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Case Study: Cheryl Hock

A Former Virtual Assistant, Cheryl Now Confidently Advertises Herself As A Web Developer

Cheryl Hock

https://cherylhock.com/

Got her investment back in about three months, over three small projects

“If you want to learn anything about WordPress, you should connect with Julia Taylor.”

Cheryl had a little green sticky note on the corner of her desk with Julia’s name for over a year. 

As someone who takes a lot of online courses and is always looking to improve her skills, Cheryl didn’t have the capacity at the time to start another training. She doesn’t really remember who or where, but someone told her to look for Julia if she wanted to learn more about WordPress, so she wrote this down for when the time came. 

About one year later, she was ready to jump in - so she googled Julia’s name and started her journey with WP Rockstar. 

"One of my favorite things about WP Rockstar is all of the support that we get when we're in the program and it's just amazing. I feel like it's really unlike anything else out there. I've done a lot of different programs online and in person, but I feel like I'm well versed in online trainings and the support of the team, but also of the community. I feel like both of those pieces coming together are just so valuable."

Cheryl has been in the online world for a long time, she was a part-time Virtual Assistant for 10 years before she joined the program. Since her kids are now a bit older and she has more time to dedicate to work, she wanted to find something new to try, and more challenging. 

By starting the course and learning to code, Cheryl got the confidence to change her title and tell everyone she’s now a Web Developer. 

"Even though I didn't go to school for this, I don't have a degree for this. I'm a web developer because WP Rockstar taught me all that I need to be a developer."

She loved coding and learning web development skills, and she no longer advertises herself as a Virtual Assistant.

"But then I found GeekPack and WP Rockstar and now I'm a web developer. I don't advertise myself as a virtual assistant anymore. Now I advertise as a web developer, and that's really the confidence GeekPack and WP Rockstar gave me, and also the skills."

After joining the course, Cheryl started taking on some small maintenance projects and she made her investment back in about 3 months. She had other projects going on at the same time, otherwise, she believes she could’ve made her investment back in about a month. 

"I think if that had been my sole focus, one month, no problem."

She found clients through Facebook groups, by answering questions and offering help on posts. Her first $1,000 as a Web Developer happened over three small projects.

"The reason for that was that I picked up several different small, more like maintenance jobs rather than building a whole website. So if I had started out with the whole website, definitely would have been one client because I would have charged more than $1,000."

What stood out to her about WP Rockstar is how well-researched and evidence-based the teaching is. She felt like there was a reason for everything she learned, and she really appreciates how it was all explained. 

"I really appreciated how the teaching is very evidence-based, almost like best practice, very researched. It's not an opinion. "

Now, Cheryl wants to advertise her services to Web Designers and focus more on the development side of building a website.

Cheryl highly recommends WP Rockstar and is excited to welcome new students to the community! 

"The investment compared to what you get out of it is really so minimal. I know the investment can feel big upfront, but really one project, even one small project and you've already made more than your investment back.

So I would say just jump in. There are so many of us waiting to help you, support you, encourage you, and we would just love to have you join."

If you, like Cheryl, want to learn something new and find something you’re passionate about, 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 the WP Rockstar?

So it's a little bit of a long story how I found out about WP Rockstar, or maybe not a long story, but a long journey. I don't remember who, but somewhere along the way, somebody either mentioned Julia's name or I read her name somewhere I'm not sure in connection with. If you want to learn anything about WordPress, you should connect with Julia Taylor. And so I wrote that on this little green sticky note, and it was on the corner of my desk for over a year. I try to be really careful about not overloading on courses and that sort of thing. So I had other things going at the time and it wasn't quite the right time. And so I really had no idea who Julia was about. And she was a WordPress expert. So I heard and I didn't know what she offered. I didn't know if she offered a course. I didn't know she was like on YouTube. I really had no idea. I just knew that when I wanted to pursue WordPress, I needed to remember that name. And so that's really what happened. It sat on my desk for over a year and then last fall, when it was just time to take the next step, I googled Julia Taylor. I really had no idea she was 20 or 89 and there was the lovely Julia to learn and learn all the things she offers about GeekPack and WP Rockstar. And that was kind of the beginning of me jumping in.

