Laura Elizabeth is a fantastic designer who wants to “teach design to developers.” Her story from consulting to products is fantastic, and her method for building buzz and tension around her course worked perfectly. This is a fantastic case study for people who consult, but want to move into selling online courses or selling products.
Intro: Hey, everybody. Welcome to Episode 111 of How I Built It. Today my guest is Laura Elizabeth of Design Academy. I love Laura’s story so much. I met her at CaboPress and her talk that she hosted was about improving design and UX and things like that, but not in the normal ways you would think like making things look pretty, or whatever. She talked about converting or answering real questions and converting in a real way that would aid UX and UI and make your brand and your designs stand out. Today we’re going to be talking about how she built her Design Academy, and how she wanted to teach design to developers. As a developer myself I know that is a daunting task, and she does it very well. From her journey of research to launching the course to a ready and raring to go audience, I think this is a fantastic episode for anybody who wants to build an online course. I certainly learned a lot, and I started to put some of this stuff into practice, and I hope you learn a lot too. We will get to all of that and more, but first a word from our sponsors.
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Joe Casabona: Hey, everybody. Welcome to another episode of How I Built It. The podcast that asks, “How did you build that?” Today my guest is Laura Elizabeth, founder and things doer of Client Portal and Design Academy. Laura, how are you today?
Laura Elizabeth: I’m pretty well. How are you?
Joe: I am fantastic. I appreciate you coming on the show. Laura and I met at CaboPress, and this is one of the– I guess it’s going to be an interview series because I have four or five people from CaboPress that I’m interviewing. Laura talked about good design as part of– Maybe actually, instead of me trying to butcher what you talked about, why don’t you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?
Laura: Yes. I have a couple of things. The first thing I do is I teach design to developers, and the second thing I do is I have a WordPress plugin called Client Portal, which is a place for freelancers and agencies to store their deliverables. But like you said, we met at CaboPress, and at CaboPress I was talking about design. I love talking about design, teaching design to people, whether it’s developers or founders. We were talking a lot about how design can help increase customer engagement and all that stuff. So, yeah. It was pretty fun, and it was an amazing event.
Joe: Yeah. It was great, and I enjoyed your talk, and I think there was a lot of good things to think about that you’ll probably touch on as we start talking about both Client Portal and Design Academy. I’d like to focus on the Design Academy a bit, because I love talking about online courses and design, and very selfishly I think I’ll be able to get a lot of good information from you. But I do want to start with your WordPress plugin called Client Portal, and I’m interested, from a design aspect is I am a developer, and I generally take a very function over form approach. But I know that there’s, as you talked about in Cabo, a lot of things that go into creating good design and guiding the user along the path. Is that?
Laura: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. With Client Portal, it’s a really simple tool, and it’s something that I made for myself to use with my clients. I used project management software before, and my problem with that was that it was all super complex and it had a huge learning curve, and frankly clients didn’t use it, and it was expensive. I realized that I just wanted something really simple, no frills, but nicely designed because design was important to me as a designer. I felt like everything I needed to give to my clients had to be nicely designed throughout the process, because I felt like they were expecting it. So I made Client Portal, just a very simple place to keep all your assets together, it’s branded to your website, and the design was really simple, so it fits in with pretty much any website, and it doesn’t look like you are using a third party tool. But you can keep all your third-party tools that you’re using and link out to it from this central place. The design was super important to me to use with my clients, and then when I ended up selling it to other freelancers and agencies that was actually one of the main things that people comment on and the reason that they buy Client Portal versus something more complex, because they say “Client Portal makes me look good, because Client Portal looks good.” When you’re working with a client and their first impression of you and your project, or maybe not quite your first impression but the first impression when the project is started and when you’ve sold them the product, is this you’re being presented with this custom unique dashboard where everything lives. It just gives them a really good feeling and that sets the tone for the entire project. That you’re a professional, that this is going to be great. It sounds a little bit trite in a way, but I think the people do care about design and they do like when something is nicely designed, and so it’s one of the interesting things being a designer turned product creator is that design is such a huge thing in everything I do. It’s partly because I feel the pressure as a designer to make everything look good, but there’s been a ton of benefits along the way for doing and for prioritizing that.
