I remember the first time I decided to offer a WordPress Website to a client. It was a barter (stop me if you've heard this one before ;-) ).
I was having some tiling done in my house and decided I wanted my master bathroom re-tiled as well, so I decided to look up the tile company's website to see what it looked like.
Fortunately for me it was an old Yahoo site that the client's wife had created and was a tad on the atrocious side (keep in mind that this was back in 2008). SO... I asked them if they'd be up for a new website in exchange for tiling my master bath, and they said yes. Needless to say at the time I was thrilled.
Fast forward 7 years and the thought of bartering a website is the furthest thing from my mind (although I did do one last year but that's only because it was for a local spa, I knew the owner and then ended up with massages for well over a year.. and we're talking 90 minutes and frequently!) because much like many of you, my time is pretty much my most precious commodity. As my business has grown, I've had to be much more selective as to who I choose to work with and the projects I take on.
- No more brochure websites (unless it's a straight donation, like for a local animal shelter).
- No more sites 'on a budget' (even if it's great exposure for me <sarcasm>).
- No more sites for friends (unless they're serious about their new venture and have created ALL the content first).
And that's just naming a few of the things that have changed and is only referring to the website side of my business (which was pretty much all there was seven years ago!).
The Other Side of Your WordPress Business
When I first started my business, it was never my intention to do websites (well, mainly because I didn't know how at the time). I thought I would get into information marketing, sell a few Ebooks, maybe make some money with Adsense and become a millionaire, because that's just how easy it is, right? The saying "Ignorance is bliss" applies when starting an online business! I think a lot of people wouldn't get started at all if they realized it was just as hard as any other business). Clearly that's not how things happened, but the progression and evolution have brought me to where I am today and for that I'm grateful.
So, this 'other' side of your business is the side that I see a lot of web developers or WordPress site builders neglect:
- Building your Brand.
- Focusing on YOUR business (which I talked about in a previous post, so I won't go into that here).
Blogging, social media, connecting, engaging, creating products, courses, training... whatever you feel would support your audience and ideal client. Not only does this build your brand, but also helps you find that next 'thing' that keeps you excited about what you do.
Stop to think about the tools you were using to create WordPress sites even 2-3 years ago.
I guess you've changed things up a bit. You've found different tools and resources for delivering the best product for your clients.
As you try new things and explore better solutions for clients, you're also going to come across things that light a different spark in you as well.
The conversation that inspired this post.
I was doing a 'strategy call' with someone a few weeks ago and on top of having a frustrating day with a few projects, she was feeling even more frustrated feeling that after 10 years of doing websites for clients that her heart wasn't really into it anymore. She liked most of the clients she worked with and enjoyed their projects, but was always left with a feeling of "is this it?" She didn't want to give up the websites, but she wanted a different direction (bringing co-working spaces to her community) and felt like she had to do one or the other.
She's got a team to support her with her projects (although she still tends to manage most of them herself, but that's for another post) and knows exactly what she would do with the co-working space and how she wants it to bring her community together. The amazing thing was how her energy shifted once she started talking about the co-working space. She completely lit up.
We totally understand that kids interests change and evolve over time. We would probably wonder what was up if the little girl who loved playing with barbies at 8 was still doing that at 18, right? We don't expect children to stick to what they said they wanted to do at 10 when they start college (if that were the case then my daughter would be driving a purple car with sparkles on it and going into fashion, instead of driving a clean white VW Jetta and studying film in the fall).
I've always found it odd that we understand that kids interests, desires, and goals change as they grow up, yet somehow when we become 'adults' we're supposed to pick one thing and stick with it. Odd, don't you think?
Ideally your business grows and evolves as you do.
It's O.K. to go in a different direction, offer different services or even change your mind altogether.
You just want to be strategic about.
Plan for the transition, communicate it with your audience and most importantly, share the journey.
We talked about how she could start looking for spaces and create content around the process (*this is one of my favorite types of content! Share your journey- behind the scenes, what you're working on, the ups, downs, photos, challenges, successes, etc.). By creating content around the process and sharing it with her local community, she could also measure the communities response, interest and find potential partners to support the project. All of this could be done while continuing her web development business.
For me personally, if my business didn't evolve I'd probably lose my mind.
I have a few different elements to my business (The WP Chick, client projects, outsourcing, coaching and podcasting) and have structured my team in a way that I get to focus on what I enjoy doing most and delivers the highest value for the client.