Nailing It 26: Kristina Romero from WP Care Market - Stephanie Campanella

Nailing It 26: Kristina Romero from WP Care Market

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Stephanie Campanella
October 3rd 2019

Stephanie:

Hello and welcome back. We have the amazing, amazing Kristina Romero with us.

 

Kristina Romero:

Love you calling me amazing because I have four small children all day not calling me amazing and that feels really good. Thank you.

 

Stephanie:

Oh, you are amazing. Tell the listeners. What do you do?

 

Kristina Romero:

Okay, so goodness. I hope when people hear my name, they think, “Oh, that’s the website care plan person.” I am an agency owner. I built my agency since 2009 so it’s been 10 years now and I, about halfway through, figured out the whole website care plan thing and it just transformed what we did. So it’s been going strong since 2013 so we’ve been six years just really growing our agency with website care plan.

 

I ended up being honored to be asked to coach at WP Elevation, and through that I became known as the care plan queen. I taught a lot of things over at WP Elevation when I coached, but what resonated with people the most was website care plans. So that became something I wanted to own in the space. I wanted to own and really have a conversation around how to make that better for everyone.

 

So when my time was finished with WP Elevation, I kind of went off and did a few things including creating WP Care Market, which is basically our mission at WP Care Market is to bridge the gap between website owner and website professional. Let’s bridge this conversation gap, this sort of tortured relationship that’s been broken and bruised, right?

 

One way we do that is we train both sides of the equation. So we train website professionals on how to provide quality website care, how to provide your plans in a way that it benefits your client, makes them want to stick around, but it’s still profitable for your business.

 

Then on the other end of the equation, just reaching out to website owners and educating them about what to expect in the relationship with website professionals. In short, we provide a marketplace too to pair them up when they come through and then we can pass them along to web professionals that we trained or that we know or that we trust and that’s my focus. That’s been my focus. I love having these conversations and it’s been really fun.

 

Stephanie:

So this is your niche. Yeah?

 

Kristina Romero:

Oh, yes. I put all my eggs in that basket.

 

Stephanie:

All your eggs. The whole lot.

 

Kristina Romero:

That’s right. Because I believe in it so much. I’ve seen it transform my life. Like I mentioned, I’ve got these four amazing kids and that means I’m a full-time mom on top of everything else I do. I needed to be able to run my agency in a way that I knew we were having predictable, recurring revenue coming in.

 

Stephanie:

Completely.

 

Kristina Romero:

Yeah. And that was it for me. I mean, once we figured out how to do that well with Website Care, boom, we were set, and I could hire the staff I needed. Basically, the agency runs really well with me only interacting as much as I need to, especially around certain projects or quotes or some of the salesy stuff.

 

Kristina Romero:

Otherwise, it runs really great without me. Then in the same respect, being able to create a course and train people on how to do this has been awesome as well. So I own it. I try to own it anyway and I love seeing the feedback from people after they’ve done the same.

 

Stephanie:

So you’ve just mentioned two big things, right? Maybe three. Recurring revenue

 

I like the idea that you know exactly how much revenue you’re going to bring in every single month and the stress release that that then brings to you as a business owner.

 

Kristina Romero:

Yes. My whole thing… So I married a good guy because we both have very analytical minds. We like figuring out problems. Both of our jobs I realize are figuring out problems all the time and how to solve them. This was a problem for me in the sense that I said, “Okay, so I’d like the concept of website care. That’s cool. I like that.” But how do we do it in a way that it’s dummy proof? That it’s predictable and it’s not stressful and we increase these profit margins enough to where we can increase the scale but not increase the stress. It became like a problem I had to solve.

 

I think every agency, every freelancer wants that secret recurring revenue thing and they tend to shoot for the most complicated product ever, right? First of all, I think you have to become incredibly unique and it has to be something that no one’s ever heard of before. Then secondly, they think like it has to be completely, totally different thing than what I’m doing now.

 

The light bulb moment for me was, I think it was either one of our holidays here, Memorial Day or Labor Day, one of those days. I was about to have my third child and Troy Dean got me connected with Seth Godin on a coaching call for… It was a podcast episode. Did you see that one?

 

Stephanie:

I remember that.

