There is no denying that college can be a challenge. You have classes to attend and social life to maintain. However, instead of clubbing, watching Netflix shows, and sleeping during your free time, you can start building a freelance career while studying in college.
Every penny counts when you are in college. Therefore, it is important to earn some extra cash. Although you can take up a part-time job at the nearest café, you cannot rely on it to help build you a career. This is why it makes sense to consider freelancing. In fact, many students have started to freelance and even manage to earn up to six figures a year.
If you are interested in starting a freelance career while in college and want to find out how you can make it work, you have come to the right place.
Why Freelance in College?
Before we cover the top tips to launch your freelance career in college, you need to understand why it is important to consider freelancing in college in the first place.
Now, you must be wondering that you do not have to freelance as you would land a real job once you graduate.
However, you must reconsider this idea because freelancing provides you the perfect opportunity to gain relevant work experience while still in college.
If you consider the real world, your chances of finding part-time employment related to your major are limited.
Besides, it is crucial that you diversify income sources. Hence, you need to start freelancing to gain experience and earn a decent income every month.
How to Start Freelancing While In School?
The following tips will help you successfully start a freelance career in college.
1. Find Your Niche
The first thing that you need to do is find your niche. Think carefully about your skills and everything that you have to offer. There are bound to be things that you are great at. It could be digital marketing, shooting pictures, designing websites, translating work, or writing amazing articles.
The fact is that the demand for creatives has risen exponentially over the years. Companies pay decent money for videos, photos, articles, website design, and more. If you have technical skills like Blockchain, app development, and machine learning expertise, you can easily find work.
2. Create a Portfolio
In order to find work, you need to create a portfolio. It is necessary for securing clients. Besides, there is no better way to showcase your talent to clients.
When you start out, you might not have a professional portfolio. However, you can make a good impression by sharing some of the projects that you have worked on. For instance, if you want to find editorial work, you can start by creating a blog and publishing your work.
Similarly, aspiring photographers and graphic designers can turn to visual platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Behance to share their masterpieces.
3. Know Where to Find Work
To start your freelance career on the right foot, you need to know where to look. When you first start out, you are unlikely to have a steady flow of contacts that are interested in what you have to offer. Therefore, you have to find clients yourself. This is where freelancing websites such as Freelancer, Fiverr, UpWork, and UseMe come into place.
Each of the websites allows you to find short-term and long-term work. There are also freelancing websites in other languages that you can check out. Do not forget to harness the power of LinkedIn as it is a great place to find work.
4. Know Your Price
Since you need money as a motivation to work, you need to put a price tag on your service. Initially, you might find pricing to be tricky. However, you will get the hang of it as you gain confidence in your skills and have the experience needed to charge a higher rate.
To determine your price, you should conduct some research. Go through freelance platforms to find out how much other freelancers are charging for the same service and the level of experience you have. To break in and find work, you might need to charge less.
Facebook groups are also an excellent place to gather more information about pricing. Feel free to talk to other freelancers and ask them for some advice. There is a lot that you can learn from such a platform. However, you should not overcharge as it would prevent you from finding work.
5. Find Your Place
The next tip that you need to consider is finding the perfect place to work. Whether you are studying on campus, sharing an apartment with a friend, or living with your parents, you need a dedicated space to get things done.
If you cannot find an office space, you need to create one such as by working at the college library, in the park, or in a café. However, you need to pick the right office space as it will have a huge impact on your productivity.
To succeed as a freelancer, you need to be able to negotiate with clients. For instance, if you find an interesting project, you should reach out to the client and discuss the financial matters beforehand.
But, if the project does not pay enough for your time and effort, you will need to negotiate and let the client know that you need them to pay more. Besides, many clients are open to what you have to say once you have caught their attention.
7. Take Breaks
Lastly, you need to take breaks to ensure that you do not experience burnout. With classes and work responsibilities, you are likely to get tired. Hence, you need to reevaluate your priorities and commit to things that are truly worth your time.
Once you have finished reading our post, you will know how to start a freelance career while in college. Each trip aims to make your transition to freelance easier. Make sure to connect with other students who are freelancing to feel like you are a part of a community.