How to earn money as a freelancer while you’re a student
Freelance work can be a life raft for many students, earning them much-needed money, and giving them valuable work experience to kick off their career.
If you want to boost your career while you’re still a student, then start looking for freelance work. There’s nothing to say you have to be out in the working world before you can take on paid freelance projects. As long as you have skills people need – and will pay for – and you fulfil any tax obligations, you can start working whenever you wish.
Indeed, many students pay their way through college, and even start to make a good income, by taking on freelance work.
You can take on freelance work during term time. but if you’re too busy with assignments, then you can look for work in your holidays or as a summer job. Here’s what you need to consider before getting started as a student freelancer.
Understand what you need to get started
It’s always a good idea to do some research before jumping into anything. And freelancing is no different.
So decide what kind of freelance work you want to do, and research what that work look like. Where do projects come from? What do clients expect? How much do they pay? And are there any regulations you need to be aware of?
As a freelancer you are your own boss, which means you are responsible for invoicing, tax, project management and even organizing your work process.
You need to ensure that you have the skills, equipment and time to adequately complete and deliver any freelance projects you take on. So check your study schedule before pitching for contracts or making promises.
If you act like a professional, your reputation will grow and you’ll win more freelance contracts and can charge more money.
Launching your freelance career
Once you’ve got a good picture of what freelance work involves and what you’ll be responsible for, you can get ready to launch yourself as a freelancer while studying.
Here are some things you need to consider when launching your career.
Your field of expertise
You’ve already worked out what skill set you have to offer clients – but what field of expertise are you gong to work in? You might decide, for example to niche into a specific area. This is a savvy way to differentiate yourself from other freelancers and build valuable expertise.
For example, if you’re a writer, you could decide to become a freelance journalist, blog writer, scientific writer, legal writer, website copywriter, social media content writer, or you could write research papers for sale online or student essays.
If you’re a graphic designer you could specialise in logos, website design, illustration, technical design or reports and brochures. Whatever your skill set, there will be a niche you can target to grow a professionalism and reputation in that will enable you to win projects more daily and command a higher rate.
Your chosen freelance platform
There are many different freelance platforms to chose from today to launch your freelance career. Whichever one you choose, research the best way to create a competitive profile and attract clients and projects. Different platforms are also better for different skill sets and niches.
When creating your freelance profile, remember to highlight your strong sides, skills, working experience, attach examples of your work, express your personality, and get as many reviews as you can.
With the right preparation, freelancing can be a lucrative sideline for students. It’s also an opportunity to start building valuable career skills, contacts and a portfoli of work (and recommendations) that will give you a significant head start when you emerge out into the world after college and launch your career properly.
Photo by Avel Chuklanov