Freelancer’s Guide to Survival with WordPress

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At 3:25pm on 4/28/2018, I attended the Freelancer’s Guide to Survival with WordPress, Presented by  Kyle Laverty of Laverty Creative, at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building I of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

Freelancer’s Guide to Survival with WordPress

Surviving as a freelancer can be tough. I didn’t have a guide when I started. I read some articles, looked at other freelancers, and still it wasn’t a very straightforward process. I wish I would have had a guide.

In this presentation, I will go over what it takes to not just survive as a WordPress freelancer but hopefully thrive as well. I will provide useful tools, links, and info on how to find work, where to look for inspiration, mental health, and work/life balance as a freelancer.

Kyle began talking about how the hour before speaking is usually the toughest, but that once the show begins, that all goes away. I understand how that can be.

Being a freelancer is great, its a constant learning experience, and you cannot ever stop learning.

What is a freelancer

A self-employed person. A designer , writer, developer, writer, maintainer, digital marketer, SEO Specialist, and more. A wordpress freelancer may require one or more of any of these.

How to get started

Its hard to know how to get started as a freelancer. A website for yourself is a great way to make that happen. As a freelancer is to gather a plan, make a process, and then proceed

  • Develop a plan

    • See what others are doing
    • Write down your goal
    • Choose your niche. Stay open to other options though.
    • Determine your rate. Value your time and see what you can create. Look for 20% profit. You’ll end up working on things you do not value it you don’t watch out.
  • Process

    • Define it. How do you do what you do? Will the customer have a different idea if you don’t state it?
    • Stick with it. Be flexible with your process, but have something in place to stick with
  • Proceed

    • Register your business
    • Create your website
    • Create case studies. People should be able to see your work
    • Promote it. Promote via social media.

Failure is the key to success

We know because we’ve failed a bunch of time, but still here today. Its ok to fail. Failure leads to success, and you can accept failure. Move on, and learn the hard way. Write it down if you need it, to remember it in the future. Pick up the pieces, and make the necesasry changes. Every client is different, and every client needs to be handled differently. Some people don’t change after they’ve failed, so they make the difference or they repeat it

Where people fail

Common areas of failure are clear. Going full time too soon is a way to find out you cannot make it. Do it part time and build from there. “If you build it, they will come. Later”. Watch out for idea overload. This is one in which you think you can do more than you can actually succeed. Taking on too much at once is a serious issue. You cannot communicate, or only to let them know you cannot succeed on time. Customer service is another way to drop the ball. Not handling properly, treating unresponsively or without communication. Be responsive and you will not fail.

How to succeed

What can you do to succeed? You need the proper mindset. The right mindset means an eye on completions and make the work happen without pushing it off. Set your expectations. If you set no expectations for yourself, how can you monitor whether you’re achieving goals? Are you able to do what you want? Don’t expect things to happen right away. You need to work at it. Engage with people. Attend conferences, attend meetups. Meet people, get in front of them

Where to find freelance work?

Google it, craigslist ad ($5.00). Your local chamber of commerce is a great set. Twitter is great, but you’ve got to search for the right terms, like “hate wordpress” or “[expletive] wordpres”. You can fix those people’s materials. Facebook groups and LinkedIn are fine sources. Consider sending out flyers. Host a workshop for others and show your stuff. Cold calls or emails. Do whatever works.

What about Finding Clients?

Freelancing Tools

  • Register your business
    • Legalzoom
  • Proposals, contracts, invoicing
    • Wave
    • Shake law
  • Task Manaagment
    • Evernote
    • Debugle
  • Taxes
    • Painless1099

Not Just Survive But Thrive

  • Ask Clients for a review or testimonial. They like to give this out, especially if there’s been good service
  • Content creation
    • Post to your blog regularly
    • Create an eBook. Have them sign up with an email and
    • Create tutorials
    • Put logo and name on the bottom of your presentation
  • Speak at Conferences
  • Give Current Clients a referral bonus
  • Keep Doing what you’re doing

Do what you’ve been doing, but of course avoid the failure issues.

How to Maintain It All

  • Keep your sanity
    • Take breaks
    • Set specific hours for yourself
    • Get help if you need help
  • Don’t overload yourself
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff



Kyle Laverty

Kyle is a freelance digital creative in Apex, NC. Originally from Pittsburgh, he served 4 years in the Air Force working on fighter jets before transitioning out and eventually finding an interest in web design and development.

A self-taught developer, Kyle currently does freelance work for several different companies as part of his freelance business, Laverty Creative. In addition to this, he manages a veteran-focused website, Creative Vets, and also designs T-Shirts for Peak of Things.

Outside of that he enjoys spending time with his fiancé, 5 kids and 2 dogs.