020: Networking with Cami MacNamara

In this episode of Women in WP, we talk about the evolution of working from home, how to network when you work from home, and the importance of “real” digital connections.


About Cami MacNamara:

Cami MacNamara, aka WebCami, has been designing websites since 2002 from her home office in Seattle, Washington. Her career started as a way to be a stay-at-home mom. Certification soon followed and persistence paid off. Cami has designed over 400 websites and wants to share what she has learned along the way.

Find Cami MacNamara: WebCami Site Design | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn


Women in WP | WordPress Podcast
Women in WP | WordPress Podcast
020: Networking with Cami MacNamara
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Show Notes

  • Thesis –¬†Thesis is a modular template and design system for WordPress.
  • StudioPress – The world’s most popular mobile-responsive themes and design framework for WordPress.
  • Kim Doyle, The WP Chick– content marketing and business strategist for businesses.
  • Beaver Builder– Responsive page builder and theme.
  • BNI – Business Networking International – networking organization. .
  • Theme Forest – Theme selling platform. .
  • Divi – page builder and theme from Elegant Themes. .
  • Ann Marie Gill – one stop shop for web solutions. .
  • Bob Dunn – The Do the Woo Podcast and site shares stories of the WooCommerce community and covers WooCommerce news. .
  • Lynda.com – LinkedIn Learning is an American website offering video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative, and business skills. It is a subsidiary of LinkedIn..
  • Carrie Dils – WordPress developer and consultant, freelance coach..
  • Formidable Forms – delivers live business training and a comprehensive, done-for-you client management system for those who sell WordPress websites..
  • Jennifer Bourn Profitable Project Plan
  • WordCamp Seattle – WordCamp located in Seattle, Washington..
  • GoDaddy Pro – created to support web designers and developers who use GoDaddy products to build and maintain websites for their clients..
  • WordCamp US – Biggest WordCamp in the US..
  • Bidsketch – proposal software lets you create, electronically sign, and track professional looking client proposals in 50% less time.
  • WP Elevation¬† – an online program designed specifically for WordPress consultants..
  • Calendly – Schedule meetings without the back and forth emails..
  • Gravity Forms – Create custom forms on WordPress with Gravity Forms, the easiest-to-use, secure, and reliable WordPress form builder plugin for your website..
  • Zapier – Connect the apps you use everyday to automate your work and be more productive.
  • ManageWP – Manage multiple WordPress websites from one dashboard..
  • Web Diva Lisa Stambaugh – provides affordable web, print and process projects for small businesses and non-profit organizations..
  • Adam Warner – GoDaddy Field Marketing Manager and all around good guy..
  • Jetpack – Security, performance, and site management tools..
  • SendGrid – Denver, Colorado-based customer communication platform for transactional and marketing email..
  • WooCommerce – open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. .
  • Blogger – blog-publishing service that allows multi-user blogs with time-stamped entries..
  • Joomla – free and open-source content management system for publishing web content, developed by Open Source Matters, Inc..
  • Drupal – open-source CMS for ambitious digital experiences that reach your audience across multiple channels..

Transcript

Speaker 1:

Welcome to Women in WP, a bi-monthly podcast about women who blog, design, develop and more in the WordPress community. Welcome to Women in WP.

Amy Masson:

I’m Amy Masson.

Angela Bowman:

I’m Angela Bowman.

Amy Masson:

And our guest today is Cami MacNamara. Cami’s been building and maintaining websites since 2002 at webcami.com. Welcome Cami.

Cami MacNamara:

Hi, it’s so nice to see you guys.

Amy Masson:

And we’re so happy to have you. We wanted to start our episode today by asking you to tell us about your journey to WordPress.

Cami MacNamara:

Well, I started designing websites in 2002, and I found myself interested in becoming a web designer because I had a kid and I’m always amazed at how many other women have shared that experience with me. So I picked up HTML For Dummies, which led to me enrolling in a community college course. So I got a certification. It took me three years to do what was supposed to be a nine month program because I have a toddler at home. And I just started working immediately in my neighborhood doing the preschool, I ended up doing a couple of Seattle public school websites and they gave me FTP credentials into their system, which was just amazing. So I continued with that and in about 2007, I had a client say, ‘I need a blog’. So I went to wordpress.com, set up their blog and connected it to the HTML, CSS, JavaScript website that I built from scratch.

