business

WordPress: Tis not bad

From pre-2010 to 2018, Bitesize Irish has been running on custom software, with WordPress just powering its blog.

I moved this blog back to WordPress in 2018, and realised that it really is a matured platform.

It takes effort to learn and configure, but you can achieve a lot with no coding. You’re benefiting from the big ecosystem of plugins.

The features that I had developed (but as always struggling to keep up to date) with our custom software:

  • Membership logic
  • Payment integration
  • Email marketing list integration
  • Event-based emailing
  • Contact form
  • Course management (create lesson, create week, move lessons between weeks)
  • Marketing site styling

All that will now by powered by the following WordPress extensions:

Our aim for Bitesize is to create a community, a place where people can find a sense of belonging and support each other. We’re going to get there 🙂

For good resources of WordPress, I suggest watching videos by WPCrafter.

Delighting whom: Seth Godin vs Emyth

In designing a “Client Fulfillment System“, Michael Gerber recommends in Emyth Mastery to consistently delight all your customers. The idea is to create systems that help you collect information about your customers, and to use that to help you connect with them consistently. It means setting up email systems, tagging customers based on calculated usage, and sending automated emails to them (in the online context).

Seth Godin expressed his views about Emyth in his book Linchpin, about hiring people.

In his book “This Is Marketing”, Godin takes a more focussed less systematic approach to delighting customers (true to the difference between Godin and Gerber). He recommends connecting with those customers who reach out and connect with you. He suggests going for delighting that small group of customers who are your advocates, and to accept that the majority of customers will not provide a profit and will not be highly engaged:

It can work out. But in order to do your best work, you’ll
need to seek out and delight the few.

Chapter “Treat different people differently”, from “This Is Marketing” by Seth Godin.

So interestingly, Godin is narrowing his focus. First on a group of people you are seeking to change, and even within that group of people, who is it that will let your business run to keep serving them.

Who are you seeking to change?

Seth Godin, in his book “This Is Marketing” frames the question of who you want your customers to be as:

Who are you seeking to change?

He goes on to advocate going after a corner of the market, that you can “overwhelm” with your help:

Foscus all our energy on this group of people. Ignore everyone else. Instead, fosuc on building and living a story that will resonate with the culture we are seeking to change.

That’s how we make change, by caring enough to want to change a culture, and by being brave enough to pick just one.

He’s advocating identifying your “smallest viable market“, and serving them.

Case in point

At Bitesize Irish we have long served a particular group of people: mostly Irish-Americans, looking to connect with their Irish heritage. That cross-section that feels so deeply about their heritage that they want to learn to speak the Irish language. And not just that, our core audience identify themselves as “language people” (which surprised me).

Perhaps this is just an excuse for my lack of skills, but that group of people is too small for a sustainable multi-person business.

Who do I want to change? Who do I want to help? Honestly, the future of the Irish language is still focuesed on people in Ireland. Parents of kids are pivotal.

We’re left with this tension of a demographic who has sought out Bitesize, and a demographic in another culture who I’d love to help more.

Seth recommends grouping people by psychographics, potentially by worldview. This may indeed be the glue that we can use to speak to our audience as one, even though they come from different countries (cultures). We have a worldview that the Irish language is extremely important for keeping us grounded to what has come before, and that has an effect on what will come in the future. That half of the world’s languages will die in the next couple of generations, and that Irish is under extreme pressue. A worldview that despite that fear, there is hope. There is energy. There can be community, and helping eachother. A worldview that practicing the language with others is the most constructive action one can take to promote these beliefs.