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Case Study: Caitlin Harrison

From $500 Websites To $8,000 Projects | Caitlin Changed Her Life Completely With WP Rockstar!

Caitlin Harrison

https://caitlinharrisoncreative.com/

Caitlin had the confidence to quit her job within a month of joining WP Rockstar!

“I bought the course in September and I quit my job in October. So it very much gave me the confidence that I could do this and that I didn't need to wait it out much longer.”

Caitlin was working full-time as a graphic designer for print magazines, but she was ready to pivot and do something different. 

She wanted to take her design skills online, but she didn’t know how.

She was looking through some free resources for virtual assistants when she came across Julia and the free coding challenge. 

She decided to do the challenge and was really surprised to find that coding was not as hard as she thought it would be.

“It just felt like it was super hard to understand and to learn and it turns out it's not…. And I kept thinking I couldn't do it. But that's not true.”

She had some experience freelancing in New York City and she had some basic knowledge of WordPress. She wanted to learn how to build websites from start to finish and how to actually make freelancing work in the online world. 

She dove into the course, and it took Caitlin about three months to make her investment back. 

“I took like a super small client first. But by that second project I had more than made back the investment.”

Her first clients were people that she already knew, either family members or referred by family members. This is exactly why we encourage students to change their title as soon as they join WP Rockstar. 

“I find a lot of my clients through word of mouth, and that's still true today, two and a half years later. And so my first couple of clients were all people that were in my world.”

Caitlin now offers not only web development but also high-end branding. She loves being the visual arm of the businesses she works with.

And this is an amazing example of how you can combine existing skills and past experience with a new entrepreneurship journey!

Caitlin plans on scaling soon and start hiring help. And when she’s ready, she’ll look for that in the Rockstar Community!

“That's really the best place to look.”

In her opinion, one of the best things about WP Rockstar is the community. The fact that you have other people learning along with you and they’re more than ready to help.

“And so that's what really stood out for me is that I wasn't going to be alone.”

She felt really supported going through the course and she knew she could say yes to projects, because she had a whole community to ask all of her questions.

“And it really felt that the way that Julia was explaining things throughout the course, it demystified a lot of the overwhelm when it comes to website building.”

From when she started to now, Caitlin has increased her average website build price by more than 5x.

“My first project was $500, which is crazy. I did get it up to averaging about $1,500 for a little while, but now on average my websites cost about $8,000.”

The course stood out to her as it’s a step-by-step on how to go from zero to hero web developer, with all the tools, templates and different ways you can get started. 

“If you're really thinking that you want to make a big change in your life, just do it because you will make the money back like tenfold. If not more”

The best part about community is that it can expand infinitely, and you end up meeting more and more people that can help you get through the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. 

“I found the nice corner of the Internet to get started. And so I highly recommend it because there's a lot of jerks out there. And I was one of the lucky ones that found such a genuine, kindhearted course creator with a group.”

Caitlin's number one tip to anyone who wants to learn a new skill is to commit. To take a little bit of time each day to really focus on learning, but don’t get stuck in the learning part - get out there and actually do it! 

“This got me on my path to where I am today. And I couldn't be more grateful for having found Julia and just the guidance that came with this.”

And we absolutely LOVE having Caitlin in the community, watching and celebrating all of her amazing success.

If you, like Caitlin, would love to pivot and start working remotely, we’d also love to support you through this journey!

The Ultimate Training for Website Building (a la WordPress) + Community + Business Badassery for The Next Generation of Geeks (even if you suck at math and tech, or think you’re too old)

Transcript

How did you find out about WP Rockstar? 

I had started to follow some various free resources for virtual assistants. And I believe Julia paired up with Esther. And then I found the free coding challenge via some free Facebook groups.

What was your life like before you joined WP Rockstar? 

So I was working full time as a graphic designer, creative director for print magazines, and I was that it was the summer of 2020 and I was looking to do something different and find something different to do and really make a big pivot.

So I didn't know what that was going to look like. And I had been helping update WordPress sites at the magazine, but like I had never built one from scratch. So like, I had been knowing that I could probably take my design skills online, but I didn't know what to do because print seemed to be such a more limited resource in terms of what people actually needed in the market online.

What actions did you take as a result of taking the course and being part of the community?

So the actions I took after joining the course, I just looked it up. I bought the course in September and I quit my job in October. So it very much gave me the confidence that I could do this and that I didn't need to kind of wait it out much longer.

So the direct action led me to have the confidence that I could build WordPress sites for people and quit my job. 

Did you have any experience as a freelancer or building websites before the course?

So before WP Rockstar, I had done a year in between jobs where I freelanced around New York City. So I had had the experience of dropping into offices for like a week or a couple of days here and there. But I had only done that for about a year, sort of like a stopover before we were moving.

So I knew that I could freelance. And then it was just, again, just a matter of figuring out what that could be. And then I had some basic knowledge of the back end of WordPress, but where I really needed to learn was the start to finish up a website, build that. 

Did you have any experience coding or did you feel intimidated by it?

I definitely felt intimidated by coding before this. It just felt like it was super hard to understand and to learn and it turns out it's not. But because it's such a good it's like it's an old language. It just felt really intimidating. And I kept thinking I couldn't do it. But that's not true.

That's why the coding challenge was so amazing. It really shows you that it's not. Yeah, because then you could see it just like so simply. Even just with the inspect tools, like how easy it is to change things easily. 

How long did it take you to earn back your investment?

It probably took me about three months to fully earn back the investment because I sort of dove into the course and I quit my job.

I took a little bit of time and took like a super small client first. But by that second project I had more than made back the investment, you know. 

Can you talk a little bit about your first client, first project, and how you found them?

So I find a lot of my clients through word of mouth, and that's still true today two and a half years later. And so my first couple of clients were all people that were in my world. I had mentioned to my cousin that I was thinking about quitting, and she knew someone who had just said that they needed a website.

I've had other family members hire me, so it really started that way. And then the first projects were pretty small. Templated website builds with WordPress, but it really helped me kind of get a sense of that initial setup of all the pages and the posts and all that kind of stuff. So they were pretty simple and they were now, in hindsight, very undercharged and I learned with time.

Do you have any other services you offer?

So now I am a branding and web developer, so I love helping business owners kind of revamp or get started right away with a high-end brand and website combination. So really bringing to life the visuals and how they would show up online and across all the social media platforms, print if needed, things like that.

So I really like to be that visual arm of a business. 

And is it just you or have you hired someone? 

It is still just me, but hopefully within the next six months to a year, they'll at least be an assistant moving inside. Yes. I actually have a feeling that when I do need some help with some of the smaller projects and like the maintenance stuff, I was planning to poke in to GeekPack and find some people there to help me.

That's really the best place to look. 

I think one of the best things about WP Rockstar, which I think is almost your next question, but is that community and that you know, that people are learning with you in the like? I know it's possible. So I know that even people that are joining today, that would be two and a half years behind me that like they would still be just like, hi, like just like great hearts and great community and great people.

And so that's what really stood out for me is that I wasn't going to be alone. And I think that was one. I think that's super scary about coding, about quitting your job. All of that is that you feel like you're going to be alone because, I mean, I sit in my office by myself all day, but you know that there are people just like on the other side of the screen.

Did you feel supported when going through that course and being part of the community? 

I did. I really felt supported. I knew that as I was building the first couple of sites, I could pop specific questions into the group and people would answer and really try and help.

And so then you knew that you could say yes to projects because you had people that were willing to help without any hesitation. And so it just felt really supported. And it really felt that the way that Julia was explaining things throughout the course, it demystified a lot of the overwhelming when it comes to website building.

What are your future plans? 

And my future plans are to do this and keep growing and keep finding clients. Hopefully, I would love to have a subcontractor in the future that helps me manage projects, manage the websites and help out with all the little itty bitty stuff. 

I really love the big picture.

And so, you know, I continue to build this business to support my family and have the freedom that is great with being your own boss is amazing. 

How much were you charging before and how much do you charge it or a website now?

And so before like my first project was I think $500, which is crazy. I did get it up to averaging about $1,500 for a little while, but now on average my websites cost about $8,000.

Do you also offer branding and design?

Yep. And so that would sometimes include branding. It goes up and down depending on what's included.

The middle ground right now in the medium package is $8,000. 

What stood out to you about WP Rockstar? 

What stood out for me with GeekPack and WP Rockstar was the idea that it was the step by step on how to go from zero to hero. And that there's all these tools and templates and ways to just get started and really get started and get over that overwhelm of like how does it work?

What should I do? And then the community was a real big piece of it. 

But Julia is her energy and her passion just really shown through in everything that she was doing. And so it was an easy yes. 

And what would you say to someone who is on the fence about joining WP Rockstar?

If you're on the fence about joining, I would take a little bit of time and it was the first course I bought and I had been doing a lot of free resources before, but like if you want to, if you're really thinking that you want to make a big change in your life, just do it because you will make the money back like tenfold. If not more like. 

And it's just it, it set me up and it brought me into this community and the community expands. You know, it's like Julia is part of other groups that you end up meeting more people. And I was just able to be one of the lucky ones that found such a genuine, kindhearted course creator with a group.

And so I found a nice corner of the Internet to get started. And so I highly recommend it because there are a lot of jerks out there. 

What is your number one tip for someone who wants to learn a new skill? 

My number one tip is to commit. And that sounds silly, but I just take a little bit of time each day because I was super overwhelmed and have done more courses since Julia’s.

It's just a matter of blocking out some time, maybe not every day, but at least a couple of times a week and really committing to learning it. And also like you can only learn so much. And of course, you also need to go out and do it. 

So if it's if it is spec projects, pretend projects, all that kind of but really try and really build something versus just watching the content and you'll learn so much faster by getting in there breaking stuff.

And the other tip would be don't be afraid to break stuff because it will happen. 

So, you know, this got me on my path to where I am today. And I couldn't be more grateful for having found Julia and just the guidance that came with this.

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