ThemeValet (Week 1) – Fun & first customers

A man in a suit leaps off a hill

It’s now been a week since the launch of ThemeValet (‘WordPress website setup for busy people’) so I’m overdue an update.

(And if you missed how I got here, you can follow along from Day 1).

I have orders

Three of them in total (since launch) and my first Rainmaker customer (Rainmaker is a kind of a custom version of WordPress).

(If you are one of those customers and you are reading this, you are awesome).

All my customers so far are from Facebook groups I participate in.

I also have a couple of ‘leads’, one of which I expect to close and one I don’t (because I’m not sure they’re a good fit).

Not everyone gets the idea, but that’s OK

Some people thought ThemeValet was a full agency service. (It’s not).

The customers that did buy though ‘got’ what I was doing.

They knew enough about what WordPress or Rainmaker is, but it either wasn’t something they knew enough about to do themselves, or had the time or desire to do on their own.

This is exactly the customer I had in mind for ThemeValet.


I don’t officially offer Rainmaker setup yet, well I guess now I do (see above), but it’s something that’s been on my mind to try so when I had someone asked me about it and they seemed like the perfect candidate for trying the service (and an awesome person) I said yes.

If the Rainmaker job goes well (and I expect it to) – and it’s given me a better idea about much work is involved more precisely – I will start thinking more seriously about putting some Rainmaker packages on the website.

I tweak the plans

…I switch from two service options to three.

ThemeValet two plans at launch

ThemeValet three plans

…I make all order options a 48 hour turnaround

  • The way it was before the $99 had a 24 hour turnaround and the $249 option had a 48 hour turnaround. (Albeit you got more stuff ‘done’ in the $249 option but in some ways maybe it made the $99 option more attractive…)
  • Also with setting up sites, even ‘only’ matching the demo there are still so many client variables I feel more comfortable pitching for 48 hours and aiming to do it in 24.
  • Because life. Things happen, by only giving myself 24 hours right now, if something major randomly comes up or I get a rush of orders I don’t have a huge amount of room to deal with it all in 24 hours.

…I bolded out the differences between the plans

ThemeValet bolded plan options
Not a huge deal but I think it makes it clearer.

I added credit card (via Stripe) to the checkout

So I actually went back on my pre-launch website plan and launched with just PayPal. I figured PayPal was easier for most people, but now I’ve added credit card to the checkout too, partly from a customer request and partly because I wanted to.

I am still not doing enough marketing

One by one FTW

Hopefully all my first few customers will think I did an awesome job and tell all their friends (who I’ll do an awesome job for) and they’ll tell their friends and so on.

I absolutely believe in building a business one person at a time.

…but what else can I do?

But I’m also aware that I need to probably develop some other marketing channels too if I can to get some more consistent referrals.

The other challenge with my idea (which I highlighted earlier in the process and discussed again with a good friend last night) is that people generally don’t walk around thinking ‘I need a WordPress or Rainmaker website theme setup right now, if only there was a solution’.

Generally, at least my theory is, that there is a particular moment where that does become either a need or something that they would buy if they were aware of it though.

So the question is how best to reach the right kind of customers at that moment?

An obvious choice is probably talking to theme shops to sell the service at the moment of purchase. Now some of them have their own theme setup options too, but not all of them do, so it would probably make sense to talk to the ones that don’t first.

Affiliate program

Now, if the theme shops like the idea, they may just refer people anyway and that’s great. But as I also had a few other people contact me about an affiliate program it would seem like a smart move to offer them the chance to be affiliates at the same time.

So this week I will be launching an affiliate program. (If you are interested in the technical details I will likely be doing this via Pippin Williamson and gang’s AffiliateWP plugin which works with Gravity Forms, my current checkout system).

(If you’re reading this and you’re interested in being a ThemeValet affiliate, you can email me at [email protected]).

Podcast advertising

I’ve arranged some podcast advertising for a podcast which I think will be the perfect audience fit. More on that soon 🙂

Product Hunt

Also, Product Hunt, I mentioned Product Hunt in my last update, I still plan to submit the idea to that (I don’t want to delay forever!), I just wanted to actually fulfil a few customer orders first if I could and also pick a day where I know I’m going to be at my computer all day.

I think that’s all for now, except to say thank you to the people who keep reading, sharing, commenting or emailing me their thoughts and support on these updates.

And of course everyone who has either ordered from or referred people to ThemeValet so far. I really appreciate it.

I’ll be back with another update soon (you can follow along and get other articles from me by subscribing).


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