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Last week I interviewed Mason James, the founder of Valet.io (formerly WordPress Valet) as part of our WordPress Wednesday Interview Series.
The interview explores his personal WordPress journey, and is filled with insights on how to run a successful WordPress based business.
Valet.io works with brands like Etsy, TimeInc, Nvidia, Harvard University, Mixergy, and more, and is well respected in the WordPress community for top tier development and support services.
If you are looking to start a WordPress business, or want to learn more about how to grow and scale your WordPress business then this might be a good place to start.
If you are in Sarasota, you can attend these MeetUps in person. Learn more on our MeetUp page.
1:45 – Starting out as a freelancer
We start out by talking about the path from freelancer to entrepreneur.
4:15 – Picking WordPress as a platform
I asked Mason how he decided to pick WordPress as the platform for him to build his online business.
6:10 – Getting involved in the WordPress community
Mason and I dive into the importance of the WordPress community, and talk about how people can get involved in the WordPress community, and why it is such a large part of WordPress success.
13:30 – Breaking the freelancer gap
I asked Mason how he made the jump from freelancer to full fledge business owner. We dive into how he landed his first clients, how he hired his first employees and more.
15:30 – Getting your first customer
We dive deeper into prospecting, networking and getting started as a small business owner.
17:25 – Biting off more than you can chew
Sometimes you have to get a little ambitious when you are trying to build your own business, but that can definitely backfire on you in the online world. Get advice on staying within your core competencies, and how to learn as you grow.
20:18 – To pick a niche or not
Some people swear by the idea that you have to specialize in order to be successful, so I wanted to know what Mason thought about being a generalist, or picking a specific niche.
20:54 – The main goal of any website
If there is one part of this interview which you should listen to, it is this section. In it Mason goes over his process for assessing websites, and outlines the order in which they approach website optimization.
24:29 – I hire people to do the things I suck at
Mason explains how he hires employees, and more specifically, how he hired his first employee. He also dives into his philosophy on how he hires people, and how he vets candidates.
28:48 – Internet freeing people to become their own boss
Mason and I discuss the power of the internet, and how it is empowering more people than ever to go out and become their own boss.
30:07 – You have to fail a lot
It wouldn’t be a proper interview if we didn’t spend some time talking about failure. Listen as Mason explains why failure is such an important part of starting and running a successful business.
34:49 – Creative processes deserve their own brain cycles
Towards the end of the interview, we dive into the creative side of running the business, and talk about the importance of spending time creating quality content, and connecting with a social audience in order to grow your online business.
44:55 – Quantifying the value and getting the money
We end the show by talking about how to stand up for what you are worth, how to set your rates, and discuss how to make sure people understand the value you are providing.
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