If you’re any sort of a WordPress developer, then one of the things that you’ve no doubt noticed is how we market our work.
I’d say that it can be divided into two camps:
- You have the developers who promote the features, design, and options that the theme or plugin offers.
- You have the developers who promote all of the things that have gone into the theme as to what makes it significant.
When it comes to marketing WordPress themes or plugins (or any product, for that matter), then the first group has it absolutely correct.
The second group, on the other hand, can take a few cues from the first group – namely, stop trying to market your WordPress products based on the tools and technology that were used when working on the project.
Market WordPress Products (Not What You Used)
I know – it’s fun to talk about, but it’s only fun to talk about with those who get it, and customers care no more about what has gone into your product than what material has gone into your creating the post for your mailbox.
But I get this (seriously, I do) because I used to be one of those developers who would want to talk about all of the neat things that were used to make a certain feature work, or I’d want to talk about some code refactoring that decreased the filesize of the overall project by X-number of kilobytes.
And I just about walked away from my own post writing that last paragraph because when it comes to marketing a WordPress product (or any software – or hardware – product) the thing is this:
People do not care what you used to make the product. People care if it solves their problem.
That should be the end of the discussion, and I think many of us know this – even those of us who like to share that we bundle, say, our CodeKit configuration or Gruntfile with our projects intrinsically know this, but our desire to share that the tools we use overrides the need to share how we’re solving a customer’s problem.
Customers do not care about:
- What CSS preprocessor we used,
- What front end framework we used to manage the responsive functionality in the theme,
- How the code has been refactored to be X% smaller and Y% faster
- …let alone know what any of the terms mean.
In fact, I’d argue that if we simply said any of the above terms whether or not they were true, a certain type of customer would trust that it were true, purchase the product, and then say they noticed a difference being non-the-wiser. But that isn’t how we should be marketing our work. Gross.
We’re better than that.
Anyway, the same is true for us for the products we buy offline, right? For the most part, I don’t care what kind of aluminum went into parts of my treadmill, nor do I care about the details of part of the plastic and the silicon that went into making my Blu-Ray player.
The truth is that if it looks good, works well, and solves my problem, then I’m generally happy.
And I think this is true for most of us. Granted, some of us are more curious than others about what goes into creating something, and that’s fine – I really do get that – but when it comes to having a particular need and/or problem, I want it solved, and I want it solved elegantly.
With that said, I’d love to see a shift in how some of us market our WordPress products. The only people who are generally going to care as to what’s under the hood are fellow designers, developers, and those who ask.
The rest of the people – that is, those who are looking to have a problem solved and are looking to pay money to do so – likely care more than it looks good, functions well, and meets a need.
So start promoting your work to customers with that.