In this review of the WP Elevation Course, I will take you behind the scenes and give you an insider’s view of the course. I’ve recently finished the course so I can easily separate the hype from the reality. I’ll be showing you the course content, a bunch of the bonuses that are included, and the WP Elevation “secret weapon” that I believe is worth the price of admission all by itself. More about that later.
Who is it for?
WP Elevation is aimed fair and square at people and small agencies that build websites for customers using WordPress who want to charge more money. How’s that for a neatly defined market? As a person who has built many WordPress websites, I fit the bill perfectly. I can do all the technical stuff easily, it’s all the other stuff, the actual running of a business, that I had struggled with. My biggest problem was a simple lack of processes and procedures to do repetitive tasks. I had some rudimentary cheat sheets that I’d made with rough procedures, but there was no overall system for getting things done. Stuff just happened when it got urgent, and everything started to get urgent!
The conventional wisdom these days is that, once you find yourself overwhelmed, you just get yourself a cheap virtual assistant to do some of the work and everything will be fine. That’s not as easy as it seems. Before you can start passing off tasks to other people, you need to have a procedure or process that they can follow if you want predictable results. There are those damn procedures again!
If I were to be honest, one of my biggest fears was finding too many new customers. Sounds nuts doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want more customers right? People who are busy up to their eyeballs already that’s who. Sure new customers mean more sales but they also mean more work and if you don’t have a system in place to handle that it goes from opportunity to problem very quickly.
What will you learn?
So, let me tell you about the WP Elevation course and what makes it unique. First up it won’t teach you anything much about WordPress, it is assumes you already know the technical side of your business. This course is about developing the back-end systems you need so you can:
- Handle more work and generate the leads to find that work.
- Write proposals that get accepted.
- Turn out a predictable result in a known timeframe. In other words, delivering your work on time and within budget.
- Find better-paying customers.
- Position yourself as an expert in your field.
- Avoid scope creep.
- Attract referrals.
The course is delivered online via a series of instructional videos, case studies, live coaching calls and downloadable material such as document templates, email templates, checklists, and references. The modules included in the course are:
- The Pre-Flight Check: In this module you work on getting your own house in order. You make sure your own site is up to scratch, that you have a portfolio of your work on display, that you have a way of letting people contact you and capturing their email address, that you have some FAQ’s etc. All the stuff any good site needs and too many sites don’t have. Our site still isn’t 100% finished, but it is miles and miles ahead of where it was when we started because of this module.
- Incoming: This module deals with your initial contact with a prospective customer. What emails you should send them, and when, how to find out what they REALLY want from you so you can easily sell it to them, and how to work out if you and the new client are a good fit for each other.
- Positioning: The Positioning module deals directly with how to professionally interact with your new prospect through the whole discovery process and how to position yourself in the prospect’s mind as “the answer to their problems”. The process allows you to discover the prospects core needs and work out a plan to achieve it for them. It then shows you how to package your proposal in such a way that it will be read favorably by your prospect. There are included examples of complete proposals that can be used as templates.
- Anti-Follow Up: This strangely named module shows you how to keep your “position” as the expert once you have delivered the proposal. It shows you how to interact with the prospect without coming across as “needy”. Again, it includes a set of sample email templates and exact sequences that can be used easily.
- Delivery: The Delivery module is a big one. It shows you what to do after you have been successful with your proposal. It shows you how to onboard your new customer into your systems, how to set realistic timeframes with them, how to communicate your progress with them, how to get paid a deposit up front, how to launch the new site successfully, how to train the new site owner, how to get paid at the end and how to conclude the project so they aren’t perpetually bugging you for free changes to their site.
- Referral Machine: This last module, Referral Machine, gives you a sequence to follow to get testimonials and referrals from your existing customers. This can dramatically reduce your sales effort if done properly.
That’s the outline of the course itself which is presented in a linear fashion, one new module per week. It can be completed in that timeframe, but you would need to dedicate quite a few hours each week to finish it in six weeks. It took me around eight weeks to complete it as I was starting from a pretty low base. I had very little in the way of systems and my website wasn’t great.
The Bonus Content.
As you progress through the course and tick off each level you will be presented with various bonus courses. These are brilliant and cover topics ranging from lead capture, dealing with money, hiring a virtual assistant, podcasting and much more. The “Positioning” course by Chris Lema was one I enjoyed particularly.
The “Secret Weapon”.
The course is only one aspect, though, remember earlier when I mentioned a “Secret Weapon” that made this course special? The Secret Weapon of the WP Elevation course is the incredible amount of help you get from not only Troy Dean, Gin McInneny and the others at WP Elevation, but from the other students of the course. I simply can’t describe how helpful they have all been. I’ve been able to have the other students, some who have been in business for many years, help with my own site and some of my sales materials. Many of the students have shared their own procedures and systems to make it easier for the newcomers like me. One gentleman called Abe even did a screen capture video critique of my site showing me some easily made improvements! I can’t estimate what this help has been worth to me in dollar terms. The help has been amazing!
Some advice for those considering WP Elevation.
WP Elevation is not a place for passive learning. Don’t get me wrong, you can cruise through the course all by yourself and gain a great deal of knowledge that will be worthwhile. To get the best out of this course, though, you need to be an active participant. Jump into the forums and ask questions, help others when you know the answer, join in on the facebook page discussions and just generally participate. Surrounding yourself with other folks in a similar business to yourself and feeling like you are being helped and helpful is a great thing. I thoroughly recommend the whole experience.
What you will get out of it.
It’s quite a strange thing to get excited about processes and procedures but let me give you a specific example of how this course has helped me already. Just last night I got off the phone after winning the job of building a brand new website for someone. Instead of floundering around in a panic about what to do next and how I was going to fit it all in, I simply opened up my project management tool, copied a complete project template to the new project and started from the top. I have a checklist with over one hundred items, in a very specific order, complete with all the forms, emails and document templates I need to see the project through from idea to finished. Think about that for a minute. I start at the top & tick every item off as it gets done. Nothing gets forgotten, nothing gets out of hand and best of all, I’m not panicking about taking on new clients. Wouldn’t you like all your new projects to be that simple?
There’s another bonus too. Our existing customers are now getting a more consistent experience from us which means they are more likely to recommend us to their friends. Win-win!
WP Elevation is reopening for its next intake in February 2016 and I’d be surprised if there isn’t a waiting list already. If you need help with your back office systems and don’t we all, then head over to their site and get on the waiting list. If you end up joining, then say hi to me in the forums, I’d be only too happy to help you as well. Don’t procrastinate, head over there now for more information.