Heather was more confident to take on more technical work, and charge a higher rate for her services!
Heather started in the online world as a Social Media Virtual Assistant, but that wasn’t quite what she was looking for.
She found WP Rockstar through another course she was taking at the time. She was immediately interested, but what really made her decide to join was when the coaching program was introduced.
"I was interested in it from the very first time that I learned about the course…I felt like I needed the guidance to kind of give me more direct advice on how to get through. And so the coaching was really the thing that made me pull the trigger and decide it's now or never."
She didn’t really have a lot of technical training before the program, but she’s not scared of learning new things. Because of that, coding never really intimidated her.
Her curiosity and passion for learning made her decide to join the program.
“I just like learning things. Learning new things doesn't really intimidate me. I think the coding challenge is fun.”
She also wasn’t happy with her current role and the pay as a social media virtual assistant.
“It just seemed like a good opportunity to expand my skills and try work that might be more interesting and fulfilling for me and earn a higher rate for my services.”
Joining WP Rockstar made her more confident to take on more technical work. She quickly started offering more tech services to her VA clients.
Her clients were super happy about this and kept sending more tech tasks her way.
“I was more confident to take on more technical work. I had VA clients while I was taking the course and I started to do more technical work for them. Helping them add pages to their website, even if it wasn't WordPress, I had enough skills from the course that I was able to apply them.”
She also joined 48 in 48, a non-profit organization that mobilizes marketing and tech volunteers to help other nonprofits all around the world, and one of our partners.
And her first website build client that made her first +$1,000 as a Web Developer was a referral from someone she knew.
Telling people about what you do is a great way to find clients, you never know who might need your help!
In Heather’s case, this friend didn’t really need her services, but she’s referred her to a lot of people since she heard about her business.
“She sent a lot of work my way. So don't discount telling people what you do. Even if they don't hire you. They could be like a big source of leads and referrals for you.”
Heather also loves to write, and she now has a premium, high-ticket ghostwriting offer for her target market - life coaches for neurodivergent people.
And it’s something she can combine with her tech skills.
“I write a five day educational email course, set up the landing page, set up the automations, so my tech skills come in handy with things like that. It's kind of a bridge between all the skills that I've learned over the years.“
Her future plans now are to continue pursuing ghostwriting and use her technical skills from the program to build courses, and also maintain her own website.
“You learn so much about technical skills in general that will give you the confidence to learn new skills. And it will help you be savvy enough to learn how to find answers so you can solve pretty much any problem that comes your way.”
For Heather, what stood out the most about WP Rockstar was the community and the coaching aspect of it.
“I knew that the community was really strong and active and supportive and that was important to me. Especially because I'm kind of on my own a lot of times, you know, just working for myself.”
Working online can get lonely, which is why it’s so important to find a community of like-minded people who understand the journey you're on.
In Heather’s opinion, the coaching is so valuable for two reasons.
First, because it gives her more personalized answers and attention to her issues.
And second, because even when you don’t have specific questions, you can still hop on the call and learn from others experiences.
“The coaches are really helpful and really friendly and they go out of their way to give really great attention and really great detailed answers to your questions.”
To anyone who wants to learn a new skill, Heather’s number one tip is to just do it.
“You'll never be sorry that you learned something new. Never.”
And we couldn’t agree more!
We absolutely LOVE having Heather in the community, watching and celebrating all of her amazing success.
If you, like Heather, would love to add tech skills to your current stack, we’d also love to support you through this journey!
How did you find out about WP Rockstar?
How did I find out about WP Rockstar? It was through 90 day VA, So I was a student of Esther Inman and she talked about WP Rockstar in the course itself. And then she also did a joint webinar with Julia, and that's when I finally joined the course was when they did the webinar. So it was almost a year after I joined 90 day VA, but I was interested in it from the very first time that I learned about it in the course.
What was your life like before you joined WP Rockstar?
Well, I was just starting out as a VA, so I had just started doing VA work, mostly social media work and it was fine, but it wasn't really what I was looking for.
I guess it didn't really feel good. And I don't know, the pay wasn't great and I had been interested in it ever since I first saw it in the 90 day VA course.
So it just seemed like a good opportunity to expand my skills and try work that might be more interesting and fulfilling for me and earn a higher rate for my services.
What are you working on right now?
So I'm doing a premium ghostwriting offer. It's a high ticket offer where I ghostwrite educational email courses.
Right now my target market is life coaches for neurodivergent people. So people with autism, ADHD. And so I write a five day educational email course, set up the landing page, set up the automations, so my tech skills come in handy with things like that.
But then I also get to write, which is another skill set that I have that I enjoy using.
So it's kind of like a bridge between all the skills that I've learned over the years.
What actions did you take as a result of taking the course and being part of the community?
I was more confident to take on more technical work. So with my existing VA clients, I had VA clients while I was taking the course and for a little bit at first in a shift. And I started to do more technical work for them.
