The most important steps of them all
The First & Most Important Step: Create Marketable Plugins
Before you even think about marketing a plugin, you first need to ask some important questions about the product:
- Does the plugin solve a problem?
- Is the problem one that many WordPress users have?
- Is there a difference between your plugin and other plugins?
These questions get at fundamental point about plugin marketing: to succeed in marketing a plugin, you need to start with a good plugin. Good products market themselves and plugins are no different in this respect.
If your plugin isn’t novel, meaning it’s either a completely new concept or is somehow different from other plugins, it’s going to be harder to market.
Start by identifying what’s great about your plugin. What makes it exciting and useful? If you can’t think of anything, this is a sign you should probably add some new features.
No amount of promotion in the world will ever make up for a useless product. If your idea is worth nothing to anyone, you can shout it from the rooftops all you want, nobody’s is going to buy it.
Therefore, creating something of value builds the foundation for any kind of success in selling it. Yet, what is a great product? I’m glad you asked.
- It creates value – That means your product solves a real-life problem your customers are having, relieves a pain or improves their life in some other way.
- It is unique – You don’t have make something that the world has never seen before. However, your product needs to be better, different or else have another advantage over what is already out there.
- It is user Centric – Always have the end user in mind. Concentrate on design and usability as much as functionality. Your plugin can be awesome in what it can do, however, if I can’t find its settings page in my backend, it will be uninstalled in the blink of an eye.
Always remember, the product is part of your marketing. Build something that is immensely helpful to your audience and a breeze to use and they will be happy to hand over their money to you.
Be Laser Focused And Go Niche
The needs of those in the WordPress niche are too diverse to appeal to “everyone”. It is therefore important to be very specific in which problem you are trying to solve and for whom.
Limit yourself to a target group and build something that is focused in its functionality and does what it does really well.
A good example for this are the guys from ThemeBoy, who create WordPress themes and plugins for the sport club niche. And successfully so.
Here are a few ideas to get this part right:
- Pick a niche you understand – By concentrating on a market that you yourself are part of or that you know very well, you can do a much better job in addressing the needs of your customers.
- Scratch your own itch – Even better, make something that you want for yourself. Understanding your needs is even easier. Many developers out there are making good money selling products they needed for themselves.
- Define your ideal customer – Get to know your target group before building something for them. That will also give you a better understanding of what to include in your product. One way to do this is to come with one or more marketing personas.
Whether you end up building a theme for musicians or plugins for displaying scientific formulas, just make sure you know exactly who you are making it for. Being focused will also make it easier to explain what your theme or plugin does and how it can help your ideal customer.
Offer Proper Documentation
Newsflash: Nobody has time for anything these days. We all need to get things done and we needed to get them done yesterday. And yes, we have better things to do than trying to figure out how to use your new WordPress theme or plugin.
Therefore, make on-boarding easy for your customers by offering plenty of information how to get the best out of your product. Invest in the user interface and make sure they have all the information they need.
- Annotate your settings – In the WordPress backend, name each input field or button clearly and explain what it does.
- Offer external resources – Whether an accompanying website, FAQs, video tutorials or blog posts — help your customers to help themselves. Don’t leave them hanging.
Make Support a Priority
Subpar customer support turns people off faster than you can say “but I’m busy!”. And word will spread, trust me on that. Just ask Comcast.
So what is awesome customer support?
- Be reachable – Give your clients a way to get in touch with you if they have trouble. Whether trough a contact form on your website, your social media account or the WordPress support forums, provide an easy way to ask for help.
- Keep your product up to date – Have you ever had to rearrange your entire site because of a defunct plugin? Well, your customers don’t think that’s fun either. So keep up with the development cycle and offer continuous support for your product.
Pro Tip: Providing updated versions of your plugins and themes in the WordPress directory will also get you into the “recently updated” list. Free additional exposure!
For those new to the world of business: Appearances matter. If you want to be taken seriously and earn the trust of your customers, you better look worthy of it.
If your website has the professional charm of a 90s website (we are talking blinking gifs and scrolling text in Comic Sans), why on earth would I give you my credit card information?
Therefore, make sure you look sharp to the outside world:
- Have a professional website – That can just mean clean design and a good structure. However, it also includes making it look good in mobile, you bum.
- Provide testimonials from real customers – Because social proof is everything.
- Invest in your about page – Tell me who you are. The better I think I know you, the more open I am to buying from you.