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How Passion and Innovation Became a Profitable Business and Online Store

January 11, 2018 - Leave a comment

It’s a one-of-a-kind tool that Drake producer, Noah “40” Shebib, raves about and Diplo can’t live without.

Fans of Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Kanye West, Coldplay, and Justin Bieber have already heard Output’s work, whether they know it or not.

So what is Output? Think innovative software and tools created for musicians, composers, producers, and sound designers across all genres. The user base is large, and their products are so pervasive that it’s hard to believe the company is only four years old.

It all started because composer and music producer Gregg Lehrman wanted a reverse-sound engine he could use in his own musical compositions.

We sat down with Gregg, founder and CEO of Output, to discover how he turned his passion project into a thriving company that is simultaneously punching well above its weight and revolutionizing the recording industry.

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How to Price Your WooCommerce Projects

January 4, 2018 - 3 Comments

Everything starts with the story you’re telling.

One of the most overlooked aspects of pricing is the fact that it never happens in a vacuum. Pricing is always contextual. And to that end, the context for a WooCommerce project isn’t just the work that needs to be done. It’s about the customer, how they define success, the freelancer or agency doing the work, and their experience. Context drives the pricing discussion.

And context is driven by the story you’re telling.

Stories can take a lot of forms, but just imagine the following three opening lines:

  1. I’m so excited to finally work on an eCommerce project.
  2. If this project is anything like the last 40 I’ve worked on, we could be done in 8 weeks.
  3. We have a team of 30 people we bring onto every project. We’re excited to get started.

Each statement tells us something different. In one case, we’re aware that the person will be learning on the job. In another, we know about experience and even some sense of timeline (and maybe cost). And in the last statement we might feel extra confident or extra worried, depending on whether we think we need 30 people on the project – a small store might freak out, and an enterprise organization may feel thrilled.

Use the first meeting to anchor context

When we meet with a prospect, we get the chance to create a first impression or reinforce what they may have already heard about us. That first phone call or meeting allows us to make sure that we set the right context.

  • We can reinforce our experience by telling stories of past projects.
  • We can build trust by predicting common challenges and how we overcome them.
  • We can shape our conversation by hearing what they think are success criteria.

And when it comes to pricing, there’s one other thing we can do. We can create some price anchors by articulating various projects of different complexities (features, sizes, etc.) and the prices associated with each.

As we do that, we’re helping them get grounded in the context of what it might cost to work with us, and it helps set some of their expectations.

The bottom line is that the better you get at listening, the better you’ll get at knowing which stories to tell, which projects to highlight, which risks to articulate and mitigate, and which price points to anchor to.

This is what separates folks that are great at pricing discussions and those who are just getting started. Thankfully, it’s something that you can practice and get good at.

Below we’ll look at several factors that go into the pricing calculus and ways you can use this information to help you in initial and further pricing discussions.

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Announcing WooConf 2017: get all the details and reserve your spot

May 2, 2017 - 18 Comments

The last two WooCommerce Conferences were a treat, bringing the WooCommerce community to San Francisco and then Austin for multiple days of talks, workshops, and invaluable impromptu chats between sponsors, developers, and our support team.

We’re excited to announce that we’re bringing WooConf back for a third round in October 2017, this time in Seattle, Washington. And with this iteration we’re narrowing our focus to provide the best experience we can for developers, from agency owners to freelancers.

Keep reading to get more details on this year’s WooConf, plus find out how you can save $200 by buying your ticket now.

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The importance of accessibility for your online store

November 15, 2016 - 33 Comments

Everyone who shops online does so a little differently. We make decisions at our own pace, use different devices, and interact with stores in ways that feel most comfortable to us.

For some shoppers, the process of viewing or buying a product is vastly different than you might expect. Their internet connection may be slow due to living in a developing country, they may rely on a screen reader due to visual impairment, or they may navigate with a keyboard due to the inability to reliably use a mouse.

These differences create the need to design and maintain a store that is accessible for everyone. That’s the goal of accessibility for eCommerce: creating an online store that everyone can use, no matter their age, skill level, location, or presence of a disability.

Today we’re going to take a look why you should make your WooCommerce store more accessible, and some resources you can use to improve its design and functionality for all your shoppers.

Ready to learn? Let’s start with a closer look at what we mean when we talk about accessibility.

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The building block philosophy of Storefront

September 6, 2016 - 5 Comments

Today we released Storefront Powerpack, an extension that allows you to change the appearance of Storefront theme for WooCommerce — without touching a single line of code. Powerpack allows anyone to customize their store without dabbling in HTML or CSS, and the results of those customizations can be seen instantly.

Powerpack in action. Edit any element in Storefront and see the results instantly.
Powerpack in action. Edit any element in Storefront and see the results in a flash.

As we prepared to release this extension, we realized we’d never written very much about the thinking behind Storefront’s development, and why we’ve chosen to break functionality out into extensions instead of packaging it into the theme itself. “Why not just make Powerpack part of Storefront?” we thought you might ask.

Today, we’re setting aside a couple minutes to explain our “building block” philosophy behind Storefront, and how it’s influenced the development of extensions like Powerpack.

Care to learn more? Read on.

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10 WordPress plugins we greatly admire

August 18, 2015 - 86 Comments

With so many plugins available for your self-hosted WordPress site, it can often be really tough to choose the ones that best suit your needs. Currently, there are nearly 40,000 plugins in the official repo, not to mention countless premium plugins available for purchase from a host of different companies.

There are a number of ways you can work out what the best choices are for your website, but we thought we would help you out by providing you a few plugins from the WordPress community that we admire. We admire these plugins only for their usefulness, but also for the way they are built and maintained.

Some of these plugins are freely available, while some carry a price tag. But one thing that they all have in common is the fact they are all incredibly well built and perform their respective tasks in the best way possible. Some of them are also included in our WooBenefits — tailored discounts offered exclusively to WooThemes customers.

So, without further delay… here’s the list!

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How to build a development business by adding WooCommerce skills

June 15, 2015 - 6 Comments

Are you a freelance developer who is interested in starting your own business, but isn’t sure how? Or are you working for a small agency that wants to expand its eCommerce development offerings so you can take on additional clients? If so, we’ve got just the thing for you.

Thanks to our Educational Partners, we’re able to offer you handpicked resources to learn WordPress, WooCommerce, and the valuable development skills you need to expand your offerings to potential clients. Taking any one of their courses will allow you to build a bonafide development business based on WooCommerce, the fastest-growing eCommerce platform online that your clients will love.

Curious to know more? Keep reading to learn about the benefits of building a development business with WooCommerce, and to learn about one freelancer who used online education to dramatically improve his skills and take on new clients.

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