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Adam Silver (Concierge WP)

Adam is a native of California, though relocated to North Carolina in 2017. Currently providing WordPress development and support services through ConciergeWP.com. He produces 2 weekly podcasts at KitchenSinkWP.com & the Get Options Podcast & was the lead organizer for WordCamp Los Angeles 2016 & 2017. In his free time, he speaks at industry events sharing his insights & expertise into all things digital. Married for 20 years to his amazing wife & has 3 wickedly cool kids.

Transcript

Aaron:   00:06 Good morning. This is Aaron

Micah:   00:09 And this is Micah. And you are listening to the WP Square One podcast.
With us today is Adam Silver, a very shy and introverted person out of Raleigh, North Carolina. He’s the owner of Concierge WP and also is a podcaster at Kitchen Sink WP, among many other things. So welcome Adam.

Adam:    00:26 Thank you. Yes. Uh, I’m very shy. Very, very shy.

Aaron:    00:32 Figured you were. So after talking to you for five minutes, I feel like I had to pull information out of you. So this is going to be real difficult.

Adam:    00:40 So I’ll try to open up if I can. I mean, you know, by the way, I’m happy to be here and Happy New Year since it’s still like first half of the, of the month of January, 2019.

Aaron:    00:49 It still counts. You can do that for another three days. I think that’s it. Yep. Yeah. Then it’s over. So, all right. Tell us a little about yourself.

Adam:     00:57      So as Micah mentioned, I run a small agency just outside of Raleigh. I’m new to Cary, North Carolina. Moved here a year ago from So Cal, that’s Southern California. Redondo Beach to be specific. So the agency is Concierge WP. I provide web development in the WordPress space for clients and we also do maintenance and strategy and you know, businesses is business. Running your own shop is ups and downs, which is fantastic fun. Uh, I said nobody ever. And then I also have kitchen sink WP, which is the brand where I share back to the WordPress community freely, 98% freely. I teach on that brand a little bit and have some courses there and growing that audience more than podcasting there for approximately four and a half years. Episode 254 came up this week. So every Monday that show comes out.

Aaron:    01:45 Nice. What made you start doing a podcast, just out of curiosity?

Adam:    01:48 Oh, fantastic question. So I was getting into WordPress when I, when I jumped in, I didn’t know anything about the community, but I, I’d always listen to podcasts about other things, business and I mean, prior to WordPress I was doing more photography work in video. So I used to listen to or watch podcasts in that realm some were video based and my mind, a podcast is to audio, but the definition could be a video as well, or like a pdf that’s kind of weird the way it’s defined. Anyway. I decided to look to see in the iTunes directory where there any podcasts about WordPress. And there were, and there were a handful, maybe, maybe a dozen tops, but most of them I had already, um, been deprecated, if you will, or just pod fade. It has the actual true word except, except a couple that were still active. And I listened to one and it’s still pretty active. And it’s by Dustin Hartzler, super good friend of mine now. And he put out a request for other developers to interview to get the tools we use. And so I wrote in and he invited me on a shell. And then from there, we met at another conference and I knew I wanted to do something and I didn’t feel like blogging a lot in writing, wasn’t my thing. So I’m, I like to talk as you guys know. So he encouraged me to do it, you know, even though we have similar experiences, he networks for automatic, you know, he was independent back then. Um, it’s like I compare it to the gas station so you know, you go to what works for you, you’re not gonna go to every station, you’re not going to, we have different voices, different takes on things. And um, so that’s how I started primarily.

Aaron:    03:21 Nice. That’s cool. Just kind of curious just cause we’ve been doing this now for about six months, but we had our official launch a couple of weeks ago. So hopefully we’ll have awesome people like you on here and whatnot.

Adam:    03:37 Congratulations on the launch.

Aaron:    03:40 Yeah. Hopefully people are listening. And if not, well, at least we’re getting to know you. Getting to know you…. Sorry, I started singing…

Adam:    03:48 Or the more you know, the NBC thing, the more, you know, something like that. Okay. Yeah. We’re showing our age. Micah has no idea what we’re talking about.