Joe: Absolutely. Talking about Client Portal specifically, getting stuff from your client can be a job unto itself, and if you use something complicated, they’re going to be less likely to want to use that tool. Simplicity in its design and making it very intuitive is incredibly important for the entire process.
Laura: Yeah, exactly. So when you’re using something more complex, especially with a client, clients turn over relatively quickly a lot of times and they don’t want to learn a new tool every time they work with someone. Because maybe they’re working with a designer, maybe then they’re working with someone else like a business consultant, and if they all have these separate tools that’s a lot to learn. They don’t want to do it and they, for me, I found they just resorted to email, and then I’d have to take their e-mail and put it into a project management tool. Whereas with Client Portal the client is not expected to do anything, the client does not have to do anything at all with it apart from save the link. They log into it, and they can find all their files, everything they need there. Even after the project is completed, I always had this issue where clients would email me like six months after a project would finish being like, “I lost that logo that you did for me. Can you send it again?” And it was super frustrating because maybe I’d store them on external hard drives and I wouldn’t have it on my computer, and I’d have to dig it out, and it was just annoying that I felt like clients couldn’t keep hold of the stuff that I sent them. It was just taking up a bunch of time. So, Client Portal also helps with that, and it’s another reason that I made it.
Joe: Great. Just this morning I had that very issue finding client-related information, and I had to dig through email, and that ate up a bunch of my time.
Laura: Yeah, it sucks.
Joe: It’s awful. And the converse is you say, “What project management tool do you like to use?” And if they like use one, then you have to learn that one, so this is a nice middle ground. It’s easy to use for everybody. I like that. Part of the reason I wanted to talk a little bit about this is because it gives us some groundwork to Design Academy, where you mentioned that you teach design to developers. As a developer myself, I already know the answer to this, but why is it important for developers to know design?
Laura: The reason I teach developers specifically is because during my freelancing work my favorite clients were always developers. If I could work me as a designer and with a developer, the project was amazing. Because they got what I was doing, I got what they were doing, we both had mutual appreciation of each other’s craft. We didn’t have the client in the middle screwing things up. So, I loved working with developers. But one of the problems that they had when I would speak to them is they had all these amazing ideas for different products and tools that they wanted to build. Because, you might be able to relate to this, but it seems like developers just always like making things. That’s just what they love to do. But the problem that they had was they wanted to make something, they wanted it to look decent because everyone else is making things that looked good and they wanted to be able to do the same thing, but they couldn’t necessarily hire a designer to work on it with them because maybe it was going to be something that was open source. Or maybe it was something that they didn’t know whether people would pay money for it yet and they just they just wanted to validate it a little bit. The reason I teach developers is because I want to give them those tools, to be able to make something look decent without needing to hire a designer. That said, I don’t think developers have to learn design. I think there’s a lot of pressure on developers to be good at everything. All these new frameworks and everything that come out, it’s overwhelming, and I know that sometimes it can feel like it’s just too much. I don’t think they have to, but I think it’s a really good idea if they can learn just a few principles to make something look decent. Not anything award winning, but make something look decent. Because the thing about design is that those skills that you have once you’ve learned those principles, you keep them forever. It’s not like a framework or a new tool where there’s something else out in a month, and you have to relearn it. It’s just something that they can learn now that’s going to give them lasting benefit. I would say that it’s beneficial for developers to learn design, but I wouldn’t say that they absolutely have to learn.