Cami MacNamara:

So during that time, I’m thinking, ‘Wow, WordPress is going to put me out of business. Everybody can set up their own site’ and then as I’m working with it, I’m like, ‘Oh no, I don’t have anything to worry about. This will actually help me grow my business’. And it took me about three years of adding on the blog to go, ‘Oh, I can self host and download from wordpress.org’. And then the light bulb went off and it was like, ‘I’m just going to build websites in WordPress. I’m done with the hand coding’. And I transitioned from there. I started with Theseus and did a few sites with that. And then I had a customer come to me with the Genesis site that he liked. And man, that was the beginning of it all. I went all in on the StudioPress lifetime membership. And I hired Kim Doyal, the WordPress chick, to train me how to use Genesis. So from there, I started using Beaver Builder in 2016 in concert with Genesis. And last year I switched to Beaver Builder only. So, that’s my transition.

Amy Masson:

It’s so funny, because your trajectory from Theseus to Genesis to Beaver Builder is exactly the path I went. I hardly ever talk to people that use Theseus. I feel so old school when I say that I was a Theseus person.

Cami MacNamara:

Yeah. No, you can WayBack machine my website. I’ve had it forever. It goes to building frames, oh God. And then you can see my Theseus version around the 2010, 2011 mark. And then I went to Genesis and now it’s full of Beaver Builder.

Angela Bowman:

Yeah, I think we can all say we had a Theseus moment.

Cami MacNamara:

Yeah.

Angela Bowman:

And we’ve all built preschool websites. We should just start taking a poll.

Cami MacNamara:

I ended up being the communications chair for everything, for little league, for soccer, that was my job. And it really helped me. I mean, that’s how I grew my business before. I’m in BNI now, but before then I just volunteered all over town. I think that is just a great way for the person who’s starting out to get their name out there. You’re not making much money, but people come to know you as the person who does web design.

Angela Bowman:

And you’ve done over 400 websites, that’s huge. What do you feel like has been the thing that you would most be able to convey to other business owners who are embarking on taking on building sites for other people? What’s your top piece of advice after all that experience?

Cami MacNamara:

This one is really easy. Do not let your client come to you with a theme that they found on ThemeForest that they want you to build for them. That’s not what you do. You’re a web designer. So filling in a theme that they find at ThemeForest is going to turn into a nightmare for you. I would say, whatever you’re going to do, pick that as your main selling point to your client. So, somebody would come to me and I’d go, ‘Oh, great. This theme is really slow’, because they all are on ThemeForest, usually really heavy on the back end.

Cami MacNamara:

I use Genesis themes and here’s one that’s similar. Why don’t we start here and we’ll customize it to be your own? So it doesn’t look like everyone else’s. So I would just steer people to Genesis. And now I just steer them, that’s all I do. If they want a website that is not something that I’m building for them, then I just pass on the job. But if you streamline your process and you’re only working with one system, you’re going to be faster, better and you’re going to be an expert at it and it’s going to make your life easier.

Amy Masson:

Yes, I’ve totally made that mistake in the past, taken on somebody’s, ‘Oh, I have this theme. Can you just help me with it?’ And I always…I think it’s a woman thing, I just want to help people, and so I’ll just, ‘Sure, I’ll take a look, I’ll see what I can do’. And then by the time it’s over, I’ve rebuilt the whole thing.

Cami MacNamara:

Right. Because you figured out that the previous designer didn’t use widgets and all the sidebar is hand coded in. Things like that.

Amy Masson:

Or they did use widgets and I hate it.

Cami MacNamara:

Oh, yeah. Either way, whichever your preference is, it’s just not the way you would do it. And therefore you’re spending hours that you didn’t expect trying to figure it out.

Angela Bowman:

You decided to go with Beaver Builder. Were there any other builder tools that you tried out and what sort of [crosstalk 00:06:34] .

Cami MacNamara:

[crosstalk 00:06:34] I did about five sites on Divi and after I trained the client and they never got it, they could just not use it on their own. That and how much slower it was to load and then when you tried to remove a website from Divi, you’re left with this short code madness everywhere that you’ve got to clean up. And because I used to code, I am still the person that wants the code to look perfect and indent and I just want clean code, even though nobody’s looking at it. I don’t know why. So that was my first try.

Cami MacNamara:

And a designer here in [Duvall 00:07:20], Anne-Marie Gill, she’s a good friend of mine. She said, “You’ve got to try Beaver Builder.” And we co-work every now and then, about four times a year, she’s over on the east side, driving anywhere in Seattle takes hours. So we get together and she turned me on to Beaver Builder. And I just did exactly what I did with StudioPress and I went all in. I bought lifetime for all the add-ons and agency level and I did enjoy being able to transition with Genesis and Beaver Builder. I think that helped me move forward with it, because I was so comfortable with Genesis at the time.

Amy Masson:

And I did that as well. I was Genesis with Beaver Builder for a long time and finally, mostly I’ve switched over to all Beaver Builder. And sometimes I still do Genesis stuff depending on what the client needs or if they need something really cheap and they don’t want to pay for custom design, I still have my whole lifetime license for all the StudioPress themes. So I just sit them there and tell them, “Pick out a theme and we’ll set you up.” And it’s great!

