December 2, 2018 — This the story of Rocket Lift, a Portland-based WordPress agency founded in 2011 and shut down in 2017: How and why it closed — what we did well, lessons learned along the way, and our process of deciding to shut down — shared so other WordPress businesses and freelancers can learn from our experience.
February 7, 2018 — Explore actionable items to kick start your WordPress side hustle, allowing you to pursue creative passion projects, expand your skill set, build your freelance or live out entrepreneurial dreams. This talk covers a thorough list of dos and don’ts, resources, project management tips and how to successfully build and maintain strong client relationships so you’ll be ready for your next step. Peppered with personal, relatable stories of how Katie lived and breathed the process from going in-house, freelance as a side gig to full time and now running a successful boutique agency.
August 15, 2017 — In HBO’s documentary “Becoming Warren Buffett”, there’s a scene where Buffett and Bill Gates were both asked to write down on a piece of paper the one thing that they each felt contributed most to their success. Surely enough, Buffett and Gates had written the same word down on their respective papers: Focus.
Now, when I talk about “focus”, I don’t claim to know how to avoid multitasking or how to ignore distractions like social media, news, politics and other noise that gets in the way of productivity. I could use a lot of help there.
But what I’ve done successfully and what I will discuss is how to focus your business.
As far as I know, they don’t teach a lot of this stuff in college. (I can’t be 100% certain, as I didn’t spend much time there before dropping out). I spent the first 10 years of emagine’s history kind of flailing – trying to be everything to everyone, anything to anyone. I managed and did fine, but only once I started to focus did the business take a significant turn for the better.
I will cover the importance of (and how to) focus on:
Your core markets/industries
A core technology/platform (presumedly WordPress)
The clients you already have who help – not hurt – your business
The types of projects that are profitable for you (stay within your wheelhouse)
The path to achieving your goals (without getting distracted by day-to-day challenges)
Working with the right People
Working on your business, not in your business
Your life. Health. Relationships
Your differentiating value
Your long-range vision
Sounds like a lot I know. And it is.
But it’s really not that hard. And once you can confidently say that you’re laser-focused on everything I’ve outlined here, trust me when I tell you that you’ll have dramatically improved your business, your earnings and your lifestyle.
August 5, 2017 — This panel helps to convey what it takes to build an agency from scratch or a few freelancers. How does one get an agency started? What are the things you need before or as you start? What are the biggest keys to success and the toughest lessons to remember?
August 5, 2017 — Yuvraj is a Happiness Engineer at Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com. He currently supports customers using WooCommerce, at Automattic, and has been using WooCommerce, ever since it was launched in 2011. He has handcrafted more than 75 websites using WooCommerce.
In his talk, Yuvraj will share his experience in running design agency successfully for 7 years. He will also be sharing his insights on running an agency, that will help newbies and current developers transition from being freelancers to starting their own business.
June 29, 2017 — Evermade was founded in 2011 by four guys. Today we are group of 20 people – half of whom are developers. In the beginning we did everything from photography to USB-drivers. In 2012 we agreed that WordPress is basically useless and we decided to focus on ExpressionEngine. After a year – and some pain – we changed our minds and decided to focus on WordPress.
We lost a few developers during this hassle but but soon after our shift of focus to WordPress we started to grow. With new developers coming in we had to abandon our current way of working and really rethink how should we work together as a team.
In my presentation, I will talk about the pain of growing and the challenges we faced when doing so.
December 21, 2016 — How to grow from a one-man-band into an agency. Taking the leap and loving it.
Building a team, how, who and what to look out for
Attracting and retaining great clients
Selling professionally and effectively
Avoiding bad clients
Managing Projects effectively
Developing a culture
Celebrate the wins
Learn from the mistakes
November 21, 2016 — One can have many reasons to form a WordPress agency. At required+ we didn’t think about becoming an agency in the first place. Initially we teamed up to build an online platform that scratched an itch in all of us, we simply wanted to try and prove a point with the idea we had. All of a sudden we were running a thriving job board for the Swiss web industry and had a beautiful side project to work on. In order to keep our creative freedom and sovereignty, we didn’t want to take money from venture capitalists or investors. Therefore we came up with a concept to keep us going while allowing space for our individual lifestyles. We started to take on interesting client projects, this way we continued to build interesting sites & apps.
October 7, 2016 — Agencies and freelancers exist in order to serve clients: without clients, there’d be no work. Despite – or maybe because of- this fact, we often find those same clients frustrating.
In this talk I’ll share 10 lessons learned for managing clients: during the new business phase, while projects are ongoing, and as projects complete.
Managed properly, client relationships can be tremendously rewarding and fulfilling, even if they do occasionally make you want to bang your head against a wall.