Here's a succinct summary on how to succeed as a WordPress consultant (or any type of consultant).
How to Succeed as a WordPress Consultant in 10 Steps
- Start a freelancing practice.
- Raise your rates.
- As you work with clients keep an eye out for opportunities to specialize.
- Raise your rates.
- Stop taking hourly-rate projects and start billing by the day.
- Take responsibility for the business objectives of the project.
- Hire an employee at a reasonable salary.
- You're now “Principal” or “Senior” at your practice. Raise your rates.
- Generalize your specialties to expand your breadth. Raise your rates.
- You're now a “top-tier” agency, so start marketing yourself as such. Raise your rates.
Additional Detail on Selected Key Steps
On Looking for Opportunities to Specialize (Step #3)
As you work with clients keep an eye out for opportunities to specialize.
For example, if you take on an online store project, spend extra time deeply learning to use WooCommerce. If you build a membership site, spend extra time deeply learning Restrict Content Pro. If you build an online learning site, spend extra time learning LearnDash (or whatever solution you use).
The same goes for client types. If you do work for a retail business, look for opportunities to optimize their workflow in selling physical products online.
On Generalizing Specialties (Step #9)
As a follow-up to the above section, over time you'll want to generalize your specialties. For example:
- WooCommerce: Online Stores, Ecommerce
- Restrict Content Pro: Membership Sites, Protected Content
- LearnDash: Learning Management Systems (LMS), Online Courses
Take Responsibility for Business Objectives (Step #6)
Stop pushing back on scope changes and stop counting hours. If clients abuse your flexibility, stop working with them. Some of your best clients will be abusive, but that's part of being a consultant. Focus on project outcomes.
Hire an Employee at a Reasonable Salary (Step #7)
Grow so you can do more. The downside is that you're responsible for their pay and benefits. If you don't book enough work to pay them and you, you suffer. But they get a salary rather than a percentage of company profits. Their salary also doesn't automatically scale with your rates.
I hope this post was helpful. We all start at the bottom, but as you grow your skills, specialties and the value that you deliver to clients you can raise your rates and grow your team.
This source of this post was an excellent Hacker News comment I came across the other day. The steps are pulled directly from the comment, with minor modifications for WordPress consultants.