Every now and then we see one of those unique gems where people really break the mould of what’s “normal”, and they create a life working from home doing what they love. Holly is one of those gems! She started learning with us here at eBusiness Institute back when she was only 14 years old. And now at 21, she is working full time from home with her very own digital agency. Plus, she’s also helping create income from digital leads for her family’s business. And she’s generating passive income through buying and selling websites for profit. Go Holly!!
We’ve shown some great examples lately of young people who have been setting themselves up for long-term digital success; Jack being one of them. It really shows how the traditional schooling system and the ways you can earn income are changing.
But what we also want to point out here is that it doesn’t matter how old you are when you start learning new things. With a clear vision, the right mindset, and the digital skills behind you, it is possible to create the lifestyle and income you want. You can set yourself up for the future at any age to create the future and security that you and your family deserves.
CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW to hear how Holly creates her own lifestyle working from home
At 21 Years Old – Holly is working from home full time and creating life on her own terms
Liz Raad: Today we have another very special guest. I’m here with Holly, and we’ve asked you to come on and chat to me because you’ve had such a cool story and you’ve been up to some really good stuff over the last few years.
So, I wanted to find out a bit more about your journey in this digital world and what started you out and where you’ve got to now because it’s very exciting.
So, Holly can you give us a bit of a brief history – where did you start? What made you join in the digital world?
Holly: I started coming to your 3-day Digital Investors workshops when I was about 14. I would come along, set up my iPad, and just listen to what Matt and Liz Raad had to teach about buying and selling websites for profit.
By the time I finished school, I decided to study with eBusiness Institute to learn web design, rather than going to university. I’m still really happy with that decision!
After I finished the elite student program (called Champions), I networked with a lot of past students like Renee. I would talk to them about how they started their business and what it was like being able to work from home. From there I decided to start my own digital agency to build websites for local businesses.
Liz: Yes, so here you are today, and how old are you now?
Holly: I’m 21 years old.
Liz: Fantastic! You’re 21 years old, and you run your own business. And I love that when we spoke earlier, you told me:
“I’m creating income on my terms.” – Holly
Holly: Yes. It’s so much better than going and getting a job.
Making Money Online by Building Websites for Local Businesses
Liz: What an awesome achievement Holly. You’ve always been a great action-taker. So, what have you got in the pipeline at the moment? What are some of your proudest achievements at the moment?
Holly: I’ve got about six jobs in the pipeline in the moment for my digital agency business. I have provided interested local businesses with quotes to build websites, and I’m meeting with them regularly.
Liz: These are good jobs, aren’t they? What sort of level of websites are you producing now?
Holly: My average quote for local business website builds are around $2,000-$4,000. Sometimes the quote can be $5,000 for local companies. So, it’s pretty good money.
I also have a portfolio of websites that are now generating leads for local businesses. I’m starting to make my first cheques for those now.
And I’m slowly building up my own portfolio of websites, which helps to create passive income online.
Generating a Monthly Income Stream by offering Local Businesses ongoing SEO
Liz: Fantastic! And in terms of how you’re building sites, the other thing I noticed you’re doing is you’re getting that lovely ongoing SEO work as well.
Holly: Yes. So, I go out and build the website for local businesses, and that generates good income. But then people sign up for ongoing hosting, maintenance and SEO. This just slowly builds up an ongoing trailing income which is very nice.
Liz: It is. And at this young age, you’re building yourself an online asset. So, this company that you’ve now started, who knows what you’re going to be selling out for at some point? And, I know with your goals, you’ll get there.
Holly winning graduate award with Matt Raad
Holly: And with all the website builds I’m doing, the money I’m making by working from home is being set aside. This allows me to reinvest and buy even more portfolio sites, building up my online real estate to be bigger and bigger.
Liz: Wow! Your mum must be so proud of you. So, she brought you along to our 3-day workshop as a young girl. You were just sitting there on your iPad and now here you are with your own company. Is she pretty happy about that?
Holly: Yes, she’s pretty happy.
Making Money Online Allows Holly to Earn While She Travels
Liz: That’s awesome. And you’ve been back and forth to England a few times since then as well, haven’t you?
Holly: Yes, I took a working holiday to England to visit my family. I was sitting there at 4 o’clock in the morning with jet lag, working on my websites. Which is one the reason I wanted to make money online, is you can do it anywhere in the world.
Liz: That’s true. You can have clients and help them out from anywhere in the world.
Starting Early – Building those Digital Skills to make Passive Income Online
So, you went through and you learned the knowledge to build your digital skills. For another person of your age (starting out very young), what do you think your keys to success are in terms of your journey?
Holly: Oh, just going through the course, gaining the knowledge and then actually putting your new digital skills into practice.
Gaining Confidence by Practicing new Digital Skills through small Website Builds
You can start by building some free websites for local businesses, just so you can prove to yourself that you have the skills. Even if it’s just for your local bookkeeper (or a friend), just get out there and have a go. I started out just printing a couple of business cards and going to meetings and seeing what happened.