Aaron:    03:57 I don’t think he’s that much younger.

Micah:    04:00 Maybe more sheltered, maybe a little of both. There you go. Nice. Yeah. Well, we just want to kind of start by just exploring what you’re up to now. So what are you up to in 2019 what are your goals?

Adam:    04:17 My goals are to take over the world as Madonna said way back in the day. Take over the world.

Aaron:    04:21 Pinky and the Brain?

Adam:    04:22 Yes.

Aaron:    04:23 Now does that make us old too? If we know Pinky and the Brain?

Adam:    04:26 Probably does. Yeah. My goal is for 2019 honestly, one of my main goals is to say “no” more meaning not to take any job. You know, from the agency perspective, I did a really good job of that couple of years ago and then you kind of fall into those traps and those laws of like, oh my gosh, the sky is falling, the world’s ending, and I need work. With that said, I want to be more selective on my projects. I take on better valued clients as well. The clients that will value our services or my services as well. So I doubled my prices, but I didn’t do it just to the beginning of the year. We were, we dealt with prices, my base package, uh, about four months ago. So I think that was, uh, September. Uh, yeah, about September is when I did that. Raise the hourly. I do some hourly work, raise that price by about 25% just to, you know, be smarter about the use of the time. And if people want to pay me hourly for certain work, it’s gotta be worth the time so that those goals, I want to grow the maintenance side of the business to some extent and I want to take some vacations, more vacations, and I want to 2x my vacations from last year. I took one. So if I can do two this year, that’d be fantastic. You know, I was telling you guys before we hit record, uh, I went, I had my 20th anniversary last year with my wife. We went to Paris for a week, five days, and it was fantastic. And I didn’t work. I took the laptop, just in case, but I checked email once cause at one email came in to client forgotten I’d be, I was gone, but I didn’t work. We just use a laptop to watch a movie in the hotel room and would buy tickets to the Eiffel Tower, that kind of thing. It was amazing. So I want to do that at least twice truly like to at least five days off in a row. And then maybe some smaller little vacations. I just, the balance needs to be kind of come back. So, and then as far as that’s an agency side, I’m also on the kitchen sink side of things, looking to do more training, more speaking. I want to grow the speaking side of my life. I really enjoy that and the education. So we’ll see. You know, it’s early days. I don’t take January 1 as any other day except just another day. I don’t like make resolutions. I just, I, you know, I woke, I went to bed at 10:30 at night, the 31st woke up at 4:45, did a two and a half mile run. I work out often, you know, so every daily, so just another day.

Micah:    06:39 Nice. Tell us a little bit more about Kitchen Sink WP.

Adam:    06:43 For those who really may not know, the reason it’s called Kitchen Sink WP, which Matt wasn’t aware of this until I had dinner with him back, uh, in Miami last year. He just didn’t really think about it because why would he, um, I branded that, you know, everything we’re pressed with the kitchen sink. It’s kind of that same everything but the kitchen sink and at one point has to do a whole brand that way. Like if photography, um, kitchen sink photography, but that would be actually a kitchen sink photography. It’s, it’s weird. Anyway, so there used to be a tooltip in, you know, tiny MCE where you’d hover over it. It would just, it would show you more of the information below now just says more options. So it, so it was called kitchen sink, it was kind of a two-fer, so everything WordPress with the kitchen sink and it had a tooltip. And then of course, within a month of my launching the brand, that tooltip was taken out. So I’m like, yeah, that was a bummer. Um, a friend of mine wrote a plugin to bring that tool kit back. So if somebody wants that plugin to just, and it’s all it does, uh, let me know. I’ll send it to you. I think it might be in GitHub or Bit Bucket or something that, that it’s out there, but silly. So, yeah.

Aaron:    07:49 Yeah. I got made fun of once because I didn’t know what the kitchen sink was and I’ve been using WordPress for a while and I was like, I, what? What are you talking about? It’s like, yeah, I don’t, I don’t. Right. Or at least I, now that I’m blogging more, I write more content, but I would, I built a lot of WordPress, but I didn’t use a lot of WordPress if that, if that makes sense.

