This week we take a little look at freelancing with Joomla. We look at some websites, tools and services that make the process just a little easier.
We also have an interview with Jennifer Gregory who over time has built up a business aimed at small and medium businesses, creating a nice working environment and career all because of Joomla.
Special thanks to Robert and Ian for rating and reviewing the podcast in the iTunes store, we're now out ranking the WordPress podcasts :)
First off I'd like to remind people, especially if they're more advance users of Joomla to jump on the forums and help a newbie with their issues in Joomla. It would be great to encourage more and more users that are trying to get into Joomla to get past their hurdles and really thrive in using Joomla.
Plug of the week
Tess Neale, a lovely swedish girl who lives in South Africa has created and interest list on Facebook consisting of some fantastic Joomla resources. Check out the list and subscribe to a great resource: https://www.facebook.com/lists/10151153672663179
This might be the hardest part of the whole process but I've come up with a few tips in terms of finding and gaining more clients.
Besides building a great portfolio website that is very well search engine optimises, start advertising your services.
Start in the free places such as GumTree or Craigslist and see what you can find on there in terms of job listings or posting your web design and development services. There is always a lot of traffic on either of those websites but make sure you have the processes in place to weed out the time wasters that may be luring. It takes time and in the past I have been burnt with clients not paying.
Website's like ODesk.com, Freelancer.com and eLance.com are also a good place to start off finding work and to build experience and a portfolio. Freelancer.com is where I found a lot of my very first Joomla jobs.
Working on a lot of these networks is good for beginners as it forces you to work on project milestones, set out project goals and other business/project related tasks. All good training to gain bigger clients.
Setting up milestone points throughout the project so you can create a nice stream of cash flow for yourself.
Last but not least, make sure your website is well search engine optimised. The better optimised it is for your set of keywords the more likely you'll find clients that are coming to you. You can always pay for traffic in the form of search engine advertising but in reality in the early days you won't have much of a budget for that.
Invoicing, Estimates and Creating Cashflow
I've been using a invoicing and estimate system called Freshbooks for years and I can't recommend it enough. All the people that I've pushed on to it as well absolutely love it too.
Freshbooks makes invoicing clients easier. No need to chase clients with follow up emails. Freshbooks does that for you with automated emails reminding the clients about the invoices. It also tracks to see if the invoices have been viewed yet as well so you can follow up on clients that haven't looked or viewed their invoices yet.
Estimates and time billing is also possible in the system making it a lot easier to charge clients by the hour or time you spend on jobs. Estimates system also allows you to quickly let clients know how much something will cost with estimates.
Check it all out at Freshbooks.
To manage projects and jobs we recommend BaseCamp. Made by 37Signals, it is an awesome online project management/task management system that allows you to get a grasp on multiple projects and project timelines making sure everything is running on track.
http://basecamp.com High Rise is what we use to track client relationships. All the information that we've collected and everything that we know about our clients is all tracked in the customer relationship management system. It makes things alot easier when you hear from a client again after a long period of time to remember what their situation is.
http://highrisehq.com/ Projectfork is a Joomla extension that does what BaseCamp can do and maybe even a little bit more. We'll dedicate an entire show to BaseCamp in the future and hope to get an interview on the product as well.
- Update Jan 9th 2014 (Not in the podcast episode) We've started using QuoteRoller for all of our estimates and proposals and LOVE IT. I wrote a QuoteRoller review on it so you get a little idea of what it is all about.
Interview with Jennifer Gregory
Jennifer takes us through her journey and discovery of Joomla.
One of the first sites she built on Joomla was an intranet for the business she was working at, employed as an executive assistant.
From there she made a few websites for friends for free where she gained experience in finding out how to interact with clients and interpret what they want into an online website.
Jennifer now is expanding her services from not only Joomla and web design but to Joomla, web design and online marketing such as social media and much more.
You can find out more about Jennifer from her Facebook fan page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Standout-Web-Design/51100820307
and on her main portfolio website as well: http://standoutonline.com.au