The 7 Stages of WordPress Professional Growth

Posted By Troy Dean on

The 7 Stages of WordPress Professional Growth

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve gone into business for yourself or you work for someone else. Your original goal probably wasn’t to remain in the same position for the rest of your life; you wanted to experience professional growth. For those of you that run your own business, there is even more opportunity to grow as its wholly yours to control: your revenue, your client base, and even your personal growth.

But it can be difficult to do when you don’t know where to grow to.

If you spend enough time looking at other businesses, you might notice that they classify growth stages based on the number of employees they’ve amassed and revenue generated. That’s not really how it works for WordPress professionals. Growth looks much different for us.

This post will take a look at what the growth of a successful WordPress professional looks like.

WP Elevation WordPress Business Podcast – Jasmine Andrews

I had the pleasure of chatting with Jasmine Andrews recently. Don’t know who that is? Well, she’s a rock star WordPress consultant and an Elevator.

Before she entered the exciting world of WordPress consulting, however, she worked as a contractor in IT. During this time, she helped financial corporations and business analysts with application rollouts, with a strong focus on documentation.

In 2011, she launched her own business and then the following year she moved into the WordPress space – something she only had experience with for personal projects in the past.

Fast forward to 2018 and Jasmine now runs Brain Candy Consulting, a multi-six-figure WordPress consulting agency. The secret to her success over the last six years? She’s discovered the trick to working with fewer clients while still driving up revenue.

As I lay out the various stages of growth that WordPress professionals go through, I am going to use the lessons that Jasmine shared with me to give you some context.

Step 1

The Builder

The Builder

Jasmine received her first client as a referral from her tech writing days. The client didn’t initially contract her to build a website – they wanted her to update their book, so that’s exactly what she did. She wrote and edited the book and then helped manage the conversion of it into Kindle format.

Later, she turned her attention to the client’s WordPress website where they sold a collection of books. The only problem was that the books could only be purchased one at a time with the way the site was configured.

Jasmine knew there was a better way to do this and wanted to help the client capture as much missed revenue as possible by allowing for multi-book purchases.

Even though she had a new baby at home, she took the time to teach herself how to use WooCommerce and PHP. And although she was frightened that she wouldn’t know what she was doing in managing the conversion to WooCommerce, the end result worked out better than imagined. When the new store launched, it made $10,000 more in sales than usual.

What to Expect from this Stage of Professional Growth:

We all have to start somewhere with WordPress, and it usually means figuring things out on the fly as we focus on how to build.

In the earliest stages of business, you’re just gaining your footing with WordPress and web development. 

You’re familiar and comfortable with WordPress and understand the underlying principles of good web design.

This is why this time is dedicated strictly to building websites. Nothing more and nothing less.

Throughout this builder stage of business, you’re focused on:

  • Nailing down implementation of site-building basics.
  • Establishing your base offering as a WordPress professional.
  • Getting as many new customers as possible.

In Jasmine’s case, it took identifying a problem in her client’s digital sales funnel to help her start her journey to success with WordPress.

Step 2

The Survivor

The Survivor

That first really successful WordPress project gives all of us hope – hope that, yes, we certainly can do this and that we know what we’re doing.

As Jasmine quickly learned, however, that boost in confidence and excitement at the beginning of your career can quickly lead to business burnout if you’re not careful. In her case, she explained the burnout as stemming from making the same mistakes over and over again, in her business and in workflows. It got so bad that her business lost money for a couple of years.

Back when WP Elevation was brand new, she enrolled in the program, recognising that it could be of some help. However, she withdrew from the course because she didn't have time to fully implement any of the program into her business and she had another child on the way.

What to Expect from this Stage of Professional Growth:

This is a tough stage of professional growth. There’s no getting around that.

Your business is rolling along and clients are flooding in because you have hard-won proof that you know what you’re doing. You’re clued into the day-to-day tasks of building websites, you’re happy that money is coming in, but you’re exhausted and becoming frustrated that you’re barely getting by finance-wise. The amount of time invested just isn’t paying off.

You want to build a solid reputation and gain the trust of clients, so you do as much as you can to get every job done on time and to leave every client 100% satisfied with the work you do. That often means going beyond the scope of work to keep them happy (or at least that’s what you believe).

That’s why you’re getting so burned out. There’s really no focus on your business as a whole or on creating processes that are beneficial to you and your clients… not to mention pricing your services correctly.