If my clients find out what I use to manage their websites, they will get the tools themselves and stop paying me.
A part of my job is to talk to WordPress maintenance service professionals, and this is the number one reason why they white label it. It’s a logical assumption; after all, your clients already have a WordPress website and know how to use it. Most of the stuff you need for WordPress maintenance is either straightforward or comes with plenty of documentation and training material.
But if this is truly a no-brainer, how come a lot of successful WordPress professionals don’t white label their service? Troy Dean from WP Elevation shared his perspective on our AMA over at ManageWP.org
When I first started out I used a white label everything and as I have matured as a consultant and I have more belief in what I offer I have become less inclined to try and white label everything because I feel more secure in the value that I offer my clients. I think our tendency to white label everything when we start out is because we think if our clients know all the tools we use they can just do it themselves, when the reality is even if they knew how to do what we do they don’t have time to do it and that is why they have hired us as a web consultant.
Although some WordPress professionals choose not to white-label, many do! This is evident based on Joe Howard from WP Buffs and their successful white-label WordPress maintenance program.
Running and scaling a successful business is all about leaning into your strengths and getting help where you’re weak. White-labeling really is a perfect solution here since it allows you to keep what you’re good at in-house and get external support when you need it. Our white-label partners are agencies and freelancers who excel when it comes to areas like marketing, design, branding, etc. Most of them are weak when it comes to 24/7 support so our white-label program allows them to be an expert in website maintenance from the POV of their clients, yet they don’t have to dedicate time or financial resources to this effort. While-labeling allows you to quickly turn a weakness into a strength and we’ve seen hundreds of WP professionals transition from linear business growth to exponential through a white-label solution. Boom!
That’s why I decided to write an article that looks at the questions behind the “to label or not to white label?” question.
What Is Your Secret Sauce?
WordPress maintenance service is a broad term. Some consider plugin and theme updates, others include development, SEO, and even content creation a part of their package. Heck, even getting you on the phone and asking you for advice should be considered as a part of your service. Ask yourself these questions:
- How does my maintenance service stand out from the pack?
- What’s my secret sauce?
- Can it be easily copied by your competitors and clients?
If your secret sauce is a service like ManageWP, by all means white label it.
You also need to think about the long run, even if you’re just starting. As your reputation grows, your secret sauce should be something that’s not easily copied. Your secret sauce should be you. Clicking on the update button is easy, but understanding the process and being able to deal with the unpredictable is hard.
What Is Your Story?
Maintenance fees go from $0 to $1,000+ per month, depending on your scope of service. It also relies on another great factor: the one that secured Mr. Rogers a special place in our hearts. The same factor that helped Mr. Trump become a Republican candidate in the 2016 election.
You guessed it, it’s the art of storytelling.
I wrote an article about people providing maintenance for just $3/month, while others get $75/month for the same scope of service. A significant contributing factor is their core story. A core story defines what you are, and the value your clients get from you. Here’s an example.
Scenario A: No White Label
Let’s say you’re using ManageWP to manage websites. Your clients might or might not notice the plugin on their website. They might or might not care.
Scenario B: White Labeled Plugin
On the other hand, if you white label the ManageWP Worker plugin, you’re incorporating it into your core story of an expert that created his own plugin that delivers hi-tech maintenance service. Your clients will know your expertise is on a whole new level.
Scenario C: Hidden Plugin
The same goes for hiding the ManageWP Worker plugin; your core story is about logging into their website every day, checking it from top to bottom and make sure everything is running smoothly. You work hard for your client, you’re dependable and professional. You deliver, and you’re well worth the extra cost.
The ability to tell a good story often has more impact on your business growth than any other factor; being able to white label your service gives you more fodder for your core story.
There’s no single answer to the white labeling question. Both yes and no have their own merits, and only you can figure out the right answer for your WordPress maintenance service. To make this decision easier, figure out your secret sauce and your core story. These answers will help you to make not only this decision, but a lot of business decisions in the future.