She had a dream. One she had barely expressed to other people. She wanted to run her own business. But she had no clue where to start. So we started talking and decided we'd work on her web site. It wasn't because she needed immediate leads – she knew prospective customers already.
But it WordPress helped her crystalize what she would and wouldn't offer. So with a logo, some text, and WordPress, we put up a site and then started iterating.
Her business adjusted several times. Her pricing adjusted several times. Her content adjusted several times. And every time, WordPress helped her realize those dreams.
Today she's not working for anyone but herself. And she promotes her site via Facebook and all around her local area. And she's a happy camper.
He had a hobby.
He had a hobby. He wasn't sure if he wanted to turn it into a full time job. But he loved doing it on the side. He also wasn't sure if people would actually pay him to build custom machines. He knew he loved it, but would anyone else? Enough to pay?
So we used WordPress to create a quick site and lay out some offers. Then we watched. Would this hobby become his next career?
The traffic stopped by but few pulled the trigger and he quickly decided that the hobby was better as a hobby than anything else.
He's a happy camper too. Because it didn't cost him much to figure out his next steps.
She wanted to try something new.
She was leaving the house before her kids got up and getting home just a bit before dinner and bedtime. She wanted a different life. But that meant doing something different.
So after checking out some options, she settled on a business she was comfortable doing – but she had no idea how to do the pricing and marketing.
Thankfully, WordPress made it easy to go from a domain name to a basic site that collected money. It also was a fantastic solution for “landing/offer” pages.
These pages offered prospective clients an easy way to review a service, it's price, and take an action. It helped her know if her pricing was too high or too low.
She's been doing it now full time for several years. She sees her kids more. And her site does more and more for her every day.
WordPress to the rescue.
The Real Power in WordPess
I know a lot of people like to say WordPress is really easy. Let's be clear – it's easier than a lot of stuff out there, or that's been out there over the last decade.
But it's still not the easiest thing for someone who's focused on their dream, rather than on picking the right theme, plugins, and doing some css/html/php hacking.
But that's not why I love WordPress. It's not because of it's amazing and incredible ease of use, though I find it pretty easy for me.
It's also not the fact that WordPress is free. That's not why I love it. Though again, there's a lot you can do with it for free that calls out to people. Free! Free!
No, the real reason I love WordPress is because it has a special power: It let's me help people pursue their dreams.
I know, it's a strange thing to say. But for me it's not only true, it's powerfully true.
Testing Ideas is Easy in WordPress
I've had the chance to work with tons of folks (it's the kind of people I like to hang out with) who had an entrepreneurial bent. They just had to do something. And WordPress has been the vehicle I've found that both lets me, and them, test out their ideas. And further their dreams.
See, while the interface may take some getting used to, and while you could make a mistake on picking the right theme or plugins, what I find very easy to do in WordPress is what I love most.
I can easily create offer pages and test them. I can do that for free. And so, with minimal costs of buying a domain and a bit of hosting, I can create a way to see if people want what we're pitching.
How I Work with WordPress
What I mean by that is that I love using WordPress to help people who don't have a lot of money, but have a dream. And they're willing to work for that dream without a lot of stuff getting handed to them – they pick themselves up by their bootstraps.
I spoke tonight with a counselor who could easily make a few adjustments in life and work and soon she'd have more money and more freedom. If we work together, here's the steps I'd take.
- Talk with her and get a strong sense of her target market.
- Pick a domain, with her, that can be leveraged in that market.
- Set up some quick hosting. I always prefer managed hosts, like WP Engine where I host this site. But it'd be her call.
- Spin up WordPress – it barely takes any time at all.
- Drop in Catalyst or Genesis as themes/frameworks to get going.
- Install Premise or Landing Pages.
- Add Gravity Forms for my lead forms.
- Create a simple site with an offer page (or several) and lead capture form.
- Have her share the site with her friends/network.
- Monitor & Tweak.
Along the way, I'd encourage her to do what every boostrapper does: ask for favors, get creative, iterate, get things done, and take risks.
That's me and how I use WordPress to help people test out, and eventually realize, their dreams.
What dreams do you have?