I was fortunate early on to get connected to a talented group of people that were driving the Joomla! project forward with passion. I didn't have much to offer the community at the time but I started to build Joomla! websites with their help. I got hooked on the whole Joomla! experience and started writing about it. That's how my Joomla! business started. Today, I build Joomla! websites for companies. I also train people how to work with Joomla!. Here's some advice to help you in your Joomla! adventure:
Don't Bring Your Baggage Into Joomla
Approach Joomla! with an open mind and a clean slate. During the time I’ve been training people to work with Joomla! I’ve noticed a pattern. Many of those who come with a background from other website building systems are hampered by their bias and knowledge from those systems. They have the hardest time understanding Joomla. Joomla! is not hard, it is one of the easiest systems to work with and has an intelligent workflow.
Drop your baggage from the other system before getting on the Joomla! train. Learn the basic terminology and concepts first. Joomla's is not the same as other systems. If you come from a different web building background you need to unlearn the old lingo and workflow in order to understand the Joomla! workflow. Assuming Joomla! does things the same way as other systems is a major cause of frustration when learning Joomla!.
Get Connected To Others
It's rare that one person can do it all when it comes to Joomla. You can't be really effective or make a good living at this trying to do it all on your own. Websites are not all about looking good and having cool widgets. Effective websites have good strategies behind them. A website is a tactic of a strategy and the items in a website should all be working toward the success of the strategy.
There are plenty of specially areas when it comes to a website; accessibility, analytics, auto-responders, backup strategies, blog commenting systems, content creation, customizing templates, e-commerce, input forms, search engine optimization, site performance, social media integration, to name a few. Find the people who compliment your specialty and work together with them. Those that work in teams provide better value for clients. Your companions are as important as your individual Joomla! tools and talent.
Don't Undervalue Your Worth
Joomla! is not all about being free. The only thing that is free is your freedom to use Joomla! without expensive licensing fees. Clients should be putting the money they save from licensing into the strategy, design, development, and content creation of their site. If a client is always trying to beat down their Joomla! suppliers they really don't appreciate your skills and abilities.
Keeping up with Joomla!, and open source innovation, is a constant learning curve. You are in the same league as doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, and accountants, etc. when it comes to staying current with skills and knowledge. Things advance so quickly in the technology world that 6 months seems like a generation.
Do not undervalue your services. Plenty of good companies in other industries have gone out of business by solely competing on price for their products and services. If you undervalue what your worth is you will only get those clients that do not appreciate what you do. There is no joy in working hard with little reward. If a client needed something like medical surgery for their body it’s not likely their only concern would be to get the cheapest surgeon they could find. That’s because of the value they place on that service. Be good at what you do and charge properly for your services. If you don't value your worth, neither will your client.
Most Of All Have Fun
The Joomla! adventure can be greatly rewarding and satisfying. I hope you have as much fun with Joomla! as I do.