Joe: That makes a lot of sense. I feel the same way. Moving from developer to designer, there’s the question of “Do designers need to know HTML and CSS?” And, no, I don’t think so. In some ways, I think maybe that could inhibit what the designer is thinking. If they know the limitations of HTML and CSS, maybe their designs will maybe show those limitations. But I do like this thought, “I want them to make something look decent,” and it’s hard to hire a designer. Then on the other side, when they get to a point where they are ready to hire a designer, maybe they hire you, and now you’re both speaking the same language. I’m not just saying, “Make it pop,” or whatever designers hate to hear. I would hate to hear that one, though.
Laura: It does make it a lot easier when you come to hire a designer. Also, it has that– I think most developers that I speak to they want to get into products in some way, so they want to be able to design to make something look decent. Then when they get enough revenue behind them, they want to be able to hire a designer to maybe do some branding and figure out how this is all going to fit together. But then on top of that, the knowledge that they’ve learned back in their early days on design, when they need to add a new feature or when they need to tweak something. Which is going to happen all the time, and unless you’ve got a full-time designer working for you or a team, you’re going to need to know how to do that. So, it’s really good. The skills are really good when you’re working with a designer, because you have a bit more of an appreciation for what they’re doing, but they’re also going to help you after when you need to change things, and you don’t want to completely wreck the design. I find that you were talking about how designers need to learn– Or designers don’t necessarily need to learn HTML and CSS, it’s completely true. But if they know a little bit, it’s definitely going to help them, but they don’t need to. It’s one of those, and it’s a really difficult balance. It’s useful in pretty much all aspects.
Joe: Yeah, absolutely. One more point on this before we get into the research of Design Academy and how you built the platform and how you marketed it. When I was doing full-time web design development, one of the things that I would do is convert PSDs to working websites. I know that there were a few very design oriented web developers I worked with who would notice if font typography was off just by a little bit. I absolutely did not notice that until I got more mature in the design side of things, They’re like “This is off,” and I’m like “How do you–? No one notices that.” But they spent a lot of time on that design to make sure it looked good.
Laura: That is so true. Yeah. The more you learn about design, and I find it especially with things like typography. The more you know about it, the more you notice when things that you never noticed before, and it’s one of those things that you could argue that “Unless it’s gonna be just designers looking at my product, who cares?” But even though a non-designer might not be able to notice specifically what’s wrong with the design, they will know that something’s off. That you get this– You’re going to have this feeling, like when you look at a website, and they’re similar in structure, but one looks designed, and one doesn’t, and you don’t know why, but that’s just how it is. When you learn design, you learn how to notice what the problem is, and you say “Nine times out of ten it’s probably something like spacing,” things are too squished together or alignment. Really simple things that you wouldn’t think would make a difference, but it’s all these tiny things that build up. But that’s such a good point, and I think it’s completely true that you don’t notice until you start learning.
Joe: Absolutely. I’m very reluctant to point things like that out to my wife who wouldn’t generally notice that, and I’m like “I don’t want to ruin this for you, but here you go.”
Laura: I know the feeling.
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Joe: I like this. Talking about Design Academy, it’s an online course, and you’re specifically targeting developers. We talked about the inception for the course, but what research did you do if any to make sure your messaging is right to target developers?
Laura: My research phase for this was two years or more.
Laura: Not on purpose, I was freelancing at the time, and I had very limited time to dedicate to this. I knew I wanted to make a course, but I didn’t, as much as people told me, I didn’t realize how much work it would be. Even when I came to do it, it was about triple what I thought, and I thought I was being pretty realistic with it. I’ve lost my train of thought.
Joe: No problem. When you just said it was triple, it made me think about, and somebody was like “It should only take you like an hour to create this course.” And I’m like, “No it will not. It will not take me an hour to create this course, though.” That resonated perfectly with me.
