Podcast 159: How Adam Preiser Went From 124,000 Youtube Subscribers to a 7 Figure SaaS Business
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My guest today is Adam Preiser from WPCrafter.com.
Adam is best known for his YouTube channel WPCrafter where he shares all kinds of WordPress tips and tutorials. In fact, Adam currently has over 124,000 YouTube subscribers and is definitely crushing it there.
However, Adam has also done something that very few businesses will ever achieve. He's launched a new software product called CartFlows and it's already on pace to do over $1 million in revenue in its very first year!
During the interview, I spent quite a bit of time asking Adam about how he came up with the idea for CartFlows, why and how he found a partner, and how he has grown this WordPress plug-in business so quickly.
CartFlows is a sales funnel builder for WordPress. You can build beautiful sales pages and one-click up-sales and much more. If you want to check out CartFlows, you can go right here.
Overall, I hope you enjoy the interview with Adam.
Mentioned On The Podcast
- Adam's Youtube Channel
- Astra theme (read our Astra review)
- Long Tail Pro (read our Long Tail Pro review)
- Link Whisper
- Table Labs
- Elementor (read our Elementor review)
- Thrive Architect (read our Thrive Architect review)
Spencer: My guest today is Adam Preiser from wpcrafter.com. Adam is best known for his YouTube channel WPCrafter where he shares all kinds of WordPress tips and tutorials. In fact, Adam currently has over 121,000 YouTube subscribers and is definitely crushing it there. However, Adam has also done something that very few businesses will ever achieve. He's launched a new software product called CartFlows and it's already on pace to do over $1 million in revenue in its very first year.
During the interview, I spent quite a bit of time asking Adam about how he came up with the idea for CartFlows, why and how he found a partner, and how he has grown this WordPress plug-in business so quickly. CartFlows is a sales funnel builder for WordPress. You can build beautiful sales pages and one-click up-sales and much more. If you want to check out CartFlows, you can go to nichepursuits.com/cartflows. Overall, I hope you enjoy the interview with Adam.
Hey Adam welcome to the Niche Pursuits Podcast.
Adam: Thanks for having me. Happy to spend this Friday with you.
Spencer: Absolutely. What better way to spend the start of a weekend chatting about online business, right?
Adam: When you have an online business, it's 24/7 on your mind. It's not a 9–5 thing where you can come compartmentalize it and separate it from your personal life.
Spencer: That is true. That can be good and bad because you're allowed to do it whenever you want, but sometimes you're doing it all the time.
Adam: Exactly. I know it’s a little too early, you were just starting this up, but turn off your phone notifications and then that's how you do it.
Spencer: Yes. Good tip, definitely. Have some balance in your life, right? Spend some time with family, that sort of thing. I want to introduce you to the audience here, get a little bit of your background and then of course we’re going to talk about what you're doing now, but before you ever jumped on YouTube and recorded a video and before you were over at wpcrafter.com, what was your business or work experience like? What were you doing?
Adam: I've always been very entrepreneurial. I was one of those naturally entrepreneurial people, before that was even one of those “in” words now, everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. I was like 15 and I was making money.
I've always had a business. I've always had a drive for business and I have a lot of different offline businesses. The genesis is before I started making content and putting it on YouTube, I had a very large business. I had a very large office bill. I had a very large bill for staff, all the employees, and everything that comes with. It was actually a technology-driven business that was more telemarketing-related. I've always like technology and it was a lot of fun. I built this amazing technology; we were making like 26,000 phone calls a day. We were making lots of phone calls.
It was a sales organization and it did awesome, but we had to shut down because some laws changed and I found myself in 2011 or so, late 2010 with a good amount of money. I don't have to work. I've got a young child at home, so I can enjoy watching him grow up. But there's always that next chapter in your life and for me after taking a little semi-retirement, that next chapter ended up just randomly happening one day when I threw up a video on YouTube.
Spencer: Tell me about the genesis of that. Why did you randomly one day say, “Well, I'm going to record a video. I’m going to put it on YouTube.” Where does that idea come from?
Adam: That's actually a fantastic question, because I've always been one of those people where I can look at someone that’s further ahead than me or doing something that I'm interested in doing and maybe they're successful at it and there's things that come along with it. I was like that guy that looks at them and says, “You know? I could try to do the same thing.” That's actually how that prior business I was talking about happened as well. I thought, I enjoy YouTube, I see people making videos on YouTube and I'm going to try this as well. I had dabbled a little bit with it.
