InnovaBuzz Episode #90- Model the Masters: Troy Dean

Model the Masters - Troy Dean

Model the Masters – Troy Dean, WP Elevation

In this first episode of Model the Masters, our featured Master is Troy Dean, co-founder of WP Elevation and RockStar Empires. Troy has been a role model for me for many years and was the person who encouraged me to begin the InnovaBuzz podcast. As a member of both the WP Elevation and RockStar Empires communities, I’ve had the privilege of observing Troy’s work up close. So I thought it fitting to begin this Model the Masters special episode of the InnovaBuzz Podcast by asking, “What would Troy Dean do?”

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Provide exceptional value to your clients in a profitable and sustainable way. @troydean on #modelthemasters #innovabuzz Share on X

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Show Notes

Lessons from our Master, Troy Dean:

Let’s begin with a little background on Troy’s journey so far, to put this discussion into perspective. Troy set out to be a performer, a rockstar, as he put it in our first interview, and landed his first job as a voice-over artist. He played in bands in his spare time, feeding his love of music. When other musicians wanted to launch a website in the early days of the web, Troy helped them out, having always been curious about this new evolving online world.

One thing led to another and Troy started a Digital Marketing Agency and learned how to run a successful business. After developing a couple of WordPress plugins with a developer partner, he discovered the leverage of ongoing sales from one piece of work and began to work on ways to help other WordPress consultants improve their business to be more profitable and give them the life they wished. At that time, WP Elevation was launched as a membership site and it has since grown in four years to be an online learning community of over 700 members with a team of five coaches and six mentors supporting the members. WP Elevation has had a significant impact on those members’ business. I know, because I have been a member of WP Elevation since the very early days, when there were less than 40 members.

Modeling from the success of WP Elevation, Troy partnered with one of the coaches from the program, Kristina Romero, to launch RockStar Empires, which teaches the very process that makes WP Elevation so successful. RockStar Empire’s mission is to help members Build a Successful Online Empire and Become the Rockstar in Your Field.

Troy now leads two very successful 7 figure businesses, that are having a huge impact on so many other businesses and the lives of the people who run them.

So, what makes Troy Dean successful? What drives him? What can we learn from his success, from his approach?

Let’s begin by examining some environment factors – what values and beliefs can we attribute to Troy? What do we know about his vision as articulated for the businesses he has launched and run?

The one thing perhaps, that stands out before all else, in my assessment, is Troy’s unwavering commitment to focusing on adding value to the customer and delivering that value in a profitable and sustainable way.

WP Elevation’s vision is “The first business accelerator program designed specifically for WordPress consultants.” I’ve also seen “Help WordPress freelancers build an enjoyable, sustainable and profitable business.”

What I like about both of those statements, is how they address a very clear and specific niche target market as well as express the benefits to that market.

Troy’s values include those of service and of connection. In fact, in our podcast interview in Episode 12 of the InnovaBuzz podcast, he mentioned that he was driven to connecting with as many people at one time, that he could. Hence, the drive to perform, to build online communities and to present to large audiences in the many keynote presentations that he does.

His value of service is demonstrated by his behaviour of an unwavering customer focus and actively listening to his community to understand their goals, their aspirations, their challenges and working towards solutions to their problems.

The RockStar Empire membership product was developed specifically because of the need that Troy recognised, for helping businesses of all kinds, take their knowledge and package it up as a product to sell online.

Here are some beliefs that I’m going to attribute to Troy – without doubt, he believes in serving others and providing value. He has a burning desire to make a positive difference to others and in the world. Many times, I’ve heard or seen him comment on others’ success in the programs he runs with “That’s why I get out of bed every morning!”

Beyond that, he has a mindset of abundance.  On a recent podcast, he likened business confidence to riding a bike. Once you’ve learned it and mastered it, you know you can get back on the bike and ride at any time. He doesn’t fear loss. He is confident that he can recreate something of value at any time. This confidence is, in my view, critical to taking the massive action and not being afraid of risks or making mistakes.

That’s another belief that stands out to me – his preparedness to take risks and see every “failure” as a learning opportunity.

Just this morning, I was on a webinar with Troy, and he praised one of the WP Elevation members for taking massive action, saying that in order to learn, you must “get your hands dirty, get in the trenches”, and figure things out as you go, improving as you learn.

Another belief that I’ll attribute to Troy, is that business should be fun – it definitely looks to me, like Troy is having fun in his business, even though, there would be challenging periods. It’s the fun and the rewards, which sustain him and his team through those.

I want to move on to some structural aspects of how Troy operates. His focus is always on delivering value in the most efficient way and in endeavoring to do that, he aims to systemise everything. To develop a turnkey system that can be scaled, and applied to other situations.

Like me, Troy is definitely a systems and processes devotee and we discussed this in detail together with David Jenyns of SystemHub in episode 36.

