The Jill Lynn Design you see today didn’t just happen.
Getting here was an evolution.
And last week, I had the opportunity to share this evolution in a Facebook Live interview with Judi Knight—one of the women who was central in helping me learn about WordPress back when I didn’t know what the heck I was doing!
That’s right. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing.
My history: I went to college and got a marketing degree. I didn’t even realize that graphic design was a career until after I graduated. But with a computer programmer dad, I learned to type at a young age and was a self-proclaimed computer nerd. I always felt at home behind a keyboard/computer screen. So sometime after college graduation, I got my hands on some design programs. Combined with my marketing degree, I was a fish in water. Before I knew it, I was living in New York working for Barnes & Noble Publishing, designing book covers.
After coming back to Atlanta and starting my full-time freelance career in 2007, I did print design, packaging and catalogs—but so many of my clients needed websites. I decided I could help them with that. (Back then I wasn’t even marketing. I was just trying to do good work. Luckily enough work came from referrals until I started to get my marketing-act together.)
In 2008, I did my first WordPress site—and I was hooked. But I was still pretty clueless in the grand scheme of things. That’s when I started to learn everything I could about WordPress…an adventure that led me to Judi, WordCamp, the amazing WordPress community, and the Jill Lynn Design of today…where I can now confidently say I built pretty-darn-good websites for my clients (much better than that first one in 2008).
There was plenty of doubt and “imposter syndrome” along the way—but I think it’s my continued commitment to learn that kept me moving forward. Here’s the reality…things keep changing no matter what. To be good at what we do, we always have to keep on learning.
So if you have a goal to be a WordPress designer but can’t yet see how things will fall into place, here are a few tips:
- Embrace learning: It’s always there for us, and it’s something we can/should do our whole lives.
- Skip the negative thoughts and the self-doubt, and just get out there and move forward: try, experiment, network, learn.
- Admit what you don’t know—and admit what you do know.
- Get help where we need it. We can’t do/learn/handle everything ourselves!
- Have a niche. Everyone I know who has one is glad they do. It works.