Q&A with WordPress Entrepreneur Brian Casel

Brian Casel

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Note: The following is a Q&A with WordPress Entrepreneur Brian Casel.

Let me ask you a question.

Are you working more hours on your WordPress projects and making less money?

Brian Casel
Brian Casel

It is easy to get caught in the WordPress freelancer trap. You move from one project to the next, often not making money when the dust settles and find you are working every last hour of the day to complete said project.

Each project takes more time than it should, and we end up exchanging time for money rather than value.

It is a roller coaster that I don’t want to ride.

Every day, WordPress services become more and more a commodity. People are looking to pay less and less which each project. Essentially, it is a “race to the bottom pricing” (I didn’t say that, see below).

I can remember finally getting to write a proposal and trying to get the price right. You know what I mean.

My hope was that the price was low enough that I would get the contract but not low enough I couldn’t make any money.

We love what we do, right? I know I do.

We love WordPress. That’s why we are here.

This is where Brian Casel comes in.

Brian spends a lot of time helping entrepreneurs break out of billable hours.

Listen what he says on his website:

“Still working project-to-project, only getting paid when you’re at the computer, working? I’ve been there.

But once I learned how to productize my service, my business was transformed. And so many other web workers are finding success with productized services too.

If you’re a freelancer (or nine-to-fiver) like I once was, and you’re after more freedom, and the ability to actually see your business grow year after year, then you’re in the right place.”

I am often telling my friends about his idea about productize services which I absolutely love.

What many people may not realize is that Brian is a WordPress entrepreneur. One of the first things I noticed that he did was Restaurant Engine which he has since sold.

Restaurant Engine is a website platform for restaurants built on WordPress. He filled a niche with this product.

This allowed Casel to build monthly recurring revenue (sounds good, right?).

Since then, other of these type of niche WordPress products have popped up.

Brian started freelancing with WordPress back in 2008; then he started ThemeJam. Next, he built Restaurant Engine.

Currently, he runs two podcasts, has a membership site where he teaches Productize, and most recently, he started Audience Ops, a company that provides content marketing services.

You can learn more about Brian at his website casjam.com.

Also, he pumps out some really good tweets on Twitter.

Q&A with Brian Casel

Q: What book had the biggest impact on your career?

I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge book guy, but a few that really made an impact for me were:

The One Thing
4-Hour Workweek
Purple Cow

Q: What kind of tools/apps do you use to keep yourself on pace?

– I’m a big Trello guy, both for my team and personal use.
– I use Day One app to jot down notes / journal about business ideas.
Followup.cc is like my personal, nagging, assistant that keeps me from forgetting stuff.

Q: What are your top three pieces of advice for other entrepreneurs?

Very broad question… Here are some broad answers 🙂

– Do lots of projects and ship stuff early and often.
– Go to conferences and talk to people
– Join a small mastermind group

Q: What is your biggest challenge as a WordPress entrepreneur?

I don’t really consider myself a “WordPress entrepreneur”, at least not anymore. The products we’re building at Audience Ops do involve and integrate with WordPress, but not exclusively.

Our biggest challenge is continuously finding talented people to join our growing team. Fun challenge to have 🙂

A big problem that I think other WordPress-focused companies face is a race to the bottom pricing. The WP space seems to be particularly more price sensitive than other product ecosystems, and it’s a shame because there’s so much value being built with WordPress.

Q: Why do you love WordPress?

It’s so big and continues to grow, both in terms of users and developers. Hard to argue with, what, like a third of the Internet at this point?

Q: How do you want to see WordPress improve?

Again, I’m not as focused specifically on WordPress as I used to be, so my opinions on the software or the community aren’t really relevant anymore.

Q: What do you see in the future of the WordPress ecosystem?

There seems to be a slow, but steady move away from downloadable products to SaaS and productized services, and I think that’s a good thing because it offers more value to both customers and businesses.

Wrapping it up

While we are WordPress entrepreneurs, we are really entrepreneurs that use WordPress. We solve business problems using our favorite tool, WordPress.

I think Brian is right about the movement towards SaaS products. It is really nice to see what developers come out in the WordPress ecosystem to help other businesses.

One thing Brian doesn’t mention is that Audience Ops has created a WordPress plugins that are useful for anyone with a WordPress website.

Thanks Brian for taking some time to answer our questions. I love how we can learn from other entrepreneurs who have created some really good

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Donata Stroink-Skillrud
Donata Stroink-Skillrud
President of Agency Attorneys