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I'm Mara — I help creatives create and launch digital courses and profitable products. I love chatting about online marketing, design and goal setting!

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For Entrepreneurs

An Honest Review of Booked Out Designer by Elizabeth McCravy

If you’re considering joining Elizabeth McCravy’s Booked Out Designer course, this blog is for you! Maybe you’ve been following Elizabeth for a long time or found Booked Out Designer because you were looking for a course to help you grow your business. Today, I’m sharing a behind-the-scenes look at the course, my student experience, and the results I saw in my business.

Important Affiliate Disclaimer: I’m an affiliate for this course, and if you join using my link, I receive a commission on the sale (at no extra cost to you). I joined Booked Out Designer over two years ago, and this blog reflects my honest opinion and experience as a student.

Investing in yourself with online courses and continuing education is essential to growing your business. But it’s easy to overspend and get overwhelmed with the number of things you “should be learning.” It can be challenging to balance keeping up with an online course while running a business, so I don’t purchase a lot of online courses! I’m intentional about only joining courses that align with where I am in my business and will support me in reaching my current goals. To give you an idea of how few courses I’ve joined, in 2021, I only enrolled in two mini-courses besides Booked Out Designer.

What’s Booked Out Designer?

Elizabeth McCravy is an amazingly talented Showit designer. You might know her from her Breakthrough Brand podcast, blog, or Showit website templates, or maybe you just found her in the process of looking for a course to help you in your business! Booked Out Designer is an online course and coaching program to help people run more successful website design businesses.

My Business Before Booked Out Designer

Before joining Booked Out Designer, I’d been doing freelance work since 2010. I left my traditional full-time job in 2019 after replacing my salary, but I quickly discovered that as my business grew, I’d managed to create a new day job for myself. I wasn’t feeling the freedom I was hoping to get from owning my own business.

But even though I was technically already a booked out designer with a full roster of clients (and a waiting list!), I was also experiencing some burnout. Taking time off was incredibly difficult; I worked long hours way more often than I wanted, and because I had such a heavy client load, I found it hard to work on improving my business.

So, when I saw Booked Out Designer was open for enrollment, I was on the fence about joining. I wasn’t sure it was the right fit for me, and I didn’t sign up until the last month of launch, in July of 2021. Spoiler alert: I’m so glad I signed up! But before I get into everything that makes Booked Out Designer great, I want to be transparent and share some of the reservations I had about joining, in case it helps you work through your own!

Why I almost didn’t join Booked Out Designer 

If you’re similar to me, your brain is probably buzzing with a million reasons not to join a course when trying to make a big decision like this. Who wants to make a significant investment and regret it in a few months when you notice you never really used the course? Here are some of the specific worries I had before joining:

  • Would I even have time to go through the course? I had plenty of client work but only a little free time to work through lessons.
  • I wasn’t a Showit Designer. My services focus on instructional design, online course setup, and sales page design. Would this course even work for me?
  • Couldn’t I just figure this all out on my own? I might save myself some money!
  • I was embarrassed. Some parts of my business had been on the back burner, and I wasn’t very proud of them. Despite making more money than I had at corporate jobs and owning a thriving business, I didn’t regularly post on social media, my website was super basic, and I had a million simple business to-dos on my list. Should I fix those things before investing in another course?

My Objections to Joining: 

If you’re similar to me, your brain is probably buzzing with a million reasons why not to join a course when you’re trying to make a big decision like this. No one wants to make a large investment and regret it in a few months when you notice you never really used the course. Here are some of the specific things I worried about prior to joining:

  • Was I even going to have time to go through the course? I had a lot of client work but not a lot of free time in my schedule to be working through lessons
  • I wasn’t a Showit Designer. My services focus on instructional design, online course setup and sales page design so would this course even work for me?
  • Couldn’t I just figure this all out on my own and save myself the money?
  • There were parts of my business that honestly felt a little embarrassing and maybe I should fix those things before investing in another course. Despite having a thriving business (where I now make more money than my previous corporate jobs) I didn’t regularly post on social media, my website was super basic and I had a bunch of other super simple business things on my to-do list.  Should I fix those things before investing in another course?