Laura: Exactly. It took us so much longer than I thought. Back to– I was thinking, “What was the question again?” It was about research. So when I started researching it what I did, the first thing I did was I knew I wanted to create a course. I didn’t have the time right now, but I thought “I’m going to do it evenings and weekends.” That didn’t happen. What I did was I put up a landing page, which just had an email opt-in. The landing page was really bad, I can’t remember what it said, but it was basically saying “Put in your email address, and you’ll hear about when I’m going to create this course on design for developers.” It was really simple. So, I did that, and people were putting in their email address. I was doing things at the time like I was speaking at conferences, I was going on a few podcasts, I was doing a lot of guest posting because I wanted to get into writing. I knew that building my audience, I knew I wanted to get from freelancing to product and I knew that to get there I needed an audience. At this point, my focus was building that audience, so what I did was I had the landing page, and anytime I did a guest post or something I’d put a link to it. People would slowly sign up, and I very slowly built a list of people, and what I do was I would– When they signed up I just emailed them saying, “What led you to sign up today? What are you struggling with? Why do you want to learn design?” And they’d reply back to me, and I would collate every single answer that they gave me, and I’d put it into a spreadsheet which I’m still keeping up to date today. It’s absolutely humongous. I have headings with their different struggles at the top, and then I’d paste in exactly what they were telling me underneath. Over time I would reply to them, my list was small, so I could have conversations with them to find out what they needed, find out what they wanted it to be. It just give me a really good idea of what Design Academy was going to be. So, like I said, my research phase was like two years, but it wasn’t intentional. I finally got to the stage where I had someone email in being like, “I appreciate all the valuable content you’re sending out, but can you release something, some paid course? Please?” They sounded a little bit annoyed because they were like, “I’ve been waiting for so long and every email you send I’m hoping it’s gonna be something that I can buy, and it’s not.” I was like, “Wow I need to do something now.” So that gave me the push to be like, “OK. I’m going to open up preorders because I can’t freelance while I’m building a course. I just can’t. I opened up preorders that did well, and it allowed me to take off about three months. Which I needed full time, I was doing about seven days a week building this course, but the preorders helped me do that. So that’s that’s pretty much how I went from research phase to doing it, but I definitely needed that kick, and I needed to not be freelancing at the same time.
Joe: Wow. There’s a bunch of really good things to touch on here. First is, you knew you needed to build an audience. I think that’s something that I’ve maybe learned the hard way over the last year, because I’m very Field of Dreams when I’m like, “I’ll just build this and people will buy it.”
Laura: [You’re Rome.]
Joe: Yeah, exactly. That’s not necessarily, that’s not usually the case at least. I like that you set up a pretty simple landing page, you told people what they were getting, and then you’ve built a rapport with them enough that one person was comfortable enough to be like, “I want to give you money. Can you please let me do that?” Then the other thing you did was opened up preorders. This is advice that I hear a lot, and you open up preorders to– Maybe you didn’t necessarily do this, but the advice that I got is “Open up preorders to prove that people are definitely willing to pay for it.” Because if you open up your preorders and nobody buys it, then you don’t have to spend seven days a week for over three months building a thing nobody’s going to want.
Laura: Yeah, exactly. I do agree with that. I think it’s difficult though, because the problem is what happens if it’s probably not going to be zero people buy it, or a ton of people buy it. What if ten people buy it and that ten is just not worth it? You then have to refund them, which is awkward and probably looks bad on you. Which I wouldn’t want to do. I think it is really good advice, the difference that I had though is that I was pretty sure that people would buy because I’d been so engaged in talking to my list. People were super passionate about it and I could– I don’t know how, but I could tell that it was going to go well. I think that’s key, because I’ve done things in the past where I’ve tried to productize different things and the response has been a bit weak, and I could tell that it wasn’t going to go well. Then when I did launch something, it didn’t go well. With Design Academy I didn’t have that, and I knew it was going to do well. I don’t know if I would have launched preorders for something unless I was pretty certain that I was going to do it, but it’s still a risk. Because you either have to refund everyone, or you have to build it, and maybe you haven’t made enough money from it. There’s nothing that takes the risk away, and I don’t think.
