Finding Low-Hanging Fruit When Prospecting For WordPress Clients
If you’ve ever picked fruit from a tree, then you will definitely understand the “Low Hanging Fruit” title, but just in case you haven’t let me explain.
When you pick apples, pears, and other fruit that grows on trees, you either pick the fruit that is at the lowest point because it’s easy, or you drag a ladder out to the tree and get to the fruit that is higher up on the tree.
Is that fruit any better? Normally not – it’s just harder to get to.
So, pass up the easy fruit and work harder to get the fruit that is higher up?
“Word smarter, not harder!”
I recently published an article here on WPMU about discovering what version your WordPress website was running without logging in. In that article, I noted that you could also use it for learning what other WordPress websites are running as well.
I use that Firefox and Chrome add-on so that when I see a notation of an out of date WordPress installation I know that’s a potential client. I don’t even have to work to find those prospects – I just have to do what I do naturally – work on the internet.
How Can I Actively Seek Out WordPress Websites
If you work with local businesses like I do – also known as Offline – then simply perform a Google search for your city name and wp-content. The returned results might just surprise you – I know they did the first time I did it. These are all websites in your city that are running WordPress and have not done anything to hide the wp-content folder. A quick search of Knoxville, Tennessee and wp-content yields the following results:
Once you get those search results, visit each of them using a browser that has the Firefox or Chrome add-on active to see if they are running an outdated version of WordPress.
Why Am I Searching For Outdated WordPress Installations
That’s where the “log hanging fruit” concept comes in. If someone is running WordPress on an outdated version it can mean one of several things:
- They are trying to do it themselves
- They hired someone to build it, but they didn’t hire someone to keep it updated
- They hired someone to keep it up to date, but they’re not doing their job
- They just don’t care – their website is up and they’re good
The first three categories are potential clients (the fourth is not), but category #2 and #3 are your best clients – the low hanging fruit.
Can I Find Out More Information About Their Website?
Absolutely! When you are at their website, simply hit ‹CTRL› and ‹U› to see the underlying code for their webpage. Look for any line that contains wp-content/themes/ and see what theme they are using. Once you have the theme name, pop that into a Google search. If you get some results for places like Theme Forest. wooThemes, StudioPress – or even the WordPress Repository – then you can figure that this was an inexpensive website for them. Of course, they could have paid a lot and got minimal customization.
If we click the link for Garland Properties in the search above, we learn that it is the Lighthouse theme. In another tab perform a search for “WordPress themes Lighthouse” and you will get several results including a FREE theme and a Theme Forest theme.
I suspected that it was a Theme Forest theme, so I clicked on that choice and I was correct. It’s a $45 theme from Theme Forest.
If you notice the 4th and 5th items in the search – they are a post on someone’s website about themes. Many times, I’ll visit those first to see if I find the them that someone is using and that would have been my next step if my initial thought proved wrong.
You can even repeat your Google search with /wp-content/themes/themename (without a city) and see who else is using that theme. Or, include the city to see which of their competitors are using that very same theme.
This is really good information because then you can see what else can be done with that theme or maybe even talk to them about creating a customized theme.
But, if you can’t find any additional information about the theme and you can’t find anyone else using the theme, then there’s a good possibility that it is a custom theme developed just for them. If that’s the case, then since they’ve spent good money on their website, then they’d probably like to keep it updated and secure.
If they have a custom theme, but their WordPress installation is out of date, then they are your real “low hanging fruit” and a client you should work a little to get.
BONUS: Want To Really Open Their Eyes?
Check their WordPress security by trying to figure out their login ID – you don’t even need their password.
In a new browser tab, type http://theirdomain.com/wp-admin and see if the login screen loads. If you’ve already identified them as a potential client, then chances are it will. Then type in “Admin” for the login and any combination of letters, numbers, or whatever in the password field.
If the login screen returns with a message telling you the password is invalid, then you know their login ID is admin. If it tells you “User not found” then you can try some additional possibilities such as the website name, the owner’s name, and anything else that is obvious on the website. Try a dozen or so possibilities – but only the easy ones. Remember, we’re after low hanging fruit.
If you an discover their login ID, then that’s just an additional item you can show them that is opening their website up to crackers. Each piece of information that you can accumulate will help you build a case for why they should hire you to update their website, secure their website, and pay you to maintain it each month.
Play Hard, Work Lazy
If you’ll notice, everything I mentioned here can be done without breaking a sweat. I prefer to work very lazy rather than hard. If I can prospect and find the easy ones, then I can potentially pick up clients very easily. Honestly, I don’t want to just do their updates and security, but once I’ve sold them on those services, then I can continue to upsell them on more services.
Consider this, is it easier to get a new client or to sell an existing client something new? Of course, it’s easier to sell an existing client because we don’t have to go through the “get to know you” phase of the prospecting visit. And yet, people continue to try to accumulate more and more new clients.
I’d rather have 50 or 100 clients that I’m working on multiple areas with than have 1,000 clients that I’m only working on one area with. If you remember when Facebook moved to the Timeline format for businesses, a lot of people that had focused 100% on custom tabs for Facebook were wondering how they were going to survive. And many didn’t.
I didn’t blink – although I did hate to lose that segment of my business. It’s still a part of my business, but a very small part. I had so many other services that I was offering and I’ve added others, that I found myself unaffected.
So, use these very simple methods to locate that “low hanging fruit” and fill your basket with the harvest that is available to anyone willing to look for it. It doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. It just takes a little bit of effort. It’s not “push button simple”, but it’s not an insurmountable task either.
How do you prospect for new clients? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Of course, there’s a dozen more ways that I use, but these are my “easy” ways. I look forward to your methods.