Imagine starting a web agency in the back of your van while your band is on tour. Imagine learning the ins and outs of digital marketing as a member of a rock band. For Vito Peleg, this is how he got started.
The founder of WP Feedback shares his journey to agency owner as well as product launcher.
How did the idea for WP Feedback come about?
I actually started building websites for clients as a freelancer from the back of a van while touring the world with the band I had at the time, as I needed to deal with clients one at a time, I never really had any issues getting them to do what I needed to move the project along.
I actually started building websites for clients as a freelancer from the back of a van while touring the world with the band I had at the time . . . Vito Peleg
After the band split, I went through the journey of growing from a freelancer to an agency, taking on more and more projects and growing to 6 figures in year 1 and a team of 12 by year three.
As I was scaling, managing multiple projects became a real pain – Getting clients to deliver the content we needed on time, review our designs with the details needed to complete tasks and providing ongoing support when the client’s focus is on the day to day work or building the next piece of his business and no longer on the website. This quickly chipped into our profitability and created annoying delays on some of the projects, which meant that I wasn’t getting paid on time.
As I was investigating the source of cash flow leak, it all came down to communications with the clients. Every time.
We tried everything from creating elaborate spreadsheets, long google docs, video tutorials, project management systems and so on. It became clear that the available solutions, while great for our side, were rarely followed by the clients. They were too complex and bloated.
So I tried to re-think the process from the ground up, looking at it from the client’s side. How can we make this as easy as them pointing at the screen telling us what’s up? Just without them needing to actually there next to us or endure through another 2-hour video call, followed by another hour of admin, writing everything down so that nothing is forgotten.
That is the essence of WP Feedback – It’s so easy for the client that they can’t dismiss it but still give us all the details we need to complete the task and skip all the admin work of managing tasks.
They simply click any part of their live website and comment. Just like pointing at the screen. We know which screen size or browser they were on, and can be redirected to the exact location of the request from 1 click within the notification, while everything is saved on the client’s site for future reference and management of multiple requests.
It’s so easy for the client that they can’t dismiss it but still give us all the details we need to complete the task and skip all the admin work of managing tasks. Vito Peleg
What will people be surprised to find out about WP Feedback?
How relieved your clients will be when you show this to them.
We often forget that most of our clients are far from being digitally savvy. Their understanding of the web is Google, Gmail, and Facebook.
So while we look at the screen and see design, functions, code, logic, workflows- We basically see the Matrix. They see a computer.
From our point of view as website professionals, it’s really surprising to see how much time we’re wasting on boring admin and back and forth with clients to understand what they’re talking about.
We counted at least 3 hours saved per week per team member, just by reducing back and forth and removing the confusion time.
What is one thing you hope to accomplish with WP Feedback in the next five years?
My vision is that this will become the new standard of how WordPress pros communicate with their clients. I’ve been working with WordPress for a little more than 10 years now and it’s been incredible seeing the shifts in our community.
What was the biggest challenge of getting WP Feedback to market?
To be honest, compared to doing agency work, this has been a day at the beach.
First of all, people can see the potential and different applications as soon as they see it in action, so reactions are amazing.
But also, and mostly, the openness of the WordPress community has been incredible. Providing marketing services to our clients, I had the chance of working in various industries and with different audiences. I’ve never worked which such an inviting community.
Even you Todd, as soon as we started talking on Twitter, other influencers in the community chimed in to recommend to each of us that we need to talk to each other. You don’t see that anywhere else on the market.
If I have to state a challenge I’d say it’s figuring out what features to roll out first.
But as soon as we started running the beta group and embracing the spirit of the plugin of requesting feedback, the answers became very clear as to what should be the next focus.
How did you overcome any challenges of getting WP Feedback to market? What did you learn?
There was very little friction as I believe we have a great product-market fit. I am the target audience, my team is using it every day, so I just say what I think and do what I think would’ve been right for my own business and it’s been working great so far.
I’m sure that there are a lot of challenges ahead and I’m more than ready to face them head on, but for now – I’m enjoying the warm responses and talking to our customers.
There is a mindset shift that I had to do of moving away from serving a small number of high ticket clients to serving a lot of smaller customers. My experience, helping our own clients in building funnels, automations, and products that work have been invaluable for this process. I’m positive that if I had to do this without the boot camp of running an agency for a few years, things would’ve been much much harder.
I did and still am working very long hours every day to make sure I execute to the full potential and I think I can learn to relax more and let my guys take care of things.
But at this early stage, I embrace the responsibility of running a startup and I very much enjoy my days.
I also think that being a musician for 15 years has contributed a lot as I’ve been running funnels to sell our albums and merch, created content on a daily basis, product launches (for every new album or tour), did countless interviews, built strategic relationships with companies much bigger than mine, and managed a team that was working for free for years– and we still stayed great friends 🙂
What kind of entrepreneurs do you anticipate WP Feedback help?
The core focus is on WordPress freelancers and agencies, but we’re seeing some interesting use cases from UI/UX consultants, SEO and marketing professionals, translators and e-commerce shop managers.
So I would say that every one that is managing communications for more than 1 person within their WordPress website can save a lot of time and headaches by incorporating WP Feedback into their site.
Wrapping it up
Getting feedback from clients in a timely manner is a struggle for many in the agency world.
If you are struggling with getting feedback from clients, WP Feedback may be helpful.
Thank you, Vito, for participating in our Q&A.