Adam:    08:10 Totally makes sense. Yeah, absolutely. You know, and it’s funny, I remember I do a ton of business development for myself, so when I have to jump into something, if I go a couple of weeks or a month, tried to use it, the theme that we use are using some of the tools we use. I forget where something is. It’s just, you know, it comes back pretty quick, but I like it. And if you don’t use it, you do lose it. It’s one of those things, it’s that, that concept of like you got to be actively doing something. So, and then someone asked me recently how much time I really spend in WordPress in my business. And it reminded me of the photography days where as a photographer, I would shoot 25% of the time. The rest of the time was business development – managing the process, getting clients, processing photos, that type of thing. The actual doing the thing as you own the company becomes less. So me, inside of WordPress I probably spend 30%, 25, 30% inside on the back end. I think it might be at a bare minimum, sometimes more, sometimes less. When it goes less is if you do too less, which is really poor English and you come back after a while, uh, you’re rusty. I think it’s the best way to say it. You know, it’s like, for example, I love WPCLI and I forget to use it often. I’m mean, so then I go back to my car, what’s that command again? And the plugin update all dash all, you forget the syntax, you know?

Aaron:    09:32 So I had that issue all the time. Anytime I’m trying to (inaudible) I’m like, like, what’s the command again? Right? Yeah. So I just, I do it once every couple months. So I mean it makes sense. I know the tools exist. It’s just definitely get rusty.

Adam:    09:49 I mean just this week…. Today is a Friday and I was recording this and two days ago I completely forgot, um, uh, syntax on the anchor tag, you know, for an internal connection to a specific space. I know, I know it, but I’m like, what? So I went looked it up because that’s a problem. We can just look it up anytime that we don’t have to know by heart anymore or short codes or you know, just so I looked it up, put it in place and of course then there’s a new issue now what they sticky menu and the header area an anchor tag you actually, that doesn’t work exactly. It’s a hack at it to have the CSS be in the right place if you want to do that. But you know, stuff like that, if you, you know, it’s just, you know, you get, you forget things that you knew so readily years ago.

Aaron:    10:27 And then they remove stuff like the blink tag.

Adam:    10:30 So miss that.

Aaron:    10:32 Blink tag’s gone. You know, you have to use like JQuery to have it fade in and out and stuff.

Adam:    10:36 A damn shame. Right? So that’s my day to day. I mean day to day. Um, you know, like today, before the call today, right now I was a, I had done a site audit for a nonprofit back and So Cal and they took my advice. They want me to spend the hour and do the security updates, update their plugins and do some stuff there. So it’s my hourly, they have two sites, so it’s Times two and less 20% for a nonprofit discount and they may sign up with me and maintenance, we’ll see if that happens or not. So that’s, but that’s me doing that. There’s a reason to sub that. I have a couple of developers that work with me, a couple of designers, this kind of stuff I can handle. No problem. This is the stuff that’s over my head. I have a developer in Kentucky. He’s awesome. I had one in Chicago and one in Michigan. They both moved on to other things, which is totally fine. You know, people move around. So, but I like the idea of knowing more code and php and getting there. It’s not the best use of my time.

Aaron:    11:30 Yeah that’s one of my things right now it’s more running the business than I am writing code anymore. And you get rusty quick.

Adam:    11:40 Absolutely.

Aaron:    11:42 So a question for you about the support type stuff and maintenance plans. Is that, how many of those do you have?

