How would you feel if you bought a car that the manufacturers themselves wouldn’t even drive? You’d be a bit wary, right? Why aren’t they using their own product? Shouldn’t they believe in their product enough to use it constantly? Unless you’re Walter White, you should be the biggest user of your product. Well, fear not. This week’s author is not only one of our most active users, but he happens to be the head of the Marketplace, too. We sat down with LeadPages™ Marketplace Evangelist Scott Silvi (click here to see a listing of all his templates) -- creator of the Drag N’ Drop/Sortable Sales Template, the Paid Media Template Landing Page, the LeadPages Agency Minisite and more -- to talk about the future of the Marketplace, three pieces of advice for every author to be successful and the importance of designing for features. Enjoy this new edition of the Author Spotlight!
1) Why did you decide to create templates for the LeadPages™ Marketplace?
For those who may or may not know, I joined LeadPages™ as the Marketplace Evangelist in October of 2014. There were two primary reasons I joined the LeadPages™ Marketplace team. First, I saw tremendous passive income potential with the Marketplace. When I first joined, we were offering 100% commissions on EVERY sale (and we still do). One of my first conversations with our CEO and CFO was to explore 200% commissions for template sales to non-LeadPages™ customers, which became a reality in January 2015. The second reason I joined LeadPages™ relates to affiliate income. LeadPages™ employs some of the smartest people I’ve ever worked with, and hands down the best marketing team. The ability to learn what works, what doesn’t, the tools to use, how to convert … while also learning how to build a robust training course to teach authors how to market their templates really spoke to me. I see a lot of potential in this skill set both now, and in the future. So combine up to 200% commissions with a 30% residual/affiliate income and you get some big passive revenue. Or, as I refer to it, you #makeitrain. After coming aboard, I had a few reasons to create my first handful of templates. First, I wanted to understand our product, with the goal of minimizing barrier to entry while maximizing profits for our authors. Second, I felt it was important to strongly position myself as a subject matter expert, and the best way to do that was to become a successful author. Ultimately, these templates have ended up tremendously helping out our LeadPages™ customers, which is an awesome feeling.
2) What are the biggest advantages your templates have for potential marketers?
The cool part about my template catalogue is how different each template feels. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="758"]
Click here to see the entire template.[/caption] I built the Agency Minisite template because I could see an entire ecosystem being built up around the LeadPages™ product. From marketing coaching, consulting, and even design and development through the Marketplace, I felt like this was a great template to really feature and drive your brand forward alongside LeadPages™. It was the first template to offer true CSS background images - which, for a non-technical person, simply means the background images will stretch and scale appropriately. It also introduced the concept of an introductory walkthrough to help customers utilize the template to it’s fullest. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="758"]
Click here to see the entire template.[/caption] Creating the Drag N' Drop Sales template was actually kind of a no brainer. I frequently check out what users want via request.LeadPages.net, and the customizable Drag N' Drop template was far and away the number one request. Since the LeadPages™ Builder doesn’t support it, I had to build a custom widget that allows you to reorder the sections (and even the columns within a section) to suit your business needs. I’ve already created an additional 8-10 sections that customers have explicitly asked for in the comments, so it’s the kind of template that can really grow with your business. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="758"]
Click here to see the entire template.[/caption] I’m also really excited about the Paid Media Template Landing Page, designed specifically for template authors. I wanted to create this template to provide better SEO and higher conversions when using paid media to promote LeadPages™ templates. I’ve actually just launched my first campaign with it, and I’m really excited to see the results.
3) How did you create your templates? Did you collaborate with any designers or coders?
For me, template creation starts with research. Whether I have a specific idea for a template (e.g. a Landing Page Template for paid media), or a general design in mind (e.g. Flat Design Sales Page), I jump into the old Google machine to start looking around for inspiration. Once I find a half-dozen or more templates / pages, I dive into creating my own. I’ll pull ideas and techniques from a number of different sources, combining them all into my own creation. I’ve also collaborated with a brilliant designer (Sarah Chaussee) on templates to really give a special design flair to my templates.. As I’ve built out these templates, I try and craft each element as dynamic and flexible as possible, to allow me to reuse that component in the future. Currently, I have a component library with 20-30 components - each of which is available for every template I work on. As a result, I feel like 60-70% of a template is complete before I ever write a line of code.
4) What are the best pieces of advice you could give to someone thinking about creating a template?
The first step is simply to jump in! LeadPages™ provides a ton of great resources - from the docs and the forum, to the request/user voice forum, and even the consultants job boards. Also … stay the course. I’ve built about 10 templates. While they all earn me money, the majority of my revenue has come from two of them. There are going to be hits and misses in the Marketplace, so keep building templates to find those hits. The hits will be amazing, but even the misses will add up, in the aggregate revenue total. At the end of the day, this Marketplace is exploding, so get on that wave and keep churning out beautiful templates. One last thing I have to say as the Marketplace Evangelist -- don’t be afraid to ask questions. We have two dedicated support personnel for the Marketplace: Mon Lu and Jeff Meier. Both are absolutely amazing individuals. They care deeply about our Marketplace and about helping our authors. It’s a joy to work with them, and to receive all the feedback I get from authors about how much help they’ve been.
5) What’s one kind of template you’re dying to see added to the Marketplace?
6) Are there any marketers out there whom you would absolutely love to see create a Marketplace template?
Bob Jenkins, aka Bob The Teacher. Why? Check out the next answer...
7) Do you have any other Marketplace template ideas in the works?
Loads of them. I’m working on a series of 5-10 templates with Bob the Teacher. I’m working on another sortable template. I’m working on another sales template. Right now, including Bob’s templates, I probably have 12-15 pages in various stages of research / ideation.
8) What are some big things coming to the Marketplace?
First, I’d say with so many LeadPages™ employees being authors in the Marketplace, there will always be a strong push internally for any and all features that will drive revenue opportunities to the marketplace. One of the biggest changes I’m advocating for is to be able to provide tracking codes for my templates, so authors can see more advanced performance analytics on their templates. And that wraps up this edition of the Author Spotlight! Don’t forget to check out Scott’s Marketplace templates:
If you want to see more templates like these, be sure to visit the entire LeadPages™ Marketplace for some of the best landing pages templates you’ll ever see. Check back on the blog every Wednesday for more posts from the Marketplace, as we’ll be featuring more interviews, templates and a few other surprises.