Cami MacNamara:

Its great for food bloggers. Food bloggers, I still go to my Foodie Pro or whatever it is, because it’s all just set up for them.

Amy Masson:

So you mentioned that you certainly have gotten involved with WordCamps and the WordPress community. What role has that played in your evolution? Have you picked your tool, but then you also, you’re not just by yourself, you’re a part of a community.

Cami MacNamara:

Yeah, completely. I joined BNI in 2010 and that’s Business Networking International, it’s a networking group. And in that group I met an SEO specialist who was involved in WordCamp. So he invited me because he was speaking. And honestly, I didn’t even really… I mean, I knew there were a few meetups. Bob Dunn had a meetup at my local library for new comers that I went to, but I didn’t get that the WordPress community in Seattle is like 3,000 people close.

Cami MacNamara:

So once I went to that it was so helpful because you are learning it on your own. I did lynda.com training and [CarrieField 00:09:43] has trainings on there. I’m self-taught with WordPress. But I had enough skill from learning basic web design to pick it up pretty quickly, but I loved the whole WordPress community and I probably don’t get to go to meetings as much as I’d like to, but I’ll always be a part of it somehow. And it’s introduced me to so many people and just meeting different companies and exposure to the different tools that are out there for us. So there’s never been a WordCamp that I’ve walked away from where I didn’t learn something incredibly valuable to apply to my business.

Amy Masson:

Yeah, I am with you. And when I go to a WordCamp these days, since I’ve been around the block so many times, now I feel really old.

Cami MacNamara:

Yes, me too.

Amy Masson:

I feel like if I can walk away with one thing, one thing I didn’t think of, or one thing that I didn’t know, one tip, it’s going to help me grow my business, then I feel like it’s been a worthwhile trip because you’re paying what? $50, $30 to go to these WordCamps. How much do I really need to grow and learn to make back that $30 or $50?

Cami MacNamara:

Yeah. And we get exposure. I remember one of the first things that I sat through at WordCamp in Seattle, it used to be at the [inaudible 00:11:07] over at the college, was the law and WordPress and just the amount of people… I still have it happen where a client, this just happened yesterday, grabbed the graphic off this website and slapped my logo on it. I’m like, ‘I’m not doing that. That’s illegal’. And I have something to talk to them about. And so sometimes, you just bring back something that just changes how you talk to your clients as well. And I think that that’s really invaluable.

Amy Masson:

I had a client send me a copy that they had copied from somebody else’s website that still had the links, the internal links within the site. And it was a lawyer. I’m not kidding.

Cami MacNamara:

Yeah. No, I’m not surprised by anything. Yeah, people get really freaked out about getting their content together and will just take everything off this and pop it in there for me. It’s like, “Well, I can rewrite it or summarize it.” I’m not really into doing the copywriting, but if somebody is completely at a loss, I will throw in my help for that.

Amy Masson:

Back to being a woman and wanting to help everybody.

Cami MacNamara:

Yeah, that’s right. We can’t stop.

Angela Bowman:

I love what you said about being able to just pick up that one thing at the WordCamp and having it be worth, or Amy, both of you saying that, that having that be worthwhile. I went to the Salt Lake City WordCamp. I was asked to speak there. And I went to one session that just changed everything for me. It was Stephanie Wells speaking about her plugin Formidable Forms and I’ve been able to do so many amazing things with that plugin and you mentioned that you’ve also learned from other women like Jennifer Bourn, the Profitable Project Plan and streamlining your processes for your business, doing more automation, which tools like Formidable Forms can help you do. Speak to that. What kind of automation processes have you improved over the years?

Cami MacNamara:

I think I took a workshop from Jennifer up here in Seattle at WordCamp 2017. And I was talking to somebody else earlier today about this. I flew by the seat of my pants for the first six to eight years of my business. No systems, just like, ‘Okay, I have this dedicated office and I have a to-do list’, and that was it. And when I signed up for Profitable Project Plan and she just has an incredible email sequence that goes out throughout the whole process and divides up all your different areas that you’re working on throughout the timeline of the job. And it took me over a year to implement all of it because I work on about 15 to 25 new projects at one time.

Cami MacNamara:

So I never have time to do that. So I went to the library once a week for about a year, for two hours on Wednesday nights and worked on my own business. And that included her training. And I’m still learning to implement it all, to use Zapier and Gravity Forms, I use quite a bit. And I just signed up for Bidsketch because I’m tired of sending my proposals on PDFs and things like that. So in addition to her training, I did WP Elevation too. And I did those pretty close to each other and it was a good compliment. One was more agency driven, which I’m not. But there’s always information for agencies that you can apply to yourself if you’re just a solopreneur. And then just tying that in with Jennifer’s training, it was a home run for me, I’m far more efficient.

