At the end of every WordPress project, after the final website is launched into the world, there is one final task to complete: educating the client on how to use WordPress. The length and depth of the training depends on not only the client’s technical savvy and familiarity with WordPress, but also the complexity of the website itself.
When it comes to educating clients on how to use WordPress, there are several common ways freelancers and agencies fall short with clients:
- They fail to account for the depth of training that will be needed based on the client’s knowledge and complexity of the site, so the cost of the training is not properly accounted for in the client agreement.
- They try to cram all of the training into one single training session and it is rushed and stressful.
- They cover too much and the client feels overwhelmed, and begins to tune out.
- They don’t prepare the client for the training sessions and properly set expectations about what can be achieved.
- They start from scratch and reinvent the wheel with every client.
- They are surprised by the client showing up to a website training with members of their team—and now they’re teaching a group instead of an individual.
When starting out my own agency, I unfortunately experienced all of these scenarios which used up valuable time, added stress to my day, and made it harder for my clients to do what they wanted to do.
As I worked to establish repeatable systems and processes, I created a client management system to improve the client experience and increase profitability. As part of that process, I began to explore options to not only deliver better WordPress training to clients but make it more enjoyable, engaging, and stress-free.
My goal was to:
- Provide detailed, consistent WordPress training (no matter who was delivering it).
- Ensure all clients have a baseline understanding of how WordPress works.
- Shorten the WordPress training sessions to no more than 60 minutes, including client Q&A.
- Reduce the total number of training sessions per client.
- Reduce the amount of beginner questions asked by clients during the training.
- Reduce the amount of support clients required in the 30 days post-launch.
WordPress Training Videos
One of the solutions I came up with was offering my clients a set of WordPress training videos that would take care of the basics.
The idea was that these pre-recorded videos would get the clients up to speed on how to use WordPress and I would then only be responsible for providing training on the custom features created for their unique website and answering their questions. I also had the idea to provide all clients who sign a monthly support agreement continued access to the videos as a bonus.
But here’s the thing:
I didn’t have time to create all of the WordPress training videos I needed. I didn’t have the right equipment to do it. And I didn’t want to be responsible for recreating them every time WordPress pushed out an update.
Luckily, that’s when I discovered WP101.
With the WP101 Plugin you can provide clients 31 WordPress training videos right inside their WordPress dashboard, which is awesome. But what I love most about WP101 is that you don’t have to use the plugin. Instead, you can choose to embed the WP101 WordPress training videos on your website with the white label option, which keeps clients coming back to your site over and over again.
How I Leverage The WP101 Videos
For several years, the WP101 suite of WordPress Training Videos—which now includes Gutenberg—has been an integral part of my client website training process. Leveraging the WP101 videos has not only saved countless hours of time but provided more value for my clients while helping boost profits.
Let me explain…
STEP 1: Introduce The WordPress Videos
I introduce the collection of WordPress videos to my client during the development stage of the website build, providing them with a secret URL and a password. While my team is building out the site, I ask the client to watch all of the videos—each less than 5 minutes in length.
STEP 2: Make The Videos A Prerequisite
When planning the official website launch, I set a date for the WordPress training session with my client. At this time I do three things:
- I remind them to watch the training videos provided
- I ask them to write down any questions they have
- I let them know that watching the videos is a prerequisite to the hands-on training. If they don’t watch the videos, we reschedule the training session, which also delays the client receiving the keys to the site.
STEP 3: Host A Quality Training
By making the WP101 videos a requirement for the website training session, I guarantee every client is showing up to the session with the prerequisite understanding of how WordPress works and how to use it.
This means I can skip over that information during the live training. Instead, my time with the client is focused on the specific features built for their site, the plugins used, and the questions clients might have, which results in a better, more engaging, higher value training.
STEP 4: Provide Ongoing Access To The Videos
If a client signs on for ongoing, monthly website support, they receive continued access to the WordPress training videos for as long as they remain a client. This means that when they have turnover on their team, they can have their new staff watch the videos and get up to speed or if they forget something, they can watch the video and get it done quickly. This single step alone has practically eliminated all post-launch client support requests, which has saved time, reduced resources, and increased profits.
My Advice To You
As you can see, while my goals were lofty, they all were achievable with the right tools.
Some of you might read this, click over to the WP101 Plugin site, see the price for the Professional Plan (which is worth every penny), and think:
“I don’t want to pay their annual fee. I’ll create my own videos.”
Truthfully, yes, you could do that. But to do so you would need to invest in the right audio/video and sound equipment, write each individual video script, record all the screencasts, perform hours of editing, create splash images, and upload the final videos to a video hosting site, which you also need to pay for. Then after spending a crazy amount of hours to finish the videos, WordPress will push out an update, they’ll change things in the user interface (UI), and you’ll have to do it all over again.
So my advice to you is:
- Think about how much your time is worth and consider how much you charge per hour and how many hours this would take you.
- Then think about the amount of stress you already have in your life and ask yourself if this will create more stress by piling on more work.
- Finally, check out the WP101 Plugin again, do yourself a favor, and just say yes. Buy it, integrate it into your workflow, and benefit from their hard work and ongoing updates.
When you build in efficiencies that benefit you by saving time and increasing profits, and benefit the client by delivering a quality product that adds value to their experience, everyone wins. Plus, when the client’s last interactions with you as part of their website project are positive, engaging, and valuable, they’ll remember those good feelings later and provide a better testimonial.
The Tools You Choose Affect Profitability
While choosing to leverage the WP101 videos in my agency has helped improve the level of services I provide clients, the biggest impact is the effect that decision has had on my ability to land monthly support clients and increase the profitability of my projects.
What’s amazing about this approach is that you can do the same thing with other tools like Hostdedi’ Managed WordPress hosting, which takes care of image compression, automatic updates for WordPress and plugins, automatic daily backups, automatic SSL, and staging environments, as well as access to developer tools and no pageview/traffic limits.
With 22 years experience in the graphic design and web design industries, Jennifer Bourn has worked with a wide variety businesses — from enterprise organizations to local small businesses — to create content, build brands, and establish profitable online platforms. Her renowned business systems and automations drive her creative agency while she travels with her family (often to places with no wifi), speaks at events, hosts workshops, and delivers online courses like Profitable Project Plan, a business training program for designers and developers.