Why I joined Booked Out Designer: 

  1. I’ve followed Elizabeth for years and recommended her products so many times! I first discovered her when researching ways to help clients who were having difficulty managing their websites and didn’t want to bring on a web designer for every change. I’ve been hooked ever since.
  2. I knew Elizabeth had similar business values to my own. She cares so much about her clients and her work’s quality (which also matter to me!) Learning from someone who has similar goals is refreshing and inspiring.
  3. TIME! This was the biggest issue I was facing in my business. Having a proven process I could use to streamline my own business would save me so much time over researching everything on my own.
  4. The opportunity to have a strong community. Running an online business can be lonely sometimes, and I wanted a community of peers working through similar issues in their businesses.

My experience with Booked Out Designer

I’m a past middle school teacher and current instructional designer, so trust me when I say my expectations for any online course I join are insanely high! I’ve set up hundreds of online courses for large companies and entrepreneurs, so I approach courses with a critical eye. Booked Out Designer completely exceeded my expectations in every way! This is exactly the course I wish I had been able to find when I first started my business.

The video lessons and modules are convenient to watch and incredibly detailed; I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone share their process as transparently as Elizabeth. She gives a behind-the-scenes look at how she implements strategies in her own business and even includes recordings of her client calls to give students concrete examples. The lessons offer instructions and ideas on what to do with finances, networking, marketing, client experience, and so much more.

All students are invited to join a private Facebook group, which has become my favorite place online these days. Everyone is so supportive and welcoming! It’s an open space where you can ask questions and discuss unique challenges you may face at every stage of business. Seriously, it’s the best – the amount of things I have learned from peers in the Facebook group alone is worth the price of the entire course!

My Business After Booked Out Designer

OK, now that I’ve gushed over the course, I’m sure you know I LOVED it! But what about the results? Well, here are just a few I’ve experienced since joining in July of 2021:

Financial wins

On average, I earn $2,000 to $3,000 more per month while working less. I just reviewed my bookkeeping before writing this to see if there was a trend – and the trend is I make more money!

Professional wins

Several times, I’ve been told that my discovery calls are the best ones people have ever had. That’s a weird and random compliment, but I’ll take it! While I already had a pretty solid discovery call process, the discovery call module in Booked Out Designer is fantastic. I came away with practical ways to streamline calls and provide a better experience to prospective clients.

Personal wins

Compared to before, I’m working fewer evenings and weekends. My business used to feel like a bit of a hamster wheel of constant work. There was always something I felt like I should be working on! In the last year, I’ve increased my prices, built a more efficient workflow, and set better boundaries, allowing me to regain more freedom in my business.

A few other thoughts and questions about Booked Out Designer

Is this course good for people just starting their business?

Definitely! I wish this course had existed when I started my business three years ago. Back then, I joined so many online courses that only had a few beginner-level lessons on finding your niche and getting your first few clients. Booked Out Designer takes you beyond just the first steps and shows you the ins and outs of scaling and running a profitable online business.

What if I’m not a designer?

Booked Out Designer is still a great fit! While most students are designers, nearly every lesson could be applied to any service-based business. The discovery call, client experience, and marketing modules are some of my favorites that could help any service-based entrepreneur. 

But seriously, will I even have time to do the course?

This was my biggest concern, too! It can be tough to find the time to implement an online course, especially one as detailed as Booked Out Designer. But Elizabeth structured BOD to make it as easy as possible to fit the lessons into your schedule. I didn’t do the lessons in order; instead, I popped into a course module while tackling something specific in my business. For example, I watched the discovery call lesson before my next call and implemented new practices immediately. Each lesson is about 15-20 minutes, so it’s manageable to do a couple each week or as situations arise in your business.

If you’re stuck and want more time, more money, and better processes in your business, I can’t recommend Booked Out Designer enough! 

Have additional questions before joining? Feel free to send me a DM! I love sharing what I’m learning in business and what’s working for me.

*This post may contain affiliate links.