Ayesha Santos A website designer helping increase website conversions

Square Secrets and Square Secrets Business ( by Paige Brunton) Course Review

For Designers

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I'm a brand and website designer for bold, play-outside-the-box businesses and a mentor for creative entrepreneurs wanting to keep their creative spark while growing their business.

Ayesha

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***EDITED TO ADD : The enrollment for the 2024 round of both these courses opens on April 17th 2024- at 4 pm ET if you choose to purchase the bundle or Square Secrets business through my link, I’ll also be giving you access to my Powerhouse Portfolio Course!

Here’s the link that will get you the BONUS access to Powerhouse Portfolio!

This post feels ultra nostalgic but also very very exciting to write because it literally took my back to day 1 of starting my website design business. 

Actually, it took me back to PRE-web design business days. Trudging my butt on three different buses ( ONE WAY!) to get to work and having to do customer service for a snow removal company( in a city that has winter like 8 months of the year BTW!) 😅

As part of sharing my journey to becoming a brand and website designer ( with ZERO formal design knowledge BTW) to now running a business that lets me take Fri- Sun off each week and makes me 3x more that I was making at my 9-5

If you’re thinking of venturing into website design ( maybe you’re like I was – reading this at your 9-5, dreaming of being able to cuddle your dog at 11am on a weekday lol.) Or you’ve dipped your toes in a little bit but are feeling lost on the business side of things- buckle up.

If you’ve been looking for course reviews /want more info as you decide whether to buy Square Secrets or Square Secrets business or not- I’ve got all the details here for you!

Here’s a full review of Square Secrets and Square Secrets Business by Paige Brunton! 

*** Head’s up : Paige is running a FREE 3 day bootcamp until April 23rd that you can still hop in on! Once Square Secrets Business is open for enrollment, if you purchase the bundle or just Square Secrets Business through my affiliate link you’ll get access to my course Powerhouse Portfolio- on the house! 😱🥳

A little background : 

I took Square Secrets and Square Secrets Business in December/Jan 2020.

 I wasn’t intending on becoming a designer or anything of that sort- in fact when I found Paige’s blog- I was actually DIYing my own Squarespace website for my side hustle ( because I was fed up of paying Etsy fees lol) …and I went down a rabbit hole. I’d been kinda looking for a creative side hustle that would allow me to be creative and work remotely, and she happened to be launching SS and SSB at the time and the rest is history.

I remember literally closing my eyes as I hit the “buy” button because I’d never ever spent that much money on education before( thanks for paying for college mom and dad!) and especially on something I wasn’t sure I’d be successful at. 

But I’d been feeling the nudge that something needed to shift in my life and this came at the perfect time!

…I remember sitting and watching lessons over the two week Christmas break from work and by January, I’d booked in two sites to add to my portfolio! 

This was the very first course I took and it kickstarted my website design business ( which then evolved into brand + website design and now I mentor other designers and have courses of my own! ) What a wild ride! 

Ok- quickly before we dive in, we’ll be talking about BOTH courses in this review so here’s a quick overview of what each course covers. 

Square Secretsis the most comprehensive Squarespace design course on the Internet, known for teaching students like you how to create and launch a website that’s a perfect reflection of you and your business.

Square Secrets Business™ is your complete blueprint to building a successful Squarespace website design business. This course adds to your knowledge of designing websites and teaches you everything you need to know to take you from thinking about becoming a designer, to actually working with clients and making that dream your full-time reality.

*I took both courses together
Square Secrets ( taught me how to design on Squarespace)
SSB taught me how to build the business. 

To make this easy I’ve broken it down into A FEW SECTIONS FOR YOU :

  • What I absolutely loved about the course
  • Some things to keep in mind about this course
  • What direct results did I see for my business?
  • The juicy questions- 
    Was it worth it? How long did it take to make my investment back? Was there anything she didn’t cover?

What I absolutely loved about the course:

1.Lifetime Access

Paige gives you lifetime access ( and you’ll get all future updates to the course as well!) This means that if you’re doing this alongside a full time job, taking care of kids etc. you won’t have to worry about rushing it. 
Plus you can always come back to access the templates etc. she shares in the course as your business grows! 
Square Secrets Business also covers all those in between business things that come up when you’re setting up a business for the first time that you’ll probably end up googling for hourse lol- like setting up a business legally, how to prep for taxes, what to have in client contracts, how to ask for feedback etc.

