AccessAlly® Certified Partner Spotlight: Julie Waterhouse

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Today, we're so excited to be able to feature another of our amazing AccessAlly® Certified partners: Julie Waterhouse.
 
Julie Waterhouse is an experienced information technology professional with nearly 30 years of experience creating simple solutions in corporate and small business settings.
 
She leads a small team of like-minded technology and design wizards to bring her clients the digital strategy they need to grow their businesses. Julie is a Certified ONTRAPORT Consultant and an AccessAlly Certified Partner.

How Julie Waterhouse Became An AccessAlly® Certified Partner

I was really excited to be able to chat with Julie about her business, expertise, and what specialty she brings to the table for online entrepreneurs.
 
Julie is an incredibly talented woman who pairs an eye for design with super tech savvy skills… with a current specialty in AccessAlly/Ontraport combination.
 
julie waterhouse
 
“This is actually an interesting point for me,” explained Julie. “I first started with WordPress sites, and eventually got to know AccessAlly. That, in turn, led me to Ontraport.  Now, I'm Ontraport Certified, as well.”
 
“It’s been a way for me to expand my business and apply some more of the strategic marketing abilities that I've picked up along the way,” she shared.

A strong sense of community and support

 
I was curious to hear why Julie was excited to be an active member of the AccessAlly Certified Partner program.
 
She responded easily, “This sense of community that we have with the partners is amazing. We’re all growing together, we’re sharing our experiences, facing similar issues, talk about advice, support, and it’s been really good to feel like I’m not alone in this, other people are going through this with me.”
 
After chatting a bit more, she added, “I also love Nathalie and Robin. They run their business with a huge amount of integrity… They genuinely care about partners, clients, and anyone in their community.”
 

A rich career brings a wealth of knowledge to the table

 
Two degrees, 18 years at IBM, and a stint as a photography expert, Julie's career path is rich in tech experience and entrepreneurism.
 
Though she began her career in “pretty hardcore tech programming at IBM,” Julie started to gravitate towards client-facing work.
 

“I wanted to be closer to the end user (not just be one of those programmers in the corner!).”

Although she was able to do some tech consulting, Julie entered a period of soul searching and decided at last that she was done with technology.
 
“I wanted to get out of it all together. I quit my job at IBM to pursue the photography business.  At this time, I was taking [Marie Forleo's] B-School for that purpose.”
 
It was during B-School that Julie found her sweet spot.
 
“I realized that there are a lot of women who really needed help with the tech stuff in their businesses,” shared Julie.
 
This realization was the light bulb that linked her passions together.

“I thought ‘I built a website for myself, I can do it for them!'”

“I switched my focus (with that revelation) and that’s how I started building websites.”
 
It was a refreshing solution for Julie, who was ready to be done with the corporate world and get closer to “real people” again.
 
And the feeling was overwhelmingly positive. “I feel I’m really able to make a big impact, instead of being a little cog in a big machine,” Julie says.
 

Julie's link with technology stretches back to her high school years

“I was trying to figure out which course of study I should take in college. I was pretty well divided between arts and sciences… But then I saw a PBS show on TV about computer graphics.  Back in the 80s, this was pretty much just logos,” chuckled Julie.
 
“But to me, it seemed like the perfect mix of arts and sciences, so I took a chance and enrolled in the University for Computer science.  My graphics class wasn't actually until senior year, but by the 2nd year I discovered I loved programming.”
 
julie waterhouse digital marketing services

Her first website was a personal photography site

With all this focus on technology, I was curious to hear when Julie actually designed and built her first website.
 
“My first website was actually a photography one… and I built it for myself,” Julie smiled. “I have always had a passion for nature photography. So I built a website for myself, thinking I would share photo tips for other photographers, and hoped to turn my passion into a business.  But I did abandon this project when I got into web development.”

Rising to the challenge in a male-dominated field

I've spoken with many techy women over the past few years, and I'm always interested to hear their perspective on what it's like to be a tech-savvy woman in a sometimes male-dominated field.
 
Julie was quick to point out that “it's not always an advantage, sometimes it's tough being a woman in tech. But,” she continued, “there are a couple of advantages.”
 
First, she recognizes that she's “able to bring a bit of a different perspective.  Women are able to apply tech to business and are able to be the bridge between those two fields. And that might fall into some gender stereotypes, but I've noticed it to be the case. Also, there are a lot of women who need help in technology and want to work with another women.”

The opportunity to always be learning and creating something new

“Given the business that I’m in, it crosses a whole bunch of different industries… but tech is the common denominator,” reflected Julie. “I get to interact with all types of clients, I have a preschool teacher, someone selling gym stuff, etc.”
 
I asked if it was difficult to be so agile when working across platforms. “Yes, there's the learning curve,” affirmed Julie. “But I’m always getting to learn something new, and I like that challenge.”

Tech-savvy and approachable

Personally, I can get a bit overwhelmed by tech savvy women (weird, I know!). I often feel as though they're speaking another language altogether, and it's tough to cross that line.
 
But Julie recognizes this challenge as one of her unique strengths.
 
“I'm definitely tech savvy,” she smiled. “But I'm also approachable and able to communicate… Not every techy person is a people person, too.”
 
She continued, “I bring a lot of discipline to the process I use when working with the client. It helps me to take my clients from ideas to turn them into something real with structure and a process. I think this is something I've picked up from the corporate world.”

Surround Yourself With Like-Minded People

With a career as full as Julie's has been, I was interested to hear her reflections on the journey of getting started in tech and business.

“Those two moments [getting started in tech and business] are 25 years apart for me,” Julie chuckled.
 
“But the insight is the same, regardless:
 

Being a woman in tech – and working from home – is isolating. Surround yourself with like-minded people.

 
“This means both people ahead of you who you can learn from, and people behind that you can share your expertise with and kind of pay it forward.
 
I'd definitely emphasize the importance of keeping yourself in a community, whether that's a mastermind, accountability partners, etc.  
 
Looking back, I'd make it a priority even to meet some of the other women [at IBM] and taking time to connect over lunch.”

Are You Julie's “Ideal Client”?

I asked Julie what type of business owner she prefers to work with.
 
Her response:
 

I prefer to take people who have an established business and are just going into something new with a membership site.  (I used to work with new clients, but it wasn’t enough to sustain me.)

If you're an entrepreneur who’s built out a small team, someone who’s at the stage where they’re ready to hand off the technology piece and can actually “let go”, give me a call.

 
Take time to check out Julie's work – and connect with her, if you're a good fit!

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