I bought some really neat glasses off Amazon for reducing the glare of a monitor screen and it really made working on a computer easier for me, so I made a review video on that and I’ve made a couple dollars. But what ended up happening was a product that came out at the time and you probably actually were also familiar with this product because you have an internet marketing background. It was OptimizePress 2.0. That came out and I was excited about this thing. Back then, that was some really exciting stuff. The date, the hour it came out I bought it and I'm like, “Okay, I'm going to make some videos on this.” I'm sure people are going to want to see how this thing works and I'm going to do it.
I did that and with the zero-effort other than the creation of the video, people started finding this. Just all organic and that's when I really started to see, and people started to purchase it through a link that I had. That was my first step into any kind of affiliate marketing, and I thought, “Wow, anyone really can do this,” and that's when my eyes opened up.
Spencer: Very interesting. To again take it back to that first video or that genesis. It sounds like you’re just seeing other people generally are doing well on YouTube, I'm going to try and replicate some of that success. Were some of your early videos not real focused or were they just general review of any product? You mentioned glasses, you mentioned other things. I know you know now you're very much focused on WordPress in particular, but what was the strategy earlier or were you just throwing a lot of things against the wall?
Adam: That is a great question. What happened was when I put out that video on, I was actually five videos on Optimize Press. That was actually on a different YouTube channel and I thought, “You know what? I could make videos about all these cool technology for building websites,” and WordPress was really taking off because of the ability to have plugins that would add functionality to it. It opened up this whole world with WordPress of making membership website sales pages, all kinds of things like that. That's when I thought, “You know what? I am going to make a channel that’s specifically about WordPress.”
What ended up happening was there wasn't a lot of strategy in the beginning other than each video would be about WordPress. I actually, just by mistake, started off with those topics that a beginner or someone new to WordPress or someone trying to figure something out regarding it would be searching for it naturally and organically. I threw up a few videos, and it was just mainly stuff that I was just personally and genuinely interested in myself. I figure out something cool, I'm going to make a video on it, this is really cool. But it really wasn't until 2015, it was the summer of 2015 I started the WPCrafter YouTube channel in 2014, it was like early 2014 and I hadn't paid attention to the performance of the videos and the growth of the channel, so there wasn't a lot.
I'm on vacation, it's 2015. I'm with my wife, we’re in Las Vegas, chilling out at the Red Rock. Great place to take kids because the pool is awesome. I'm sitting there at the pool and I’m like, “I wonder how this YouTube channel thing is doing.” I pulled it up and I was astonished that there were subscribers on the channel. There were regular views, thousands of views already on the channel each month, and I wasn’t even paying attention to it. I wasn't optimizing it. I didn't have a graphic designer for the graphics. I wasn't paying attention. Then I turned to my wife and I said, “You know what honey? There might be something here with this YouTube thing. Maybe I'll take it seriously now,” and that's actually when I started to get a little strategic and started to take it seriously.
Spencer: That's pretty cool. It's interesting because that is a similar path that I followed with some of my most successful businesses. I’ve started something, and then you notice how well they start doing without a lot of promotion or effort. Those tend to be the things that if you go back and put in the right amount of effort and energy, they are really going to be the things that take off. It's almost like they start on their own. It's interesting to hear that your YouTube channel, at least that segment of your YouTube channel when you start focusing on WordPress with the WPCrafter brand, that started to take off.
I do want to ask you a few more YouTube questions here in a second. First, can you just give us an overview of your entire business and how things are going there? You've got YouTube, you got WPCrafter, but you’ve also got carts flows and other things going on. What's everything that you're involved with right now?
Adam: Everything started with the YouTube channel. When you start to get success, especially that type of success because you're really growing an audience, because you're growing an audience and they trust you, maybe you might bring the product to them or something like that, then you start building relationships with people that are making those products and making sure that they're making what you know that people already want.
Through the YouTube channel I learned to get a really good sense of what people want and it's actually aligned with what I want. So, everything started there. I always knew that I would get into products myself, but I'm not a developer. I have no interest in developing, but I know what people want and I know how people want it to work in order to enjoy it. I really am in touch with that.
I always knew I get into products, but for me it was about building the right relationships with the right people and testing people over an extended period of time before I did that. That actually ended up happening, built a relationship with a founder of a company called Brainstorm Force and we built our friendship over two years. He's in India. We had meetings together, he came out here and all of that.
Through that relationship, we ended up partnering up to start releasing software products of our own, which were brain childs out of my mind. One of those products is CartFlows. CartFlows is a WordPress product that enables you to create all the same type of features you want in any sales funnel builder, but you're able to do it in WordPress with your page building tool. You get all the upsells, the order bumps and all that. It was one of those products that I'm surprised someone didn’t come out with sooner.
