Case Study: Erin Marie Jenkins

Erin Made Back Her Investment in Two Weeks!

Erin Marie Jenkins

Made back her investment in less than a month

Quit her job within 5 months of starting the course to become a full-time Web Developer

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.

“You really are a problem solver for people. A website is just this puzzle that you get to put together and figure out how it all works to solve your client's needs.”

Erin found out about GeekPack® through an interview Julia did with Esther Inman at the Virtual Assistant Summit. She started a side hustle as a VA and was just dipping her toes in the water, checking if she could actually make it work for her.

She’d already had some contact with website building and WordPress from her previous job as an office manager at her church. But she never got to really dive in and learn the skill, as she had other responsibilities and not enough time.

She really loved her job, but with a 1-year-old baby and a partner who worked full-time, she found herself tired, worn out and exhausted from the long daily commute.


“We didn’t want our lives to revolve around work. We wanted work to revolve around our lives. So that's what I was looking for.”

She then decided to take the FREE Coding Challenge and give this a go. 

Something was not working as it should though, and she was almost ready to throw in the towel. But before that, she decided to send GeekPack® an email and ask for help.

Julia responded to her email personally, and together they figured out what the issue was and how to fix it.

“Her personal touch in that, really caring, making sure that you're successful on what you're trying to do and like, it's okay to be frustrated. I was - Wow, I can really feel like that would be a safe place for me to continue learning this.”

By joining GeekPack® and WP Rockstar, Erin had the confidence to change her title and share on social media that she was a Web Developer. This simple act landed her first web design client. 

A friend reached out two weeks later saying they were looking for somebody to build a WordPress site for the charity they worked with in London. She wasn’t far into the content, but she knew she had the resources and a supportive community behind her, so she said yes!

She charged $1,800 for her first build, meaning she earned back her investment in the course (and some more) within 2 weeks of joining WP Rockstar! 

She was nervous, but decided to put in her notice and go into her online business full-time.

“I knew there were other people doing what I was trying to do and they're being successful.”

And this leap of faith actually landed her first retainer client.

When she decided to quit, her boss offered to hire her as a freelancer, so she could keep doing some of her job in digital marketing, but from home.

Erin was very impressed with how committed the GeekPack® team is to making sure the students were successful. From reaching out for help on their behalf, to recording personalized short tutorials, she could always get help - even when the team didn’t know the exact answer.

“And to really go above and beyond to answer my question or at least point me in that direction of where I could find the answer. Because, you know, we can't know all things knowable, but I can at least point you to where I think you'll find the answer.”

Her business grew much faster than expected, and she wished to continue learning more coding and develop her own WordPress agency. Erin also wants to provide educational resources for small businesses and nonprofits.

Her business continued to grow in 2021 and she was able to make $5,000 a month consistently using the skills she’d learned in the WP Rockstar program. 

“I was quoting between $8,000 and $10,000 per website project and at the beginning of 2022 I sent two proposals for website projects at over $20,000 each.”

Another stream of revenue that’s worked really well for her is website maintenance. She decided to do reseller hosting through Flywheel and it has been an amazing experience for her. In a few months, she was already managing 15 websites.

She launched her business just over two years ago and started by charging $1,800 for a website. Now she’s working on $15,000 plus projects with a team of her own!

The main reason Erin recommends WP Rockstar to everyone is because it’s not just about building websites. The course provides a full curriculum to build a successful business, from tech skills and marketing, to pricing and mindset.


“It's way more than just learning websites. You are learning how to technically build a WordPress website, but you're also learning social media, you're learning content repurposing, learning SEO, you're learning all these other things with the expert content that really makes it a continual value.”

After building a successful business herself, Erin still finds value in the Facebook Group. She also loves to offer help and support other students, as that’s also a great way to learn.


It’s just kind of a cool transition to like, now that I've been in the program for so long and active and finished the course, I am able to give back and maybe help and just encourage somebody else.”

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

If you, like Erin, would love to quit your day job to have more time with your family and NOT have your life revolving around work, we’d also love to support you through this journey!

