As a freelancer in the WordPress community, I’ve faced a lot of situations. What irks me the most is when a website owner expects me to go meet them, face to face, and teach them WordPress for free. I can teach WordPress any day, all day, and love it. I can’t teach it for free.
The Kitchen Sink is Not Free to Give Out
My time is valuable, just like anyone else’s. I’ve got a family to feed, a house to pay rent for, and other basic necessities to take care of. Free isn’t going to cover those necessities. When I work with a client, if they are from my local area, and need training, I put their training as billable time. This compensates me for my time spent teaching, the gas used to get there, toward future car maintenance, and if I have to buy my own food.
I’ve been lenient with some initial consultation time with clients early on, but it’s just not logical to allow that. It was a mistake for me back then that I learned from. Most of it is giving your valuable advice that will help someone else make money. If you’re reading this article, and telling yourself that none of that goes on during any consultation process, you’re lying to yourself.
During the “sell” process, you’re educating your client with little nuggets of information, so they feel trusted enough to work with you. If you give out the kitchen sink, without getting paid, well, you can’t wash your dishes in your kitchen. You’ve got nothing, especially when there are a lot of people that are sly enough to take your advice, pay someone to do it cheaply, or they do it themselves.
In learning WordPress, it takes time. Even as a long time user, I’m always teaching myself something new. It comes with the job of being a WordPress freelancer, and staying on top of the continual evolution of the WordPress content management system’s software. For the client that hires me to teach them WordPress, I have spent time putting together a program to teach it without breaking the bank.
However, because WordPress is open source, and free, there are people think that it’s okay to believe that other people can teach it for free. It’s not. The countless free tutorials were created for free from generous people. However, those same generous people, won’t take their tutorials, package them up, travel to some local location, and teach it for free.
Sure, there are workshops that have been done with minimal cost to the client, but most of them, I’ve noticed that bigger WordPress brands have stepped in and sponsored them. That means that the person teaching WordPress, still got compensation for their time. The last basic WordPress workshop I taught was 8 hours long! My first workshop was priced at $200, and that undersold myself (another lesson learned.)
So, when it comes to teaching WordPress, don’t give out “everything and the kitchen sink” unless someone pays for it. If you run into people who feel entitled to free lessons, send them to your local WordPress meetup group. Point them to a few beginner articles to get them started. Sure, it’s not the same as you traveling to some agreed location, and teaching them in person. Eventually they’ll get the point that there’s a lot more to learning WordPress besides the basics, and find value in investing money into learning it, or just learn it themselves.