So helping them add pages to their website, even if it wasn't WordPress, I had enough skills from the course that I was able to apply them.
Like if one of my clients had a Squarespace site and so it was pretty easy to pick up on. There's differences, but there's enough similarity that I was comfortable and I could just with a little bit of Googling, figure it out.
So I started doing that by building sales pages, building landing pages. I volunteered for 48 and 48, and our team actually won best in show for the social justice build in June.
So I was really proud of that. And then just right now, I have a website build that I'm doing for a nonprofit. So I'm kind of doing a little bit and I'm doing the hosting and maintenance for them. So that's kind of where I'm at with my tech work.
It was pretty intense, but it was fun. I'm glad I did it. It was very rewarding to do it, you know. Even if we hadn't won, it was really rewarding to do something so cool.
Did you have any experience as a freelancer or building websites before you joined WP Rockstar?
So before I joined WP Rockstar, I was more of a social media VA on that side. I didn't really have a lot of technical training. I built a website like way back in the day on Google.
It's for my kids' elementary school PTO. They wanted a website and nobody else wanted to do it. And I was like, I'll give it a try. And so I built it like ten plus years ago.
And I think I took a coding course back then and I don't know, it just didn't really go anywhere with that because my kids were young and I didn't really have the flexibility to work.
And at that time, remote work wasn't as much of a thing as it is now. So I just couldn't see a way to kind of work along with my kids. So I kind of put that on the side and I guess it served me well because here I am back to it yet again.
So you already had some experience with coding?
A little bit, yeah. I just like learning things. Learning new things doesn't really intimidate me. I think the coding challenge is fun. So for me it was just another I just kind of followed my curiosity and I was curious about it and so I was ready to just dive in.
But I certainly didn't need that foundation. I feel like WP Rockstar gave me everything that I needed to know, but I was able to pick things up more quickly because I had a little bit of exposure to it beforehand also.
How long did it take you to earn back your investment?
So it took me about a year to earn back my investment, mostly because I wasn't pursuing the course full time.
I had client work that I was doing. I have three kids and they're all like high school, college age, so I'm busy running around lessons and school and appointments and my kids are special needs too.
I have a pretty demanding personal schedule. So I was kind of just devoting whatever time that I had to it here and there.
I would go really well for a month and then I might take a month off. So it took me about a year.
I just tried to keep going as I knew I would finish it eventually. So I just kind of baby steps to keep going.
That (self-paced course) was always key for me because because of my family situation, my husband travels and I have special needs kids so that my demands on my personal time are very unpredictable.
So having the flexibility of a self-paced course made all the difference for me. If it had been a fixed time frame, I probably would have had to drop out and that would have been, you know, disappointing and a waste and defeating.
So it's nice that it's self-paced for people who have, you know, more conflicts in their time.
Can you talk a little bit about your first project and your first clients?
I guess my first projects were just taking on small technical tasks for my VA clients. It was kind of like they would complain about, you know, they needed something done with their website and I would just volunteer, you know, Oh, I can do that.
I've been learning these skills and I'd be happy to try and do this for you. And they liked it. And over time they would just give me more technical tasks to do. So that was nice.
My first jobs were more just kind of expanding my VA services.
So I almost became more like a tech VA. It's kind of like how I saw it. I kind of went from social media to tech.
So that was probably my first tasks. And then 48 and 48 was probably like my first big project that I did. And now I'm helping, like I said, the nonprofit. First I had to get their site online.
They lost their developer and got kicked off online. They just stopped hosting their site. They just kind of quit on them and they had trouble finding somebody else. And so I was just getting them back online.
And then we're going to rebuild the site in a couple of months when they have more flexibility. So just like incrementally, I've just kind of been incrementally adding more technical work to my roster.
Can you talk a little bit also about how you made your first thousand dollars?
I guess technically I probably would have made my first thousand dollars just based off of those hourly tasks that I was doing for my VA clients.
But that didn't feel quite right, like saying that was money that I made as a WordPress developer. So when I submitted my Phase two project, it was for this nonprofit organization.
So getting them back online and the hosting and maintenance for them for a year and then rebuilding the site in the fall that all together was actually more than $1,000, the whole package together.
So I was really lucky that I was able to do it. I know some people have to get lots of clients and like kind of hustle, but I was really fortunate that I was able to find a client that was ready to just go all in and let me tackle the whole project.
So I'm very grateful for that.
How did you find them?
My first thousand dollar client was actually a referral. So there's someone that I know. She owns a gym for special needs kids and I actually know her in real life just because my kids go to her gym.
But when I started out as a VA, I pitched her for VA services and she wasn't looking for a VA at the time, but she's referred me since.
She knows what I do, she refers me out to people. So she referred me for VA work. And then when she found out that one of the Autism Society branches, when she found out that they needed help with their website, she mentioned me and the president of the society reached out to me.
She sent a lot of work my way. So don't discount telling people what you do.