Joe: You’re absolutely right. I’ve been in both of those situations, and I’m currently in one where I have preorders, and I’m certain and very sure the course will do well, I just haven’t reached the right audience. I’m accepting the risk of putting time into the course and then working with people to build up the right audience, which is again, backward from what you’ve done. But I want to get this course out. I’m very excited about it.
Laura: I don’t think there’s– I don’t think either of them are wrong ways to do it. There’s stuff that I’m planning now like I’m planning a different course that I’m not going to do preorders for. I’m just going to build it and then work on and selling it later. So, it just depends so much on an individual situation. You’re pretty sure, and you’ve got the experience to know that when you build the course, you’re going to be able to find the right audience. It’s just right now, having something to sell is going to be better than trying to build that audience first. It just depends completely.
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Joe: One thing I love talking about because I’m an educator, is how you built the course. I’m looking at the page right now, which I will link in the show notes. It’s DesignAcademy.io. You’ve got six modules, and you mentioned this, that you have a big spreadsheet where you ask your subscribers, “What is the biggest problem you have?” Did that serve as a boilerplate for how this course was created?
Laura: It did, but I struggled with figuring out how I was going to teach this. The mistake that I made was I made the course– I figured the course was going to be too broad. I’m going to teach developers how to design? That’s super broad. There are so many different types of design that a developer is going to want to do. Some of them– I found in my responses from the spreadsheet that some of them were working in-house at a company, and they wanted to know how to build features that were on brand and looked good. Other people were in e-commerce, and they wanted to know how to make their e-commerce websites look better and convert better. Some people were doing a SaaS, some people were doing their own products, and they wanted to know how to design and build a web app. There was just so many different avenues, and it took me so long to figure out how I’m going to teach this. I realized that it’s impossible to do all of that in one course, so what I did was I completely stripped all that out, and I thought “OK. What does every one of these different people need to know to give them the basics to be able to take what they’re doing and take it further?” The initial course outline was just based on the feedback, but it was based on these different personas. I was trying not to go too far in one direction, but just to give everyone the principles, and what I’m actually doing with Design Academy now is I have that baseline course where you learn about how to choose and pair colors, and you learn how to look at a design and see what’s wrong with it like we were talking about earlier. You learn about typography, all that stuff that everyone needs to know, but what’s going to happen now is that I’m currently building a bunch of different tracks for it. We’ve got the web app track, then we’ll have the e-commerce track, and the SaaS app track, the training website track, and all these different add ons that you can then– It’s kind of like a build your own design course based on what you learn. That helped, and once I realized that “I don’t need to teach everyone everything in this course.” It became a lot easier for me to put together a syllabus because I was treading water trying to figure out what to do for such a long time. I guess what I’m trying to say is, for me, niche-ing the cause I suppose– I don’t know if that’s the right word, but refocusing the course helped me build it.
Joe: That’s fantastic. Because I’ve taught at the college level for ten years, but students are put in a box. They have a major, and they have a minor, they have prerequisite for certain courses. Coming up with the curriculum you basically know the students who are gonna be in the course, when you release an online course it’s– Anybody can register for it. It’s up to you to make sure you’re communicating the things you’re going to learn. “Here’s what you know, or here’s what I believe you already know.” But the way you just described it sounds like you have the fundamentals course, and then people can choose their own adventure. Like those books from the 90s. I love that. I think that’s cool, and I think that’s probably a good takeaway, something for at least me to think about as I move forward with my courses. I also noticed– Actually, let’s get to the text stack a little bit. You had DesignAcademy.io, and I noticed that it is a closed enrollment. So it’s–?
Laura: Yep. Yeah.
Joe: OK, cool. How did you build this site? What are you using for the LMS and things like that?