What was your life like before you joined WP Rockstar?

So before I was in WP Rockstar, I actually was in the online space for quite a long time. I started working as a virtual assistant in 2011 and I did that for almost ten years. I did it very part time because I wanted to be a stay at home mom, but I also wanted to contribute and needed to contribute to our income. And so I did virtual assisting because I could kind of fit it in and around my kids schedules and their needs and that kind of thing. And then as my youngest was getting ready to head off to kindergarten and I knew I would have more time during the day, I just wanted to find something a little more challenging mentally, something new. I had been doing admin work for ten years and so that was kind of the lead into trying a few different things. And I came upon web development and I really loved it. And so it was a very slow sort of change from before. WP Rockstar, who now are very gradual, but it was a really great ramp into it.

And you started like really early on, it wasn't really the time when remote work was a thing. How was that? Was it easy to find clients?

Yeah. When I started as a virtual assistant, I really stumbled into the work. I just connected with somebody locally who needed a little bit of help in her office. She was an entrepreneur, but didn't have the capacity or the need for somebody full time. And so I just worked from home and met up with her every once in a while. And then from there it expanded to a few others. And mostly for those ten years I worked locally with small businesses. It wasn't so much an online thing, but I was able to do all of my work online and didn't really have to meet up with them or spend time away from home, ever.

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

Taking the course and being part of the GeekPack community has really changed how I view what I can offer. So I worked as a virtual assistant for many years and then as I was looking for other things, I sort of transitioned for a little while, maybe just into higher level VA work, some more tech things and some specialties and that kind of thing. And I did take a virtual assistant course, which really helped with that. But coming out of that, I would have never called myself a web developer. But then I found GeekPack and WP Rockstar and now I'm a web developer. I don't advertise myself as a virtual assistant anymore. Now I advertise or you know, my name is as a web developer, and that's really the confidence GeekPack and WP Rockstar gave, and also the skills. Of course, I didn't have all the skills I needed before, but also just the confidence to say, Oh yeah. Even though I didn't go to school for this, I don't have a degree for this. I'm a web developer because WP Rockstar taught me all that I need to be a developer.

Did you have any experience as a freelancer or building websites prior to joining WP Rockstar? 

Prior to joining WP Rockstar? I had quite a bit of experience as a freelancer. I have been freelance, just virtual assistant work for about ten years, but not very much related to websites. Now I did take a virtual assistant course in 2020, about two years ago, and it touched a little bit on building websites. It touched on a lot of different things, kind of giving excuses, giving options of different things I could do. And so a little bit of information on building websites. And so I tried a little bit at that. It was very much drag and drop. And so not the coding aspect. There was a little bit of exercise in there to customize it a little bit, but I really did not have any background coding at all.

Have you ever had any contact with coding before the course or did you feel intimidated by it?

Before WP Rockstar I really didn't know anything about coding. I had seen CSS just a little bit in a few months previous, but HTML was just a completely different language to me. It was not anything I had ever been interested in before. I didn't think it was. I didn't understand it. If I would have looked at a piece of code, it would have been like a different language to me. Yeah, I just really didn't know anything about it. It was completely new code.

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

After I enrolled in WP Rockstar? I think it took me about three months to earn back my investment, but I will add to that and say I was doing some other work at the same time and I was also trying to only work part time because I'm also a stay at home mom. And so it took me three months. But I think if that had been my sole focus one month, no problem. Also, yeah, it's like for everybody's a different journey I guess. Like, yeah, I know everybody wants to have that, but I. Feel like, say three months but. But yeah. Three months. It's just that I had so many priorities.

Can you talk a little bit about how you made your first thousand dollars like it was one project for two and how did you find this client?