Not sure if web development is for you? Then join us for the next FREE Live Coding Challenge and find out!

Transcript

You just need someone to believe in you. And the moment that happens, you just got to move forward. It's on you then to move forward and take that next step.

 

What was life like before you joined WP Rockstar and GeekPack®?

 

I was working full time as an office manager for a church. It was great. I love my job, but I knew like I was looking for something else. I was doing a side hustle as a virtual assistant already just to make some extra income and just kind of like get my toe in the water to see if this was even, like an online business or making more money doing this.

 

I wanted to see if this was even a possibility. So I was kind of just doing research and then and also doing the work on the side. I had a one year old at home and my husband also works full time and he had just moved further away from where my husband and I worked. So it just became like hours of commuting every week.

 

I just came to work like just worrisome. And I think there's just so much more to life than this. We wanted our lives not to revolve around work. We wanted work to revolve around our lives. So that's what I was looking for. I was already in that place mentally and emotionally with my family that it was just finding the park was just the perfect timing.

 

I was tired. I was worn out and working a lot. So that tired.

 

What actions did you take as a result of joining the program and the community?

 

So I joined the pack in May, May 2020. It was right before we began. I told you I was already in that place to like look, looking for that thing. And it was an interview with Adele. I hadn't even started yet. I think I did like maybe just the intro for that, listening to Interview with Pamela, and she was just like, change the title on your social media about your social media profiles and what's the worst that can happen.

 

It's not like you're interviewing for a job. It's just putting it out there. It's. It's that mindset of like, This is who you are now. I was like, okay, I'm going to do it next year. And literally, I'm not even joking. Two weeks later, a colleague, somebody who I knew through my job and through other friends contacting me through email said, Hey, I heard you are doing your WordPress number now and I'm looking for somebody to build me at a WordPress site from the charity I work with in London.

 

And I was like, What? So I hadn't even I think I was on like Lesson 1. And I just said yes because I knew I had a safe place to burn. I knew that there are people who are supporting me and there are other people doing what I was doing and it would worked for them. So if it works for them, I would work for me too.

 

So that was the first action just changing the title on my social media posts and it came like I didn't know advertising. I wasn't even looking for a client yet, so it was awesome. Awesome. I think just hearing everybody else's success stories or in the group or friends or just feeling that empowerment, I just kept taking that next step.

 

So after that, I got that first client two weeks after signing, of course. Then I put in my notice with my job in July and I said, Okay, in September, I'm done. I want to do this full time. I just supported like I was so nervous. My husband, but I also have a supportive spouse, which is, I think, a huge, huge help, too.

 

But I knew I had GeekPack. I knew there were other people doing what I was trying to do and were being successful. And so as soon as I said that, I put in my notice, my boss actually said, Hey, how about I take you to work at home for me and do some of the stuff that you're doing?

 

So that already had a time retainer client. I had put in my notice, but I didn't know that going into it. So it just was affirmation. I was doing the right thing that like other people around me, people want to give back and my family like, Hey, we support what you're doing and we'll actually help you out. So yeah.

 

And then I started working full time from home in September, doing website design and development, and then also like just some digital marketing for my previous boss. So, and now he's one of my clients and it's just been an awesome experience 

 

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

 

I signed my first client like two weeks after and of course they paid their deposit. And then by the end of that first project I it was three fold I had earned next week overrides spec on the course.

 

I'm very humbled and and just really really really grateful to be in this position. So and I want that for other people. One of the reasons why I wanted to intern for me back and the reason why I'm so active in the group is that I want someone else to feel supported too. And like, even if you don't have a spouse or you don't have somebody like that, I could say that one thing that just encourages you to keep going.

 

Even I keep progressing. I keep progressing because I'm helping other people. Because I'm learning. I'm learning how to community and learning how to solve problems for someone else is whether you're a member or your client. It just has kind of been a cool transition to like now that I've been in the program for so long and acting and finished the course, I am able to give back and then help can just encourage somebody else.

 

Did you feel supported learning WP Rockstar content and being part of the  GeekPack® community?