 

Kristina Romero:

I was like, he called me up one day and he was like, Hey, I’m trying a new thing for our podcast and I’m thinking like I do Seth Godin, but I have him coach someone, and I want it to be you.” I was like, “Oh, that’s pretty amazing.”

 

Stephanie:

“Yes. Okay. I’m in.”

 

Kristina Romero:

“I don’t know. Let me check my schedule.” It was Seth that said to me like, “Look, why are you looking outside of what you’re doing to find the secret sauce, to find this recurring revenue. Why are you turning outward? Turn inward, look at what you have right now and go deep with what you have right now.” It was like this little moment of saying, “Wow, yeah. As agencies, we have these clients. Are we really turning toward our clients?”

 

That’s like a nice process, turning toward. Are we turning toward our clients? Instead of running away, are we looking back and going, “Hm, you know, maybe there’s something said to be here what I can be doing with my care plans or what I could be doing with my projects in a way that creates recurring revenue.” And it’s staring us in the face most of the time. 

 

Stephanie:

Yes. I think most people don’t sit there and analyze and look back at the business and go, “Well, what have we actually come from and what is already there?” Rather than looking on the outside and following up, watching in groups, “Oh, that guy looks like he’s successful. Maybe that will work.”

 

Kristina Romero:

Yeah. Because when we start out, we usually try to do everything.

 

Stephanie:

We shouldn’t do that.

 

Kristina Romero:

We’d like to see what we like, and then we have a mishmash of different things and then things don’t make sense. I get into a lot of businesses because people come to me for coaching and training. So I get a nice insight into agencies looking at their bottom line, looking at the real numbers and overall, consistently what I see again and again and again is inconsistent plans, inconsistent services.

 

Basically, there’s a couple of guys on this type of project. There’s a few guys on this type of project. Sometimes we do projects for this amount and sometimes we do projects for this amount and then-

 

Stephanie:

Whatever fits, right?

 

Kristina Romero:

Right. And then you’re charing too low and then everything’s just too low. It’s not even market value. The funny thing is, I’m like the market is on our side with many of these things. When it comes to website costs, care plan costs, the market is on our side here, but we tend to undervalue what it is that we’re charging.

 

That’s what I see the most is I said, you know, “Get everyone up.” I’m like, “Just clean the slate” and say, “Hey, it’s time… It’s 2020. 2020 is coming up and prices are going up and plans are like this now and that’s the line and we’re done.” People just have a hard time doing that.

 

Stephanie:

Yeah. I think people have a hard time going, “Oh, well you know, I’m just going to increase my baseline. My smallest plan, I can increase it by $10. I’m going to get so much hit back.”

 

Kristina Romero:

No. It happens to us all the time. I get emails from Google and all these other SaaS companies that are like, “Hey, we’re raising your plan.”

 

Stephanie:

Yeah. It’s just going up. I’m pretty sure Google, out of the blue increased their GSuite accounts by $3 or $4 per inbox.

 

Kristina Romero:

Exactly, exactly. I was like, “Well, I still like your service so I’m not going anywhere.”

That’s the thing, right? We know that things increase in cost because there’s just the cost of day to day like technology increasing and productivity increasing and there’s all these things that it makes sense that prices tend to go up.

 

The same way with our business. I mean there is always a reason that you could come back to your clients and raise prices mostly because you’re better at what you do. You offer more value than you did five years ago.

 

Stephanie:

You’re a different business now.

 

Kristina Romero:

You’re a different business. Exactly. There’s so much value you can offer that you didn’t before.

 

Stephanie:

Sweet. So tell me about the care plan course that you’ve got. That’s going to launch shortly.

 

Kristina Romero:

Exactly. A year ago, I just kept getting asked more questions, more specific questions. I have done care plan training before. I’ve done webinars for lots of different companies and courses and stuff like that.

 

Stephanie:

Yup. Like GoDaddy and stuff, right?

 

Kristina Romero:

Yep. GoDaddy was one of them. I still get people emailing about those which is really cool like they say their business changed off of them but like specifics.

 

You use tasks. Well, what kind of tasks? What kind of automation? What kind of sales tactics? What did the emails look like? Like specifics. Because what you tend to do when you create training is you try to go really broad and really general because everybody’s business is different.