Adam:    11:50 So I’ve just over, I just lost one this month and it was a good loss actually in the long run. So I’m at 10 right now. I’ve been up to 14 of a low is you know, three got it. Back to 10 I like I said earlier, I want to ramp that up. I’m looking, I’m looking to go 3x that in this first quarter. I’m trying to go to 30. I think 20 to 30 by myself I can handle. Beyond that, I might need some extra help technically. And the reason I want that from a business perspective is, I want that baseline, you know, for the income wise. But maintenance itself can be stressful because it’s on you, you know, so I’m putting things in place. I use certain services to help me do it. Could my clients do it for less expensive money? Absolutely. But that’s not what they do. You know, my agency is Concierge WP. The tagline is “Relax, we’ve got this.” That’s for a reason I have it. Unfortunately, based on my experience and my, um, relationships in our business that I get pretty good deals on some of these other services that back me up that, you know, so the cost ratio works out pretty well technically. And if even if at the end, even if I had to pay for all the services I use, it would still be worth it if you do it right. You know? So if I can go to 30 this quarter, that’d be great. So I’m actually really doing some targeted, uh, I’m trying to let people know that I have maintenance and I don’t let people to sign up for it directly anymore on the old version over at my website last year, it was like, you can click a button, pay and go right. Not any more. Now you got to fill out a form because I want to make sure I can kind of vet you. I don’t want to be responsible for a website on really bad hosting or already infected with malware and then have to clean that up for $97. That’s just not, that’s not right. So at their own bad hosting up, let’s say the site looks okay and there’s nothing really wrong with it, but it’s on my opinion, you know, really inexpensive, cheap web hosting that something, I just don’t think is good. Or has a deprecated theme or something like that. I would give them recommendations first I would say, you know, here’s some partners I work with from, they don’t have to host with me. I only host out of those 10 I host….. 3 maybe 4 sites that I host. Um, but all those four sites are low maintenance and low bandwidth needs for one. And I don’t host email ever anymore. So does that answer your question?

Aaron:    14:16 I don’t remember the question. Yeah, that’s okay. Oh! maintenance plans….

Adam:    14:22 10 yeah, 10 that was it. Yeah. Next time I’m just answering questions. So the next time, how many maintenance plans you have? I mean people 10 I thought you might want more information than just me saying 10

Aaron:    14:31 Yeah, actually no, I actually have 193 questions I need to ask you.

Adam:    14:36 Sweet. I’ll keep, I’ll keep it snappy and moving on.

Aaron:    14:40 So yeah, we kind of do, we have some maintenance plans that we do and we are, we do a 23 point checklist when they come on board and we’d look at the plugins that are there. We look at the themes, we do recommendations and, I mean I’ve written some, you know, I’ve looked at every file in the theme and say, Hey, this is done wrong. This is done wrong. This is done wrong. This is doing this, and this is doing that and it could cause a problem in the future.

Adam:    15:06 Clients don’t care.

Aaron:    15:10 But, but it does, it allows me in the future, absolutely. Say say, Hey, I told you that this needed to be fixed. Right. So yeah.

Adam:    15:19 My checklist is about my basic free site audit is technically, you know, I checked to see what the version of WordPress is. I’ll check the themes, the plugins, how many users, if they have users or membership. Um, uh, if there’s a backup strategy in place. And then some additional notes, just like if this little things and how many updates are needed across all 3 hour theme, Core, WordPress plugins and you know, that kind of thing. If they’re half things that are just not being used or not inactive, then lose them. They don’t need those, those kinds of things. Um, child theme, if they’re just, if there’s tons of customizations they should, we’ll use that in a child theme. Best practice, right. Not hard to fix. So, I mean, I, guess I have my checklist in my mind. I know what I’m going to go look through it and it takes me literally 15 minutes to kind of give those basic things and I just kind of copy paste from the previous person had done it for, I just start with a blank sheet, just fill it in and then send it back as a pdf. And here you go. And I do that relatively often for free as a kind of a warm little hug. Like, Hey, let me help you out. Let me show you what I think of what I found before we talk before we go on. If you don’t feel comfortable just yet, but I need access, that’s always an issue. Also, they have to give me access. I don’t, and I, here’s the thing, I don’t want my client’s username and password and they often give it to me. I’m like, ahhh… Actually, here’s a quick story for you. So I have a client now who has five sites. I said, literally, I don’t send me your login and username, send me, you know, creating new ones and here’s how to do. And I’ve, I’ve had a, I’ve recorded videos of how to do it. So I’ll say, here’s a link to something in Dropbox. Here’s how to create a new user. They don’t know how to do it right. And I’ll create my own password. And that way, the end of the day, you know, we don’t, it doesn’t work out. You can just delete my account. So he sends me a Google doc with his entire life’s worth of passwords!

