Whether you’re a current student or you’ve just recently graduated, there’s one concern that you probably share with all your peers… cash!
Or in most cases, a lack of it.
Balancing your studies with a part-time job can be tricky, but when you’ve got rent to pay and debts mounting up, is there really any other option?
Well for a few savvy students and recent graduates, the world of freelancing has been just the answer to their prayers.
Working from home on your own terms can bring in that extra bit of income that you’re looking for, and the flexibility of it is something that appeals to pretty much everyone.
After all, what sounds better than making money in your pajamas?
When you’re first setting out, it’s difficult to know where to start. Here, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about starting up as a freelancer.
Why should I do it?
1. You can make extra money
Don’t expect to be making millions overnight! But if you’re willing to put the work in, freelancing can be really lucrative.
There are lots of ways to make money for yourself, but if your other options include the likes of cafe or shop work, you could easily turn your own venture into a much more financially rewarding path.
2. You can choose when, and how much you want to work
Traditional jobs can be tiring, and it can be almost impossible to balance them with your uni work.
When you’re freelancing, you’re the boss! You choose your own hours, how much you want to do, and what you do and don’t take on.
3. It looks great on your CV
Employers recognize that freelancing takes a great deal of initiative and motivation.
Going into an interview with this sort of experience under your belt could really make you stand out.
You’re also likely to learn much more than if you went down the route of the usual student jobs.
What exactly can I do?
The possibilities when it comes to the sort of services that you could offer clients are almost endless!
Whether it’s copy writing, website design, administration work, or anything in between, there’ll be an option that suits you.
Of course, it’s wise to pick something that you have a skill for and can really excel in. It doesn’t necessarily have to be related to your degree, though that could certainly help when it comes to your future career prospects.
So, imagine that you’re studying for a web development degree and want to pursue this route in the future.
By offering these services through your very own freelance business, you’ll make some valuable contacts in the field, as well as having the opportunity to flex your skills!
Where can I find freelance work?
There are literally thousands of companies out there who are looking for high quality freelancers. You just need to get in front of them and show them what you’ve got. Thankfully, the internet makes this whole process so much easier.
1. Freelancing websites
Sites such as PeoplePerHour and Elance are effectively massive online marketplaces where business owners will advertise the jobs that they need doing, and you can contact them and tell them all about what you can do for them.
It can take a while to pick up your first assignment, but it’s worth sticking with it.
Once you’ve got a good reputation built up, the work can start to flood in.
2. At college or university
You might not think of it as freelancing, but offering your expertise to other students who are local to you is a great way of picking up your first few ‘clients’.
The work most in demand here is likely to be essay or exam preparation help, proof reading or perhaps teaching an instrument.
Either way, there’s plenty of opportunity here.
Simply put up a few leaflets on notice boards in your target departments to get the word out.
3. Your own website
Setting up your own website using a free platform such as WordPress is a lot easier than you might think.
Having your own little online space where you detail your services can be great for generating business.
Obviously though, you’ll need to promote it. You could use social media, or you might want to teach yourself some search engine optimization skills so you appear in Google searches.
4. Contacting businesses directly
If you think that you’re offering something that certain businesses really need, tell them about it!
Put together a brief email or letter detailing your skills and what you can do for them, and make sure that you send it to the right person.
You’ll come across rejections along the way, but remember that it’s a numbers game.
We hope that this introductory guide will have answered the burning questions you might have had about getting started with freelancing while studying.
If you take just one lesson with you from this, let it be this: you have nothing to lose, everything to gain!
Setting up any kind of business is a huge challenge, but if you’re willing to put in the time and effort, the rewards are out there waiting to be picked up.
And who really wants a boss anyway?
For more advice about working for yourself, read this article by Save the Graduate.
Have you ever considered freelancing? What’s stopping you from giving it a go?