Welcome to One Woman Experiments, where daring business women experiment with different parts of their business in order to find best practices. We hope these experiments help improve your business and inspire you to test-drive new strategies. Have an experiment you want to test out and document? Check out our ideas and guidelines!
This experiment in web design + business building is currently being embarked upon by OWS community member Ashley Rustad, who is on her second Skillcrush Blueprint and is kindly documenting the process for us here! Take it away, Ashley.
(Editor’s note: In Part I of this series, Ashley broke down how a Skillcrush Blueprint works for us as she was completing the Web Designer Blueprint. In Part II, she introduced us to the Freelance WordPress Developer Blueprint, which she took us deeper into as she learned the WordPress Professional Best Practices in Part III. Below is Part IV, the final step in her current Blueprint!)
We’re at the last month of the Skillcrush WordPress Developer Blueprint and man, is it jam packed with lots of info. This last class in the three-part Blueprint walks through how to find, land and manage a client.
What is Skillcrush 303?
The final session of the Skillcrush Freelance WordPress Developer Blueprint is three weeks long. It starts with scheduling a 1-on-1, 20-minute consultation via Google Hangout with a Skillcrush Career Counselor. The consultations are to answer any career, coding, or client questions. Tip: Being prepared with questions for the counselor is a great way to make the most of your time with them.
The rest of Skillcrush 303: WordPress Apprenticeship (now called Industry Crash Course) is made up of three weeks:
- Week 1: Finding a client
- Week 2: Landing a client
- Week 3: Managing a client
Each week includes webinars, downloadable slides, and templates that help to guide you through the different aspects of getting clients. The lessons are broken up into support, work, learn, and earn sections. Here’s more about each one:
Week 1: Finding a client
Support section: This module is all about the 1-on-1 consultation with a career counselor. When I had my consultation, all my questions about working as a freelance web designer were answered and I was able to feel more reassured about going into this line of work.
Work section: Included two webinars -- Overcoming Imposter Syndrome and Scoping a WordPress Project. Overcoming Imposter Syndrome is about how to gain confidence in your abilities and not being afraid to call yourself a WordPress developer. It can be really hard in the beginning because your skills are so new. Scoping a WordPress Project is about estimating all that is involved in creating a WordPress website.The instructor's’ slides were given to us to take notes with and refer back to, which was helpful.
Learn section: Made up of the Responsive WordPress Workshop. This workshop came with slides as well. I do feel the responsive workshop could have been expanded on with more lessons in a different area of the WordPress Developer Blueprint. I don’t think one 45-minute workshop on responsive WordPress design is enough.
Earn section: AKA “The Fast Track Formula” -- A breakdown of how to reach out to your inner circle, with a guide of great examples for emails and social media posts to help you in the beginning. If you’ve gone down the route of taking the whole blueprint and not just one or two classes; you’ll know this fast track formula was already taught in Skillcrush 203.
Week 2: Landing a client
Support section: It’s all about portfolio hours. You can join a Google Hangout with your instructor and other students to talk about what you plan on putting in your portfolio, how you’ll set it up and who your potential target clients are. You’ll be able to talk about your work and get feedback from your instructor and your fellow students. It’s really informative and helpful in getting other people’s opinion about your work and how you’ll go about it.
Work section: The webinar topic here was Building a Healthy Client Relationship. The workshop walks you through your first client meeting from prep to the meeting and after the meeting.
Learn section: There were two webinars here. The first is Ecommerce Solutions. The webinar goes over three common solutions for selling products with WordPress -- offsite, onsite, and the five-minute solution.
The second webinar is the Proposal Writing Workshop. Once you’ve found your first potential client, you’ll need to write a proposal. The webinar goes over everything you need to know about the proposal from why you should be writing them to what needs to be included. The templates provided here are invaluable.
Earn section: Continuing from last week, they focus on the next step in The Fast Track Formula: reaching out to your outer circle. There are templates for doing this, building on the work done last week.
Week 3: Managing the client relationship
Support section: Reminds you to sign up with your career counselor, about the grad party and the ongoing Slack alumni group.
Work section: Includes one webinar called Getting Paid for Freelance Work. This webinar covers it all: prepping estimates to dealing with money and sending contracts and invoices to time tracking.
Learn section: Covers three case studies of businesses built with WordPress. Freelancing isn’t easy, but these quick case studies gave us a glimpse at how three different women are using WordPress in their business.
Earn section: Goes through the last step in The Fast Track Formula, which is about expanding your reach. It teaches different ways to reach out to strangers and tell them about your freelance business.
My overall takeaways
The Freelance WordPress Developer Blueprint is packed with lots of great information. This Blueprint really lays the foundation for your freelance WordPress developer career because it’s all about how to get clients. The only limitation is that the information comes almost completely in the form of webinars. If you don’t learn well from lecture format, this really won’t work for you.
The biggest problem I had with this portion of the Blueprint is that all but two webinars (Responsive WordPress and eCommerce Solutions) had previously been in the “Career Path” section of Skillcrush. While they certainly fit here, I do wish they were re-filmed with updated material. What sets this run-through apart from the “Career Path” section is the one-on-one consultation, case studies and a portfolio review. The “Career Path” section has even more webinars and downloads geared toward getting a job with a company, not freelancing.
Who Skillcrush 303 Is For?
Anyone wanting to freelance. It takes you through all the steps of preparing you to become a freelance WordPress developer, minus the coding (which was covered in the first two classes of the Blueprint).
All the skills in the world won’t get you anywhere if you can’t land clients, which is that makes this class crucial.
Who isn’t Skillcrush 303 for?
This isn’t for anyone that already knows how to find and manage clients. If you’re moving careers and have already dealt with finding and managing clients in a different creative field, I think those skills would transfer. If you’ve taken previous Skillcrush classes, you can get 75% of this class’ webinars in the “Career Path” section.
Are you interested in taking a Skillcrush class?
If you’re interested learning more about Skillcrush, you can dip your toes in with their free, 10-day bootcamp. If you want to take this class alone it costs $175, but I highly recommend looking into the Freelance WordPress Developer Blueprint, which includes three classes and keeps you on a track that provides context for everything you’re learning for $149/month. To find out when the next enrollment session is, scroll down to the bottom of this page.
What questions do you have about Skillcrush and/or tech skills, in general? Leave ’em in the comments below!
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