Cami MacNamara:

So I just would recommend that anybody starting out, you’ve got to invest in yourself. I went a really long time without doing that. My lynda.com subscription was as far as I was going and I wasn’t going to go to conferences and things like that and now I’m really into it. And it just makes me a better web designer and a better business owner. I mean, web design is what I do, but I run everything. I’m the everything. I’m the accountant, the whole works. So any help I can get, I’ll take.

Amy Masson:

And I think that that’s so important and people… You hear these debates about, ‘Oh, you’re not a real developer. You don’t know how to code this or code that’. And code will not run your business, writing good code is not going to bring your clients in the door. Your clients don’t care that you write good code. They care that you know how to get the job done. And part of that is knowing how to do accounting and knowing how to get new clients and all these different aspects that people forget about. And I think it’s so valuable that you invest your time into all the aspects of running a business because we are running businesses, we’re not just writing code.

Cami MacNamara:

Exactly. And time management, if you can’t manage time when you’re working on a project, you’re not going to be successful. And tools that help you manage time Calendly, I’ll never forget I was at a coworking event in downtown Seattle and a girl stood up… And I say, girl, she was like 22…. She’s like, ‘Calendly is the best thing in the whole world’, and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I love you!’. It changed my whole life, that day. Just that one sentence that she said, and I came home and I stopped sending 18 emails to try to schedule a client phone call. So anyway, it is amazing the tools that are out there for us. It’s just painstakingly hard to find the one that’s just right for you. I tried so many CRMs but you just, you have to try everything and see what works.

Angela Bowman:

Yeah, it’s great. Amy is really kind of the queen of automation. And I want her to do a presentation for my meetup remotely. Or even just have a webinar with our past participants on our podcast where it’s like, ‘Bring out your automation tools, show us what you know!”.

Amy Masson:

Well, and so many people talk about it, right and it’s great. And you get all excited and then you sit down and it’s like, ‘Oh my God, how do I set this up’? Like if somebody could make a killing with courses just on automation setup, I think that would be gold.

Cami MacNamara:

One of my hobbies is just looking for different things I can connect in Zapier. And so I will just sit there and look, and look, and look, and then I’ll post and slack, ‘What great automations do you guys have? What do guys do with Zapier?’ I’m always disappointed that I don’t get more people telling me all the great zaps they’re making.

Amy Masson:

Well yes, all I’ve had time to set up is I get a zap when somebody fills out my contact forms on my website because you know, those always go to spam and you’re like searching everywhere. And I was so excited about that. This is a great backup tool, but the amount of things you can do with Gravity Forms and Zapier.

Cami MacNamara:

Okay Amy, we need to have some… WordCamp US. Let’s do some automation, because I got some things I can show you.

Amy Masson:

I’m coming ready.

Angela Bowman:

I want to be out fly on the wall for that one.

Amy Masson:

Okay. I wanted to ask you about your work with GoDaddy and you know, I can ask this as, because somebody that also does some work with GoDaddy. I think we got started in a different way. And GoDaddy kind of has an interesting… interesting reputation in the WordPress community, something that they have been trying to fix. So how did that start for you and what is your work with them now?

Cami MacNamara:

So I’ve been a customer of theirs since 2003. I think that’s as far back as I can go and like printed receipts, they only show me going back to 2006, but I purchased domains for a client in their own account, so it wasn’t mine. I started blogging about problems I was having with Gravity Forms and GoDaddy hosting where I was not getting my form notifications, they were going into nowhere. And that led…Mendel reached out to me who was the evangelist. So that my first interaction with the people working at GoDaddy. So later I had been a managed… I started a care plan business in 2015 and I used managed WP and I had, had already had tons of people who had delegated access to me in GoDaddy pro. So I clicked a merge button and suddenly I was in the pro system and I had all kinds of problems.

Cami MacNamara:

So I sent an email to someone I can’t remember. I just reached out and I ended up on a pro council that was all about that merge. And I did that for about six months. And when that finished, I had another problem. I was in that merge and things were still a little rocky at first. And I found the web diva Lisa’s testimonial on the GoDaddy site. And I sent her a random email on him. Like, ‘Hey, I use it too!’ And ‘Let’s talk’. Well, she went to high school at the same high school my husband did in California. She and I have almost the same business. And anyway, we hit it off and she invited me to be on…or she hooked me up with Rachel who invited me to be on the pro council.

Cami MacNamara:

The council I was on for the managed WP ProSites merger ended and I was having problems. So I found Lisa…she had a testimonial or something and I sent her a random email. It just so happened that she is from the bay area, my husband’s from the bay area and that she went to the same high school as he did. We just hit it off because we really have the same clientele and it’s just us doing our business. And she worked with Genesis and again, we just had so much in common.

