Most WordPress developers should (at least) double their rates.
How does that make you feel? Are you thinking there's no way? Are you coming up with excuses for why you can't do that? Or, are you thinking there's got to be a better way and you want a piece of it?
How do you overcome the obstacles standing between you and your dream? If you're running your own WordPress consulting business or thinking about starting one there are two massive obstacles you will need to overcome. Today we're talking about one of them.
Most WordPress Devs Aren't Making Much Money
About a year ago, I had enough. This is the back-story for why I'm talking to you right now.
Whether it is through support tickets, meet up groups, WordCamps, over the phone…I talk to a lot of WordPress developers. Wherever the conversation takes place the common thread is that most WordPress developers really struggle to make a decent living. Not only that, but the problem – especially the intensity of the problem – has been increasing over the last couple of years.
All the time I hear people saying things like…
- I used to get a lot of leads from my website. I'm still getting traffic, but the leads of really slowed down.
- I used to be able to land projects for $3,000 or more, but now everybody wants everything for almost nothing.
- I'm working way more hours than I used to but I'm not making any more money
So, what I was hearing was basically that everyone is burning themselves out trying to keep things afloat.
Moving In The Wrong Direction
Contributing to the feelings of overwhelm and overload, people were saying things like:
- My income is all over the place. I'll have an awesome month, then three months of basically nothing.
- I'm working late into the night trying to build up my portfolio for pennies per hour and I can't keep that up.
- I have solid skills and can help a ton of different businesses, but I just can't get them to see the value.
In other words, the skills and the proposals that used to win clients aren't performing like they used to. Even with improved skills they still aren't landing the clients they want and they aren't able to hit their income goals. In fact, many of them are making LESS money today than they were last year. Things are going in the wrong direction.
Doing Something About It
I've been running a web agency – basically as a solopreneur – for the last 16 years. I've watched the web design business market – especially the WordPress market – make three major shifts. We've talked about those shifts already in a previous session about WordPress Freelancing 3.0, but to summarize, the three shifts have been:
- The Outsourced Web Department – Building simple websites for ad agencies
- Advanced WordPress Development – Building custom themes and plugins
- Business Growth Consulting – Using the amazing WordPress ecosystem to power business results
The reason most WordPress developers are seeing their businesses stall out and new developers are having an increasingly difficult time building their business is because they are still operating in version one or two. They have not made the shift to version there where the focus moves away from technical skills and into business growth development.
The Secret Obvious Solution
The WordPress developers who are making an amazing living and scaling their businesses to $5k per month then to $10k per month have realized that it is no longer good enough to just build “beautiful websites.” It's not enough to just offer graphic design, SEO, responsive design, and WordPress maintenance plans. Today, you have to be able to put those tools and skills to work in a way that actually drives results.
If you can do that, then you will separate yourself from everyone else. The VAST majority of WordPress developers are not seeing this picture which means that there is an enormous opportunity RIGHT NOW for the people who understand that the local businesses in your area don't actually care about websites, they care about THE RESULTS that they are expecting to get out of their website. The problem is, most WordPress developers are focussing on themes, plugins, and WordPress updates. Very few WordPress developers are focussing on results.
Offering To Help
Having experienced the benefits of making this shift myself – we just talked about the $7,700 WordPress project I won with a Google Doc – I decided to put a system together to help other people break through and start growing their businesses as well. Not only that, but I decided to build the system in a unique way to make sure people are actually able to achieve these results for themselves.
There are three extremely important components you have to have in order to get these results and, despite turning over every rock I could find, I was not able to find any solution that had all three pillars.
First, you have to have the technical skills to implement an online platform that drives business results – not just the stuff that looks cool.
Second, you have to have an offer that emphasizes the results you can get for your clients. You can't just offer technical services.
Third, you have to have someone there to help you shift into the new way of running your business. For example:
- Someone to go over proposals with you
- Someone to help you with your own website and marketing
- Someone to coach you through how to run your client meetings
- Someone to show you the skills you need – both technical and business oriented
- Someone to help you identify the market(s) you can serve the best
- Someone to help you structure your offers and your pricing
This is a major shift that also involves a fundamental change to your mindset including:
- The way you view yourself
- The way you view your business
- The way you see the value of what you can deliver
- The way you view your clients
- The way your clients view you
- The way you think about why you are doing what you do
It's almost impossible to make that shift all by yourself.
Introducing The Critics
So, I started to put this offer out there. As soon as I did, in came the flood of critics saying things like:
- WordPress is a commodity
- WordPress is the bottom of the barrel
- Pick a better platform
- WordPress is declining (or already dead)
I could go on and on with all the nasty things people have said and the flood of negativity doesn't stop coming. The most insane part of this whole thing is that people are literally telling me that it is impossible to do the very same things I am actually doing every day!
I say all of this because people are going to say the same things to you too. People are going to tell you that it's too hard or – for whatever reasons – you can't do it. But I'm here to tell you that they are entirely wrong. Not only are they wrong, I believe you have a mission – even a responsibility – to prove them wrong because there are so many people out there that need your help!
You Owe It To Your Clients
You owe it to your clients to silence the critics and break free from this downward spiral that isn't helping anybody. If you're building $800 websites and then moving on to the next client, ask yourself, “Why?”
Are you doing it because you truly believe that the $800 website is going to bring in more business for your client? Do you believe that investing $800 with you is the best way they could invest that money? Why wouldn't your client be better off hiring a developer who would build the same site for $500? Why wouldn't your client be better off just building themselves a FREE website on one of the DIY platforms out there?
Your clients desperately need you to help them do better than that. We all know that those cheap websites are cheap because they don't do anything. They might look great, but if nobody is putting the tools and the processes in place to drive real results, the site is just going to sit on the internet doing nothing! You know it. I know it. And your client knows it too – that's why they don't want to pay anything for it.
Silencing The Critics With Pure Facts
People can say what they want but here is the truth:
- The WordPress ecosystem has never been strong than it is today.
- WordPress continues to increase market share.
- Almost one out of every three websites is powered by WordPress.
As a WordPress developer today, you have unprecedented power to make a massive impact for your clients and their businesses. That what I'm doing for my clients and that's absolutely what you could be doing for yours too. But, to get results like that you have to shift away from marketing yourself as “the website handyman” – you have to change the focus of what you're doing and put the emphasis on the outcomes you can deliver – not how you implement the technology.
The people that are shouting the loudest criticisms are doing so because they are the ones stuck the deepest in the old, outdated approach to web development.
It's hard to make this shift. It's mentally challenging. It takes work. But the end result is that you get to build the business you've always wanted while serving your clients more deeply than ever before.
If this sounds like what you want to be doing, let's talk about it. We can get on the phone for 45 minutes FOR FREE. We'll talk about
- What you're working on
- Your marketing
- Your pricing
- The step-by-step plan to start hitting your income goals
It's a free call that can fundamentally change your business and get you back on track. It is absolutely possible that you could add over $2,000 per month to your income in just a few weeks with this new approach to WordPress consulting. If that sounds good to you, it sounds good to me too.