We’re in the midst of a series of interviews with WordPress freelancers, exploring some of the keys to their success. Today we talk with the self-described “WordPress Chick,” Kim Doyal. She does all things WordPress, offering consulting, coaching, and website design and development.
“There’s never a perfect time to hire help, and you usually need to do it before you can afford it.” -@kimdoyal
We’re going to talk freedom, overcoming obstacles and building a team:
What do you love most about being a freelancer?
The freedom to create the quality of life I want and to live my life on my terms. Initially, it was simply because I could work from home and was here for my kids. As my business has grown, freedom means I get to choose who I work with, the type of work I want to do and the freedom to choose how I show up in the world.
My business grew exponentially when I decided to really show up as myself, write (and speak) in my own voice and create things that inspired me.
What’s held you back as a freelancer, and how have you overcome it?
When I started, it was a fear of not being good enough or not having been professionally trained. I overcame it by recognizing I didn’t have to do everything myself. As soon as I created my own team, I was able to focus my strengths on what I do best for both the client and my own business. I never wanted to build a business where I was stuck trading time for money, and I knew that would require leverage, which is what I’ve built.
In terms of creating a team, I suggest baby-stepping your way into it. I started by hiring people on an hourly basis through oDesk or Elance (now Upwork). After doing that for a while I hired my first contractor on a monthly retainer, which was scary. There’s never a perfect time to hire help, and you usually need to do it before you can afford it.
What are some things you’ve done to improve your profitability as a freelancer?
Building a team, creating recurring revenue and offering high end services (coaching, training, high-end done-for-you services) have all allowed me to increase my profitability. One of the best hires I’ve ever made was my project manager who has been with me for almost a year. I had hired other project managers who had online businesses, but it didn’t work out. I assumed I needed someone who had a ton of knowledge about what I did. What I needed was someone who was super organized, very detail oriented and just wanted to do a good job. Not someone who wanted to build their own business.
I love creating content and connecting with my audience (which is also how my brand has grown). I couldn’t be doing this without the support of my team (which I plan to expand in 2016).