How Tom McFarlin manages a product & services business

In this episode, Matt Medeiros continues the impromptu Season 6 with his interview with Tom McFarlin. Tom is a developer and business owner in the WordPress community but is not solely dependent on WordPress. He balances his consulting and development business along with teaching and blogging with a focus on  Object Oriented Programming (OOP) encouraging people to write good code.

Listen to the episode


What you will learn from this Episode:

  • Tom has a  membership area with Digital courses on his site (1:10)
  • Pressware has been growing over the past 7 years and provides consulting, custom plugin and development functionality. (2:43)
  • Tom’s blog has moved into a combination of free posts along with paid content for members. (2:28)

Marketing your product:

  • The marketing strategy is not just a focus this year for the membership site launch. (3:39)
  • Building strong content will take time and people can sign up as needed or when they recognize the value. (8:02)
  • Blogging with great content with authority takes a lot of work. (8:52)
  • The current blog is established and is being published with a set schedule. (9:42)
  • Word of mouth and posting to Twitter have been the best marketing strategy so far. (13:34)
  • The blog material is being updated with interesting and new material that is being discovered by new developers. (15:59)
  • Tom’s blog is very genuine reflecting his personality. (19:48)
  • Networking at events is a great way to meet the authentic blogger or WordPress owner. (21:40)
  • It is difficult to build an audience using YouTube because the videos come off as being instructional or tutorials on a software product. (23:37)

The Future of WordPress:

  • Consultants have been the boots on the ground for WordPress. (27:24)
  • Blue collar digital workers are becoming a commoditized service becoming people who can fix the code of products that were created. (28:40)
  • There is a consumer level of technology that may always need fixing. (30:09)
  • There may always be a WordPress but consultants may not be directing or taking customers where they want to go with the software. (31:41)
  • WordPress is getting wider with the options of where people want to take it. (32:47)
  • Jetpack (or other WordPress plugins) will probably be part of WordPress moving forward and may not be offered as individual products. (36:07)
  • The individual user seems to be the new direction for the growth of WordPress. (37:37)
  • Plugin development and sales may not take the same direction that themes have. (42:17)
  • Pressware was named without “WP” intentionally even though it is software built on WordPress. (42:54)

Building a Business:

  • If you are going to be working for yourself you need to learn about running a business and know that you should be able to manage a team of developers, contractors, designers, etc. (44:39)
  • Understand the value of the dollar when you are in business and understand where the money goes. (46:47)
  • If you are working in the U.S. make sure you have a great CPA. (48:48)
  • As your business grows you will need to learn to let go of many things and delegate to good people. (49:49)
  • Make sure you have a set ending time to the day when the work discussion ends. (52:18)

Episode Resources:
WordCamp US
Troy Dean
Gary Vaynerchuk
Sandhills Development
Dr. Dre sells Beats to Apple
Video Gaming on YouTube
The Blue Collar WordPress Worker
Scott Bollinger’s Shopify post
WordPress plugin repository
Awesome Motive
Monster Insights

To Stay in Touch with Tom:
Tom membership

To stay connected with the Matt Report, head on over to

If you like the show, please leave a 5 Star review over on the Matt Report on iTunes.

Be sure to check out Matt’s new offering at It is like having a co-founder for $59.00.


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