What student doesn’t want to earn some dough on the side? Freelancing is climbing up the ranks as a pretty lucrative career these days. Flexible work schedules, the ease of working from home, and a job that bounces off what you’re good at—freelance jobs sound like a dream. What’s more, the age of social media has made freelance work even more accessible. More and more people are looking to enter freelancing and remote work market. The accessibility and convenience is unparalleled, and who doesn’t like being their own boss?
Freelancing is glimmering opportunity if you’re a student looking to not only make some extra money on the side, but also to build your portfolio. Well, the million dollar question is, how do you get started as a freelancer?
Kickstart your freelancing journey
The freelancing industry is pretty fluid when it comes to freelance jobs . There’s a whole freelancing world out there waiting for you to dip your toes into. But of course, there are a couple of steps to take that might help ease your otherwise rough journey into the land of freelancing.
What will I do as a freelancer?
That’s up to you to find out! What skills do you have to offer? Being a freelancer requires you to know what you’re good at (or at least what you can offer). This could range from UX/UI design, to graphic design. Some freelancers started out simply by showcasing skills that they were stellar at, or a hobby they’ve been pursuing for a long time. Think about what you enjoy doing, and how that can be translated into marketable skills. For example, if you’re constantly illustrating logos and drafting t-shirt designs for your school, that could be marketed as graphic designing. So to answer this question, it really could be anything.
Build your personal brand
Every freelancer’s key is their amazing portfolio and personal brand! Granted, if you’re a student, you might lack experience compared to the professionals. However, that shouldn’t stop you from building your personal brand.. Whether it’s articles you wrote for a school website, an internship you went through, or a micro-blog you’ve coded, these seemingly banal projects are stepping stones to kick starting your freelance career!
So do include these little projects in your portfolio or resume. Even better: create a blog or personal website to house these bits and pieces! Presenting your portfolio on these platforms is not only super convenient, but also serves as another avenue for you to showcase your personality to potential clients.
Garner testimonials and references
Since you’re just starting out, testimonials and referrals from others are crucial to boosting your reputation! Although having physical copies of your testimonials are a good start, it’s best to gather your referrals and testimonials online! The best way to do this is to get your skills endorsed on LinkedIn. Moreover, you’ll also be able to upload hard copy versions of physical testimonials online, giving potential clients a one-stop location to know more about you. These endorsements are extremely important when you’re first starting out. They not only show your expertise in the skillset, but also highlight the number of projects you’ve done. So, the more the merrier!
Send out applications on sites and portals
As a fresh freelancer, you might be at a loss at getting gigs. Our best tip is to first notify your closest network. Getting the word out that you’re looking for gigs is the best way for others to hear about your skills, especially through the grapevine. Another strategy would be to browse freelancing sites such as Freelancer or Upwork. These sites have a constant flow of employers looking for freelancers, alongside various filters that you can set to your skill level. Once you’ve gotten your first job, you’ll be able to start the freelance ball rolling.
Mastering the art of freelancing
Networking your butt off
That’s right. Social media and online networking platforms are the fastest, and easiest way for you to market yourself as well as find prospective clients. If you aren’t already on social media, create a profile RIGHT NOW. Hopping onto online networking sites like Linkedin can help you to cast your net wide.
Other platforms such as Meetup are essential to broadening not only your network of possible employers, but also to help you to assimilate into the freelancing community. Many freelancers collaborate with one another in order to take on bigger projects. Not to mention, if you’re pretty new to the scene, veteran freelancers are great contacts to have when you need some advice. Networking online and having a strong social media presence online will also help to boost your profile! So put on your networking shoes and start jazzing up your profile today!
Stay on task
We know, the biggest draw about freelancing is the ability to work wherever and whenever. But that could also be a freelancer’s downfall. The ability to work remotely and from home also means that you’ll have to pull up your scheduling socks and be organised! Clients have due dates and schedules to follow, and it’s your responsibility to deliver your part on time.
In order to stay on track, we suggest scheduling check-in dates on your calendar apps, or writing down reminders. There are also a couple of calendar and scheduling apps online such as Trello, that are impeccable at showing workflow. Utilising these apps to track your progress is a step up from just simply inputting the dates in le’ ole brain.
You better work
Freelancing might seem like a breeze from the outside, but it’s hard work. Just because they’re be able to work remotely, doesn’t mean freelancers put in any less effort into their work. In fact, freelancers hustle hard, sometimes even harder than people with desk jobs. So if you’re going into this thinking you’ll cruise through freelancing, think again.
If you want to explore freelance jobs as a career path, be prepared to put your 101% into your work. The market is extremely competitive, with a long line of people ready to take your place. That’s why staying on schedule, and having a constant roster of clients and work are essential if you’re going to make freelancing your full-time career. As a student, don’t be afraid to reject projects if you know you’ll be unable to cope with schoolwork on the side. It is better to understand your limits and work within the boundaries, than pushing too hard and far. We’re pretty sure neither your professors, nor your clients want to end up with subpar work.
Freelancing as a new frontier
That being said, freelance jobs can really bring a new perspective to your career choices. As a student, taking on freelance projects also allows you to dabble in your interests and talents, whilst figuring out what paths you’d like to take after graduation. So if you feel like a go-getter, ready to make a name for yourself, why not step into the world of freelance jobs? You might actually find yourself being a professional freelancer in a couple of years.
Interested to find out more? Head on over to our marketplace, there might be a few freelance job opportunities lurking on our site!