An important point about his systems approach is that he has a clear WHY about his business and what the purpose of the systems and process are in delivering value to his customers in a way that is profitable and sustainable. He also has a clear roadmap for the business that drives what systems are implemented and documented for. So while he is a systems devotee – it’s based on the needs of the business and the customers he serves.

He believes that if something isn’t done right in the business, then it is the system that’s at fault, not the people. Fix the system and it will fix the error.

Another structural aspect that stands out to me, is how Troy is always investing in systems and equipment to improve and deliver a better experience to his customers and community. If you take a look at the RockStar Empires Facebook community and watch some of the recent videos there, you’ll note the very slick, professional productions – the result of an investment in a high quality recording studio to produce TV quality videos for both Webinars and Training programs.

Always aim to improve the experience you deliver to your customers. @troydean on #modelthemasters #innovabuzz Share on X

Let’s take a look at Troy’s behaviour and what he does, that makes him successful. This is broken down into the Five Success Principles that I’ve spoken about before, particularly in Episode 66 of the InnovaBuzz podcast.

    1. First Success Principle is Know your Outcome
      • Troy has a clearly stated vision and mission for his business that I’ve already discussed, and this vision and mission is clearly articulated to the entire community. In fact, if you visit the RockStar Empires Community on Facebook you’ll see much of the information Troy shares and see how transparent he is about the goals of the business and the roadmap to get there.
        Troy maintains a relentless focus on the vision, mission and goals of the business and he is almost obsessive about the customer and the user experience – delivering a customized user experience to the members of the programs.
    2. Second Success Principle is Take Massive Action
      • Troy is a firm believer in the lean startup principle – get proof of concept early on with a minimum viable product (MVP) before investing a lot of time and money developing further. In other words, take massive (imperfect) action.  His next step is to get that MVP into real customers’ hands – although it is a MVP, he aims for excellence to deliver massive value and then listens to the customers’ feedback to determine what can be improved, what’s missing and where the MVP doesn’t deliver value. He also gets out in front of people – an audience who cares, to present his ideas and information – with a focus on massive amounts of value. He delivers ongoing value, which can generate recurring revenue.
    3. Third Success Principle is Calibrate your Progress
      • I’ve already mentioned customer feedback – Troy is constantly gathering input and feedback from his community and customers. Troy likes to do things differently and be unique, not for the purpose of being different and unique, but to better serve his customers. Troy is always testing new things, with the purpose of delivering even more value. He is a self-confessed “shiny object syndrome” sufferer (we have that in common!) and this is one challenge that needs to be balanced with testing better ways of doing things.
    4. Fourth Success Principle is Behavioural Flexibility
      • Troy uses the feedback and input that he gathers from his customers to implement continuous learning and improvement both personally and within the business. Troy is both determined and committed to succeed, and to help his customers succeed as well. In fact his customers’ success is one of the key measures of his own business success.
    5. Fifth Success Principle is the Mindset of Excellence
      • Troy aims for excellence, not perfection – keen to get things in the hands of the customers. At the same time his focus is the delivery of exceptional value –  Troy says often, blow them away with huge amounts of value. Troy is committed to be the expert, yet be transparent about what’s working and what’s not yet working, with the aim to continually improve and up his game. Troy’s focus is always on the user experience.

    Of course, many people have contributed to Troy’s success – he surrounds himself with quality team members who share his vision and passion for the business and serving the customers.  He aligns himself with influential people in related industries, by first providing some value to what they do – very much a giving attitude, consistent with his abundance mindset.  

    He has built a community that is supportive, positive, engaged and equally driven to succeed. He inspires that community to be the best and give their best

Solve real problems for real customers and wow them with value. @troydean on #modelthemasters #innovabuzz Share on X

Five Tips from our Master – Troy Dean

What would Troy Dean do?

  1. Have (or develop) a clear business vision that is compelling, that is focused on your target customer and on giving them an exceptional experience.
  2. Take massive, imperfect action. Get in the trenches, and get your hands dirty, as Troy says. This is the best way to learn your craft and become the expert at something.
  3. Systemise everything with the aim of developing a profitable, sustainable, turnkey business that provides exceptional value to your clients and is not dependent on you to do that.
  4. Business should be fun, which is part of Troy’s WHY. The fun and the rewards will sustain you through challenging periods, that every business experiences.
  5. Listen to the customer and consider feedback and input as part of your continuous improvement process, so that you keep providing more exceptional value than anyone else in your target field.


The only way to learn - get in the trenches and get your hands dirty. @troydean on #modelthemasters #innovabuzz Share on X

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Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is The World's Best Human-Centred Podcasting Coach and the only Podcast Innovator with the signature bright yellow headphones, who masterfully crafts human connection for high-impact achievers in a vibrant community. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Flywheel Nation Community as well as on Innovabiz' InstagramTwitter, Facebook pages and his personal Photography website.  

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