Kyle is the co-founder of a Jackson, Michigan based firm called Real Big Marketing which specializes in using WordPress to solve complicated problems for businesses. He is also the author of and a contributor to dozens of WordPress plugins, is the co-organizer of the Jackson WP meetup, is a co-organizer of WordCamp Ann Arbor, plays in a band and is an aspiring beer snob.
Why do you use WordPress?
Because my clients have complicated needs and I want to make all their dreams come true. WordPress empowers me to easily develop powerful, robust solutions to complex problems with incredible flexibility and community support. It also empowers my clients to get a lot done on their own thanks to its usability and the ease with which I can tailor their publishing experience to their unique needs.
When and how did you start using WordPress?
I was employed at some crappy place and needed a way to power our company blog. Someone suggested WordPress so that’s what I used it for. Eventually I decided that I could run a business better than my employers so I set off on my own and started making sites for clients. Out of all the options I had available, WordPress seemed like the one with which I could do the most with the least effort. Joining my local WP meetup validated my choice and I’ve been all WordPress since.
What would you tell someone to convince them to attend a WordCamp?
Dude. You gotta go. Seriously. WordCamp is awesome. Not kidding.
Tell us about something awesome you’ve experienced at a WordCamp in the past.
Some of the most awesome experiences I’ve had that I look back on fondly are the comments I’ve received after giving a presentation that truly helped someone. Also, meeting and hanging out with experienced members of the community that I highly respect has also been exciting.
Give an example of a cool WordPress project you have worked on recently.
I made a plugin that used the wordpress.tv API to dynamically present videos in the wp-admin. That was kind of fun.
What is your favorite part of WordCamps?
Meeting first timers and helping them with the challenges they are facing that I know I was facing only a couple years ago.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to start or grow a WordPress based business?
I’ve learned that the success of my business directly correlates with my involvement in the community I’m working in. The more people I meet, people I help and relationships I build, the better off I am. Relationships pay out a hundred fold in the long term which is what I care about.
Tell us something awesome about yourself that is not WordPress related.
I’m addicted to situations which involve me, an audience and a microphone.
Name someone in the WordPress community who inspires you.
I’m inspired constantly by Joel Worsham’s ability to master anything in ridiculously short periods of time.
I’m inspired to run a better business by other business owners I know like Ross Johnson, Ian Wilson, Rebecca Gill, Cory Miller, Chad Warner, Justin Ferriman, Jason Crawford, Becky Davis, Pippin Williamson and many others.
So many awesome friends in the community inspire me in many other ways. Too many to name here. Would literally fill this page.
What has been your biggest WordPress related accomplishment to date?
I’ve felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment many times when I’ve done things like released a plugin, sold a premium plugin, closed a deal with a big client, given a presentation that meant something to someone, etc. But probably the biggest has simply been keeping a business growing and making enough money to support several households. Not that easy to do, let me tell ya.
How have WordCamps impacted you and your business in the past?
Without a doubt, WordCamps have made a huge impact on my business. I’ve learned so much from them, built relationships, developed a strong network, honed my skills and also increased my sense of fulfillment and passion for my work since I’ve started attending WordCamps.
Fill in the blank for other attendees: “If you __________ then you should come talk to me at WordCamp”.
- Like craft beer
- Are into home brewing
- Want to learn to make plugins
- Are getting started with freelancing
- Are a first time WordCamp attendee
- Have tickets to a U of M football game you want to get rid of
What should someone learn before attending your talk at WordCamp Ann Arbor?
My session won’t be assuming very much but it might help to have at least experienced the backend of WordPress and played with a theme and a plugin just a little.
What is your favorite WordPress related resource?
Our local meetup.
Where can we find you online?
brashrebel on WordPress Slack, Github and WordPress.org