Why trust a Squarespace Authorized Trainer over a Squarespace Circle member
If you're looking to get help with your Squarespace site you might have noticed a few badges on designers sites stating they're either a Squarespace Circle member, a Squarespace Authorized Trainer or both.
If you're sitting there scratching your head wondering what the heck either of these are and what exactly they mean, I'm here to clarify that for you today!
I'll be sure to also give you some recommendations on if you're looking to learn Squarespace or hire a Squarespace designer, who to trust.
Okie. So let's chat first about what exactly each of the programs are, and most importantly, what exactly it takes to get accepted to each.
What is the Squarespace Circle?
The Squarespace Circle is a community of people who build sites on Squarespace. Squarespace Circle members are in the loop for new product launches and changes to the platform before others. They also get a few other perks.
What does it take to join the circle?
Anyone who’s built 3 or more sites on Squarespace can automatically join, there's no person at Squarespace looking over the quality of those 3 sites.
If you just thought 'that's a pretty low bar to pass,' I'm with ya on that one.
What you need to know
One thing you really want to keep in mind when looking for Squarespace help by searching for Squarespace Circle members is that Squarespace hasn’t vetted them, and the only requirement to join is to make 3 sites on Squarespace and they automatically gain entry.
Now, just because the bar to entry on the Circle is pretty low, doesn't automatically mean all designers in the Circle are bad. Quite the opposite.
In the Circle, there's also some of the most credible, trusted and knowledgeable Squarespace professionals around. Being a Circle member has its perks, so anyone who works with Squarespace would be silly not to join.
Are Squarespace Circle members accredited and endorsed by Squarespace?
Squarespace Circle member include the best of the best designers in the business and your neighbor who slapped together a couple sites in one weekend.
When working with a Circle member, be sure to give their portfolio a thorough browse, check out their reviews and testimonials and quiz them on their stuff to ensure you found one of the designers you can trust and who actually know what they're doing.
The main takeaway about Circle that you need to know as a consumer is, Squarespace hasn't vetted Circle members, so you need to do so yourself.
What is a Squarespace Authorized Trainer?
The Squarespace Authorized Trainer program was Squarespace's solution to wanting to train more people on their platform, but only having physical presences in a select few cities (NYC, Dublin, and Portland).
Instead of Squarespace trying to open up shop in every city around the world, Squarespace decided to take people who already knew the platform forward and backward and have them represent Squarespace and train others on the platform.
Squarespace Authorized Trainers are asked to train people on Squarespace either in person in their cities across the globe or online.
Squarespace Authorized Trainers are not employees of Squarespace, but are instead 'Squarespace-trained and approved' experts. Squarespace Authorized Trainers are listed on a page of Squarespace's site so Squarespace promotes Authorized Trainers online and in person training events.
What does it take to become a Squarespace authorized trainer?
First, all trainers must first be Circle members. That's the minimum requirement.
Then, trainers go through an application process and the applications are reviewed by the Squarespace team in NYC. Out of the hundreds of applications received, only a handful are invited to be authorized trainers.
Then, Authorized Trainers go through a training (of course 😂) with the NYC team and are given the title of "authorized trainer."
Are Squarespace Authorized Trainers recommend?
The main takeaway about Authorized Trainers that you need to know as a consumer is, Squarespace Authorized Trainers are the few Circle members that came out of the application process successfully and have been trained by Squarespace.
Squarespace has checked into their past work and decided they know the platform well enough to train others on it.
So the next time you're scratching your head wondering how to make your Squarespace site do something you'd like, take a peek at the Authorized Trainers page to see if there's a training event in a city near you.
If there's not, a few Squarespace Authorized Trainers that have courses (including mine!) or online webinars they offer which you can take part in from anywhere!