 

Sometimes they’re a freelancer, sometimes they’re an agency with 20 people. Sometimes they use these tools and others use other tools. So you tend to create the training really broad in general and like that 10,000 foot view of it. So like, “All right, I’m just going to get really specific and I’m going to create…”

 

A year ago, I created the Care Plan Intensive, intensive being the key word that it was just everything. I mean everything. It’s like here you go, this is our task list. These are our automations in Zapier. These are our sales emails. These are our follow-up emails. This is everything and it’s specific. I mean when I created the course, we’re using Teamwork Projects, Teamwork Desk, Zapier, Slack, Manage WP and a few other tools. I basically show it as it is in our system.

 

So people have a choice. They can either use our tools and just copy and paste or they can kind of adapt to them.

 

I launched to see if people wanted it and it did really well, and I launched again in February, then again in May. So we’re opening it up again October, 2019, October 7. It’s probably going to be open by the time this podcast airs.

 

Three weeks of a nice intensive course, I want you to finish the month beginning off with the product, redesigning what you think of what you’re offering. If you’re already offering care plans, it’s perfect. If you’re not offering care plans, it’s perfect. We set the tone, go through the processes, go through the automation to make your team support these in a way that’s profitable.

 

Sales techniques, hiring staff if you haven’t hired staff or maybe you need to hire better staff. Yeah, that’s a funny thing. Yeah. People come through having been through a, “Oh I have care plans” and they come out of it and they’re like, “Okay, I was doing that all wrong.” Yeah, right? Yeah, and then a live workshop every week so that we implement.

 

Stephanie:

Awesome.

 

Kristina Romero:

Yeah, and I do it. I know there’s probably a trend in training that is not going to be doing this or like open doors, closed doors model anymore. There’s more on demand in Evergreen. Maybe we’ll switch to that model, but right now I like to take the people who come in and I like to devote my time to them, you know? I like to give them my time.

 

Stephanie:

Do you have like a set seat allowance 10 or 20? What’s the number?

 

Kristina Romero:

Yean. I mean it’s limited because I want to be available, you know?

 

Stephanie:

Yeah.

 

Kristina Romero:

So my whole thing is it means nothing to me if someone comes in and they don’t do anything. I want to see the change. I want people to be able to feel they can email me, message me, come on the workshop calls. I want there to be a result. It’s important to me. Otherwise, why am I doing it?

 

Stephanie:

Why even bother do it in the first place?

 

Kristina Romero:

Yeah.

 

Stephanie:

Yeah. You want that transformation.

 

Kristina Romero:

Yeah, absolutely. I know people are in different places in their lives and sometimes they can’t implement right away. But I try to keep the door open and help people as best I can.

 

Stephanie:

Yeah. Awesome. I mean, you’re an amazing coach, teacher, mentor. So yeah.

 

Kristina Romero:

I love it. I mean, this is my sweet spot.

 

This is what I’m meant to do. I enjoy it. I enjoyed encouragement, bringing people together. That’s my big thing. So I think my magic word is relationship. So I guess my care plans work because I love facilitating relationship. I think that works with coaching as well. 

 

Stephanie:

Have you ever thought that, in the early days, going back now, this niche or this core product service that you’re offering like it’s… Did you fight obstacles and barriers inside your own head and go like, “Oh my God, like this is… What if this is not the right path for me?” Have you thought about throwing this away?

 

Kristina Romero:

Once I started putting the care plans in progress, of course, there’s that initial, “Oh my gosh, what if my clients don’t go for this?” And then they do come back and ask me to do work for them and I say, “Sorry, you didn’t sign up for care plan so you’re not one of our clients.”

 

They look at it like client plans. Basically, you’re a client of mine, if you sign up for care plan. That was a little nerve-wracking. That was a line I had to draw on the sand and I think that’s been my secret sauce is basically, if you’re not on a care plan of ours, we don’t work with you.

 

Stephanie:

I can’t help you.

 

Kristina Romero:

Yeah. I can’t help you, you know? It’s a relationship. There’s that word again. But I’d say when I decided to do WP Care Market that’s been an interesting thing because I’m… I realized when I get leads in, I convert really well because I really genuinely have face-to-face time and I like the client. You know, I like them and I want to help them, and I think it comes through. When doing WP Care Market you’re basically calling cold leads.