After I jumped into WP Rockstar and felt like I learned enough and I was looking for some clients, my first $1,000 that I earned back was from several different clients. The reason for that was that I picked up several different small, more like maintenance jobs rather than building a whole website. So if I had started out with the whole website, definitely would have been one client because I would have charged more than $1,000. But I participate in some Facebook groups online, just answering questions, that sort of thing. And I'm in a group with some course creators. And so my very first project after phase two was building a landing page for somebody right on their WordPress website. They already had their site, just needed a landing page with an opt in connected to their email system and all of that. So that was one project. And then for that very same client, she was just having some issues on her website. Actually, when I went in to do her landing page, she was complaining about a slow site and I noticed that her plugins weren't being updated. Her theme was outdated. She was on a very outdated PHP, that sort of thing. So I just proposed to her that I really could fix her, her site, speed issues and all of that. Probably if we would just update everything and bring it up to speed. So I did some maintenance on her site. And then the third project they brought me, just over $1,000 was somebody else who actually I think, can I connect with them through aGeekPack. I think they listed their job in the Weekly Geekly newsletter and she had a sales page on the funnel platform and she had tried to move it over to Elementor, but it wasn't finished and she needed somebody to finish it. So that one took a lot of what I learned in WP Rockstar to finish that because she wanted it to look exactly like it had looked on the funnel builder. So lots of coding to get all the details just right, but that was a really fun one and that's what took me over $1,000.

How much time on average did you put into the course?

I was going through? WP Rockstar I think on average I probably spent about 30 to 60 minutes a day. I would say probably about four, maybe five days a week, but probably not usually five days a week. So I tried to set aside an hour a day during my working week to do it, but varied a little bit depending on how my work schedule was and also what part of the training I was in and how much time into upsells.

Did you feel supported when going through the Rockstar and being part of the geek community?

One of my favorite things about WP Rockstar is all of the support that we get when we're in the program and it's just amazing and I feel like it's really unlike anything else out there. I've done a lot of different programs online and in person, but I feel like I'm well versed in online trainings and the support of the team, but also of the community. I feel like both of those pieces coming together are just so valuable. So any time I had a question like there's the Facebook group to post it and there's always multiple people responding and giving ideas and encouraging, but also anything more like technical, you know, trying to get into my course or anything with that. If I email the Help team and their response time is just unmatched, it's so fast, they're so helpful, so kind. Yeah, I feel like that is just one of the best parts ofWP Rockstar.

What are your future plans?

So now that I am working through WP Rockstar and the end is in sight. I'm excited just to continue growing a web development business. What I've learned through WP Rockstar is that, well, I can build from the ground up. My very favorite thing is to partner with a designer. Somebody else can come up with what looks pretty and if they just hand me a mockup, I love to build it. So I'm really excited as I develop more ability, ease in coding and customization and all of that, to really market myself more to designers rather than to people actually looking for a website. And I really want to build a business based on serving designers and building out their designs for them. So we'll see how it goes. But that's what I want to do. I think that would be really fun.

What stood out to you about WP Rockstar?

Something that I noticed while I've been in the WP Rockstar and GeekPack, I really appreciated how the teaching is very evidence based, almost like best practice, very researched. It's not an opinion. I think sometimes when I can learn from others who are more designers rather than developers, and not that designers don't have, you know, sort of evidence based, but I just have really appreciated how in the way WP Rockstar really talked about the methods and you would do this because of this, or you need to do this because of optimization or because of SEO or because of accessibility. Just all those things sort of have made sense rather than just this is what makes a webpage look pretty. So I really appreciate that kind of well rounded approach to all that information.

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

If you're not sure if you want to join WP Rockstar or not, I would say first do the five day coding challenge. If you haven't done it, if you have and you loved it even just a tiny bit, just jump in. The investment compared to what you get out of it is really so minimal. I know the investment can feel big upfront, but really one project, even one small project and you've already made more than your investment back. So I would say just jump in. There are so many of us waiting to help you, support you, encourage you, and we would just love to have you join.

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