15 Common Pitfalls To Avoid As An Internet Freelancer (1 of 3)

by on June 14, 2016 · 0 comments


Freelancing is wonderful and can provide you with freedom, flexibility and, with some work, control over your financial destiny. In the beginning it can also keep you hovering somewhere between extremely challenged and frustrated.  

Have no fear as this is something we all experience from time to time, regardless of skill-level.  It was with this in mind that we put together the Expand2Web Trilogy – 15 Common Pitfalls To Avoid As An Internet Freelancer.

E2W Behind the Scenes: Originally the material was scheduled for a single class. As planning began we quickly realized the content was too important for a single session – thus the idea of “the Trilogy” was conceived.

In today’s post we are going to highlight the first session of this series.  In the coming days we will follow up with two additional posts covering the remaining two courses.

What We Covered in Class One

In the first course we covered real-world tips on properly productizing your services and some of the most important aspects of how to strengthen customer relationships.  Specifically addressing the following topics:

  • Are you charging enough for your services?
  • Have you avoided raising your rates/prices?
  • Could you be doing more to educate your clients?
  • Do you have trouble saying NO to customers?
  • Have you considered screening your potential customers?

In this article we will be looking more closely at two of the five topics.  Members of the Expand2Web Experts Group who are interested in watching the entire class can view the recorded session here: 15 Freelance Pitfalls Trilogy – 1 of 3.  If you are interested in joining the E2W Experts Group please see the conclusion of this post for more information.

Are You Charging Enough For Your Services?

During this exciting portion of the class we explained the concept of calculating one’s Minimum Acceptable Rate using a once-secret formula shared by Thomas. This is a key value in understanding how to best price and productize your services as a freelancer.

Important questions were posed to the class for consideration. How much do you need to make in order to live the lifestyle you desire? How many hours are you willing to work to make that amount? By answering these questions within the scope of your own business you are able to determine what you need to charge, per hour, to make this happen.

Furthermore, armed with those answers, you will know if that rate is reasonable and get an informed indication of how your prices compare with your competition. Ultimately you are able to ask yourself: “what changes do I need to make to ensure this happens?”.

E2W Behind the Scenes – Thomas’ Once Secret MAR Formula Explained:

First estimate your yearly personal and business overhead. Have an idea of the total number of hours you wish to work a year. You can use a 20% tax rate as a rule of thumb. Simply apply those values to the following formula:

(Yearly Personal Overhead + Yearly Business Overhead) / Total Hours) * Tax Rate = MAR

example:  ($30,000 + $5,000) / 1,440) * 1.2 = 29.17 per hour

Experts Member Spotlight:

One of the group’s long standing members shared one of her blog posts that helped shed further light on the discussion. In addition, she shared some true words of wisdom when it comes to staying on point with your freelance business:

“The best thing a person can have is their shit together.”
– Eileen L.

To read Eileen’s most informative blog post, “Setting Goals For Your Webdesign Business”, please visit: http://eileenlonergan.com/setting-goals-for-your-web-design-business/

Could You Be Doing More To Educate Your Clients?

In this section of the class We explored a timeless question that is important to all freelancers regardless of experience or expertise. The battle of educating one’s customers is one that is truly never ending.

The pro-tips shared during this topic proved that it doesn’t even have to be a battle. Through proper planning and communication you may find you already possess most of the tools necessary to be victorious. Here are some examples:

  • Letting your clients know about services you are already providing
  • Implementing a monthly or quarterly newsletter/email sharing
  • Reaching out directly regarding important topics that affect their website (example – Mobilegeddon)
  • Consistently blogging topics that will resonate with your customers and provide real value to them

The important take-away from this section was the realization that improved communication with your customers does not require a major change in how you schedule your day to day workload.


Mastering the technical skills required to be a designer or developer on the Internet is only a portion of the toolbox of a successful freelancer. Understanding how to optimize the productization and pricing of your business, and ensuring a positive and constant line of communication with your clients are two of the cornerstones of success.

The Expand2Web Experts Group meets these challenges by sharing experiences, pro-tips, real life examples, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat with its members in our weekly classes. By participating in our Experts community everyone benefits through sharing.

Would you like to learn more about building your business with other freelancers and professionals from all over the world? The Expand2Web Experts group offers education, resources, and a great community. Join us today by clicking: https://www.expand2web.com/coaching-and-training/

Already an E2W Expert?  If you would like to see one of these topics explored in more detail in a future class, or have a suggestion for a completely different class topic, please let us know.  Your input helps steer the E2W ship!

Article by »

Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 313 articles on Expand2Web

Author Connect » Twitter | | Facebook |

See my disclosure about advertising and affiliate links

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: