Q: Describe your business in 1 sentence.
We provide full-service website designs, strategies, marketing plans, premium child themes, plugins, and more.
Q: Tell us more about your business. What exactly do you do?!
We offer a number of services, products, and resources.
• Custom Web Designs
• White Label Web Designs
• Template Package Deals for Smaller Budgets
• Monthly Maintenance Plans
• Social Media Marketing Plans
• Divi Expert Services/Consulting
• Divi Child Theme and Plugin Multi-Vendor Marketplace
• Engaging WorkLife Blog
Q: What products have you developed specifically for Divi and what might we expect in the future?
As far as products go, our focus has been on Premium Divi Child Themes. We may consider putting out a few plugins next year but there is nothing in the works at the moment.
Q: What 5 words best describe you as a person?
Christian, Husband, Father, Encourager, Passionate
Q: How long have you been a member of Elegant Themes?
Q: What are your most, and least, favorite features in Divi?
Favourite: The ability to easily add my own classes and ID’s to any section, row, column or module. With that little feature alone we can do just about anything.
Least: It already gives me what I need. Everything else is just icing on the cake for my customers.
Q: How would you like to see Divi and its community evolve in the coming months and years ahead?
I like the direction ET has taken with Divi as its flagship product moving forward. It would be great to see if they eventually incorporate some of the Extra features into Divi someday. It would be great to have a little more Page Builder options for the Archive pages and better integration with Woo.
As far as the community goes, as it grows it will evolve and change; some changes will be for the best and some for the worst. But just like a growing church, a gathering of 100 people is going to take on a very different community vibe than a group of 10,000. I have seen that when small groups within that larger community gather and build relationships on a regular basis, the larger community thrives. And when that larger community thrives, we can continue to impact others for good on a much grander scale.
I think that’s what we are seeing right now in the various Divi Facebook groups. At first, some people thought that it did not seem like a good thing having so many various Divi FB groups, including myself at times. But what we are seeing is that sometimes the smaller numbers help build better relationships just like we saw back in the early days of the first Divi FB group. And now each group is taking on its own identity and forging its own relationships.
These various Divi Facebook groups can enjoy the fellowship and community vibe that it all started with. It is a little harder to keep that in a very large group.
Q: If you weren’t a web designer/developer, what would you be?
If I did not have any bills to pay (or had enough money to pay the bills), I would spend more time enjoying my family, friends and more time being involved in ministry. I really enjoy teaching and encouraging others. But also enjoy building teams and taking ideas and seeing them come to fruition. My goal is to allow Monterey Premier to become an agency run and managed by awesome people so that I can focus on new projects, ideas, and family.
Q: What websites do you visit daily?
I am in Monterey Premier every day. There is so much going on in there that it takes two of us being in there daily keeping up with new products, vendors and blog posts. Although Jerry does most of the work in there, I like to keep a pulse on sales, stats and right now I am managing our blogging team until we can afford to hire someone to manage that full time.
I am also in Basecamp, Trello, Slack, Google Calendar, Insightly & Facebook every single day
And now thanks to the Divi Themes News email that you put out on a weekly basis, I try to visit most of those each week as well.
Q: If you were granted 3 Divi Theme wishes for feature enhancements or additions what would you wish for?
1. Page Builder for Archive Pages
2. Page Builder for WooCommerce Pages
3. Mobile Menu Option so that we can have a separate menu for mobile
Q: What are your 3 favorite WP plug-ins?
1. Multi Plugin Installer – Allows you to install & activate multiple plugins at once
2. All In One WP Import/Export – Allows me to move sites from staging to live with ease
3. WordPress SEO – Goes in every site
Q: Which website/s are you most proud to say, “I made that!”?
MontereyPremier.com and Quiroz.co evolve just about every day. As with your site, countless hours have been put into each one. But MonterePremier.com has become more than a website; it has become a product in and of itself.
Our new service landing pages draw in new leads every single day. Our brand new monthly plans are gaining momentum giving us a new monthly revenue stream. Our Marketplace continues to grow in sales, vendors, and products.
And my latest endeavor, the Engaging WorkLife Blog has been a lot of fun. Working with our bloggers has been a great experience for me. We have some really talented folks writing for us now and I am learning so much. And we are reaching an entirely new audience which is already having a great impact on branding and new leads OUTSIDE of the Divi/Web Design/Local community.
Q: What does your average work day usually involve?
My routine changes regularly. But for the most part, this is what most typical days look like.
First: my cup of coffee, morning devotions and catching up on news and social media.
Then once in the office, I start by sorting and addressing emails and messages that came in overnight. Anything I can resolve, delegate or complete within the hour, I try to address right away.
Then I usually finalize the day’s news blog post from the Engaging WorkLife blog and publish it. We usually have a few in the queue pending approval and publishing.
Of course, no morning is complete without checking in with Jerry, our Operations Manager, to see what I need to do for the day and what issues I need to address. Once I have taken care of any issues he has for me, I begin working on my design and development projects.
I schedule all my calls between 11am and 4pm and try to only schedule 1-2 calls a day max.
Although Jerry manages the Marketplace, I still oversee marketing efforts. So I also check in once a day to see how our FB ad campaigns are doing, seeing what tweaks I need to make. I also do the same with our weekly newsletter stats.
And then if possible, I try to squeeze in time for personal projects such as tutorials, pro-bono websites, working on MontereyPremier.com or Quiroz.co, chatting with my Divi Theme Help and Share Admin colleagues on Slack.
Q: PC or Mac?
I use both but mostly PC.
Q: Apart from Divi, what other WP theme/s do you use regularly?
These days I only work with Divi. I usually pass on projects that require another theme unless I am rebuilding it using Divi.
Q: How many cups of coffee do you drink in a day?
I usually only have one cup of coffee per day but sometimes the day just calls for one more.
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Q: What’s the best lesson you have learned (the hard way) when making websites?
The best lesson I learned was pricing projects and giving estimates. It takes a while to get it down and in the early days I did a lot of fixed price quotes that ended up going well over my estimated hours. Since moving to an hourly basis and increasing my rates, I have found that my margins stay where I want them and clients value my time and skills in a much more profound way.
Q: How many people are on your team? If you work solo, do you ever collaborate?
My current role within the agency is to focus on design/development, marketing, and new ideas/services. And most importantly I navigate the waters to avoid icebergs and to keep an eye out for new opportunities.
Our Operations Manager, Jerry Simmons, now oversees all the day to day operations including sales, customer service, technical support, customer correspondence, maintenance, vendor support and the Marketplace in general. He also takes on larger development tasks and about a fourth of all our web design projects.
Our Social Media Account Manager and Lead Blogger Dana Damato manages all our Social Media Marketing Plan customers which include blogging, managing their social media accounts and posting on a regular basis for them. She also is our own lead blogger on Monterey Premier posting 1-2 articles on a weekly basis.
My wife Vivien Quiroz recently joined the day to day team to help us out with our own Monterey Premier Social Media accounts. She has been slowly working on building up Monterey Premiers Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram accounts.
I also collaborate with a number of other individuals on various projects.
We work with developer Mohit Gupta of Epic Web Solutions on a regular basis. Of all our contractors, we work with him the most often.
We work with Andrea Walker on Premium Child Themes. She is an amazing Designer and I have been working with her as one of my White Label Clients for over a year and a half now so we work together well.
I am also working with a number of amazing bloggers. In addition to Dana who has been working with us for almost 2 years now, we get started working with Randy Brown, Phil Simon, April Stevens and starting this month Tracy Swindale and Eduardo Carreiro will be bringing their talent to the blog as well.
And in the past, I have had the pleasure of working with Leslie Bernal of A Girl and Her Mac, Tami Heaton of Undeniable and Bhuvanesh Kumar of Zebra
Q: What do you do for fun outside of work?
Our family loves road trips and finding new places to explore or enjoy. One of our most memorable trips was renting and RV and camping for a few days. We had a blast and I hope to do it again soon. In 2015 we took the entire month of December off and spent almost 3 weeks traveling through Northern California, Oregon, and Washington. That was an awesome time as well. Of course on a smaller scale, I am a movie buff so we do family movie night a few times a week and we love finding new restaurants in the area. We love a good hole in the wall hidden treasure.
Q: If you could outsource 1 thing, what would it be? If you already outsource areas of your work, what part has been the most beneficial you?
Although outsourcing was a fundamental part of me being able to grow in the early days, I am finding that as we grow, most of the areas I would have considered outsourcing in the past, I would now prefer to hire in-house. Our goal next year is to be able to bring on an additional in-house developer and designer.
Having experience as a professional bookkeeper for many years I find it hard to let go of our day to day bookkeeping, but it will probably be an area I outsource soon. The Marketplace alone is starting to require daily bookkeeping efforts to keep from getting overwhelming. Oh and this year I will be outsourcing our year end taxes to a professional. I have always been able to prepare taxes for small organizations and non-profits myself but this year it will be over my head.
Q: Apart from being a Divi guru, what else are you good at?
Well, prior to doing web design full-time, I was a small business consultant. I have a strong background in management, sales, marketing and as a sales analyst. So coming up with strategies and implementing them has always been something I enjoyed and was really good at.
And even though I consider myself and an introvert, teaching and being an encouragement to others has always been something I have been told I have a gift for. So I try to use those gifts in ministry and within my day to day life in general both inside and outside of work.