You no longer have to “fake it until you make it.” Not anymore. If you ever want to know anything about starting a web design and development business, mastering a skill, or how to solve a problem, the answer is in countless places online. Yet, often clear and useful information is either behind a paywall or so numerous that it becomes impossible to know which source to trust.
GoDaddy has been one of those trusted sources with the GoDaddy Garage blog. Yet, we know that more than blog posts are needed. Some people think and learn best through video courses.
As a course content creator for the past six years, I’ve had the joy of seeing how well-crafted, informative, and challenging courses can motivate web professionals to grow in a way that improves their quality of life. When GoDaddy approached me to help craft the GoDaddy Pro Academy, I saw this as an opportunity to take what is often behind a paywall or lost in webinars and craft courses that could transform the web professional industry.
The Web Pro Industry
There’s no arguing that the web professional industry has a low barrier to entry. That can be a good thing. I have known people in challenging situations that leveraged the low barrier of entry to create a new life: truck drivers, stay-at-home parents with special needs children, and people whose local production facility closed and left them unemployed. The web industry has become the most incredible place for choice, confidence, and mobility.
As fellow web professionals, we must embrace this and, at the same time, create industry standards to avoid the misconceptions and stereotypes that have plagued our field. Web designers and developers have gotten reputations for leaving clients stranded, charging too much for poor quality work, or undercutting the industry so much that it leaves a false perception of value.
Unless we have quality training that teaches emerging web designers and developers how to avoid contributing to these stereotypes, we’ll be pushing sand against the tide.
The GoDaddy Pro Academy
That is my hope for the GoDaddy Pro Academy, quality training on running a web business, interacting with clients, and building a skillset that establishes well-known and accepted industry standards.
All big ideas take time and a hive mind of talented people to make them happen. Thanks to the fantastic people at GoDaddy who deeply care about continuing to the WordPress and web pro community, the GoDaddy Pro Academy is becoming a reality.
As of today, we have launched our first four courses, available right now on the GoDaddy Pro website and YouTube.
These first four courses, complete with resources to put principles into practice, include:
Discover Your Niche
Discover Your Niche sets out to help you identify who you serve best. By defining a target audience, you can be more effective as a web designer and developer in a sea of generalities. Narrowing in on a type of person, place, software, service type, industry, or a combination of those factors allows you to perfect solutions and become the best-qualified pro for your audience. By defining your niche, you will also make it easier to form a network with other web professionals, making it easier to encourage referrals.
Lead Generation: From Inquiry to Signed Proposal
Lead Generation: From Inquiry to Signed Proposal explores the essential steps of a process to screen your leads and gather the information you need for a winning proposal, all while avoiding scope creep and the wrong clients. When you secure the process of taking inquiries and presenting a winning proposal, you establish a rhythm to continue through the rest of your project build and long after with website care.
Business Evaluation: Transitioning from Side Hustle to Full-Time Freelance
Business Evaluation: Transitioning from Side Hustle to Full-Time Freelance is for those who have been building their web businesses on the side and want to make the leap into full-time self-employment. Lessons will show how to evaluate if your business is ready to go full-time, what you need to make that happen and how to budget. Even if you’ve already transitioned full-time, this course will help you take a step back and evaluate how well you’ve done and what ways to pivot.
Creating Your Tech Stacks
Creating You Tech Stacks is a course to improve all your processes, from running your business to building websites, by encouraging the formation of “tech stacks.” Tech can be the secret sauce to processes running smoothly. This course explores what’s involved in all different sets of tech stacks for business, website blueprints, projects, client management, and marketing. The course will also dive into evaluating tools and SaaS providers to avoid “shiny object syndrome” and make wise choices.
The New GoDaddy Learning Environment
Eventually, the GoDaddy Pro Academy will grow to establish a learning environment that will motivate, challenge, and provide web designers and developers with information that will impact them personally and professionally.
For me, success will be seeing the GoDaddy Pro Academy encourage choice, confidence, and mobility. It is my hope that the GoDaddy Pro Academy will foster designers and developers to feel that they have a choice in what they do, confidence in their skill, and mobility to move up in revenue past barriers that have previously stood in their way.
The best knowledge is when it’s been tested and the strategies work. For this reason, the new GoDaddy Pro Academy gathers expertise from top industry professionals who have all run web agencies, worked with clients and built quality products. The academy addresses more than just technical skill but ways to run a business that will get you closer to your goals. Upcoming courses will target project processes, website support, WordPress specific challenges, how to get more leads, social proof, measuring success and so much more. We are thrilled to release these first courses and look forward to growing a trusted source of education for the pro community.
To be notified of future changes to the GoDaddy Pro Academy, including new course releases and progress features, make sure to sign up to be a GoDaddy Pro. It’s completely free! You’ll be the first to know about these courses to encourage your growth as a web professional, running a business, and improving your technical skill sets.