Laura: The site is built on WordPress, and I use Sensei, which is the LMS. Then I actually custom designed the courseware and used a developer to help put that on top of Sensei, again because of that whole pressure “Because I’m a designer teaching a design course I felt like it all had to look good.” So I custom designed all of the courseware, and people like that, which is great. Totally unnecessary for the vast majority of people. If I didn’t do that, I’d probably, I was looking into Teachable or Podio or something, which is such a faster, easier way to get something up. But I knew I wanted something custom because whenever I use services, I always regret it in the long term, because I want to own things, and I want to be able to customize them. So, I built that myself. Sensei has been great. I haven’t used anything other than that, so I can’t tell you whether it’s good or bad. It works.
Joe: If it works for you, it’s good, right? That’s generally what I tell people.
Laura: Yeah, it’s good.
Joe: Cool, very cool. I love that you designed it and you went the custom route. I feel the same way, and when I launched my online courses site, I was like “I’m going to spend no time doing development. I want to focus on content.” And then I was like, “But I want this thing. I want the video to be big at the top with the information below,” and I just knew how I liked to take online courses and I knew what worked for my students, and I have the ability to do that. So again, you’re speaking my language here, designing the whole experience.
Laura: It’s definitely advice, if you’ve got that skill set, it is worth it. It has been for me, anyway. I take a lot of pride in everything in the course, and it’s basically based on me. I’m the one behind it, I’m the one teaching it, so I wanted it to look good. People would possibly argue that there were better things I could have been doing with my time, but I don’t regret it, because I love it when people email me saying “This courseware is amazing. Where can I buy it?” And I’m like, “Maybe I should sell the courseware. Or the theme.”.
Joe: That’s awesome. That’s cool. So it’s a video course, are you using something custom for the videos as well? Or are you using some solution for that?
Laura: I use Vimeo, and then I embed them into the courseware. It was between Vimeo and, what’s the other one, Wistia.
Laura: I loved Wistia because I love everything they do as a company, it’s just so cool. But it just came down to price in the end.
Joe: I’ve looked into Wistia as well, they do some cool things, but it’s prohibitively expensive.
Laura: Yeah. Vimeo ended up being pretty expensive for me in the end. It’s not too bad, and I can’t remember what I pay now. But I thought I could get away with one of the cheaper plans, and then I realized that there were some features on the higher plans that customers wanted and I was like “OK, fine.”
Joe: Gotcha. Very cool. I’ll definitely link to both of those in the show notes as well. I’m just going to do– We’ve had a good conversation. We’re coming up on time here. The last thing I want to ask you, and maybe we can roll this into plans for the future which we already touched on, was you did a closed enrollment. What was the reasoning behind that?
Laura: At the minute I’m just testing things, so I don’t know if I’m going to keep the closed enrollment. What I didn’t want to do is, previously I just did sales and discounts. I don’t want to do that with this, because it wasn’t working very well I don’t think, aside from after the preorders, doing a discount didn’t seem to be working well enough. I wanted to close enrollment, and the reason the preorders went so well is because I was saying “This is going to be open for three days and then it’s gone for a couple of months.” I think that’s what made it do well. So I’m testing closed enrollment now to see if that has the same effect, I don’t have the answer just yet, but I think I will keep it. The way it’s looking now I think I am going to keep it as closed enrollment. One thing I’ve been toying with is I’ve been toying with an evergreen closed enrollment, which is where people sign up and do the free course, and then they get pitched. They have a very brief open enrollment period for a few days, and I’ve been doing that for a while, but now I’m actually going to try closing enrollment for everyone and just doing the whole quarterly launch thing. I’m just in the testing stage at the minute.
Joe: Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. I’ve heard this from a lot of people who are doing online courses, is you can’t create scarcity with a digital product. Scarcity is one of a big motivator at least for people to want to buy. You’re right, discounts– I’m offering a 33% discount on all of my courses right now because it’s my birth month as we record this and that’s how old I turned.
Laura: Yay, congrats.
Joe: Thank you very much. I made it 33 years. But people aren’t necessarily moved by the discount rate.
