Episode 50: Unified Toolkit Update, WordPress Theme & Plugin Development Status, Income Streams & Tips for YOU

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In this solo episode with Matt Levenhagen, he talks about what he and his team are building! In 2022 they are on a path to launch their own product called Unified Toolkit (UTK). It is currently in development. This is not his first product. He’s built, launched, and sold many products over the years. So his insights will most certainly be unique.. especially around some no-hype, realistic expectations for how things will go.

UTK will provide a brand new Full-site Editing WordPress Block Theme, a suite of new plugins and resources for freelancers and agencies. It’s an ambitious project! Matt shares the status, who’s doing what on his team, and what the launch plans are. And the ‘why’. Why THIS project makes sense in the context of his Web Design Agency. Enjoy!


  • Intro
  • Upcoming guest teaser
    • Looking for more quests..
  • Why we talk about WordPress on this podcast..
  • Today we’re talking about the product I’m developing..
  • Unified Toolkit – the journey..
    • Thinking about for 1.5-2 years.
    • Late last year it started to gel. The right time.
  • What we do for other agencies.
    • A recent example.
  • What I’ve learned about agencies..
    • Pain points, issues, challenges..
    • An agencies learning curve.
    • Can’t or don’t want to do it in-house
      • Experience or funds
      • Or want to focus on other things
    • There are good and bad contractors.
    • Takes years to become a good web dev or designer.. so it’s hard to just learn that yourself.
  • Clients are your boss..
    • So even if you try to keep things simple with their websites, a client could override that.
  • What we bring to the table..
    • From our perspective, agile project management background..
    • Experience selling web design & dev..
    • We have the tools and resources..
    • So why not help other agencies do better!
  • Unified Toolkit (UTK) – first, we’re building it for ourselves
    • A theme and plugins to help us build custom websites.
    • Agencies we work with can use these same things..
    • And why not go beyond that and sell to others?
    • We’ll also provide courses..
  • It’s unique – we’re building it for ourselves first.
    • Fits our mission.
  • Our current state with UTK
    • How we’re doing it in between our client work.
    • Matt’s handling the new Full-site Editing Theme framework.
      • I have the experience building themes from the ground up.
      • And I want to learn .. understand the code and how it’s built.
      • No bootstrap.
    • A dedicated member of the team working on the PLUGINS.
      • I’ve gone to school with her for months to be prepared for this effort.
      • The UTK Dashboard plugin – required for all other plugins.
      • The UTK Blocks plugin – with our block plugin becomes the framework.
      • The UTK Tweaks plugin.
    • Using Jira to manage the project.
    • We’re in a new dev mode.
    • Our plugins can be used with any theme in the future.
    • CONTENT – Courses.
      • How to use the tools..
      • Helping agencies sell web design/dev.
      • Videos ..
  • Why I’m telling you these things..
    • To help those that may be thinking about creating their own products.. learn from hearing how someone’s doing it.
  • How I be launching the product.
    • Details in the podcast :wink:
  • This is not a ‘Will this work?’ scenario; it’s no stress.
    • It has a tight integration with what we’re doing as an agency..
    • Worse case we just use it for ourselves.
    • Benefit of building the agency first.
    • Multiple purposes is a good thing..
  • If it does take off.. we get a affiliates on board.. etc..
    • It’ll be a great, new revenue stream.
  • A fan of multiple streams of income.
    • Services
    • Products
    • Affiliate Program revenue
  • We’ll probably lose money the first year on the product itself.
    • I’m prepared for that.
  • WHY THIS PROJECT? (for us .. for Unified Web Design)
    • We build custom themes..
    • Benefit of building our own ‘stuff’ in-house
      • Build it to our specs.
      • Build only what we need.
      • Less bloat.
      • We can use our own methodologies
      • We want to innovate with WordPress.. push limits.
      • Flexibility
    • Why blocks are amazing.
      • We can provide you a boilerplate.. defaults.
      • But then you can customize it further!
    • Our primary vertical is agencies.
      • We’ll be providing them a framework
    • I love having products! I’ve had.. many these past 2 decades.
      • Digital products
      • Info products.
      • I even sold exit popup scripts in the 2000s.. that story.
    • I love having affiliate programs.
    • Just a no brainer I’d have products again.
    • Creates a recurring income.
      • Deliver value.. it’s a great, consistent revenue stream.
      • BIG TIP – listen to this!
    • I”m a BUILDER !!
  • Tips FOR YOU
    • Take action.. don’t wait for everything to be perfect.
    • Doesn’t have to all be built to launch it.
    • It won’t happen overnight ..
      • It may take time to fall into place.. to be ready to do it.
      • Patience.
    • You can release it in stages.. create a roadmap.
    • You can do a big launch.. if you have the right product and right partner.
    • Or a slow release..
    • Past guests – a couple to check out as examples
    • You have to See the market.
      • Identify your primary market.
    • Be brave.

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