There's also a cart abandonment solution that we recently released. It's a second plugin we've already released. There's a couple of other plugins that are going to be coming out, and there's a couple other website-related services that are going to be coming out as well. I'm testing lots of different things that could just go to benefit the audience and the people that have trusted in me. I've got a lot going on for sure, I got a lot going on for sure.
Spencer: What's the name of the cart abandonment plugin?
Adam: What's awesome is it's a free cart abandonment solution. If you go inside your WordPress website, you go to plugins and you just do a search for cart abandonment, and it's going to be the first one that comes out. It's cart abandonment recovery. It works with WooCommerce, it's completely free, and that's the thing that I love about what I've been able to accomplish. Now I can like release amazing free stuff for people that they can benefit from. We released it two months ago and it's already active on 8000 websites that are making money.
One of my favorite videos I made about a month-and-a-half ago was I just showed the numbers. I ran it on a website and in a month it allowed me to make an additional $1700. For people that aren't familiar with cart abandonment, that's when someone goes to your check out form, maybe they put their email in and then they get distracted. There's so many things you can get distracted by. You got kids, I got kids. They distract you. I have a dog. If he barks, I’m distracted and you forget all about it. What this does is it captures that and it automates sending them reminder emails and you can also send a discount. You're familiar with cart abandonment. It's completely free and it works with WooCommerce.
Spencer: That's awesome. I have a lot of questions surrounding the software business and we are going to get to that. But I like to give people a sense of how well your business is doing. People of course love to hear income numbers if you're willing to share those, but any success numbers, whether that's traffic or downloads, etcetera, and at least in my simple mind, I’m viewing your business. You've got the WPCrafter and the YouTube brand that's obviously making money and then also CartFlows and the software business is the other piece of this. Can you give us an idea of the those two pieces of business and the success there?
Adam: Absolutely. In February of 2019 the WPCrafter YouTube channel passed 100,000 subscribers and today it's about 121,382 because I have this little metric thing that tells me exactly what it is that keeps me going. And that's growing by 4000–5000 new subscribers per month, all organic.
The growth is there, the growth is increasing and the videos on the channel are viewed millions of times per year, so there's a big impact that's going on there. Now, one of the main revenue drivers of WPCrafters, there's some affiliate marketing that happens there of course through recommendations. If I make a tutorial about how to make a website, we're going to first sign up at SiteGround or Cloudways, and we might need a page building tool, we might not, but usually, everything else is kept free. There's a good amount of revenue being generated there. That's one number that I won’t disclose. I'll get specific on cart flows. It's a gradual thing and it just at some point, something just switches and then it just keeps going up. Let's just say it's going really good. Let's leave it at that.
The software side of things is going unbelievably well. We were talking earlier and you made the point of it's usually the businesses that do the best are the ones that you put out there and then it just takes off on its own without having you put tons of effort into it, and that's certainly CartFlows. It was released in November, which I never recommend releasing a new software on Black Friday weekend, that was a mistake. But anyway, we released it in November of 2018. It hasn't even been a year and it's already running on almost 20,000 websites which is really huge because it’s […]. There’s no Facebook ads going on or any ads, it's just been a few videos on my YouTube channel and the rest of the growth has been organic.
Out of that, I will share some revenue numbers which is fine. CartFlows in its first year will do seven figures of revenue. Now obviously, you know as a business owner—I'm sure many people in the audience that might be listening to this know—just because your company makes $1 million or $2 million, doesn't mean you're hanging out at the beach every day. You've got a lot of expenses. You’ve got development expenses and all that kind of stuff. I always like to say that because I don't want someone thinking I've just put a million dollars in my bank account, I'm building something. We're building an amazing software product for people that has an amazing future ahead of it.
The sales have just been shockingly awesome, going into it with very low expectations. I don't actually care about the money that the product makes. It's about that our customers and the amazing success that they're able to have through this product. That's what matters most to me, the impact that is having for them.
Spencer: Congrats on the success first of all. Being able to build a software product or any business that you know is going to make seven figures in year one is just unbelievable. I don't remember where I was reading this, but it's only something like 4% or 5% of all companies ever even hit a million dollars in revenue in a year ever. Just hitting a million dollars in revenue already put you on the top 95% of all businesses. That's amazing, great job there.
Let's stick with CartFlows here a little bit because I want to dive into some of that success. Can you share the origin story? Why did you come up with the idea for CartFlows? You've got a partner there. What was the genesis of the idea?
