Is Freelancing Good For Students? Students who earn money through freelancing don’t have much to worry about when it comes to taxes, bills, and having enough to feed a family.
Some students spend their earnings on everyday needs while others (like me) have allowances being sent every two weeks to cover most of the significant expenses (especially food and transportation).
This leaves my freelance earnings in my bank account at my disposal.
The earnings from freelance work can be spent on almost anything my heart desires. I get to buy clothes, shoes, accessories, better food, and even treat my friends to pizza every week!
The Stepping Stones to a Freelance Career
Of course, not all student freelancers begin this way.
A freelance graphic designer may have started with a design project as a favor for his best friend. A freelance virtual assistant could have stumbled upon many other websites that hire VAs specifically.
All these humble beginnings do have in common, though, is they teach us the fundamental skills for a freelancing career.
In my case, I learned all kinds of exciting things about the freelance writing industry, with the company starting me off with the basics. These included:
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- Adhering to instructions, such as word count and keyword placement
- How to submit the articles (we had to use Winzip)
- How to open a bank account (my first payment option)
- How to check for plagiarism using seomagnifier
- How to write under tight deadlines.
Eventually, I began to learn the more complex stuff. I started taking on different and more challenging writing projects while working under tighter deadlines. Soon enough, I discovered oDesk.com and created my profile in 2012.
I learned how to cater to clients, how to set my freelance writing rates, how to negotiate, and the value of feedback and testimonials.
How to Succeed as a Student Freelancer
I did learn one hard lesson about student freelancing, and it’s a lesson I had to pay dearly for.
Student freelancing is difficult. It’s not for those who suck at time management nor is it for those who prioritize their university education. It’s not for those who prefer to stay within their comfort zones, the weak-hearted, or those who don’t want to take risks.
In my experience, I was still rickety on the time management side of student freelancing. I was terrible at sorting my priorities, and because freelancing was a fantastic experience, I failed a course subject and got low grades.
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So if you feel that balancing freelancing and school is too much to handle, stop reading this post, put the thought of freelancing aside, and focus on school.
But if you think you can handle the two together and are not afraid of the challenges ahead, then I’m sure you can take on whatever comes your way.
At most, these are the things you need to succeed as a student freelancer:
Are you good with words or digital art? Any experience with app development or website design? Before you can even begin to freelance, you need skills to sell.
2. A Strong and Growing Portfolio
Already built an impressive portfolio for more significant and challenging future projects.
3. Great Communication Skills
You should have a firm grasp of English to communicate with local and international clients.
4. Freelancing tools
Skype, email, and the tools of the trade. Use this freelancing toolkit as a guide.
5. Payment Options
This is a must-have, as you will encounter lots of potential scammers and cheapskates who will try to outsmart and abuse you.
6. Excellent Time Management
You should know when to freelance and when to do your school projects. Set reasonable deadlines for freelance projects to avoid overlapping your school work.
7. Courage and Guts
Student freelancers need guts. You’ll face challenges when working with clients, especially those who expect you to work for peanuts because of your student background.
Student freelancing is all about learning and gaining experience, which means you will receive rejection and criticism. You will also make a couple of mistakes along the way. Be humble enough to accept and learn from them.
So before you start revving up your engines, ask yourself if you have what it takes to study and freelance simultaneously. Can you take on the pressures of both school AND your growing clientele? Can you motivate yourself to spend your free hours from school on your freelance projects?
9. An ideal range of freelance rates and fees
Spend a full day (or week) planning how much you want to earn as a freelancer. Please choose the best freelance rate and stick to it all the way.
10. A good sense of personal finance
You’re dealing with actual income here, so you should know how to budget and set aside money for what’s to come after graduation.
If yes, then take those first steps to build a career as a student freelancer.
The most important thing to gain from student freelancing is experience.
Whether you decide to become a freelancer or not, the experience you gain from working for clients and applying your skills to projects is precious. These will help you get to where you want to go when the diploma is in your hands.
Treasure the experience, whether good or bad. Learn from your mistakes and take the lessons to your next phase in life. Who knows, you might find yourself setting up your own freelancing business in the future, with a wide range of clients waiting at your virtual doorstep.