Even if they don't hire you. They could be like a big source of leads and referrals for you. So yeah, word of mouth is a huge one when you're freelancing and especially when you're starting out, I think it's very helpful.
You never know who's going to know who and who might need the help that you're offering.
What are your future plans?
So for my future plans, I'm probably going to work on ghostwriting for a while and see where that takes me. Just because I really love writing and online course building.
And I do get to use those technical skills to build out the courses, but also to just build and maintain my own website.
And I'll be helping this nonprofit as well. So I kind of have my toe in both worlds, and I know that's not ideal, so I'm just kind of being flexible and seeing where it will take me.
But for right now, I think I'm going to pursue ghostwriting and just have the technical skills be like an extra little perk for me, but maybe not the focus of my business at this point.
What stood out to you about WP Rockstar?
What stood out to me? Um, well, I just. I really liked Julia, actually. She’s a very warm and friendly person, and she made technical skills very approachable and seem very doable for that.
Anybody could do it and, you know, I really liked that aspect.
I liked the community. I knew that the community was really strong and active and supportive and that was important to me, especially because, you know, I'm kind of on my own a lot of times, you know, just working for myself.
And I don't really know a lot of other people that work for themselves. So it's nice to talk to other people in this world who are kind of dealing with the same ups and downs of digital work and, you know, getting started online and things like that.
Then I think the reason why I finally bought the course and joined was when she added the coaching, because I knew Helen from 90 Day VA and I knew she was like the real deal and I needed that support.
That was something that at the time 90 day VA wasn't offering that kind of coaching and I felt very stuck just not knowing what to do.
And I felt like I needed the guidance to tell me to kind of give me more direct advice on how to get through. And so the coaching was really the thing that made me pull the trigger and decide it's now or never.
I need to do this because I've been flirting with buying the course probably two other times, two other rounds that she launched it.
And so the third time when she launched it with the coaching, that was what really kind of landed for me. And yeah, the coaching is amazing.
I love using AI. I know some writers frown upon it, but I see it as a tool to really speed up my process and I love that. So I love playing around with all the little tools and seeing what they can do and yeah, that's great.
You might as well embrace it and learn how to leverage it to make your life easier. It's the same way you do. Like you use the microwave to make cooking easier. It doesn't mean you're not still cooking your food.
You're just doing it faster and easier. So why not leverage that?
What would you say to someone who's on the fence about joining WP Rockstar?
For somebody who's on the fence about joining WP Rockstar, I would say that out of any program that you could join, this is probably one of the best uses of your money because tech skills are always in demand and learning something like WordPress.
It's not just about learning WordPress.
You learn so much about technical skills in general that will give you the confidence to learn new other skills, other technical skills, and will help you be savvy enough to learn how to find answers that you can solve pretty much any problem that comes your way.
Almost anything is Google-able. And if you can learn WordPress and have that base level of confidence that Wow, tech's not so scary, I can do this.
It's just a matter of following the steps and if I don't know something, I can just Google it.
That's really going to go a long way to give you confidence to pursue anything that you want to do, whether it's technical or not. And at the end of the day, even if you find I don't really like building websites, at least you have the technical skills that you can build your own website when you go to do whatever it is that you really want to do.
So I don't really see a downside to joining WP Rockstar because in the end you're going to win no matter what.
What do you think is the most valuable part of coaching?
I think there's two valuable parts to coaching.
I think the one value that you get is you get kind of more personalized answers and attention on your issues. So if you have a very specific problem or mindset or something that you're trying to deal with, you can go into the Slack channel or you can go to the calls and ask your question.
And get the more personalized attention that you're looking for because the Facebook community is great, But sometimes you have questions that are a little more that are kind of outside of the scope of what the community can do.
And the coaches are really helpful and really friendly and they go out of their way to give, you know, really great attention and really great detailed answers to your questions.
So I think that's the first thing that stood out to me about coaching. And then the second thing I love about coaching is that even if you don't have a question in mind, I like hopping on the calls just to learn from other people because one, it's nice to see other people kind of going through similar struggles and similar mindsets and somewhat similar issues.
So you get a little bit of camaraderie, but you also are going to learn things like that's a question I never thought to ask, or you might learn something one month and two months later you're in that same situation and it's like, Wow, I already know, I already know.
I don’t need to sit here and be confused because somebody already asked this and I already know what to do.
Or I can go back and check the Slack messages because I remember somebody asked this question and I even bookmarked it so I can go back and deal with it. So there's just so many benefits to coaching.
It's just that extra little, you know, leg up that you get that's going to really help to make sure that you're successful with whatever you decide to pursue.
What is your number one tip for someone who wants to learn a skill?
My number one tip for someone who wants to learn a new skill is just do it. Just do it.
You'll never be sorry that you learned something new. Never. Because even if you find out you don't like the thing, that's still good to know.
Because then you know, okay, I don't like X, so that makes me more sure that Y is the way that I should go. It's never a bad thing to learn a new skill. You will always benefit in the end.