Adam: Like I said earlier, I always knew I was getting into products. I didn't know what product it would be. I sell training courses and I'd always loved some of the features you can get on some of these Software as a Service-based platform. Let’s just say ClickFiles for example, some of the features. But I didn't ever like ClickFiles, it was not a money thing. It's not that it's $300 a month and CartFlows is $300 a year. It's not that, but it's, “I don't want to have to learn another system and now have two separate systems and then have to go through linking it all together.” With WordPress, we've always had this great Ecommerce platform, WooCommerce, and it gets better after each release, faster, and all that.
I thought, “Why hasn’t someone really built a full-featured sales funnel building tool for WordPress that would leverage WooCommerce?” I was sitting down in October of 2017 with my friend Sujay. He was stopping in town here in Los Angeles, heading out to Cabo for a convention. We're sitting in Fleming's—that’s a nice steak house—and I said, “You know? This is a big need. I feel it. I don't have the proof of it.”
Even when you look at the numbers that ClickFunnels has, they don't have that many customers. They have maybe 70,000 customers and they've been going at this thing for almost seven years. But I really believed that with WordPress, we have these amazing page building tools that are way better than click funnels. If we could just tell people that are using WordPress, “Hey you can use that tool that you already love using and you can get the upsells, the order bumps, and we're going to take this way further than anything ClickFunnels or any of those tools will ever be able to do.” I think people will say yes to that.
Anyway, that was the birth of this product. Obviously, we didn't have a name yet. What we did was we spent six months evaluating every single tool on the market, everything that might have been WordPress-related or a Software as a Service. We bought everything, tested everything. I'm good at grasping what's easy to use and what's not easy to use. Through that process, it really formed how we wanted our product to work, because we identified the strengths and the weaknesses of all these other tools out there. Then, it was just literally six months of hard work to get this thing ready to go.
Never do this, anyone. Monday before Black Friday, we released it and the reason you never want to do that is you have a new product that people want to support you, but they want to buy everything else with their limited budgets.
Spencer: Very true.
Adam: Yeah, so some people we're not happy with that. Anyway, that's how CartFlows started. I took two years to get to know Sujay, who is my partner on this product. I’m sure folks in the audience might not know who he is. He has a company called Brainstorm Force and they have several WordPress products. They happen to have the fastest growing WordPress theme on the market today. It was a theme that I had a lot to play with on it before it came out through testing and a lot of my ideas went into it. It’s called the Astra theme. If you're in your WordPress site and go to themes, add new, and click on popular there, his is at the top the list, his Astra theme. Through the two years of working together on that project, I knew he'd be the perfect partner. We already had the trust. We had already started to get to know each other's families.
Spencer: So, I assume Sujay is a developer and did he do all the development or does he have a team with him that helped develop as well?
Adam: I think Sujay might have been a developer at one point, but today, he’s an incredible business leader. I have partnered with him and his business for CartFlows. They have nearly 70 developers. I can't reveal their revenue numbers, but let's just say they're one of the heaviest hitters when it comes to WordPress. They're the people that everyone is following, everyone is looking at how they do things and trying to do the same exact way; one of the innovators in it. He's a business leader today of building teams, mentoring teams and developing them to be able to produce these amazing products. I think they have maybe 30 different products right now.
Spencer: Very cool.
Adam: Yeah. The thing was, I'm not a good manager of people, so I needed to partner with someone that could be a great manager of people. Also have a very savvy business mind and be able to build the team that will end up building the product. It's not a contract developer or something like that.
Spencer: This is an interesting point, but I wanted to ask directly. You've kind of answered here, but I’ll ask again. Why did you decide to have a partner? Just to give you or my listeners about my background, I'm not a developer. I’ve built LongTailPro, I recently launched Link Whisper, I’ve got TableLabs, and I’ve done another WordPress plugin as well, and I've never partnered with anybody. I've always just hired developers to build it for me, so I've always owned 100% of the company. So, why didn't you just hier Sujay’s company to build it for you or why didn't you just have a contract developer as opposed to partnering? Genuine question there.
Adam: That's a great question and I'll answer in the most upfront and transparent way possible. The thought actually never crossed my mind to be the one spearheading this solo through hiring developers. I'll tell you why. The actual cost of creating software isn't so significant. I mean, you do spend a lot of money, but for someone like me, I have a much greater opportunity cost. Especially with CartFlows, the great cost of CartFlows being created for me was my opportunity cost, my time being spent on something else than I could spend on, say my YouTube channel, creating content there and things of that nature. Everything carries an opportunity cost.
I think I wanted to share the weight and the burden of it because CartFlows is an involved product. Meaning we are dealing with payment gateways. We’re dealing with some complex stuff. Not anyone can just pull this off. You really have to have the massive expertise. Also, a side benefit of having done this with Sujay was we got to tap into all of the assets and the technology that his company has already created.
