We often have people ask us what to expect from the Blueprint course and what life is like after completing it. In our new podcast series, we are going to speak to Elevators who actually walk the walk and implemented what they learned from the Blueprint course. They will share the struggles, the ups and downs and how they have come through that to create their thriving business.
In this episode, Ray speaks with Bret Phillips who manages Sales and Strategy at the digital marketing agency Sideways8. They talk about his experience with the Blueprint course and how the program and community have helped him reshape his businesses for the better.
Bret Phillips began (like so many of us do in this space) believing he could launch a full-service agency and handle it all on his own. As we all know, however, that can be a very difficult feat to pull off.
Eventually, he decided to scale his Web Devils agency back to something smaller and more focused; specifically, it became a custom WordPress development business.
It wasn’t until he entered the Blueprint program and got his company, pricing, and processes under control that he was able to merge it with Sideways8, an Atlanta-based digital marketing agency that does it all. He now uses Blueprint to refine processes for his business as well as for Sideways8.
As Bret summed it up:
“Life was hard.”
Prior to implementing the Blueprint into his business, Bret and his small team of contractors were getting by with only just enough revenue. Their agency only handled WordPress development projects, which meant no recurring revenue and constantly having to hunt down new work.
A few years ago, Bret encountered an ad for WP Elevation. The offer was tempting: pay $1 for the first month of access, then switch to a monthly payment plan.
Having a deep appreciation for self-guided resources, Bret intended on signing up, downloading everything he could from the Blueprint, and then cancelling his membership. He soon realized, however, that there was a lot of value not only in the materials provided by Blueprint but in being involved in the program and community itself. In fact, the community is what kept him around after he completed his first run through the Blueprint.
The first major “aha!” moment Bret had was early on in the course.
Interested to see how these step-by-step guides would help, he used the Blueprint to prepare a bid for a prospective client. He sent the bid with a quote three times higher than normal. Using the anti-follow-up, he landed the job. He continued to find value in the Blueprint as he used it to build the client’s website and, in turn, made a good profit from it.
As he said:
“This stuff actually works.”
These days, Bret utilises the Blueprint the way he does one of his favourite books, the 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. Each year, he revisits them in the hopes of finding something that he missed in previous go-throughs. Doing this allows him to pick up on new things as the context of his life and business change.
The Blueprint helped him continue to refine business processes and set higher prices. He now has a recurring revenue model that works and a dedicated team handling parts of the business that isn’t in his wheelhouse.
Having been a member of the WP Elevation community for a few years, Bret has done much more than engage with other Elevators through the forum and Facebook group. He has attended Mavericks Masterminds and WordCamps, too, where he has made both personal and professional connections.
In addition, he’s found talent from within the WP Elevation group. As he explained, the great thing about working with other Elevators is that they already understand the processes you use as well and how to talk to people the right way.
In general, he’s really happy to be a part of the WordPress and WP Elevation communities. With everyone so positive, welcoming, and supportive, he believes this to be a group of people who are truly committed to seeing everyone walk away as winners.
Sideways8’s founder launched 48-in-48, an initiative that brings together marketing and web development talent with the goal of building 48 websites for 48 non-profits in just 48 hours.
As such, Bret and his team have had to identify ways in which they can work faster and smarter. One of the tools he’s gained a greater insight into since starting the Blueprint was the Beaver Builder page builder. With this tool (not just the plugins, but the themes too) Bret has been able to change his company’s entire process flow for the better.
It’s always interesting to see our Elevators enter the Blueprint course at different stages of their careers. As we’ve seen in the case of Bret, the takeaways are still the same – work smarter, focus on delivering more value, get the support you need, even if implementation happens a little differently.