substantial hosting fee/maintenance fee per month (which they are already doing with other local companies for simple 5 page sites that never get updated and were designed back in the stone age) with me and receive a free $800 design then pay $800 upfront in addition to monthly fees.

                The value? A multitude of upsells at your fingertips and a hosting fee well, well above market rates.

                Would I approach say a restaurant and give them online ordering etc. with this offer? Hell no.

                Would I approach a small, local construction company that is established in the community and utilizes a raggedy, 8 year old, 5 page website that hasn't been altered in 5+ years? Absolutely.

                It's not a come one come all get your free website at my expense grand opening day or anything like that.
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                • Profile picture of the author DABK
                  Originally Posted by J0hnnycl1ckz View Post

                  The types of companies I'm targeting use their sites as a business card. This makes it much more difficult to convert them on higher prices because they are already unable to recognize any value from their current website and are hesitant to invest more into a new website. They just have a website because they were told years back they needed one.
                  Why not show them the value? Build a website for one, get their phone to ring (track calls), use as proof for the others.

                  Or rank a site in their niche, get leads, sell the leads

                  Or rent the site?
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                  • Profile picture of the author J0hnnycl1ckz
                    Originally Posted by DABK View Post

                    Why not show them the value? Build a website for one, get their phone to ring (track calls), use as proof for the others.

                    Or rank a site in their niche, get leads, sell the leads

                    Or rent the site?
                    Our goal in the beginning is simply to amass clients we can modernize and provide minimal maintenance (no we're not lazy, reason below). This will be our means of operation for some time. We plan to do much more in the future, but we'll be pushing our free sites heavily in the beginning locally.

                    Tracked calls, SEO, lead gen, list building, even EDDM.....all future up sells to these clients.

                    Why wait? This is neither my partners nor my primary source of income. We don't mind a slow build up process.

                    Now I know I stated earlier that I'm giving them an $800 site. Don't mistake that as my cost I'm not dropping $800 per client...that's what I would be billing them. They paid that much + monthly fees for the past 8+ years to look like they are from the past 8+ years. So you see, my value is there.

                    It would take them over a year in maintenance and hosting fees to actually pay what I would charge them to do the site upfront. Which is totally fine because in just a couple months, I will show a profit. We are satisfied with those results at this point in time.

                    Your thoughts are great, just all for the future in our case.

                    PS

                    I've spoken with a lot of business owners I know in this town. When I tell them what is possible for $500 or $800 upfront + maintenance fees/hosting you get A LOT of "eh"...even if you are providing them with an immense amount of value.

                    This is a small town. You open up a store and within a month a good majority of the population knows you exist whether they consume your product or not. These are mostly friends (the owners) who I'm just having a conversation with and not selling anything. When I tell them what I will do for them for free, for $$ hosting and maintenance/month it's "Really?" "You can do that?" basically where do I sign.
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                • Profile picture of the author digichik
                  Originally Posted by J0hnnycl1ckz View Post

                  It's not a come one come all get your free website at my expense grand opening day or anything like that.
                  Glad to hear this. Ink themes are really easy and quick to use. I also recommend mysitesmyway.com, you can't beat their developers price of $149(that's unheard of) for the whole bundle of themes.

                  I wish you lots and lots of success.
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  • Profile picture of the author sadiecopywriter
    Ink Themes lets you do that. The only thing you can't with their themes is sell the theme as is. Google ink themes. They come with the developers rights built in. They run about$50 per theme or a flat fee where you can download them all at once. They even have a few responsive themes.

    http://www.inkthemes.com/
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  • Profile picture of the author mikelmraz
    Elegant Themes?
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  • Elegant themes are terrible. Very restrictive in terms of being able to modify design. I highly recommend http:Mysitemyway.com themes. The short code library and theme options make them extremely versatile. They are all responsive, too. $149 will get you dev rights to all. They sell the awake theme on theme forest, and it is one of the most sold on the site, but go directly to their site to get dev rights to all their others. Absolutely fantasic support forum, too. Very fast and active.

    In my opinion, they offer a great out-of-the-box layout, but are so versatile, you can do almost anything with them.
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    G+ LOCAL SETUP ___and____ Custom WordPress - Genesis Child Themes (see portfolio here)

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  • Profile picture of the author CageyVet
    So for the Theme problem, there are 3 ways you can go with it.
    1. You can go the themeforest route, which will give you thousands of themes to pick from for all around the same cost for a single license.
    2. You can purchase a membership to a premium theme developer like WOO, Elegant, StudioPress, etc etc. There are tons of these out there that charge either a monthly or yearly membership to use all of their themes for any purpose. You just have to find one with the types of themes you are looking to sell/customize.
    3. Last is you pick up a theme framework like, Thesis, Headway, Udesign, Genesis, etc etc. Which allows you to create your own custom themes from virtual scratch but still have the advantages that the framework offers. This is a great option if you are going to do a lot of varied look/features themes. Once you get the hang of the framework, you can bang them off as quick if not quicker than customizing a bought theme. You can even create your own custom child themes that you can re-use for multiple clients.

    These are the three easiest and best options for your type of WordPress business design for clients. All three options are viable for your business model. If you have any questions in regards to any of these models, just ask since I have used all three at some point or another.

    As for your business model, I understand your marketing concept from a small town perspective. It is much easier to sell businesses in a small town maintenance/hosting because they can recognize a small dollar value a month to take care of something. This is not different than lawn care, roof maintenance, vehicle maintenance, etc They do not understand the cost of a website because it is hard for them to actually see any tangible value in it and as such do not know how much to pay, so they are uncomfortable with purchasing.

    If you say that once a business opens pretty much everyone knows who and what they are all about because of such a small community. Then are you really providing any value to their business? Even if you are just creating a brochure/business card site for them, which is pretty much the weakest form of a website. If that website is not going to actually provide that business with new and/or more pay customers, then it is a waste of their business money. So if it is not a good purchase for their business money, then any upsell, addon or extra service will most likely be just as useless for their business.

    If it is possible for a website to provide new/more paying customers, then you are not doing a good enough job explaining to that business what the benefits are of that website. That explanation is what converts your free business model into even a $249 for the website plus a $800 hosting/maintenance package. Also the businesses that actually purchase even a $249 website and hosting are WAY more likely to see the value of your future upsells. While the ones that want a free website will most likely not see any future value in this item that just sits there doing nothing.

    Lastly I want to say that IF you are selling over priced hosting/maintenance packages to local business owners that really do not need a website because you want to make money off of them. Then at some point your business model will begin to fail for many reasons that I do not need to state. Just warning you in advance...
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