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Ok- if you’re anything like me, you’re also a designer that LOVES a good course for website designers that helps you jump a few painful steps in growing your website design business. You probably also scour the internet quickly before purchasing a course and making an investment in your business.
As part sharing my journey as a designer ( one that started off my design business in early 2020 with a grand total of ZERO formal design knowledge and was able to quit my full time job a year later) I’m pulling back the curtains on courses I’ve taken I wanted to do a review of The High End Web Designer Course is an Advanced Web Designer Course, created and led by Chaitra from Pinkpot Studio.
Just a quick little background before we dive in – I’m Ayesha and I’m a brand and Website designer. I don’t have formal education in design/development ( I actually went to school for hotel management and was a chef before diving into brand and website design. I started my business in early 2020 and although my business was growing quickly, I hit a ceiling with the prices I was charging and couldn’t seem to move past the mindset that no one would be willing to pay lil ol’ me more.
I took The High End Web Designer program from September 2021 to March 2022.
The program is a very unique course+ coaching hybrid as compared to courses I’ve taken in the past.
For one- it isn’t lifetime access like most courses you can buy ( and this is actually a GREAT thing- I’ll tell you why in just a bit) . And secondly it’s a mix between curriculum/course content, bi-weekly group coaching, receiving feedback on your work and an intimate community of designers.
It’s also a program that is a great mix of teaching you Sales skills, Technical skills and Mindset work to help grow a business in a way that doesn’t have you working 80 hours a week.
To make this easy I’ve broken it down into A FEW SECTIONS FOR YA :
What I absolutely loved about the course
What to expect with the teaching style
Some things to keep in mind about this course
The juicy questions- Was it worth it? How long did it take to make my investment back?
What I absolutely loved about the course
Limited access + Action taking :
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably a course binger. Meaning, you’re usually so excited when you buy a course, you end up watching it ALL the way through in one go and then feel like you’re buzzing with ideas to get started.
What I find is that sometimes even though I do end up taking action, the energy wears of quick and the course quickly fades into the background.
I was worried about having limited access to the course. However- the layout of this course was a game changer for me. The fact that you have limited time access to the curriculum (usually 6 months with the option to extend) forces you to prioritize working ON your business and take action and move past decision fatigue and overthinking quicker.
Paired with the fact that each module usually has an assignment at the end that you can submit for feedback means you actually take the time to take small chunks of action before you move on to the next phase.Which leads me to my next point….
Receiving 1:1 feedback :
Most modules have an assignment at the end that will help clarify your messaging/ positioning, build your portfolio/web design skills etc. You can submit these for feedback from Chaitra every week.
This was hands down one of the best parts of the course for me since you’re able to have feedback specific to your offerings/business/aesthetic.
Chaitra reviews with a video and offers so much constructive feedback during these sessions. Also, being able to see other students work/feedback sessions also means you are learning on that front as well.
Suggested reading : Pour & Co ( Peek at the concept project I did as part of this course that won me two clients!
I’ve had a few weeks during my time in the program where I skipped submitting things or interacting with the group because I was overthinking some of my marketing strategies and my perfectionism was kicking in and Chaitra personally checked in and helped me get back on track.
Just being honest here- I’ve never been in a program with only designers before and was worried my comparision-itis would flare up.
I was kinda surprised to find that being in a group with only other designers actually helped me get clearer and more confident about what my own aesthetic is, figure out positioning that worked for what I value in life/business vs. worrying about what everyone else was doing.
Also, most courses you buy have curriculum/content and then an FB group that is filled with literally every other student that has ever bought it ( which is sometimes 300+ students and is just a forum for random questions without any real engagement).
The community in this course feels really intimate (I’m talking less than 20-25 designers TOPS since you only have access to the group while you’re in the course and not after. When I was in the course were between 11-15 designers) and everyone genuinely cheers each other on, talks about income/project pricing quite openly, struggles and also offers any knowledge to others in the group if you asked questions in the FB group.
Mini Trainings :
The course is constantly updated based on feedback and requests from the participants! Chaitra does intensives or mini trainings during meetings sometimes that were super helpful for smaller areas in my business that I could streamline/work on.