Aaron:    17:00 Oh Wow! And you gave everyone access to that?

Adam:    17:05 Of course. It’s on the dark web…

Micah:    17:10 Primary source of income now.

Aaron:    17:11 His bank account is now empty…

Adam:    17:15 It’s all got transfered to Bitcoin, so, right. I don’t know what happened sir. I mean, hey Bob. Uh, I just looked at your website. That’s all I did. Yeah. I don’t want the responsibility or if something else happened. Coincidentally, things can happen. Things, you know, what if all of a sudden something did happen with a phishing scam and he lost money out of some accounts, you know, or the site went down. I don’t know. I just, I’d rather have my own access. But you do what you can. A lot of client education. I’m still, there’s still, a lot of client education happening a lot.

Aaron:    17:45 Cool. So what, what year did you start getting the WordPress community?

Adam:    17:51 Um, 1999. No, I’m kidding. So if they didn’t start…

Aaron:    17:55 I forked well before. Matt. Matt is (inaudible) do nothing.

Adam:    17:59 Do you remember Mambo? No, I’m kidding.

Aaron:    18:01 Yeah I do. Mambo and the Joomla.

Adam:    18:04 Yeah. So actually I spent a month dating Joomla. We didn’t work out. Yeah. I was actually building a site in internal intranet for a company back in Colorado using Joomla. And then that company told me to stop. We were out doing some part time tech work for them running in my photography and video, small web part, uh, agency. And um, they said pause that project and then I’m like, okay. And then two weeks later that company as done. So that was fine. So I started using WordPress… I had a blogger, a blogger account for my old photography blog, moved it to WordPress. I believe that was in 20 oh 2009 either late 2008 early 2009 that’s a part, I think that was the timeframe when I started. It didn’t go on my first WordCamp until 2012 like three years. I had no idea anything about this community. And you know about the meetups and about WordCamps and look at me now, just, I’m huge. I do a lot of WordCamps out and I talk a lot at conferences?

“I actually spent a month dating Joomla. We didn’t work out.” @heyadamsilver

Micah:    19:10 So how many WordCamps did you go to last year?

Adam:    19:13 Nine. It was supposed to be 10, but Wilmington was canceled. Some hurricane was coming its way. It actually landed there. I mean I was still willing to go. But yeah, I did nine WordCamps plus one other conference called the ATO Conference. All Things Open. And that was pretty cool. And I spoke at out of the nine conferences, I think I spoke at seven of them. I spoke at US too. I mean that was an impromptu… I was a backup speaker and I got tapped to speak at WordCampUS.

Aaron:    19:38 Oops, I missed that. I missed your talk.

Adam:    19:40 Oh, it’s okay. It’s all WordPress.tv. It was a lightning talk.

Aaron:    19:43 Okay.

Adam:    19:44 It was great. I mean, it was the same talk I did at Raleigh because as a backup speaker and they asked you to do that, they don’t expect you to come up with a new talk just in case, you know? Right. So they said, what do you got? What do you want? Which one? And I gave him a choice of like one of four or five talks. They picked one and I just made that into a lightning version. You have to have, but you’re both ready based on who, what spot might become open. So yeah, on Friday I did that talk and it went pretty well. I’m pretty happy with it.

Aaron:    20:10 I was gonna say you, I mean you started in 09 and then that’s about when I started, I, it was, it was December of 08. I’m in the exact same boat. I didn’t do a WordCamp until 2012. Micah said, hey, you want to go to Nashville? And I’m like, for what? I’m like, what is, you know, um, but, but it was, it’s, I mean, it’s a great community.