 

I like to match them with website professionals or even for the course, cold leads. You don’t get that moment of like, “I want to help you and what’s your issue?” You have to create a funnel and put a lot of time into how you position, how you introduce, and how you nurture someone and how you convert them. That’s been the hardest thing for me. I mean if I get someone on the phone, I can convert someone.

 

But when you get scale of a business where you have to do things at scale, you can’t get people on a phone.

 

Stephanie:

Yeah. You lose a little bit of relationship.

 

Kristina Romero:

You do. Exactly, exactly. My strength or my superpower is like I can’t use my superpowers. So I’m figuring that out and that’s where off of you and inspiration as well as Ray Milidoni, I was like, “Okay, let me do a podcast” because if I can do a podcast, perhaps I can have all the conversation I would have with some leads in this sort of warm setting.

 

So I’ll be launching a podcast shortly and I’ll have you on. So there you go.

 

Stephanie:

A podcast is so funny because you look at the numbers and you’re getting subscribers and downloads. But you’re not really sure who’s behind the other end. Just last night in LinkedIn, a guy, an old client, said, “Oh, hey Steph. You know, so-and-so, dah, dah, dah, dah. By the way, I’ve subscribed to your podcast,” and I’m like, “Awesome.” You know, I have no idea who is these listeners are.

 

Kristina Romero:

That’s what’s really cool about it, especially I found out when I was chatting with Ray Milidoni about how… I’m new to the podcast world. Listening to it, I’m brand new to it, but apparently in the US it’s been like started a long time ago.

 

Stephanie:

Yeah, yeah. It’s massive.

 

Kristina Romero:

But in Australia, it’s really picking up now. You’re kind of in the golden age right now is what was how Ray said. So that’s really cool. I find podcasts now and they’re no longer updated, you know? So that’s the tricky thing is finding something you’re passionate enough that you want to keep talking about it.

 

Stephanie:

Yeah, and keep the conversation going.

 

Kristina Romero:

Yeah, exactly. Exactly.

 

Stephanie:

Oh, awesome. Okay, well there we go. That’s a little sneaky release. Khristina is going to have a podcast shortly. So I will also add that link too when it’s launched. Now, you’ve just come back from the most wonderful place in the world, right?

 

Kristina Romero:

I did. Okay, so crazy story. You and I have both met some really amazing people through the different business courses that we’ve been a part of that we had basically never met in person, like face to face, although you and I had met in person face to face or you met them briefly, but you feel like you know them so well because we are so close. You know?

 

One of those was Robert Simmons of Hatmen Marketing. He and I had been briefly talking about the idea of a conference around recurring revenue in Walt Disney World, because don’t those go hand in hand? I mean, don’t you just think. So, yes. I mean if you want great recurring revenue, you’re living in Walt Disney World and that’s basically what Robert Simmons is doing with his wife Alyssa and it took two years to get a plan and get off the ground.

 

Yeah, it took a long time and that’s a story in itself. I don’t know what time we have. But finally, yes, it finally came to fruition and it was August 29th and 30th of 2019, in Orlando. It was just awesome. Our keynote speaker was Mike Michalowicz, who wrote Profit First and Clockwork. We had an amazing two days of speakers and workshops.

 

The coolest part about it was one, it all being about recurring revenue, so people are from different products, different backgrounds, all kind of around the webspace, web digital services types of product with recurring revenue. So the talks were wide range. It was really fun because if you weren’t thinking about a particular type of recurring revenue before, you might be thinking about it now. Then it being in Walt Disney World, made it this just the best networking event you could ever imagine.

 

So here’s some insight into you. When Robert and I are planning this event, he keeps coming back to me and he’s like, “We’re still below food and beverage minimum.” We got to meet food and beverage minimum and we’re just coming up with the most random creative, outlandish ideas to meet, food and beverage minimum, which included this private dessert party at Epcot on the World Showcase Lagoon or whatever it’s called with glow tables and Mickey glasses watching the fireworks with a doughnut flambe bar. It was just absolutely insane.

 

People were like, “This is amazing.” I’m like, “Yeah. I know.”

 

Stephanie:

If that doesn’t scream recurring revenue right there.