Joe: So, there’s something else you have to do, and I’ve heard a lot of great success with the closed enrollment.
Laura: I think I’m going to keep it up. The downside to what I’ve been doing like I said I’ve been doing the evergreen one, which I don’t know if I like. It’s very easy for me. But I think I want to switch to the quarterly launches thing because I like the idea of being able to do things like web life webinars and stuff like that and have a large group of people. What was cool about my preorders is I had a large group of people all join straight away, and they joined this Facebook group, and they all came in at the same time and said “Hey.” They were working through the stuff at the same time. And I don’t know if you saw Jennifer’s talk at CaboPress about online courses. She was saying that she does the hole everyone goes through at the same time, and I’m thinking of moving to that because it’s got the scarcity, but it doesn’t feel as sleazy. Because there is a really good reason as to why enrollment is closed, it’s not just because you’re trying to make more sales, and it’s going to benefit the students too.
Joe: It’s almost like a college semester, where a class enrolls at the same time, and then they have your undivided attention almost.
Laura: Yeah, exactly. You can answer questions, and everyone is going and can help each other. It’s a lot–
Joe: Right, instead of just focusing on constantly selling. These are words that you didn’t say explicitly, but I like that you’re selling me on this model right now as we talk.
Laura: Cool. I will let you know how it goes.
Joe: Absolutely. For those interested, I did interview Jennifer Bourne on the show, so I will link her episode in the show note, and you can get the full effect of what you talked about. So, this episode has been great. Laura, I do want to ask you my favorite question, which is, do you have any trade secrets for us?
Laura: See, I don’t know. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, and I don’t know. I don’t know if I do. The only thing I could think of is, one thing that’s helped me is I try to build in the open a lot by– It’s really hard to do if you don’t like self-promoting, but post everything that you’re doing. If you’re trying to sell an online course, I definitely don’t do this enough but post everything you do. If I’m designing something, even if it’s not to do with my design course. Post it on Twitter or Facebook, because I’ve had some fantastic partnerships come from something I posted on Twitter that I thought nobody would see. It’s been one of those things where you say a lot of things is based on luck, but then you can increase your luck surface area. I’m not sure who said that by doing stuff like this it feels pointless, but it works sometimes. I don’t know if that’s a secret though, to be honest.
Joe: I like that a lot, though. I mean that’s part of the reason this podcast exists because I was asking people these questions and I was like “Maybe other people will benefit.” And so, now we’re having this conversation in the open. I think that’s a really good trade secret, and social media has enabled us to do this. Maybe the next time you’re editing or something, you can have your Instagram story going, and talk about what you’re doing. I think that would be cool. Awesome. Laura, thanks so much for joining me today. I appreciate it. Where can people find you?
Laura: You can– If you want to find out more about Design Academy you can go to DesignAcademy.io if you want to find out about Client Portal you can go to Client-Portal.io. Don’t put hyphens in domain names, by the way. I regret that so much. And then if you want to if you want to say hi you can– The best place to get me is Twitter, it’s @laurium. Or you can email me, my email addresses on those two websites they just showed you.
Joe: Perfect. I will link all of that and everything that we’ve talked about in the show notes. Laura, thanks so much for joining me. I appreciate it.
Laura: Thank you.
Outro: Thanks again so much to Laura for joining me today. Again, I learned so much from this interview. I loved everything she said about doing things like designing in the open, and the need to build an audience if you want to go from freelancing to products. That’s a lesson that I learned the hard way. I wish I had that advice two years ago. I hope that as you think about building a course, you take her advice to heart. My question of the week for you is, “Do you plan on building an online course? If so, what’s it about?” Let me know via email, Joe@HowIBuilt.it or on Twitter @jcasabona. For all of the show notes you can head over to HowIBuilt.it/111. If you liked this episode feel free to give it a rating and review on Apple podcasts, it helps people discover the show. Until next time, get out there and build something.