Liz: Yes, and that helps grow your confidence as well? I mean, you’re interacting in an adult’s world here as quite young.
Holly: Yes, it’s been really good! It starts off really difficult when you’re young. It’s hard when you’re 18 and trying to sell websites to a 40-year-old person, who’s been around for 20 years. But when you get talking to them, you really get to understand the business and you build up your confidence. It gets a lot easier and it gets really fun to talk to them and to get to know how they started their businesses.
Liz: What’s great is that you’re going to be learning a lot of great stuff from all those businesses you’re working with. You can learn all these interesting things.
Digital Tools and Resources to support local Website Builds
And that’s what we did as well. We always loved talking to business owners. And with the checklists that we give to our elite students, it’s really helpful so you can go through and help them improve their business as well as building them a website.
Holly: Yes, I always go through the checklist and have found the best questions to ask most often:
- What are their needs?
- What is their aim?
- What do they actually want to get on the website?
- Who are their target audience?
Clients really appreciate having someone sit down there and ask them these questions. Seeing that you really understand them, their business and what they need.
Liz: It’s incredible that you’ve learnt that so young and it’s really going to set you up well for the future. I’m looking forward to seeing where you’re heading with that.
Using Digital Strategy to Support the Family Business
Now, going back to the very first website you built – you did a couple of free local website builds, didn’t you? This first website was for your family, and I remember you built that really quickly. How long did that take you to build your first website?
Holly: It took three days to build my first website.
Liz: Wow. So, that’s pretty amazing from start to finish. Three days, you had your first website under your belt, and it was a great website too.
Holly: Yes, that was a very interesting one. And I’m actually still pretty happy with it all these years later.
Liz: Well done! And you built your family business website as well, which is fantastic. This is a great way to practice building your digital skills, but also contributes something to the family as well.
Holly: Yes, and even if the website produces a couple of jobs out of it, it really helps out the family. It’s great to see that it’s out there and customers are calling through it.
“It’s really exciting when you actually get results for people and they get actual phone calls because of what you did” – Liz Raad
Holly: It’s the best feeling.
Liz: So, I’m interested to know – do you have any stories to share? Do you have any clients that you really enjoyed working with that you found good results for?
Holly: Well, my best client was actually my very first paid client. It was my bookkeeper.
So, she had someone come to build her website for her for $1,000 and she paid $500 upfront. But they took that $500 deposit and did nothing for it but the design brief. So, I took the design brief and I offered to build the website for her for the final $500.
She was the very first paying customer for my digital agency, and the very first person to sign up for an ongoing monthly SEO and maintenance.
Liz: Brilliant. Well done. It all starts small and builds from there.
Using Networking to Find to Generate More Business Income from Home
And then, how did you get to that next stage of growth? Once you’ve done your first couple of websites, what do you think the key for someone who’s wanting to step up and grow their business. What have you found has been the most important thing?
Holly: For me, the most important thing for generating business has been networking. Going out there, going to events, and talking to people. You really need to figure out who you’re looking for, and what they need. And then you need the confidence to actually talk to people and ask for what you want.
Finding the confidence to ask for bigger sales
Because at first, I knew I was building websites that I could sell for $2,000, but I didn’t have the confidence to ask for it. Then for my first $5,000 sale, my mum really had to push me to ask for that amount of money. But after that first sale, it’s now really easy to ask for that amount. You just have to slowly build up the confidence.
Liz: Yes. And that’s something I think people at any age need to overcome, is that hurdle of valuing themselves and asking for what they’re actually worth. Because you do deliver incredible value for those people. They get increases in turnover in their business, they get more phone calls, they get more profit in their business. So really – $5,000 for most businesses is quite a small amount of money.
Holly: And you do get a return of investment once you get more customers from all the leads you generate for it.
Liz: That’s great.
The Freedom of Earning Income Online and Living Life on Your Own Terms
Now, do you have any advice for any other young people out there, wanting to get out and make money online, or do something differently and be able to work from home etc.? What’s been the best thing about owning your own business?
Holly: Being able to organise my own schedule. Not having to do a nine-to-five job, or shift work.
I have the freedom to work my hours at home. And when I have to organise a meeting, I have complete control of my calendar – I can book a meeting, book a catch up, or book a coffee. And that’s really nice to have the freedom.
Liz: And is that different to your other friends?
Holly: Yes, lots of them have jobs working part time at McDonald’s, or they’re at university. And when I ask to catchup they often say, “Oh, I can’t do it this time, I’ve got to be somewhere.” So, I can just change things around whenever I want.
But the biggest bit of advice is to just go out there and do it. Have a go. And the more you do it, the more confident you get. And then you look back two, three, six months later and you go, “Wow, I can’t believe I was scared of doing that just a little while ago.” The more you do it the easier it gets.
Liz: That’s right. Well, congratulations again. It’s great to catch up with you, to hear your experiences, and also where you’ve come to. At 21 years old, you now own your own company, and I really look forward to seeing your future. Thanks so much for being with us Holly.