I'll give you an example. His theme, the Astro theme, the reason why that is so successful is because he created this technology with just two or three mouse clicks, have a fully designed website, and they've got like over 100 of them.
Some people might see this as a demo site or whatever, but it's much more than that. Early on with CartFlows, I wanted it to be one click for a sales funnel. You could go there, you can see all our sales funnels, just click on a button, it's in there, it's all assembled, it's all ready to go. Instead of building that from scratch, we got to leverage his team, their assets, and their intellectual property. We were able to build what we built a lot quicker than anyone else could have. And there's also a marriage of businesses. He has already hundreds of thousands of customers. We get to tap into that to bring in revenue as well as the things that I'm doing to bring in sales and new customers.
Spencer: That makes a lot of sense. Certainly, I don't think it was the wrong decision to partner with Sujay, specifically for the reasons that you mentioned. The technology, obviously the business savvy experience, management experience, and then his audience as well with his products. A lot of huge advantages that he brings to the table. Just interesting perspective in that it never crossed my mind to try and partner with somebody, and it never crossed your mind not to partner with somebody. Very interesting. I never considered partnering.
Adam: And of course, everybody has different skills. For me—I'll be very transparent—I know what I'm good at and I know what I'm not good at. I will tell you though, my family early on because they know my background, they didn't actually want me to have a partner in anything I was doing because I have had people trying to acquire what I'm doing with WPCrafter before and all that, or get in on it and stuff like that. They've always been, “Don't do that Adam. You work so much better on your own. You work better on your own,” but I know when it comes to having a product, you need to be on it with the developers, with the support, with all of that. There could be no margin of error and I have a lot of higher standards because I have an audience that trusts me. If I did something and I was to release something, it had to deliver in every single regard.
Spencer: 100%. Absolutely. It makes a lot of sense. There's certainly a lot of advantages to partnering with somebody. Thanks for talking through that with me. That is an interesting perspective that people can maybe see both sides of the coin there and if they're going to start a business, we have to get a discussion about it now.
I want to talk about the growth of CartFlows again, a little bit. I know you've answered this somewhat, but I am impressed with how quickly you've been able to grow the business, like you said, seven figures in the first year. What do you think has been the reason? Has it just been because you have such a great audience, and Sujay has such a big audience and got a great product and that's pretty much it? Or are there any other marketing strategies you’ve been following here?
Adam: When it comes to CartFlows, since it's my first product, I feel like maybe this is how everybody feels when it's their first product. I feel like I've done everything wrong with it, not from the product itself, but from the website, the marketing, the messaging, and all that kind of stuff. I feel like I've done everything wrong, but it still worked. It still ended up working, but the good thing is, in my mind, there's lots of areas to improve it. Of course, those things are happening. With CartFlows, part of it is the audience that I have.
I have different segments of my audience. One segment of my audience likes these lifetime deals and they want to pay $49 for something all the time, maybe AppSumo style. CartFlows was never going to be for them. It was just never going to be for them, but the other segment of my audience because a lot of the content on WPCrafter has been evolved around using one of these page building tools to build your platform on the internet, stake your claim, build your website, build your business on the internet.
It was easy to say, “Hey, guys. You like that tool called the Elementor, or Thrive Architect? You like that tool Divi? Well, I built something for you, and let me show you this tool. You don’t have to go through a new learning curve. It’s just a copy-and-paste type of thing and now, you’re going to be able to see yourself make more money, increase the average transaction value for all your transactions.”
We didn’t talk too much about why WPCrafter grew, but part of it was a lot of participation in online communities. If I make a video about a tool called Elementor which is number one page building tool ever created, all those people in those communities already know me because I probably made 100 videos on it.
It’s easy to say, “Look guys, I made this thing for you.” That got us our initial growth, but then the product actually had to deliver, it had to solve a problem, it had to deliver a solution. What ended up happening was now, if anyone in a Divi group, or in Elementor group says, “Hey, how do you make sales funnels using Elementor or sales funnels using Divi?” You’re going to have person after person after person say, “Get CartFlows. Get CartFlows. Get CartFlows,” because it ended up being the tool that the right people that I needed to buy bought it, they love it, and now they’re out there being ambassadors. It’s not even an affiliate type of thing. We don’t actually have a ton of affiliates or power affiliates. Most of it is just organic growth just like this.
It’s really being plugged in and connected into those communities. That’s another benefit of partnering. When you can tap into someone that might be already connected into some of these communities, which is how I was.