2.Simple , simple, simple.

You know how sometimes you feel like you have to pause a video ever five seconds to go google what the teacher said. It makes things feel intimidating and complicated. The course simplifies everything.

I was worried there would be too much tech jargon in the course but if you’ve ever read Paige’s blog, you’ll know that simplifying things is her sweet spot- and the course content is exactly like that!


3.The process

I didn’t realize it at the time, but the process Paige teaches inside SSB was the key to setting me up . I knew I didn’t want to work myself into another 9-5 and I also knew that I didn’t want to burn out creatively in order to make the money I wanted.  I replicated the exact process she teaches and was able to match my full time income in 7ish months. 

4.Plug and Go

The course has lots and lots of templates you can pull from as you set up your business. Right from Discovery call scripts, to what goes in proposals, to how to handle client revisions and even templates for copy that you can hand over to your clients!

Some things to keep in mind about this course

  • This probably isn’t the course for you if you’ve been web designing for a bit and already have a steady-ish stream of clients.If you’re already making 5K or over per month – the content might be too foundational for you!

    This is a more foundational course which will benefit people that are just starting out or have a little bit of experience but no idea how to bring in more clients/ have a client process. 
  • This isn’t a group coaching program. You’ll receive course content in the form of videos + any supporting course material. There are live Q&A sessions once a month inside both SS and SSB though.
  • Branding, copywriting etc. are all separate skills that sometimes intertwine with web design ( this course doesn’t cover those) but if its not something you want to do with clients- you can always partner up with a brand designer/copywriter. 

What direct Results did I see for my business( and life!)?

Money. And time freedom. 

Those are the top ones- and both of those have been WAYYYYY more than I ever thought would be possible for little ol’ me. 

And there are so so many mini ones. 

Being able to do something that was both creatively fulfilling AND required logical thinking. 

Being able to work with lots of women run businesses ( and support their growth) 

Being able to work from anywhere ( somedays it was at a fancy cafe and somedays it’s in my pyjamas working from bed until 3 pm)

OK, let’s talk about all the juicy questions

Q: Does the course provide enough info to launch your business – or will it be necessary to do other courses as well?

Both. 

Yes it does provide more than enough info to launch your own business and start winning clients. 

As you grow your business, you’ll probably want to take more courses. Whether those are more mindset based, to learn a specific different platform ( like Shopify/Showit)or to build on specific skills ( like Powerhouse Portfolio

Q:What if I’ve never run a business OR designer a website before?

If you want to design your own site – I’d take just Square Secrets. If you want to start a web design business, I’d take both! Sign up for the free bootcamp and you’ll get a good peek into what’s involved!

Paige knows how to explain things in a way that is unintimidating.
And she talks you through her design decisions! As someone that didn’t have my own design style yet, this was really great for understanding how she was thinking as she put a design together!

Also- Paige’s process that she teaches inside SSB was one that I was able to take and replicate for the first little bit in my own business right from day 1. 
Like literally plug and play. 
As time has passed, I’ve modified bits of it to better suit my lifestyle, work hours, creative cycle etc. but honestly, a lot of parts of it are still the same.  

Q: This is a big investment! Will it be worth it?How long will it take to make the investment back?

Ohhhhhh mama. HECK FRIGGIN YES. 

In all honesty, this was the biggest question I had before I purchased the course as well. I can only speak from own experience. I’ve taken that investment and amplified it MANY MANY times over.

In fact, I made back my entire investment within the first two clients. 🙂
If nothing else, you end up taking a few clients and calling it a day, you’ll still make back your investment and then some. 

I’ll also say this-
I know the feeling. When I invested in this course it was literally one whole pay check. I didn’t doubt whether it would work per se- it was more of if it would work FOR ME. As someone that is creative- staying consistent with things is not one of my strongest attributes (LOL) but I’ve been able to find many many ways to keep things interesting in this business. 

Q: I’m not too tech-y. Will this course still work for me?