Cami MacNamara:

So she reached out to Rachel and I was added to the pro council that Amy’s on. And like a month later, I’m in Phoenix for the pro summit which was score. I mean, I’m a small business owner, nobody flies me anywhere. So through that experience and being on the pro council, somebody reached out to me and said, “We want to have a web pro ambassador, would you be willing to do this for us as the first one at Seattle”? And I’m like, “Sure, I’m going to be there anyway”. So they sent me GoDaddy t-shirts and I worked in the sponsor booth talking to people about pro sites and pro clients, which I use every day, had a great time. I hit it off with everybody that was working there to the point where they’re like, are you sure you don’t work for…? It was just, it was nice to be with people, I work by myself. So I really loved that.

Cami MacNamara:

And from there, I have been to a couple of internal events for them as a customer…that any customer service rep can talk to. So they have like little trade shows internally, and I went to both Arizona and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. And went to two call centers and met hundreds of people and said, “Hi, I’m Cami, I really don’t work for GoDaddy”. Like 80,000 times.

Cami MacNamara:

But its been a fun partnership. They sent me to WordCamp last year, US, and I’m going with them this year again, too. So it’s the friendships that we make on that council. Like Amy… Amy and I met in person, went to happy hour at a friends wine bar here in Kirkland. And it’s just been phenomenal. I love having like a community and I learn so much about different businesses that way, too.

Amy Masson:

Yes. I can confirm that I got started with the council actually in, I think 2014, the person that contacted me was just a random email from somebody that doesn’t even work there anymore. And he was like I’m interested in talking to you about GoDaddy. And I’m like, I don’t like GoDaddy, and he’s like, we know. And it was really about, they wanted to turn their reputation around with small boutique web agencies like ours and just wanted to talk to us. And I’m like, well, what’s in it for me. And he’s like, nothing really. And so I’m like, okay. So I joined and you know, every two weeks we did it for six months, it was every two weeks we got together and I made some really good friendships. And what I can say is that I’ve met some really, really great people at GoDaddy. People that have supported me and been very, very good friends. And while I may not always like their products 100%, I know that are working, they’re listening to our feedback. They’re working to make him better, and I think they’re valuing the information we’re giving them.

Cami MacNamara:

Yeah. I agree wholeheartedly, I’ve had ups and downs with them. There’s certain areas that aren’t the best for my business, but they still could be good for somebody else who am I to judge. But the tools that I use that are great are great, right? Like ProSites is great. Being able to access a client account in one place and get into all my client’s accounts. Great. You know, time saver. And my experience is, the people that work there are fantastic. And every time I’ve worked with them, I just feel like part of the team, which…that doesn’t always happen. I worked in corporate, I worked in corporate retail. So my job before this was an allocation analyst at J Jacobs and Eddie Bower and a different climate. Yes, it was a nice, and I’m still friends with everybody, but people didn’t walk around as happy as everybody is at GoDaddy. They’re really stoked to work for them. So that’s a big plus.

Amy Masson:

So yeah, I got to meet Adam Warner at WordCamp Denver this summer. Oh my gosh. And then… Oh, another woman who was with him, who’s new and I just loved hanging out with them. They were just fun people.

Cami MacNamara:

Yes!

Amy Masson:

Yes, I literally… [crosstalk 00:26:18]

Cami MacNamara:

[crosstalk 00:26:18] Warm, very warm. Yes!

Amy Masson:

At WordCamp US, I was the first person to get to the booth that morning because I was so excited. I worked… I never went to one talk at WordCamp US. I worked that booth the entire time. And it was because it was exhilarating. I was having a great time. They had like 30 people on their team there. And it was… I got to meet so many interesting people at WordCamp. Everything from the agency owner to the family of three that was blogging their RV trip across the United States.

Amy Masson:

And then there was like an 80 something year old man who had a thousand domains. You just don’t get to experience that anywhere else. So this year I’m hoping to make it to a talk or two. It has just been a real highlight of my career to be able to connect with so many other people in the industry from other places I don’t feel so alone.

Angela Bowman:

Yes, I would love to take a few minutes and think if we could just talk about the isolation of being an at home employee or worker. I’ve been working at home since 2006, before that I was a stay-at-home mom, which is also very isolating. And I think coming into… I didn’t go to my first WordCamp until 2013. So I was really alone during all that time. And I think there are a lot of other people out there that are also…you feel that kind of loneliness of being alone and how getting involved in the community can really make a difference.

Cami MacNamara:

Well for me everything I did revolved around my kid. And so all the jobs that I were getting were from parents at little league game or anything else. But I think that what people don’t understand about running a home business is you can’t run your home and run your business. You have to shut that off. You can’t do laundry and clean the kitchen and you stay focused. Like I really come into my office and close the door. I talk to my dog a lot, because he’s here. But it is very isolating.