Adam:   20:35   Yeah. I mean, I started, I don’t, reason I started using WordPress was I had a job, I moved back to Los Angeles from Colorado for a job, but really good high paying director level job in video. And I was a host of a show. And then actually some of those videos are still on Youtube. I’m not gonna tell you where to find them though. You’ll find them. And I got laid off, nine months later, I’m like, we moved the family back. I was paid well then was a reorg and I kind of get the short end of that stick. And so in that time I had sold a lot of my old equipment. I shut down my photo studio, so I needed a new website and like, okay, I’m going to build a website for my photography. Built a website in WordPress, launched it two amazing, a fanfare of nobody caring, you know, because you forget, you know, back then, I mean, having a photography, I mean, how the website was… everyone needed one as a photographer, but you still go do marketing. There’s still so much more to a business than just the website, you know, and I tried to tell that to clients. Now the website’s not the end all. We would like to believe it is the three of us, you know, as, as developers, as well as business owners. It’s not, it’s a part of the strategy. With that said, I launched it. I waited and waited, it took me three years to find another job. I needed full time work again. At this point, you know, I was running out of money….ran out of money. Marriage wasn’t super solid at that time because, you know… and I had three kids. But then by chance, you know, with the launching the photography site, I started doing some other sites for some other parents in the neighborhood, some of their small businesses and started teaching a WordPress class at the local school, started the meetup, got involved in Los Angeles, you know, meetups and then in that scene, in that community. But I knew right when I went to my first WordCamp, which was Orange County, I knew I’d found a good place for me for the next, you know, good 7, 10 years know, you know, at least. I mean, I’ll do 10 years, I’ll do my time. No, I’m kidding.

Aaron:    22:19 Right. Do the math. So this year you’re out.

Adam:    22:25 Well, actually I think it was, oh, so from camp perspective, yeah, we had a couple of years.

Aaron:    22:29 Yeah.

Adam:    22:30 Which is perfect because you know, no, I mean, you know, no, I, I like what I do now. I really do. I see it pivot coming again. I think I’ve been pretty fortunate that I’ve seen changes in the past. I see changes coming and again in the future. And I’m trying to do more….I’m setting myself up for …. I’m open to whatever may be coming, I guess as the way, the best way to say.

Aaron:    22:49 What’s the pivot?

Adam:    22:50 Well, originally when I was in as a photographer, you know, everyone’s a photographer because you have a device in your pocket, they think they’re photographers. Right? And it becomes a commodity. He, it’s like, oh, you don’t, you know, I don’t even talk photographer. I have my iPhone or my next door neighbor has a new canon eos rebel t five. Yeah, yeah, that’s great. But do you know actually how to use it? You know, all those things. So I stopped doing the photography, went more in development. WordPress. And running this small agency that I have. The next thing I think, you know, paid builders have come a long way and I think, you know, Gutenberg’s changing things as well. There was that huge drama this past year because of the Gutenberg and, you know, implementation and the new block editor. So this year we’ll see where things go with that.I think if you’re just doing kind of simple builds, you have to have, there’s more value to bring more value to the table for clients. That’s the key at the end of the day. And my value is still like, I still really enjoyed talking to clients, figuring out what is the struggle, what’s the hurdle? Getting them unstuck, working on that strategy, not just building a site. So my goal is to do more of that, I think, whether that includes building the sites or the marketing or the strategy as well. I don’t know yet, but uh, definitely motivating people to get unstuck.

“If you’re just doing simple website builds, you have to bring more value to the table. My value is talking to clients, figuring out their hurdles, and getting them unstuck. I help with strategy, not just building a site.” @heyadamsilver

Aaron:    23:59 Yeah. The strategy stuff is something that we try to, I mean, we could build a website and we’ve had people come to us saying, yeah, we can, uh, we can build your website, but that doesn’t necessarily going to bring you business, you know, so it’s sometimes difficult to sell that.

Adam:    24:15 Right. I know it’s, it’s a change of people’s…. Oh look at that! Mindset. It’s a book I’m holding up for those who can’t see.