TBH, with website platforms like Squarespace and ShowIt these days- you don’t need to be a developer at all. Gone are the days of clunky sites ( *ahem ahem* WordPress 🤪) . Platforms these days are all drag and drop and built for business owners who aren’t designers so everything is super intuitive to use. 

As you grow, if you WANT to learn CSS or coding to make things fancy- by all means go for it! There are coding specific courses you can take then. 

Personally, coding makes my head spin, so I try and always outsource that bit out or buy specific sections ( yes there are stores to buy specific pieces of code) as you need them. I’ve still been able to book five figure projects even without extensive coding knowledge! 

Q: For a complete newbie, how hard was it to learn Squarespace?

Squarespace is super intuitive. You can definitely find tutorials online to learn it-and you should still be alright. It might just take you a longer time. Plus I appreciated that Square secrets teaches you a step by step process to build websites that will make it quicker and easier when you’re designing client websites too.

Once you get familiar with the platform, you’ll build your own style/aesthetic over time. 

Q: Was there anything that could’ve been better explained?

Nope- I appreciated that there was zero fluff and the modules were easy to follow. I also appreciated that Paige didn’t really try to add in unnecessary content just to beef up the course. It’s comprehensive without being overwhelming so you can just take action! 

Q: I’m worried the web design market is too saturated?

Lots and lots of people are moving to online run businesses for a reason- because it can offer a lot of financial, time and location freedom. 

Although there are lots of website designers these days, the lovely thing is that you can choose how nice or general you want to be based on the clients you choose. Literally every business needs a website – so if you learn to market yourself well, you’ll never really run out of clients. 

Entrepreneurship is challenging and will definitely push you out of your comfort zone and require lots of personal growth but the payoff is 150% worth it ( in my opinion)

Q: Can I do this as a side hustle?

Yeppers.
You totally can. I did it as a side hustle for about a year alongside my full time job before moving to part time hours at my 9-5 and then eventually quitting 🙂 I was able to make $4-5K consistently before I quit my job. 



Phewwww! Ok that was a LOT!
Next steps :
1. Cart opens on April 17th at 4 pm for this round of enrollment – If you purchase through my link – you’ll also get access to my course Powerhouse Portfolio( valued at USD $399) completely free– come back tomorrow and the link will be at the top of this post!

A quickie intro incase you’ve never heard of Powerhouse Portfolio before : ​

🧨Attract high ticket clients for your design business- who already LOVE your style and trust your expertise by creating beautiful mock client projects to add to your portfolio.
🧨 For Brand/Web/Graphic Designers who want to build to grow a design business DOING CLIENT work they *ACTUALLY* feel excited about.

What’s inside-

  • Level up your skills to go from idea to design to sharing on socials for your mock client projects!
  • My exact design process ( from idea to inspiration to HOW and WHAT to design- and how to move quickly!)
  • Over the shoulder style video of an actual creative project start to finish!
  • How to magnetize how you share your creative projects so that potential clients can’t wait to work with you!

Peek at the PWRPortfolio IG highlight with more details.It’s currently priced at USD $399 and you’ll get access to it completely free 🙂

Quick lessons, no fluff and a process you can replicate over and over again to create mock client projects that will win you client work. It’s perfectly paired with Square Secrets business if you want to start bringing in paid clients quick – instead of spending WEEKS trying to put together your portfolio and getting frustrated 🤭

2.Find me on IG and DM me if you have any questions.Seriously.
I’m a big fan of sending voicenotes- happy to answer any questions you might have 🙂

I hope this review was helpful in helping you make a decision – I’m rooting for you! PS: if you end up signing up for the bootcamp or buying the course- come tell me on IG so we can celebrate together ok?


Big hugs,

Ayesha.

—————–

PS: We’re all about transparency, so we want to give you a heads up. This blog post is like a treasure hunt, sprinkled with a few affiliate links that might catch your eye. What does that mean? Well, if you happen to click on one of these links and decide to make a purchase, I might earn a tiny commission. Don’t worry, though – it won’t cost you an extra dime! It’s just a little virtual high-five for sending some love our way.

Rest assured, we’re not here to play matchmaker with products that don’t jive with your style. Our recommendations are rooted in genuine enthusiasm for stuff I think is pretty darn awesome.


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