Justin Ferriman Speaker Interview


Justin Ferriman

Justin Ferriman is the co-founder of Ann Arbor based LearnDash, a WordPress based LMS and Learning Strategy provider. His background involves implementing large-scale training programs for Fortune 500 companies.

Justin will be presenting “Results Guarantee: Simple Formula for Generating More Leads Than You Can Handle For Your Product or Service” at 10:00am in Room D and will also be participating in the “Building a WordPress Business” panel at 1:30pm in the Vandenberg Room.

Why do you use WordPress?

There are many reasons why I use WordPress, but if I were to sum up the main reason with one word, it would be “limitless”. If you can imagine it, chances are you can make it happen with WordPress. If I am in need of functionality, there is probably a plugin for it. If not, then the community provides the tools.

When and how did you start using WordPress?

I started using WordPress when I was in undergrad. I heard everyone talking about “blogs” so I decided to check them out. It wasn’t long until I found WordPress.com and opened an account. I was hooked.

Give an example of a cool WordPress project you have worked on recently.

Roughly 18 months after our initial release of LearnDash, we released version 2.0, which was essentially a complete overhaul of how the entire software was configured from the back-end. From start to finish it took four to five months to release. It was stressful, frustrating, and extremely rewarding all at once. Looking back, there were a lot of lessons learned from the experience. We did some things good, and we messed up others. There wasn’t much sleep for us during that time, but when the dust settled, we were proud of what we had accomplished.

What is your favorite part of WordCamps?

Hearing the stories of how other people use WordPress. No other software spans such a large number of industries and has the variety of use-cases.

What advice do you have for anyone looking to start or grow a WordPress based business?

Whatever your idea, make sure you do proper market research. Not only is it free, but you will either save yourself a lot more time & money down the road, or you will maximize the position of your product/service if you do decide to move forward.

You don’t need to create a full business-plan, but you should at the very least generate profiles on possible competitors, segment your customer-base, and clearly define your unique selling proposition based on the data you obtain.

Name someone in the WordPress community who inspires you.

I really admire what Seth Shoultes and Garth Koyle are doing with their plugin Event Espresso – from marketing to its design.

What has been your biggest WordPress related accomplishment to date?

Starting and growing LearnDash.

Fill in the blank for other attendees: “If you __________ then you should come talk to me at WordCamp”.

If you are in the pre-launch phase of your WordPress business or service, then you should talk to me at WordCamp. I think one of the reasons why we have seen success in our business is because we prepared for nearly a year prior to the launch.

What should someone learn before attending your talk at WordCamp Ann Arbor?

There isn’t anything to know before-hand. I think if you have a passion to start or grow your business, you will find find one or two things of value :)

What is your favorite WordPress related resource?

The plugin directory. I’m always amazed at what I find on there!

Where can we find you online?

I blog quite often on all things elearning on the LearnDash blog.

You can also connect with me on LinkedIn or @ justinferriman.com.