Last October, Matt Medeiros launched his WordPress Startup Challenge with hopes of validating the WordPress startup scene while building a stronger sense of community among entrepreneurs. At that time he also created a WordPress Entrepreneur group on Google+ to help connect those whose businesses are based on WordPress.
Medeiros is the host of the Matt Report, a WordPress business podcast for entrepreneurs, startups, and freelancers. His show specializes in exploring the paths entrepreneurs have taken on their journeys to launching WordPress-related businesses. In the past year he’s watched the WordPress Entrepreneurs Group grow to become a thriving community with more than 500 members.
I spoke with Medeiros, who said he that he fully expected that the group would grow to become quite large. “There’s still room to grow,” he said. “Based on the audience of the Matt Report, I knew there was a need to launch a channel on a more accessible platform like Google+.”
WordPress Entrepreneurs Group Provides a Safe Place to Ask Questions
The purpose of the group is to foster a greater sense of community among the business-spirited folks in WordPress. “A lot of my efforts in the WordPress world are to help connect like minded people,” Medeiros said. “You find a lot of people chatting about their practice, agency or product. Then you find others coming in asking for some business help.”
What kinds of conversations are happening in the WordPress Entrepreneurs Group? “There’s the typical SEO, conversion, and marketing advice you come to expect from a community like this,” Medeiros said. But where this group really shines is when members provide each other with feedback and share personal stories about their lives as entrepreneurs.
In leading the group, Medeiros has been able to gain a greater understanding of what WordPress business people are looking for when they join a community. His experience shows that many business owners are in search of a place where they can feel comfortable asking each other questions about situations they are facing.
I mentioned fear before and that’s a big one that a lot of people are — you guessed it — afraid to talk about. Fear paralyzes someone to launch their product, share their code or market their idea. As we all know, sometimes the criticism in the WP world can be quite harsh. Folks who are starting out are looking for a place where they can be accepted and ask the questions they have, no matter how trivial.
A lot of folks are looking for a sounding board to bounce ideas off of one another and that’s great too. At the end of the day, they are looking for a place where they can meet others sharing the same journey as their own.
As the community grows, Medeiros is hoping to continue cultivating a safe place where members can get help finding their way in the world of business. “On the inside, I hope that people can get their questions answered and their fears extinguished. On the outside, I hope that investors and other businesses see WordPress entrepreneurs in a new light.”
If Medeiros is right, the business climate for WordPress entrepreneurs right now is headed “up and to the right,” an assessment he’s made based on the large number of companies and individuals who are hiring and/or looking for work. “I talk to a lot of people in this space so I see new products/services everyday,” he said. “That means that there’s a lot of opportunity, but also a lot of competition.” His advice for businesses looking for success in the WordPress community? “Companies that not only create amazing products, but amazing stories and customer experiences will do just fine around here.”
Medeiros invites anyone who is looking to connect with other like-minded business folks to join the WordPress Entrepreneurs Group. “It’s a great place to take the business track discussion after a WordCamp is over.” The group is open to beginners and advanced business owners who want to help each other go farther with their WordPress-related products and services.