Today you get to hear from Katy Boykin, who is an incredible brand designer and WordPress designer. My goal with this interview is to show you what's possible in your business. Katy has built a business with young kids at home, had multiple career pivots, dealt with imposter syndrome, and is such a prime example of following God’s calling. Her story will inspire you and motivate you in your design business. Plus, she’s a part of Booked Out Designer, and is such a success story as to what’s possible!
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What Led to Katy Boykin Joining Booked Out Designer?
Katy joined Booked Out Designer during the initial beta launch. She's had many wins and seen so much growth in her business. She has grown and evolved to different offers, clients, and pricing.
After creating a successful Christian blog, Katy began getting inquiries for website design services. Though she didn't identify as a website designer, she knew more of her time was being designated for website design rather than her blog. At a certain point, Katy felt burdened by and distracted from her blog. In February 2021, she sold the blog for a five-figure price tag. Through this sale, Katy was hired for four website design projects.
Katy says, "It was scary selling since it felt like because I was a Christian blogger and I was writing a ton of Christian content all the time, I thought I was selling out on my calling. But I had to trust God that this was the next right step and that I could still honor God and use my gift as a website designer to serve the world. He has faithfully shown me that that's the case."
Katy Boykin's Decision to Join Booked Out Designer
“In February 2021, the deal officially went through with my blog, and that was the same month that I signed up for Booked Out Designer. I have looked up to Elizabeth for so many years.
I had been binge-listening to the podcast and soaking it all in. As soon as she said that she was doing a course, I was like; I will be the first one! I had been craving the fact that you were going to launch this course. The course was instrumental in my growth as a designer. It was really through going through all the modules and lessons, having your voice in my ear, and giving me the confidence that I could do it. It was like you were saying, 'You can raise your prices. Here's how to onboard your clients.'
Having that structure helped me elevate my business overall from an organizational perspective. One of the best compliments I typically get from my clients is how organized my projects are (spoiler alert, it's Elizabeth's process). It's what I get a lot of testimonials about to this day. People say, 'I just aspire to be as organized as Katy is.' But, again, it's Elizabeth's process; I'm just implementing it."
How Katy Boykin's Business Has Evolved Since Joining Booked Out Designer
"When I first started doing projects for clients, everything was in the Google Workspace where I was doing Google Docs. Everything was via email, and that was such a messy process. If I ever work with another client who's working with another service provider, and they are not using some streamlined communication form, it drives me bananas.
I love that Basecamp allows me to chat with people, and I get onto my project board, and I'm working it through my system rather than being in my inbox all day. I hated that. I also got onto your Dubsado program. So now I have proposals going out that are professional and convert well. I've got the contracts and the invoicing; that system works seamlessly for me." [Get the full process Katy is talking about inside of Booked Out Designer!]
Katy Boykin's Pricing Evolution
"I remember someone in the founding member group said they booked a huge project, charging between $5,000 and $10,000. I wondered how I could achieve that as well. Then I had a referral come through that wasn't necessarily my ideal client, but they had a pretty decent size website, and I knew that redesigning it would take time and attention to detail. So I booked that client for $6,000. That was a project that I learned all my business lessons from. It was game-changing. I remember going into the Booked Out Designer Facebook group and sharing that I had just booked a $6,000 project.
When I was able to land this big client, my confidence level just went through the roof. I think it was just being surrounded by people who were also leveling up and sharing that they were able to take on these big price tags. It gave me the belief in myself that I could also charge those rates. From there, I've been able to book multiple projects that have been close to $10,000. These higher price tags are possible and doable with the right clientele."
How The Community and Coaching Calls in Booked Out Designer Have Helped Katy Boykin
"I can go into the community and ask any question that I realistically need. One thing I love about the group, in particular, is that it's not about the tool we're using; it's about the business we're building. So in a lot of other groups, I might go ask a question of how do I tactically implement this thing with Cadence or Elementor or whatever the plugin is.
Those are not the questions that we're asking in this group. The questions are like, 'Hey, I'm ready to hire a junior designer. Does anybody have a job description that I can use?' I asked that question yesterday, and someone was able to answer that for me quickly. It's sharing the wins and having other people celebrate with you.
The Booked Out Designer community questions are just a different level of question. It's not platform specific. We have WordPress, Showit, Squarespace, Kajabi, Wix, and so many other types of designers.”
Katy Boykin's Advice For Those Who Want to Become Designers
"Work with clients one on one. If you are deciding that this is the thing you want to do, start with one on one clients and start with one person who will trust you to build your skill set. Even before that, though, just practice. Then, you create a website and build your own thing. Try to start a blog on your own if you're not sure this is something you want to start with because you're going to learn so much about how to increase traffic, how to monetize your blog, and what content will rank.
Lean on and hone your skills. Your skills are what's going to ultimately allow you to charge more. You may have to do a project for free just so that you can get a testimonial and have a success story. I didn't ever intend to become a designer, but that's naturally how God gifted me and how I was helping and serving people as other people were helping and serving me. You just need to be faithful and grow your skills, working with people one-on-one, and It will come with time.”
Katy Boykin's Opinion About Being a WordPress Designer
"WordPress, I would say, is a little fussier to figure out at the beginning. You must figure out private hosting, acquire plugins, and optimize site speed. Of course, the business owners who don't want to manage any of that stuff are going to Showit. I got into WordPress because WordPress is the go-to for all things content creation and blogging.
If you want to monetize your website with ads, you will have to use something like WordPress to do that. It depends on what your goal is and who you want to attract. Figure out what kind of clientele you want to work with, and then pick your platform from there. I love WordPress, but it's the only thing I learned how to build a website with. So naturally, I just ran with those skills."
Katy Boykin's Unpopular Design Opinion
"I don't use Adobe XD or Illustrator to start on the website like most designers. Once I have the client content and my kickoff call, I immediately start working on the website's homepage in WordPress. I don't create a mock-up or anything. Part of that is because that’s how I was trained, and it's just how my brain is wired to work. I'm sure there are advantages to that, but at this point, trying to learn that skill would be a huge step backward for me."
What Katy Boykin Would Say to Anyone Considering Joining Booked Out Designer
"When I invested in the program, it was a huge investment. You did an amazing job having a pre-launch runway so I could plan for that expense. That was helpful to me because I knew I wanted to learn from you.
I use the Profit First method in my business, so I put aside money before I ever pay myself, and it's worked beautifully. I could take the money I was planning on paying myself and invest that back into the course. So I know what it's like to make a huge investment when you don't feel ready for it.
Booked Out Designer has been the single greatest investment that I've made as a website designer. If you are a designer specifically and want to learn the business side of design, Booked Out Designer is hands down the best investment you can make.
There are so many things that you just don't know until you. There are 90 lessons, and Elizabeth walks you through everything. It's just nice having that content, knowing that I can return to it any time and continue to grow and learn. It's not like, 'Okay, I consumed her course, that was it. Now what?' She's constantly adding things to it; there are always seasons when I can go back and refine certain processes. So it's been an amazing investment for me."
October 20, 2022