Aaron:    24:22 This is my camera. The one that you said, I have the exact same one you just said.

Adam:   24:28   Yeah, it’s hilarious.

Aaron:    24:29 Yeah, exactly. Uh, what does it, so, yeah, EOS Rebel T 5I. This exact same one I said. It’s like I have a camera in your room right there. It’s kind of creepy a little bit though. It is weird that I have it out too.

Adam:    24:41 And just to let you know, I think you should put pants back on.

Aaron:    24:44 Okay. Oh, I was hoping you wouldn’t tell anybody. Yeah.

Adam:    24:49 So I just think, you know, it’s, it’s a mindset. We all have those struggles. We all have the ups and downs. And to think things won’t change in our industry or in the world is ridiculous. You’re fooling yourself. So, you know, I, like I said, like what I do now, it has its challenges, but I am, I’m also older than a lot of people in our space. Let’s say at WordCamps. I’m not the oldest to attend to WordCamps but as a speaker and that level or that in that segment, if of the WordPress population and as a podcaster and been doing this for so long now I am definitely one of the older people around. Sometimes I’ll go to these speaker dinners in certain towns and cities, the smaller camps and I’m the oldest person at the speaker sponsored dinner. And it’s just, it is what it is. People don’t believe me that I’m the oldest by like a good 7 to 10 years cause I don’t really come across as I guess the old fogy per se. Um, and I appreciate that and I have a pretty youthful approach to life, but I, I, you know, taking my age into consideration then where things are going and I have a child going to college next year. Actually it’s later this year. Oh my gosh. Damn. I’m old.

Aaron:    25:54 I’m close to them a few years behind when it comes to the college thing. So we’ll have a kid in college very soon. So it’s been a little nervous. So.

Adam:    26:03 Someone asked me yesterday, I was at a little like a lunch and learn at a coworking space and his kids are considerably younger than mine. He’s like, what would you advise me as a dad. And I say 529 open at that 529 account tomorrow. Start saving for college. Cause we got none. We have a very little amount but my daughter is super smart and she’ll get some scholarships and grants and hopefully very little loan money. So you know, we’ll see what happens.

Aaron:    26:25 That’s a good segue. So, so when it comes to your business and WordPress in general, since this is the WP square one, what would you do if you’d go back to square one, what would you do differently?

Adam:    26:39 I would probably, I thought about this, you know before we hit record and a couple of days ago when I took the little survey, I would honestly niche down, I would probably pick a specific niche to focus on from a perspective of an agency side of things. Not just say I can build a site for anybody because if you can build a site for anybody, then you know, then you’re, if you’re everything to everybody that you’re nothing to nobody. There’s that saying… I’m sure I’m butchering it, but pick a niche, get really good at it, and go after that, that we can market it to that group through multiple ways, through Facebook ads, Google ads, click, all those things. That could be anything from law firms to dentists to um, I mean, you know, optometrist, orthodontist, but pick a focus group, wedding planners, whatever it may be, cause then you know what they need. And I think you also know you can build sites that much faster and have a much easier process and add value to them because you’re going to have that circle of influence because it, because he’s going to be a specialized, uh, being a generalist very difficult and becoming a harder really is so don’t, you know, it’s hard to say that when you’re starting out. How do you not be generalists? Well, it’s tough, but sooner than later, you know, pick a niche.

“Pick a specific niche to focus on. Get really good at it and market it. You can build sites faster, your process will be easier, and you will add more value.” @heyadamsilver

Aaron:    27:55 That’s good advice. I would say that’s something that we at Sideways8 has, we’ve kind of started going down the nonprofit route. I mean, we started off doing a lot of church websites because that was what Adam, my business partner Adam, he came from the church world. I was on staff as the IT guy at a big church. And so, um, you know, doing the nonprofit type stuff, it kind of makes sense. So, but that’s, I mean, good advice.

