When I was younger – and even today – I was obsessed with the Nintendo game Mario Bros. And, by obsessed, I mean I would replay level after level to ensure I collected every possible coin I could find. Remember the Warp Zones? Yeah, I’d even collect all the coins in those too. After all, every 100 coins collected was an extra life – and I wanted to play as long as possible.
In our day-to-day business of professionally designing and developing WordPress sites, collecting coins is just as essential as it is in Mario Bros.
Sure, we get a deposit upfront (if you are not doing this, you really should be), and once the project is done we hand the client the keys and bill for the rest. But is there more you can do to make an ordinary “one and done” client a source of recurring income? Is there a way to open up the Warp Zones and collect extra coins?
If “a series of one and done projects” accurately describes your current business model, you are leaving money – lots of money – on the table. Here are some examples of recurring revenue opportunities you should consider expanding into.
This one is actually pretty easy. Basically, you act as the broker and handle the yearly renewal of domains with a bit of an upcharge. Sure, handling domain registration on behalf of your client is the smallest of the upsells and won’t necessarily make you a ton of money, but it does mean additional coins regardless.
Marketing and SEO
This one is self-explanatory. Grow your agency (specifically digital marketing) and website hosting and SEO are the lifeblood of every modern business. Whether it’s a mom-and-pop restaurant, a startup tech firm, or a Fortune 500 company, marketing and SEO are investments in growth and profitability.
Now, let’s suppose you possess the talent to successfully create marketing strategies and deploy digital campaigns (PPC advertising, email marketing, etc.). Or, maybe you have the skills to research keywords and make Google bend to your will. If either (or both) of these scenarios is the case, take full advantage! You have the potential to pull in a quite sizable chunk of money depending on how you price and position your services as extensions of the website design and development work you’ve already done.
Phase 2… and 3… and 4
This scenario will sound familiar to a lot of you: a client has a limited budget to get a website built and launched, so you build the best site possible with what they can afford. But, you know full well that as this client grows their business, they will need more features and capabilities – maybe even an entirely new build. That’s why I make certain to bake a growth plan into the original proposal.
We all know a site should never be built, deployed, and just left alone. It needs constant work to improve. It needs the bells and whistles and spinning rims if it’s going to reach its full potential. That’s why I tell these clients to “dream big but start small.” So, I create a proposal that gives them the site they need to get started, with phased improvements that eventually lead to the site of their dreams. Remember, you aren’t just building a website – you’re a partner who is helping them reach their goals and achieve success.
Make sure your clients know you’re with them for the long run, and both of you will collect some mad coins in the process.
Hosting & Website Maintenance
Last (but definitely not least) is one of my absolute favorites: website hosting and maintenance.
I have resold hosting for years, and it’s a major part of my client proposals. Yes, managed WordPress hosting platforms offer some pretty great pricing these days. But, I find that most of my clients really don’t know anything about it and have little interest in dealing with host companies or anything tech-related. They’d much rather leave it up to me… and I’m 100% ok with that. Largely, when I offer hosting, it’s a convenience I’m offering my client. I choose the host, migrate the site to their platform, and work with the company’s 24/7 WordPress hosting support if there’s ever an issue. This is easy money and a no-brainer.
Maintenance goes a bit further than just hosting because you’re actively upgrading WordPress core, plugins, themes, PHP versions, and the like. While it can be a bit more work – especially if you include content or design updates as part of your offering – it’s just another example of easy money.
For WordPress hosting and management, I 100% recommend partnering with Pressable for their managed WordPress hosting for agencies. Here are my reasons why:
- Pressable offers affordable and scalable WordPress hosting plans, so as I add new clients, I can easily expand and customize my plan.
- The Pressable team does a good chunk of the maintenance for me. Sure, I need to update plugins on my own (which I actually prefer), but they handle the WordPress updates, PHP updates, backups, and more.
- Their support team is second to none! I mean, there isn’t a hosting or WordPress-related issue I’ve reached out to them about that hasn’t been fixed quickly. Plus, they’re super knowledgeable and some of the nicest people around.
- Pressable comes with free Jetpack Security Daily – a great security plugin that helps keep my clients’ sites safe and has some cool extras like lazy loading and image compression that help make sites run faster.
- Last one – their uptime is outstanding. You know what call I don’t get from my clients? The “Hey! My website is down! What’s going on?”-call.
So, how do I leverage Pressable to make MRR each month? I usually include hosting and maintenance as part of my original proposal for the project and bank on a client signing up for it. And, you know what? Eight times out of ten, they sign up for this service because the last thing they want is to secure their own hosting or mess with updates. Just make sure you price site hosting and maintenance services in a way that (1) your clients can afford and (2) allows you to make the recurring revenue you need. You know… in case the world goes through some sort of pandemic and work is slow.
So just remember, next time you are bidding on your next project and doing a design build for your clients, don’t rush through just to get to the flagpole and the castle. Tap into some of these Warp Zones and discover how many other coins you can collect while providing even greater value to your client. Remember, you are one of their greatest business assets! Prove your value and worth with these extra services, gather those coins, and enjoy the extra life.
Isaac is the founder of Echo Design Solutions, a San Antonio-based web development company.