Spencer: Absolutely. When you say you’re connected with these communities, is there any particular place beyond YouTube that you’re connecting with people?
Adam: Of course. Let me be more specific there. Facebook. The rise of the Facebook group. I actually have a Facebook group for WPCrafter. We have about 21,000 people in there. We created a Facebook group for CartFlow’s customers and users. Elementors Facebook group, which I’ve been very visible in for the last three years, has 40,000-something people in it today. There’s these online communities where, if I post something in there, people are going to pay attention to it. I tend to be a little opinionated which can be a pro and a con. If you’re on YouTube you’re going to just have to get used to haters hating on you.
Spencer: That’s right.
Adam: I got to back it up just a little bit on strategy. One of the early decisions we decided was to have a free version of CartFlows. CartFlows has a free version and there’s a pro version, which extends what the free version can do. The reason we did that is because it’s a great way to let people get introduced to your product without them risking anything, then seeing how good it works, then them wanting more, and then them going and making the purchase, or it also helps in those recommendation situations. If someone says, “Hey, how do I make my WooCommerce checkout page look great?” “Just use CartFlows. It’s free.” That’s one of the main things that CartFlows—the free version—does.
Essentially the difference between the free version and the pro version is we kept all the money making features into the pro version, the order bumps, the upsells and the downsells, and manipulating the checkout fields. When you have a free plugin, it accomplishes a lot of things for you. Number one, you can grow your user base faster, you can grow your leads faster. These are potential people that will buy your professional version. But you have to deliver something good. The free version has to be like where the contender is on its own.
You also get free exposure from the WordPress plugin directory. If someone types in WordPress funnel builder, or something like that, we’ll come up number one and it’s our listing on wordpress.org. That’s also a place to foster and consolidate social proof. When you have a plugin there that’s free, your users can go there and write a review. This is all public. Your active installation numbers, all public. Your amount of downloads per day, it’s all public information. You can’t really fake that stuff. What that does is it immediately provides social proof.
Any listeners want to check out CartFlows, you can just go to your WordPress site, go plug it in there, type it in, there it is, and you’re off to the races. That’s actually a really good strategy for someone that’s making plugins for WordPress to take advantage of that free press.
Spencer: I’m actually on the WordPress repository right now, the directory just pulled out back CartFlows. I’m checking out the free version here. Very cool. You did this from day one essentially? Had this free version up and running?
Adam: No. We actually held off. We released the product on November 19th. We released it on the repository later that November. The reason we did that was a pure business decision. We had it separated from day one. But we didn’t have a listing since day one because we wanted people to buy it when we released it. We didn’t want people go and share it with the free one and sticking with that. We didn’t release the free version to the public like that for another month or so after we launched it. It was always planned that way.
Spencer: Okay. I am very curious on this point because I’m planning on doing the same thing for Link Whisper, that’s the plan is to have a free version that I can always put on the repository, that’s not built yet. I’m thinking through the strategy there a little bit, hoping that obviously, a certain percentage will find it there and then upgrade. Do you notice anything that works particularly well to encourage people to upgrade? Is there anything within the free version of the plugin that you’re doing that you feel is working really well to get people to go for the premium version?
Adam: Absolutely. There’s a couple of best practices. A lot of the plugins that are on wordpress.org that are made by developers are not business-strategic people at all. It might be a passion project or something like that. For you it’s going to be different, for me it’s different. What you want to do is when someone activates your plugin, you want to have an onboarding sequence. It immediately triggers into an onboarding where it says, “Hey, welcome to XYZ plugin.” For us, “Welcome to CartFlows. We just have a couple of steps here. You’re going to be off to the races.” Then, there will be several steps, but then one of those steps, you want to ask them for their email address, and you want that email address pumped into your CRM. You can give them something in exchange for it. Maybe it’s discount on the pro version. Or I wouldn’t even do that if I was you.
If I was you, in your case, I’d create a mini course on search engine optimization, leveraging your tool, or something along those lines. You’re basically in your free course. Now, when they’re on that step on the onboarding, “Hey, I’ve got this course. It’s a $200 course or $100, but I want to give to you for free because I want you to get the most out of Link Whisper.” Whereas for the email, you can automatically have it pull in the email that they have plugged in to their website. They don’t even have to entire the email, they just have to click a button that says, “Yes.” Then you pass that into your CRM and then you do whatever you do to get them access to the training. But have high quality training. What that’s going to do is that’s going to accomplish a couple of things. They’re going to get introduced to you and that’s where you charm—you have charm and charisma—and then you win them over to who you are and your acclimate them to you.