Adam:    28:23 Thanks. So, yeah, beyond that, ask for help. Uh, join the community, get involved, give back. WordPress itself is amazing to me. I tell people all the time, you know, I have 10,000, over 10,000 images on my iPhone, which is crazy. They’re all backed up. Yes. 7,000, at least are people in the WordPress space from attending conferences in camps and vacations, and I traveled people. I had no idea when I went to my first camp in 2012 that I would be where I’m at now. I had no idea that I would end up leading WordCamp Los Angeles for two years. Didn’t see that coming… Really didn’t and um, you know, it just a matter of I’m grateful and honored and flattered that I’ve kind of been so welcomed into it. It’s pretty special. So ask for help, give back where you can.

“Join the community, get involved, give back. #WordPress is amazing. I’m grateful, honored, and flattered that I’ve been so welcomed.” @heyadamsilver

Micah:    29:12 The question on that, you said you had 10,000 pictures on your phone. The real question is how many pictures do you have on other people’s phones?

Adam:    29:19 Why do you ask Micah when? Explain that.

Micah:    29:23 Did you have an entire Hashtag?

Adam:    29:28 Yes. There was a hashtag.

Micah:    29:31 So basically, every time Adam Silver takes a picture for someone at a WordCamp, the first thing he does is he inverts the camera towards himself, snaps a photo, and then turns it back around and snaps a few more. And so when they go look at their phone, they see the one or two pictures and they’re like, oh, that’s nice.

Adam:    29:52 Right. They don’t go further back to see the other one. Right.

Aaron:    29:54 That’s excellent. I like that. So it’s probably people auto backup onto Amazon photos and check up on all this stuff. So, and then 10 years someone’s going to be going through those photos and be like, who is that weird old guy.

Adam:    30:10 So I had forgotten I’d done it. So the funny thing is, so I did it a whole bunch of times in the first year I did, it was probably, so we just had 2018 US. I did the first time I did it was, well I guess whenever, I don’t know what year it was, but it became a known thing 2017, 2016, 2017 or if people realized it and then I started doing it more and I forgot about it at first. So suddenly then post, I think actually it might have been Bob WP, where he found one or I don’t what whoever found it posted it and said, went through the photo, found Adam Silver on my phone and then Scott de Lucio was with me when I did it once to someone else’s iPad. Um, it was um, Carol Standbox from Phoenix. Uh, I did it on her iPad and something he tweeted out. He’s like, yeah, I was there for that one, you know, or he, Carol, did you find yours? There was a, it was a funny Twitter thing back and forth. And then they did a, started the hashtag #adamonmyiphone. Yeah. So people find them and you’ve gotta be careful. I did one, I only got one. WordCamp US 2018. It was at the after party and some people were doing the floaty gravity spacing and uh, I took, their phone was just sitting there. I’d even had, even if they didn’t ask for, it’s about it. I just took some of their pictures, took one of me. It took some more. And then I waited about a couple of weeks and I tweeted it out. I said, hey, someone hasn’t found the photo yet. Scott jumped on that. He’s like, oh no good times. I enjoyed it. I enjoy having fun with that. I really do. I love getting together with people at WordCamps and Meetups and stuff. So that’s the one that I do miss about being in Los Angeles is I was really involved in that WordPress community. Uh, I mean I’m involved with one here in Raleigh. We have WordCamp coming up in the four months from the recording of this episode. But it’s just different. It is what it is that I, well,

Aaron:    31:50 How can we get in touch with you if someone wants to reach out to you?

Adam:    31:54 Smoke signals. No I’m just kidding.

Aaron:    31:56 Those work real well.

Adam:    31:59 So I’m on Twitter at @heyAdamSilver and I’m over at kitchensinkwp.com and conciergewp.com but Twitter, is one of the easiest. Or you can email me [email protected]. If it’s related to the community kitchen sink. If it’s related to trying to hire me, Concierge. That’s how I split them up. You know, it’s that simple. I just divide and conquer.

Aaron:    32:20 Makes sense. All right, well, I appreciate it. Thank you for your time.

Adam:    32:24 Thanks for having me guys.

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