Cami MacNamara:

And BNI is really what got me thinking that I need to get more involved in the WordPress community because just being part of a business group that met once a week, got me out of my sweatpants. Because I’m just working behind the computer and made me to feel like a business owner. I don’t think that you feel like a business owner when you’re so closed up at home and you know, it’s like people don’t give you respect in that either. Like it’s like, oh Cami, can, can you pick me up at the airport? You don’t have a job. Well no, I can’t pick you… This was before Uber…people used to ask that.

Amy Masson:

Oh yeah. And then can you watch my kid for an hour while I go to an appointment?

Cami MacNamara:

And can you, can you pick them up from practice it’s in the middle of the day and I can’t leave my job and it’s like, no, I have a job I’m working my tail off every day at home. So I think it’s so important for people to be in whatever community they’re working in. And knowing that the WordPress communities out there for meetups and you can get help from people. It’s just so beneficial. I don’t know that it’s great for growing your business. Like I know a lot of people show up and they’re like, I’m going to help the DIYer and they’re going to hire me. I’ve never felt that way. I’ve always felt like I just wanted to show up to build a sense of community and maybe I can help somebody else and learn something along the way. But I feel like the meetup, the people that come to meet up that are there to really like drive business are going to be a little disappointed because it’s really more about community building than anything else.

Amy Masson:

Yes I feel that way too. Yes, because I started leading our local meetup group and I had a small meetup group before that of professionals and it did…it was awesome. But the main meetup is a lot bigger. And I thought this is a lot of work to do meetup, but it’s been so fulfilling because we’re bringing outside people, we brought in the whole design team from Jetpack. We brought in the product manager from [inaudible 00:30:50], we had Centigrid come in just to be able to even for me, selfishly, to get speakers and people in that I want to learn from.

Cami MacNamara:

Yeah.

Cami MacNamara:

Unity part is huge. I feel like there’s just so much nurturing and caring.

Amy Masson:

Yeah. And it’s rewarding to give. I think a lot of people forget how rewarding it could be to help that person who just discovered WordPress and we’ve been doing it for so long that you forget how exciting it is to get your logo in there right!

Amy Masson:

And the DIY people, they need help. And we have a help desk that I volunteer at every now and then. That’s probably one of the things I do most, they have a freelancer group that I went to that for a while to meet with other freelancers. And that was really useful too, because everybody’s at different levels in their business and you know, there’s somebody above me that can help me. And there’s somebody below me that I can help. So it’s a huge plus. I’m so glad I picked WordPress and not blogger.

Cami MacNamara:

Right.

Angela Bowman:

Or Joomla!

Amy Masson:

Joomla, yes. Or Drupal… Or anything…interesting…

Cami MacNamara:

I went to a Drupal meetup once…

Amy Masson:

Oh really?

Cami MacNamara:

Yes, it was…

Amy Masson:

How was that?

Cami MacNamara:

Was scary. Like there’s this group of people and essentially I came away with realizing if you want to build a Drupal site, you’ve got to like have 15 people to work on it because it’s so complicated. And I thought that that was a good way to go. Like they did user role management better and different content types and stuff like that. And I’m like, if I really want to be a nerd, I should use Drupal and I walked away like, “Yeah, no, that’s not going to happen”. Yeah.

Amy Masson:

Well, and then the problem is that your clients can’t use it either. So that’s why I think most of us ended up on WordPress. But back to the community part, the first few WordCamps I went to was all about learning things I needed to run my business and figuring out how to run my business better. And now when I go back, it’s all about hanging out with my people. And it didn’t used to be like that. Because before I went to WordCamp it was just Twitter. Twitter’s where I had my friends, my nerd friends. And now I have my nerd friends at WordCamps. And so it’s like a reunion every time and I have so much fun and I just can’t wait for WordCamp US this year, which this episode’s going to air after it, but still I’m looking forward to it.

Cami MacNamara:

Yes, I can’t wait. I was supposed to do another event for GoDaddy in August and I broke my ankle and I’m going to be in a boot about two weeks before Word Camp US. So it’s more than just a trip for me. It’s going to be some freedom. Cause I’m really home bound right now. And you know, I’m like counting the days.

Amy Masson:

Well, I hope they’re going to have a stool for you behind the booth and let you go sit down a little bit because I know even if you be out of the booth, it’s still probably going to be tough.

Cami MacNamara:

I’m sure they’ll take good care of me.

Angela Bowman:

I’m sure.

Cami MacNamara:

Yes, I’m trying to figure out how I could incorporate the boot into a Halloween costume. I haven’t quite figured it out yet.

Angela Bowman:

Oh, that’s right. It’s going to be Halloween.

