Kit#14 Joe Howard

First name: Joe
Last name: Howard
Country: United States
Occupation: Online Entrepreneur

Joe, what do you do?

I’m the founder and Head Buff at WP Buffs. WP Buffs provides WordPress maintenance plans for serious website owners & white-label agency partners.

We handle unlimited edits, performance enhancements, daily health maintenance and regular security troubleshooting so you don’t have to. This allows you to make bold decisions when it comes to your website without hesitating due to technical restraints.

With 24/7 support, a mission driven by our customers and an affinity to sponsor WordCamps, WP Buffs wants to be the very best technical support partner for any individual, business or organization with a WordPress website. Bufftastic!

What is your background?

I was a high-school math teacher, digital marketer and government consultant before starting WP Buffs. I’ve done a bit of everything, but that’s given me a variety of experiences to draw from.

Your favorite tools to help you with your work?

When I make my payments every month, it literally puts a smile on my face since I feel like I’m getting insane multiples of value based on what I’m paying. I couldn’t just move away from their systems and go somewhere else because, frankly, I don’t think there’s anything out there that comes close to this kind of value and functionality. It saves our team an immense amount of time every month and keeps us so organized that I couldn’t imagine another piece of software having more of a positive impact on our business. Oh yeah!

Boomerang allows me to return emails when they haven’t been open or read. It also lets me schedule emails to send at a later time or date. This means no more worrying about following up with clients or partners; it’s fully automated for me and I can spend my time building relationships, not thinking about when to follow up. Boomerang Pause also lets me pause my inbox and only allow messages to populate in my inbox when I want them to (currently 2x per day). This allows me to focus on deep work that moves my business forward instead of constantly checking my email for low-impact tasks. Boom!

Capture email leads via people who find our website through Google searches is our primary marketing strategy. Sumo gives us access to exit-intent popups, hello bars, scroll boxes and welcome mats to help us collect email addresses. We also love the Pro version because it gives us access to A/B testing functionality so we can optimize our website to collect as many email addresses as possible while still being respectful of users’ experience on our site. Awesome!

There’s no doubt that ManageWP gave us the all-in-one-solution we were looking for. Before we started using ManageWP, we were handling daily backups, uptime monitoring, speed and security scanning and optimization, daily theme and plugin updates and reporting all with different systems. It worked, but it took way too much time to maintain our internal operations that way. Our team had to stand up and log in to so many different interfaces all the time; we found ourselves spending too much time on internal logistics and not enough on customer happiness. Sweet!

This is a staple for most of the SEO world. It’s great for doing competitor research, keyword analysis and nailing down opportunities to win in search. Any successful SEO has a way to assess what long-tail keyword areas they should focus on to attract targeted traffic and this tool has allowed me to grow to 50,000 unique visitors/month. Not too shabby!

Stunning adds account management for payment information and subscriptions for customers as well as automated emails to reset credit card details when payments don’t go through. It completely automated churn from non-payment and expiring credit cards. Yep!

We use MailChimp as our main tool to build relationships with our audience. We send subscribers strategies to secure and speed up their websites, new blog posts we publish and a weekly newsletter with all the most shared WordPress content from across the web. It’s brilliant!

As easy as our checkout process is, there are people who start the checkout process but don’t make their purchase. Jilt automatically follows up via email and remind them they have a purchase waiting in case they left accidentally. It can even send them a 10% off coupon code. Booyah!

Your favorite tools on a personal level?

I enjoy Facebook as much as the next person, but I refuse to let it take over my passive attention. This blocker completely removes the newsfeed so I don’t get stuck down an unproductive hole when I could be putting my time to better use. Oh yeah!

I’m a huge podcast junkee! Whether it’s to improve my leadership abilities, do a better job running my business or just hearing a good story, this app gets at least 1-2 hours of my attention every day. Love it!

Listening to music helps me relax and get in the zone for work. SoundCloud has been my go-to music player for years and it’s definitely something I can’t go without for long. Let’s jam!

I’m a big soccer fan! I support Everton and following the action is important to me. This app let’s me check in, watch goal highlights and even track live games. Brilliant!

Your absolute favorite tool in one sentence?

Having your WordPress website fully managed means you can fully manage growth. Who wouldn’t want that?