 

Kristina Romero:

Exactly. I mean to the point where our dear keynote speaker, Mike Michalowicz, who is unbelievable and a rock star and a superstar of his own right was like, “Sure, I’ll come to this event that I’m not contractually obligated to show up at.” He came to the dessert party with his wife and had a great time and it was awesome.

 

Stephanie:

Amazing.

 

Kristina Romero:

Yeah. We just had stuff like that the whole time and Disney was gracious and amazing. The venue was just… People were blown away with how nice it was and we were very happy with it. We ended up for our first year events, I think doing a pretty good job.

 

Yeah. It was awesome. We don’t know how we’re going to really top that, but hopefully we’ll go on a second chance to do that and bring you along, too.

 

Stephanie:

Right. It looked amazing. Seriously. Yeah. I think you guys had a great time.

 

Kristina Romero:

We got some Aussies there – We got James Rose of Content Snare, he was there and Ray Milidoni came out.

 

Stephanie:

Legends.

Very amazing. So I guess again, listeners, look out for R3, I think is the shortcut for it?

 

Kristina Romero:

Exactly. I mean, we Recurring Revenue Retreat. We sort of say the name right on the tin as a Troy Dean says. But R3 is our short name Recurring Revenue Retreat.

 

Yeah, exactly. So, yeah. Stay tuned for that. It’s going to be… We’ll probably announce it pretty soon so that people have an entire year to plan. So yeah.

 

Stephanie:

Yeah. Sweet. That’s awesome. Well, I mean, you’ve given away so much already like everything is about recurring revenue. You know, you’ve got so much support going with the WP Care Market there. Your course is about to launch. You’ve just come off the most amazing event.

 

Kristina Romero:

Oh, my life sounds really great.

 

Stephanie:

Yeah. I mean, yeah. I mean “Hello.” Like, “Kids, come on, she’s amazing.”

 

Kristina Romero:

You know, I do have to say, it took… Okay. So I will say I’m very happy with the way my businesses are going. There’s always room for improvement. There’s always things that you want to do or things that are not growing the way you want them to grow and things like… That’s just the case of it, right?

 

But I am very happy with the way things are running because I spent blood, sweat and tears to get to this point. You know, really like the wrong hires, the broken processes, the long days, the emails in the middle of the night, the weekend calls. Being like, “This can’t continue. How do I fix this?”

 

I think everyone’s been there. Especially if you are there, the encouragement of to say that isn’t your reality and you just basically choose. I want things to look different. I want my life to look this certain way, and then you work your way backward. For me, I was like, “I want to be home with my kids. I want to be… I don’t want to work in an office.”

 

So if I only have two or three hours a day to devote to my business, what does that look like? Then how do I work my way back out of that? You know? Part of the things I used to say to myself is, “I can hire a babysitter for extra hours or I can hire a VA for the same price.”

 

Stephanie:

What shall I do?

 

Kristina Romero:

You know what I mean? They’re like, “okay”, that means I got to let go of certain pieces of my business. I got to hire someone who’s good. You know? You make choices. You make choices every single day, even if you’re not aware that you’re making choices for your business, you know?

 

Stephanie:

Also, are there some key habits that you’ve carried through from maybe, I don’t know, personal, I don’t know, spiritual. But have you got some habits that have helped you, come to this is not my final destination. I am going to get there, like this kind of thinking?

 

Kristina Romero:

Oh yes. So practical things right off the bat. I remember crying on the couch going to the room and dealing with a hacked website. When my husband came, he said, “You cannot open your computer at night and on the weekends.”

 

Stephanie:

Yep.

 

Kristina Romero:

Done. Do not do it. So that was not the first thing I did. Okay, how do I make that a reality? How do I not do that? What changes need to happen so I’m not doing that? That was the first thing. Second thing was someone repeatedly was telling me, you need to read the Miracle Morning. You need to read the Miracle Morning. Finally read Miracle Morning, where in short of it, if you haven’t read it, you wake up in the morning-

 

Stephanie:

Yes. Tell me.

 

Kristina Romero:

You wake up at 5 a.m. and you begin to form a habit of waking up at 5 a.m. and that is your time. So it’s time for personal development or whatever it looks like, you know? But you have the most energy. Basically, the concept is, if you wait until the evening to do what you want to do or especially in my case, I’m burnt out, I got no energy.