Cami MacNamara:

Yeah.

Angela Bowman:

I think on that topic of like connecting with our friends and our cohort, when we ‘re at the WordCamps, we always have to remember that there are those other people who haven’t found those people yet. And to really reach out to anyone who looks alone or is sitting quietly on the sidelines like, ‘Would you like to join us at our table or at lunch’? Because we’re so excited to maybe see each other and forget that it can be a very isolating experience even to try to participate in community.

Amy Masson:

I didn’t talk to anybody at my first WordCamp, just the people I went with. I didn’t talk to anybody else until the very end of the second day, I was just terrified of exposing my ineptitude. So I didn’t want to, you talk to other people. So this is going to air after WordCamp US or else I tell everybody, “Hey, come talk to me”. So maybe I don’t make a shirt or something that says talk to me.

Cami MacNamara:

Yes, well thinking about it, they should honestly, in the sponsors area have a first time word booth and have people like us in it and have people that are brand new, come up and just talk because now that I’ve worked in the sponsor area, there is so much action going on in the sponsor area of people needing and talking and sharing ideas that you don’t get to do when you’re in a session because you’re all learning from the session. But you know, that could be asked me anything booth or whatever. We’d have to have a bunch of different levels of users in there, but it could be cool.

Angela Bowman:

Well, they always have like that help desk. Yeah. Women in WP booth. I love it. We should all have t-shirts. We got to design the t-shirts, but, but they are supposed to have this community track for WordCamp US. And it’ll be interesting to see how that goes. And maybe that’s something we should propose to them is having that, the welcome newcomer kind of place the just say hi, ask me anything.

Amy Masson:

Yeah I just want to hear your story and people love to talk about what’s going on in their world with WordPress. Whether it’s ‘I love this’ or ‘I’m so frustrated with this’ and you know, it all comes out in the sponsor area.

Angela Bowman:

It was so great. Traci interviewed like 11 women from nine different countries at WordCamp Europe in one hour. And there was just, there was a woman who she interviewed who was just, I don’t know if it was her first word camp. It might have been where she was just a blogger…and saying just a blogger, it’s not that she’s just a blogger… But I’m sure it was probably a thing for her. Like, ‘Wow, I’m going to be on a podcast!’

Amy Masson:

Bob Dunn interviewed me at the Portland one, that was my first podcast experience. And there are things that just kind of make the event for you. And it’s usually some kind of connection that you’re making there. I think that the women in WordPress booths is a great idea.

Cami MacNamara:

And that’s where we can have our women and word press after dark.

Angela Bowman:

Oh yeah. That would be great. I’m still waiting for you guys to do another happy hour. I was out of town the last time you did that.

Amy Masson:

So that’s coming at WordCamp US, there’s going to be an in-person happy hour. We don’t have all the details we worked out yet, but it’s in the planning. So of course people listening, sorry, it’s already happened, but Cami, you know now.

Cami MacNamara:

Okay, perfect. Perfect.

Angela Bowman:

You spoke about in your email, all the dudes Talk to us about all the dudes. And do you feel like that’s balancing out? Do you feel like particularly… I mean, there’s a lot of probably different types of conferences you go to,

Cami MacNamara:

Right? Well, yeah. This goes back to working in the corporate retail setting. The IT department was all dudes. And I was now a cache analyst so I was working with a database and all this stuff and I just, I remember the feeling of like, oh, you don’t know what you’re talking about happening quite a bit. And I went to… My first conference was An Event Apart, that’s Jeffrey Zeldman. And I was just blown away because somebody gave me a free ticket here in Seattle. It’s like an $1,800 conference. And I walk in, I’m like one of the oldest people there except for the people that are speaking and it was at least 75% guys and 25% women and most of them in their twenties.

Cami MacNamara:

So I felt a little out fish out of water. I’d been to WordCamp before and it seemed a little bit more even, but over time I feel like WordCamp is getting more and more even. I feel like women are entering this job market faster than for all the same reasons we did. You know, I want something I can do from home because I’m a mom. And so I feel like it’s evening out, but it has a long way to go. I don’t know that I make as much money as my male counterparts. I think that’s true across all industries and jobs, but it is more comforting to go to WordCamp and not to be one of the older women…only women and older women. Like I’m meeting more and more women that are in their forties and fifties. And I feel so comfortable in that community.

Angela Bowman:

And did you notice that the speaker lineup for WordCamp US this year is I think equal men and women.

Cami MacNamara:

Yeah, that’s great too!

Angela Bowman:

In the week when they announced. I was noticing that the photos were…it was even, and I’m like, somebody really thought about that, somebody put time into choosing the speakers so that it would be half and half. It was not like that at the first WordCamp US in Philadelphia, for sure.