Website Strategy first approach:
Before this course, Website strategy intimidated me- so I avoided it completely and focused just on aesthetics
This course is heavily focused on a website strategy first approach so that you can provide value to your clients and help them make a return on investment and also position yourself as an expert. It teaches you what tools to use, the how, how to diagnose and problem solve for clients, and ensure that you’re building a website that isn’t just pretty.
What I loved about Chaitra’s teaching style :
Chaitra is so genuine and keeps you accountable.
Meets you where you are at and isn’t afraid to ask the hard questions- and does it in a way that doesn’t feel intimidating.
Is very transparent and open with her knowledge and able to explain things in a way that doesnt make it intimidating or overwhelming!.
Her coaching is very “what works best for you” focused vs. telling you how it “MUST“ be done.
Is genuinely passionate about helping build businesses that are sustainable, profitable and go against the hustle culture.
Pushes you outside of your comfort zone in a way that doesn’t paralyze you from taking action 🙂
Some things to keep in mind about the High End Web Designer course –
Is not specifically for one single platform – i.e does teach design for one specific website platform. Eg: This isn’t the course to learn the technical skills to build on a specific platform ( Amplify shopify or Square Secrets etc. )
The community had designers and developers that worked on Squarespace/Showit/Webflow/Shopify and even WordPress and from what I saw, everyone was able to get value from the course.
This probably isn’t the best fit for designers that have never worked with a client before– If you’re just transitioning to website design and haven’t booked your first client or are just getting started on learning to build a website, it might be a good idea to wait a bit before hopping onto this course- both so you can build some revenue as well as experience.
It is limited access ( usually 6 months)– So although it is go at your own pace, it definitely does require you to dig in and put in the work to ensure you are getting the most out of it.
This probably isn’t the course for you if you’re wanting to increase you revenue through volume of work while keeping your prices low. The course focuses on increasing your skill set and through providing value to your clients and does encourage you to raise your pricing so you can work fewer hours if you’d like while still providing value.
This course does not teach you about Website development ( so no coding skills etc.) HOWEVER, there is a module dedicated to working with a developer, what to expect, If you’re a designer who has never worked with a developer – this will set you up well!
THE JUICY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is the High End Web Designer Course worth the investment ?
HECK YES! The High End Web Designer Course was the biggest investment I had made in my business at the time and I remember taking the walk that evening after I signed up for the course and feeling such a mix of nervousness and excitement. It was totally worth it.
What surprised me ABOUT THIS COURSE?
Some things I wasn’t expecting that were part of the course : Info on planning your week to split client work/ working on the business, Marketing Strategies, Discovery/Sales Call practice with the group, Info + templates on managing client projects and receiving client feedback.
WHAT DIRECT RESULTS DID I SEE FOR MY BUSINESS?
Implementing some of the processes that Chaitra teaches has helped me confidently raise my pricing, reduce the number of clients that view me as an order taker and feel more confident not only with bringing on larger projects but also saying no to clients that aren’t a good fit. Also- so much of my approach is backed by web strategy now along with design intuition!
I’m better on discovery sales calls and definitely feel like I am able to ask the right questions and lead with value vs. constantly wondering what price the client will be willing to pay and quoting accordingly ( anyone else guilty? )
Skillwise- I learned to work with Adobe XD which I had never used before and the project I created is one of the most asked about projects when I hop on discovery calls with clients ( Pour and Co link)
How long did it take to make back the investment?
It took me about 2-3months to directly make back the investment( and then some more;)) from this course once I implemented some of the strategies
TLDR; This was one of the best courses I took and was such a great mix of course curriculum and coaching. I learned so many new skills ( website strategy, Adobe XD etc.),as well as sales skills, how to operate my business in a way that allowed me to charge more AND have more free time and really design in a way that would bring my clients results!
** None of the links in this post are affiliate links, however, I do receive a small if you do end up signing up for the course and mention that the information I shared in this post was helpful to your decision making 🙂
Cheering you on,