 

But if you go to sleep and you wake up early, you wake up with a fresh mind with all the energy that you need. Once you’ve had your coffee or whatever, you are the most productive. So I have been the most productive. Sometimes it’s personal development. But if I’m being incredibly honest, basically from 5:00 to 6:30, I am getting everything I need to get done for my business. I’d cleaned out the email inbox. I’ve scheduled all my emails. I’ve proactively done anything I needed to do to assign to my team and I can shut that computer at 6:30. The kids wake up and we basically do everything else.

 

Stephanie:

You do the morning.

 

Kristina Romero:

We get ready for school. We pack the things. We do everything dah, dah, dah, dah. I send them off to school and so by the time I’m done at 9:00, I’ll usually have a kid or two because not everyone’s in school, but I’m not rushing to my computer because I already done all that.

 

Stephanie:

You’ve done it.

 

Kristina Romero:

I’ve done it. So I can just stay on tops of like notifications. Right? I just need your review on something.

 

Stephanie:

Yeah.

 

Kristina Romero:

So that’s been a big game changer for me. Waking up early. I love waking up early. The other thing that I do is… So that’s 6:30. They wake up at 7:00. I go on a walk and I listen to a podcast. Sometime, well, actually, all the time, my 10-month-old is with me and her pack and we walk about sometimes two miles and I listen to my podcast for whatever day that is and it’s my personal development time.

 

I’d come back by 7:30 and I’m ready for the kids to continue on the morning. That’s been the two things. So I do my business. You’ve got to be doing business in the morning and then the personal developments a little later. It’s still all of the morning is me.

 

So I get that done and I have that time and I’m fresh and I’m in my mind. I found I needed that. That’s what I needed to really be successful in what I’m doing. So just closing the computer on the nights and the weekends and then waking up early and spending the time I need for myself in the morning.

 

Stephanie:

Wow, that’s incredible. Listeners, you have so much to learn right there. Grab the Miracle Morning book.

 

Kristina Romero:

Yeah, it’s been awesome. Yeah.

 

Stephanie:

So we’ve shared so many things that you’re involved in and stuff. You know, we’ve come to the end of our pod. Where’s that one place that you hang out and where can people start to stalk and follow you?

 

Kristina Romero:

Oh, yes. Okay. I have a Facebook group for web professionals because I’m assuming most of your listeners are probably in the web space. Web Professionals. WP Care Market Web Professionals. It’s very creative title.

 

Stephanie:

Yes.

 

Kristina Romero:

I spent a long time thinking about that. It’s just a private Facebook group. I had three questions I asked people before they can come into the group because I want real people to be in there. I don’t want anyone who’s coming in to just sell stuff, right? So I ask questions. You have to answer the questions. That’s all I ask of you. I’m not going to spam you. We have awesome conversation in there. I mean, it’s all around website care, but also seeps into productivity and tools and client relationships. It’s a really great value for people who are just needing to have that feedback and that conversation.

 

It’s a very active group and it’s free and it’s probably the best place to start for anyone who’s interested in following what I am doing or anything I’m teaching. I post a lot of stuff in there.

 

Stephanie:

So basically start there.

 

Kristina Romero:

Start there. If you go to wpcaremarket.com/joinournetwork. It breaks down the different pieces of WP Care Market. The first thing is the Facebook group and that’s right on that page. Yeah.

 

Stephanie: 

Oh, thank you so much for coming.

 

Kristina Romero:

You’re pretty amazing. Thank you for having me. I’m going to do the swapsy handsies and you’re coming on my podcast.

 

Stephanie:

All right, deal.

 

Well, listeners, thank you so much for your attention and Kristina, you’re such an amazing guest. Thank you so much for sharing. I mean from just the start to the finish, there were so many bombs that you just dropped there. So thank you.

 

Kristina Romero:

Oh, I appreciate it. Thanks for having me on and I hope people, if they take away anything, it’s that you can design the life that you want to live. So start there. Start there and of course keep listening to this podcast and you got it. Nailed it.

 

Stephanie:

You nailed it. All right. Adios amigo.

 

Kristina Romero:

Take care.

 

Grab a copy of Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod Hal Elrod

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If you want to jump into Kristina’s WP Care Plan Intensive Course – Just go here.

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