Cami MacNamara:

Yeah. And you know, I’m just noticing… I go to other conferences too, I went to like a marketing conference here in Seattle. I’m trying to pick up ones that are right here in Seattle, because it’s easy to go to. And you know, generally speaking, compared to five years ago, you definitely see an increase in women and it’s exciting to see young women that are starting their own businesses and stuff. It’s great!

Amy Masson:

Yeah.

Cami MacNamara:

Yeah. I was just at PressNomics and it was mostly men because it’s kind of this higher level, plug-in developers, theme developers, people are making big money with WordPress, but it’s unfortunately, like you said, it’s the men, the plug-in developers and the hosting companies and things like that. And, and there was just very few women. So at the very end of that conference, when they had like this Q and A session, the women spoke up and said, you got to do something about this. Like there, there needs to not just a passive initiative to bring more women to the conferences. So really have to make it intentional, kind of put a committee together for it and you know, make some plans around strategy around like how do we, how do we make that happen?

Angela Bowman:

Well, and I know from Twitter, there were plenty of women in attendance because I follow all that stuff on the weekend. I’m kind of one of those people that I attend conferences via Twitter from my couch on the weekend.

Cami MacNamara:

There were women tweeting about it. But at the actual conference, because I was there. It was maybe 12, 15% women.

Angela Bowman:

Oh whoa. That’s low. Yeah.

Cami MacNamara:

Yeah. It’s pretty low.

Amy Masson:

Let me ask you your opinion on this. What do you think about how the WordCamps are always on weekends?

Cami MacNamara:

Yeah. I mean I’m, I am flexible with it being whenever in some instances it would be nicer if they were like regular conferences and during the week. None of the other conferences that I attend are on the weekend, but I’ve also often wondered if that’s because so many of us are working and the Monday through Friday is our time to make money. And the weekend is the time to go places. I always think I should to be taking advantage of this for tax write off or travel. I never do that. I should be going to WordCamp Miami. Why am I not doing that? To me it doesn’t make or break it, but it does seem like they could make it more flexible. Like if that worked for the community that was putting it on, it might be cheaper in Seattle to have it at the convention center Monday through Thursday or Monday and Tuesday or whatever, than it is to rent the place on the weekend. I don’t know.

Angela Bowman:

Maybe it’s because WordPress users sometimes are those bloggers and they might have day jobs…

Cami MacNamara:

Exactly.

Angela Bowman:

Not self-employed people like we are they’re the community that isn’t available during the week.

Cami MacNamara:

Or they are self-employed they just don’t hire us. Right. Like I met so many people that are do DIYers. I mean, people that have their own personal blog or they’re a lawyer… Those people are attending WordCamp too. And it seems like the attendance for WordCamp really doesn’t have a cap on it. If you started opening it up or advertising it more to the end user versus the producer.

Amy Masson:

Yeah. I’ve always wondered about the goal of why they’re always on the weekends, they never mix it up. And for me, as somebody that got into this business so that I would have more time with my family, I don’t necessarily always want to leave on the weekends when it’s family time to go to this conference when I would rather take… That’s a work conference, I want to go and do it while I’m working. But I do, I do understand the other side of it, but they never mix it up. It’s always weekends.

Cami MacNamara:

Right.

Cami MacNamara:

Yes, and I’ve been on the leadership for running WordCamp briefly for a couple of months, until I figured out it was going to be like five hours a week or something like, oh my God, I’m sorry guys. But you know, they run the different communities through the same steps. Right. And I just wonder if in there it says pick a weekend versus you can have it any day of the week. They may stipulate that.

Amy Masson:

I think that they….

Angela Bowman:

Because you’re right, its never any other time. It’s always on a weekend.

Amy Masson:

Well with that said before we go, it’s been wonderful having you here today. Can you tell everybody where they can find you online?

Cami MacNamara:

Sure. So my business website is webcami.com. I’ve owned it since like 2000 and I started a second little blog, called WebCami Cafe and I’m just trying to build up some content for myself and share how I started my business. And I have a little Facebook group with that too. So webcami, and also on Twitter. I own @webcami for everything. So Instagram, you can check all of those out. And my web website, webcami.com will lead you anywhere you need to go.

Angela Bowman:

It’s been so great to talk to you and how much we have in common.

Cami MacNamara:

Yeah, I love the podcast. I am inspired every time I listen to it. And I’m just so happy that I was there from the beginning when Amy posted on Twitter, ‘Who thinks this is a good idea’.

Amy Masson:

Yeah. And I thought nobody would listen. I thought nobody was interested.

Angela Bowman:

All right. Well thanks so much for being on.

Cami MacNamara:

Yeah. Thanks for having me. And I know this will air later, but I’ll see you all at WordCamp US and thank you for the opportunity. I’m just happy to be part of your community.

Speaker 1:

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