This is a special Google Hangout edition of the podcast with my special panel of guests on the show talking about the open source business model and the pros and cons of various open source platforms including WordPress, Drupal and of course Joomla.

We talk about how to sell yourself, get into the professional services business in regards to Joomla and much more.

It turned into a little bit more of a controversial episode that I thought it would be but it was a fantastic debate and conversation between us all.

At the end is also an open question and answer session as well.

Dawn Russell joins me to tell us how she discovered Joomla back in 2010 and grew her knowledge and business around Joomla.

She started learn a lot from other leading Joomla experts in the community and continued her learning working for another company that provided Joomla hosting and services.

From there she grew her business and her networks to better service her clients and customers around the world.

Show Notes

I want to start with a big shout out to the guys at SiteGround, without their support this podcast would not be possible. They offer Joomla Beat listeners a massive 60% off hosting services.

Freelancing Tips

This is a continuation of the Making Money with Joomla series. Making the most out of the open source business model.

This one in particular is about the service based model, which is the idea of providing professional services for customers out there who want custom Joomla! site builds, custom designs or support services around that.

There is so much more to running a business than just the designing, building and creating websites. Here are a few different types of software that make running a business just that much easier.

1. FreshBooks

This application provides an awesome way to mock up quick estimates and for all your billing needs. It is extremely helpful for automating recurring billing, time tracking for projects, it will let you know exactly how much time you are spending on each project. Track your day and then submit as a time sheet into FreshBooks.

2. Quote Roller

It templates your quotes so you can quickly put together proposals for clients which look great, professional and have a lot of detailed information in there. We use it on a daily basis here at PB Web Development, it reduces the amount of time we have to spend on various proposals. Another great tool is that it allows for digital acceptance which makes the process streamlined, highly efficient and legally binding.

3. BaseCamp and Jira

BaseCamp has been our most used project management and task management system for the business but recently we have outgrown it and have shifted over to Jira. Jira is great for client communications, storing files, project management, time tracking and it integrates in with Bitbucket. It allows for integrating with other systems seamlessly. Unfortunately it is costly in comparison to Basecamp. Depending on where you're at with the growth of your company, one or the other may be more useful for your needs.

Hopefully some of these tips are helpful, check out resources for more information.

Interview with Dawn Russell at JWC 2013

Welcome to the podcast Dawn!

The first time Dawn was exposed to Joomla! was at Joomla Day New England 2010. Everyone there was so enthusiastic, which helped Dawn to get an overview and understanding of what Joomla! is all about. Previously working fulltime as a jewellery artisan, with a background in metalsmithing. She would supplement her income with graphic design and updating websites for people. Then became curious as to how she could jump into making websites, and liked that you have to look at a particular system with an end goal and create a strategy.

She was very fortunate because the nearby Marlboro Graduate School located in Brattleboro, Vermont, had a program for internet technology and was run by Jen Kramer. Dawn ended up going to the college and joining the program and also taking courses in HTML5 and CSS3. Taking it up full time to pursue learning to become a web designer and web developer.

At the conclusion of the program she met Barry North - founder of JoomlaShack. He had just launched SimpleWeb hosting, he hired her to help with support. Through these constant questions and varying industries, she got to know Joomla! from the inside out.

Highlights of this job

Servicing the needs of so many Joomla! users, while learning so much. The beauty of open source software and Joomla! itself lets people connect from all over the world and has the added benefits of working remotely.

What to do expect to get out of JWC and why did you come?

In April 2013, Dawn opened up an office in Brattleboro, Vermont. Then reached a point with the software and application where she wanted more from it. Looking for connections with others to meet new people and establish some long term connections.

To hear what is going on and what is new. Coming to the conference is a quick injection of new ideas, current trends, larger ideas and thoughts and philosophies which are critical to any projects successes. What direction is it heading in?

You can find the keynote speeches online, which include Ethan Marcotte who is fabulous writer, thinker and contributor.

Thank you so much for joining us on the podcast, Dawn.

You can find more about Dawn at where you can read about her design philosophy and approach, view porfolio and get a website if you're interested.

At, you'll find support, hosting and tutorials on Joomla!. Lastly, you can also find Dawn on Skype: artisianwebandprint.

Peter's Tips

Partnerships. Build them to balance out skills and complement your skill base. Go to conferences to learn more about Joomla!. Investing in yourself and gaining a better understanding of how other people are doing things. Then implement them into your projects and designs. Take a course on joomla! Google “Joomla! training” or “Joomla online courses”. OStraining do a lot of training in the US. Jen Kramer does a great training series on which you should check out. There are plenty of opportunities to improve your knowledge of Joomla!.

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