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WPMRR is gearing up for its second annual WPMRR Virtual Summit after the success of last year’s event. This year’s online-only conference will run from September 21 – 23. WPMRR and WP Buffs founder Joe Howard is hosting the event alongside guest host Brian Richards, the organizer behind WordSesh and WooSesh.

The event is free to attend for everyone. Even for those unable to make it, each session’s recording will be available via the WP Buff’s YouTube channel at no cost.

WPMRR and WP Buffs will be donating $1 per registrant to Lawyers for Good Government, a non-profit organization of lawyers with a mission to fight for equal rights, opportunities, and justice.

A formal announcement of the speaker lineup and schedule is expected next week. As of now, all speakers are confirmed.

“The WPMRR Virtual Summit is a three-day online conference that helps us fulfill our mission: to actively help as many people as possible responsibly achieve their MRR goals,” said Howard.

He also said the WPMRR Podcast carries this mission forward by telling unfiltered stories of successful entrepreneurs. On the WPMRR Community side, the goal is for members to grow their MRR together. The summit provides an onramp for newcomers into the community.

Like 2020, the event’s talks and roundtables will be held over Vimeo Live. However, this year, they will be streamed directly into the WPMRR Virtual Community space. The goal is to make it easier to transition attendees into becoming full-fledged community members, continuing their education and experience beyond a once-per-year event.

“The virtual summit will be a fantastic event, but often it’s difficult for conferences to provide ongoing support, advice, and community to make sure what was learned at the event is actually implemented, tested, and integrated into attendees’ businesses,” said Howard. “This will make it far simpler to give direct access to our community to those who want to responsibly build their MRR alongside others all year round, not just for three days.”

The three-day event will be broken down as follows:

  • September 21: Sales & Marketing
  • September 22: Operations & Systems
  • September 23: Website Management

The summit will use Circle to handle discussions via its commenting system. This should allow communication to happen at everyone’s preferred pace.

“Our plans are to do a Q&A, manage the ‘Hallway,’ and provide a space for attendees, speakers and sponsors to all interact via asynchronous communication via the WPMRR Community,” said Howard.

All About MRR

MRR is an acronym for Monthly Recurring Revenue. It is about generating repeated income every month instead of getting paid once for a product or service — a subscription-based model.

I asked Howard to break down why this concept is crucial for new or potential business owners in the WordPress space. He responded with several reasons for going this route over a one-time revenue model.

“If you’re selling a product for $100 and want to make $100K in a year, you need to find 1,000 new customers to sign up,” he said. “If you’re selling something for $100/mo instead, you need far less because customers are paying you every month instead of just once. In most situations (especially because lead generation is a pain point for most businesses), delivering ongoing value to ~100 customers is far less work than finding 1,000 new customers!”

This leads to having multiple avenues to growing your business. With recurring revenue, entrepreneurs can continue attracting new customers and selling new features to existing ones.

Howard also pointed out that subscriptions representing a chunk of total revenue creates a more predictable financial situation. This can lead to making easier budgeting decisions. Focusing on recurring revenue means constantly delivering value to customers instead of always chasing new sales.

“Running a subscription business is way less stressful because the business model is simply more resilient,” said Howard. “If you rely on SEO to drive new leads to your business and Google penalizes you, your business will literally stop generating any revenue whatsoever if you only serve one-time customers. But if you have subscription revenue and this happens, you still have a collection of customers who pay you every month, giving you far more runway to figure out next steps before the business fails.”

I also asked Howard about the different levels of MRR and how the game changes as revenue increases.

“Often, what gets you to $10K MRR evolves significantly if/when you’re on your way to $83K MRR ($1M/year),” he said. “This is what makes the WPMRR Community so valuable, as we have different spaces folks can join based on what their MRR goals are.”

He also pointed out the crossover between those starting out and those running larger businesses, saying that it was important for both audiences to learn from the other.

“We can listen to advice and best practices all day, but we don’t know when inspiration will hit us,” he said. “That’s why I think it’s important for those starting out to tune into some more advanced talks and for those running larger businesses to listen to beginners as well.

“All our speakers will be instructed by Brian Richards (our day-of technical director and speaker preparer) to be really explicit about the context around any advice they’re giving and how it could apply to businesses of different sizes and scales. That way, we can help people at whatever stage they’re at!”

The entire written interview with Howard is available via the WPMRR Community site. It is worth reading for those who want to learn more about the event and MRR from his experience or an unfiltered version of this story.