They’ll also get to see the power of the tool. You can also show them certain parts of the professional version and that will get them seeing that, “Wow, I’m able to do this now but for such a small amount of money. I’m going to be able to do this as well.” It’s all about capturing their information and giving them something of value that can get them to trust you because you’re just some random person when you’re there. That’s a great thing.
With us it’s a little different. We strategically did not want CartFlows to be perceived as an add-on plugin for WooCommerce. We wanted CartFlows to be its own product and in the future, CartFlows will probably have its own check out systems, so you don’t have to use WooCommerce. When you go to wordpress.org and you type ‘WooCommerce,’ whatever, we’re not going to come up. We didn’t want to come up. But if you enter the word ‘funnel’ we’re going to come up. Things like that. That’s what we wanted
For some products like yours, it’s totally different. You want somebody to type SEO because people go there and enter ‘SEO’ and you want yours to be on that first page there. It’s not like Google. People are going to scan and they’re going to see what goodies are there for free. That’s free traffic for you, SEO is such a big term. What you would do is you would say, “SEO tool or on page SEO, whatever by Link Whisper.” Basically you’re getting some of your phrases up there.
Spencer: Absolutely. Optimize the titles and everything.
Adam: Exactly. Form building tool, they’ll say, “WordPress form builder by…” For us it’s, “WordPress funnel builder by…” That’s how you do it. It’s dependent with person searching because you’ve made this great thing. It’s your job to get it in front of them.
Spencer: These are great tips. I hope people listening in are enjoying this as much as I am because this is very useful to me, at least. I can see that the free version shows active installations 10,000+. Again, that’s a huge number, over 10,000. Do you have any sense of how many people are converting form the free version to the premium version?
Adam: That’s a fantastic question. I don’t know. I really don’t know. Here’s the thing. Obviously, I want people to convert, to switch up, but there is benefit of people using it for free because it just mix the cream rice to the top. That’s why one of our goals early on was to have extremely useful free version of our tool. A good amount of people could just use the free version and it totally meet their needs. There’s a benefit of that, Here’s the benefit. I’m giving an active installation, I’m winning a fan, and I’m potentially giving a written review. You are growing your social proof.
Do you notice at the beginning of this interview, when I started talking about CartFlows, first thing I said is, “Almost on 20,000 websites and it woke me in a couple of days 20,000 websites.” That’s social proof. They you say, “Oh my gosh. This is good.” One of my goals is by the end of next of next year, to surpass whatever click funnels claims their number is. If they say, “We got 100,000.” I want to be 110,000. It’s actually possible through the social proof of it.
I don’t actually have great numbers on that, of the people that ended up upgrading, but I will say whenever someone asks for a demo of it, or is there a trial or something like that, I say, “You know what, we got the free version right here. Here’s a link to it, then here’s the comparison chart and you can see what each has.”
Spencer: That’s just fine. Clearly, it’s working in your business, you’re seeing a lot of success in the business. It’s an excellent idea.
Adam: Let me tell you one thing. If you’re considering doing this or anyone in the audience, the trick is that your professional version does not replace the free version. Because you then lose the active installation. You want your professional version to extend the free version so that your customer will have to have two plugins on their site. It doesn’t add any weight versus compacting them into one. But the way it all works is you want the pro version to extend the free version. Does that make sense?
Spencer: It does. You want to keep all the active installations there essentially.
Adam: Yes, pretty much.
Spencer: That does makes sense. Good tip. Good clarification as well. We didn’t even really have a chance to dive into YouTube tips and things in that regard.
Adam: I got a ton of those.
Spencer: I know. We can probably talk for hours just about YouTube. This question will probably be really hard because we need to condense it down. Just any either really great tips or just any general advice for somebody that’s trying to start a YouTube channel, and they want to grow their subscriber base. What should they be doing or thinking about? What’s work so well for you?
Adam: I’ll give you three tips and I’ll make them as quick as possible. Number one, your content should solve a problem for someone that people are actively searching for. You look on my channels, how to do this, how to do this, how to do that. Solve a problem. Not all your videos, but your first batch of videos, your first 100 videos need to solve someone’s problem. That’s number one.
Number two, you always got to ask them to subscribe. If you don’t have a call-to-action, to ask them to subscribe, and click on that notification bell, they’re just not going to think about it, they’re not going to do it. You’ll also want to ask them to click on the thumbs up and share the video. You got to ask that stuff.
Number three is actually two parts to it. Put your face on it. I am a big believer in putting your face on everything and you have to be able to stick with creating videos to the point where you can be charming and charismatic in front of the camera. It does not come natural, you have to work at it.