 

Everybody just went above and beyond answering the questions that I was asking and helping me. Even when I was asking for it. It was just that extra next step. And for example, I was having an insurance issue with a studio passing, and Shannon went on the studio press support forum and posted a question for me and then told me and she's like, I'll, I'll see if anybody replies to me.

 

And it was just I hadn't even thought of doing that. And I was like, Wow, that was so personal. The other Shannon giving me video tutorials about, you know, coding issues that I had. Everybody just took that personal touch. And to really go above and beyond to answer my question or at least point me in that direction during the five day coding challenge I actually like, although I was crying, I was so frustrated.

 

And so I emailed, invited back and she emailed me back with like a tutorial video, like a personal video to me. And I was just really taken aback by that. Her personal touch in that, like really caring, making sure that you're successful and what you're trying to do and it's okay to be frustrated. I was like, Wow, I can really I feel like that would be in a safe place for me to continue working this.

 

Like, I didn't really need to go looking anywhere else. If I already felt safe learning from her, I felt really just really supportive and obviously celebrating wins and also just encouraging us when we're just really struggling and having a hard time because we all are going to have those days and just being able to to ask questions in a group and nobody's going to think I'm crazy.

 

I felt so important to take the next step forward, even if it wasn't the perfect step, but it was moving forward and that I was not alone in that journey to become a WordPress developer. 

 

What are your future plans?

 

I don't know how to answer that because a year ago I didn't even think I was going to be doing this. And when I put in my two week, two weeks notice, I had no idea things were going to blow up so fast.

 

So the next immediate steps is like continuing. Just learn more coding with Tool two and being able to customize a little bit more with WordPress. But overall, I would love to develop my own WordPress agency and just able to empower other women and men to be guys. But I just know more more women having that freedom to work from home and having work to be centered around the life.

 

I want to give other women that opportunity. And there the need is so great. I mean, I could go on and on and on about those people who just need to be educated, who need to get websites, who just need to help because there's a lot of bad resources out there and a lot of that education. And so that would be my mission is just making sure people actually know what else I can do or what it should be offering, and that I would love to eventually get to an agency and do an all around service with design and consulting.

 

And I want to be able to provide educational resources for small businesses and nonprofits just to be able to know that is my need. I mean, that's my experience. I worked almost ten years in the nonprofit sector and they just they either don't have the money or be that they don't even really need it or they can't really afford to hire somebody.

 

I want to be able to find that like perfect balance for them of educating them and providing them resources so that they can feel empowered to go and make a bigger impact. As I decided to do a reseller post through Flywheel and that has been such an amazing experience. Get back to that because I've already become an agency partner with them and I have 15 websites I manage and that started in September and my account manager was like, You really need to hire someone, you're going to fast.

 

So I don't know what. And I didn't plan to grow this fast. And so I am still trying to get my feet under as far as like maintenance and work and housing, but it's really a second way of getting in time and just web design. So I'm looking forward as future plans to continue that growing as part of my agency is just website maintenance.

 

Did you feel intimidated by the idea of coding?

 

I feel like a lot of times with software developers, I see people who I love, I work with them, they're friends of mine and I talk in this technical way that make you feel inferior, even though they're trying to help you. And that was the case even in my old job where something happened with a website. It was like, Oh, what's that from?

 

Like, I don't know what that means. But then when you actually where you're like, it's not that complicated. I just wish someone would explain it to me in terms that I can understand because it is complicated. There's definitely I'm right now in the middle of a very complicated project and I had to hire out, but I'm not afraid anymore because it's really learning to problem solve and like understand the flow of how things all connect.

 

Like once you can get that, the code is just piece of the puzzle to figure out. So I would say before doing the five day coding challenge, I was definitely intimidated. I'm still intimidated when someone talks about JavaScript. I hate that it's not a language that I love, but I'm not. I can at least figure out what's wrong with it.

 

I can at least try to figure out if something's wrong. And if in troubleshooting now, because now I'm just seeing the bigger picture of how it all kind of plays together.

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