Six years of Fly Plugins. It’s a little surreal for us, so we wanted to share a little about what this journey has taught us and of course, because we are where we are, give back something to you as an integral part of our success during the past six years.
From There to Here
It’s hard to believe, but a little over six years ago Ben and I were in a very different place. We’d recently finished launching a massive online course which we’d each spent hundreds of hours creating.
As many of our WP Courseware customers know, creating a paid training course doesn’t just involve the content. Yes, we likely each spent at least 200 hours recording, re-recording, and editing video content for our students. But we also spent as much or more time building and structuring the site, marketing the course, answering pre-sales questions about the content, and helping to guide our paying students along to meet their goals as if our lives depended on it.
Because, well, it actually did.
But after that course was launched and Ben had spent massive amounts of time structuring our content to be efficient and effective for our students, we realized we had a bigger mission to accomplish beyond what our training content had to offer.
And what was it?
We realized that, as we say very often now, everyone is an expert at something! And it can be life changing for them to take their knowledge of a subject and offer it as an online course for others. And it doesn’t matter what it is. Not long ago, we published a blog post on several lessons we learned from our WP Courseware user survey and we were astonished at what people will pay a premium price to learn online.
Never give up on your idea!
So we realized that our larger mission was this…empower people with the ability to use WordPress to easily get up and running with their online training courses and in the process, possibly transform the income generating aspect of their lives leading to the ability to live out the most rewarding lifestyle possible.
In our content, we very often refer to one of our favorite customers, Caitlin Pyle, who has gone from a 9-5 marketing gig to earning enough money from her courses to travel around the world full-time with her husband and work along the way. These types of stories are the reason we wake up each day to work so hard on our products.
And We’ve Learned a Few Lessons Along the Way
Since many of you are entrepreneurs yourselves, we thought it was worth sharing a few of the lessons we’ve learned throughout this journey.
1. Just because you were the best yesterday, that doesn’t meant you’re the best today.
When we first developed WP Courseware, there were no “learning management system” plugins available for WordPress. That’s why Ben invested blood, sweat, and tears for hour upon hour structuring our course content all those years ago.
I’ve never really written about this before but after launching WP Courseware, competitors quickly started to spring up realizing that we were on to something. And some of these competitors have deep pockets to launch features quickly, whereas our beginnings involved eating ramen noodles for weeks at a time so that we could hire the best development talent we could find and invest large amounts of cash to create the product we thought could help transform other folks’ business models.
We’re fortunate to be in a different position today, but the commitment to offering what will help our customers succeed remains the same. We recently hired a completely new development team with absolutely incredible talent to focus on adding the most highly requested features from our users.
We receive dozen of feature requests each week…and we review and evaluate each and every single one of them. Our products are no longer ours. They’re yours. And we want everything we do to improve them help make your life easier.
2. Do your best to lead, not just follow.
Following up on what I wrote about above, one of the most important lessons we’ve learned is to not just blindly chart our development path and add features based on what those competitors who sprung up around us do.
Our primary jobs are to ask and think. We constantly ask what you want and we will constantly evaluate how beneficial new features will be to the majority of our users.
We do this every day, and will continue to.
3. Every one of our customers has a story, not just a credit card.
Again, one of the most rewarding aspects of this journey has been personally connecting with thousands of customers over the last six years. We don’t hear from everyone, but with tens of thousands of plugin activations, we’ve been able to communicate with many of you, and understanding where you’ve been, what you’re working on, and where you want to be is absolutely critical to our business.
We create solutions to problems…plain and simple. That’s what plugins do for website owners.
If we don’t know what our customers are doing with our products, we can never succeed at offering what they need. I have personally had conversations with hundreds and hundreds of customers over the last six years gaining a tremendous amount of motivation and insight along the way.
And we’ve been able to develop relationships with some of the most successful entrepreneurs and consultants in the WordPress ecosystem, many of whom you are very familiar with, to share stories and feedback to help better serve our customers and become a part of the entrepreneurial narrative associated with them.
But Again It’s Not About Us…It’s About You!
If you’ve read this far, we love you. If you ever run into us at a WordCamp or other event, tap us on the shoulder and let us know that we owe you lunch. Seriously.
We wanted to provide a special offer to the Fly Plugins community to say “thank you” for helping us achieve our goals.
Our job is to serve you, so until 11:59 PM EST on Friday, August 24th we’ve created a special discount code to allow you to receive 30% off on absolutely anything!
*If you haven’t yet purchased WP Courseware, S3 Media Maestro, or Churnly, take the discount on any license level.
*If you’re an existing customer thinking of upgrading your license, apply the discount to an upgrade by logging into the member portal, going to the “Licenses” tab, and clicking “View Upgrades”.
Do we lose out by doing this? Nope…if you’re reading this we’re beyond fortunate and grateful.
We sat around thinking of clever ways to incorporate our 6th birthday into some sort of financially palatable promotion. And conversations were going something like this...
Us: “What about 30% off? That would be cool. But 30% off on anything and everything is too much, right?”
Our Accountant: “Why would you do that if you don't need to? Don't do that.”
Well, forget it.
He’s not the one who wakes up every day trying to create better solutions for more WordPress site owners. He’s not the one who has seen the money and time invested lead to people quitting their jobs and changing their lives with our products. He's not the one who feels incredibly fortunate to have a crazy idea become, well, a real business.
Our customers are the ones who make things happen with these plugins. So if we can offer something big to get more of you on board and working toward achieving your goals, let’s do it!
This offer will be valid through August 24th at 11:59PM Eastern Standard Time and simply enter discount code FLYSIX to take 30% off of anything you purchase from us.
Come Celebrate With Us!
This coming Friday at 1:00 PM Eastern time, we'll also be hosting our live monthly Office Hours webinar where we take your questions related to our plugins, WordPress in general, or your online business. We'd love to have you stop by and join us! It's free to register and you can sign up for the webinar on our Office Hours page.