There’s actually great YouTube channel called Charisma On Command. They got like millions of subscribers. They have great content. You can learn to be charismatic. All of us have charisma in us, but we might not be so good at letting it come out of us. Learn how to be charismatic. If you learn how to be charismatic, people are going to naturally be attracted to you. Do not be afraid to take a stand, to have an opinion, because that’s how you assert yourself as an authority.
I sound like one of those old school music songs where a guy just says advice after advice in a long song. You know what I’m talking about? Like in the 80s?
Spencer: Yeah. For people listening in and are wanting to jump into YouTube, you can obviously check out what you’re doing, but those specific tips that you’ve given can help guide them in that direction as well. I love what you’re doing with YouTube and wpcrafter.com. It’s become an amazing platform that now you can use to launch CartFlows and additional software products and plugin that you’re working on. It’s just a great base to build a business off of.
Is there anything else that’s new, that that’s in the works, can be your last chance here to mention anything else outside of software maybe that you’re working on here?
Adam: I have so many things I’m working on that I’m just so excited about. The one that I’m most excited about though is transitioning into being an author. I’ve been working this year on a book that I’m releasing next year. I’m very excited about this, and it’s another good thing that I have a YouTube channel because I’m going to be able to ask all the people that have supported me, “Hey, can you support me in this?” This book is going to bottle up all my passion for everybody just needs to have a website, needs to put themselves on the internet, needs to put themselves out there like that. It’s just to get people really fired up to do that and see how we can change your life. It can flip it upside down just like it did me.
Before I put myself on YouTube with my actual face, I had to think harder about it. Do I want my face like this on the internet? Do I want me on the internet like that? I guarantee you, the success I had today and the lifestyle freedom that came with it, would not have happened if I didn’t do that, if I didn’t make the decision, “Okay, I’m willing to put myself out there like this.” What good and bad comes, 99% of people love you to death and you got 1% of people that hates your guts. But it’s okay. If I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t be in the position that I’m in today. It’s a very blessed position to be in.
Spencer: When should we expect the book to come out and is there a place people should go to or learn more about that?
Adam: I’ll be dropping hints about that as the year progresses towards the end of the year. I’m targeting the month of February for this to be released. I want to do it in the early half of the year. If you’re on the channel, I would actually encourage you guys to jump on this channel. You don’t have to watch all the videos, but if you subscribe to see what’s going on. There actually might be a video coming up on this great new product called Link Whisper that I’ve been personally using. That actually just might happen. A really good tutorial on how you can leverage that, but who knows?
You can go through youtube.com/linkwhisper. You know what? It would be bad if I didn’t say to anyone listening how me and Spencer met. I was on his website. Actually, I don’t know if I told you this. I’ve been following your website for probably two years and I do not know how I found it in the first place, but I’ve been following it for two years in RSS reader. When I saw something about Link Whisper, I immediately knew I needed to have it. I’ve never spoken to Spencer before and I left the comment. I said, “Hey, my name is Adam. You could check me out here. Get in touch with me about this product. I think it’s really cool.” That’s how it started.
Spencer: Yup. That’s just another encouragement for people to put themselves out there because you and I never would’ve connected if I didn’t have a blog, if I hadn’t been putting myself out there for a number of years. There’s just no way we would have found each other. Things like that happen all the time. What you’re doing with your YouTube channel, your WPCrafter brand, what I’m doing with my blog, I agree with the premise of your book. People should be putting themselves out there so that they can enjoy the entrepreneurial lifestyle businesses that we are both able to enjoy as well.
And then just finally, where would you like people to if they want to stay in touch with you, or any other place if you like people to go and check out?
Adam: I want to invite everyone to my YouTube channel and on Fridays I have livestreams. You can ask me questions. If they ever had a burning question about WordPress marketing or anything like that, you can ask me there. Go to youtube.com/wpcrafter and it’s going to take you straight to my channel. You can subscribe and click on the notification bell. I’m also very active on Facebook. I have a Facebook group where I am interacting with people every single day. You can just go to Facebook and do a search for WPCrafter and you’re going to see the page, and you’re going to see the Facebook group. I’d love to have you on the group. It’s a great community of people that are together helping each other out. Of course, my website is wpcrafter.com and I got little search box on the top right, you can search for anything and it will pull up the results. I’ve got over 500 videos for you. I’ve been heavily getting into written content inspired by you, Spencer.
Spencer: Wow, awesome. Very good! People can check that out and follow along with what you’re doing. Adam, it’s been an absolute pleasure having you on the podcast.
Adam: Yeah. Thanks for having me.
Spencer: All right. Thanks a lot.
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