How to Start a Thriving Freelance Business in School

Being a student is hard. From the examinations and tests to the extra-curricular activities, sleepless nights spent studying and the constant unavailability of money. Enrolling into a university can sometimes be described as signing up for punishment. As hard as it is, many people go through four years or more of university without breaking down, some even merge schooling with work or a side hustle such as freelancing. The question is HOW do they do it?

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Starting a freelance service in school is not especially hard. Maintaining and merging it with school activities and making sure it brings money is the hard part. This article would reveal insights into the important tips needed for launching a successful freelance career in university and running it smoothly. Here’s how to do it.

Decide on what you want to do
The first step you need to take when starting a freelance career is to decide on what service you want to provide. Freelancing covers a large number of activities from writing to graphics designing, photography, painting, and a whole lot of other things. To make a decision on what type of service you want to render as a student, three key things are to be considered: Passion, Skill, and Opportunity.

The combination of these three would be the deciding factor on what freelancing service you would fit best into. Before you start, ask yourself these questions: what am I passionate about? What skills do I possess? What can I use them for? What opportunities are open in my environment? When you answer these questions you will have more clarity on what you are going to do.

Hone/ Develop the needed skills
As a student freelancer, you are at a disadvantaged position because potential clients would easily doubt your efficiency or the quality of the service you can provide. However, if you possess top-class skills that stand as evidence of your proficiency, this doubt will be easily withdrawn. Constantly learning and improving your skills through practice would get you clients easily and also make it easier to carry out projects and faster too. The more you develop your skill, the more you strategically place yourself in an advantaged position.

Start by accepting pro-bono or free jobs
Most student freelancers begin their careers by taking free jobs from people around them. A university campus provides an opportunity of a strong client base. From lecturers, and friends to family members and members of the alumni, these are people who might eventually become your clients. Set out by offering pro-bono services to these people. It allows you to get rid of the initial jitteriness and acclimatize yourself with the freelancing life. While this might seem like a waste of time and resources, there are benefits to it. Taking pro-bono projects would help you develop your portfolio since, in the early stages, it would be hard to get clients because there would be no proof of previous work done for previous clients. A portfolio filled with pro-bono work is, however, the same as one filled with jobs that were paid for.

Learn the art of time management
Another important thing that would really help you establish yourself as a student freelancer is time management. School activities are many and these activities take a lot of time. One of the most important things a student freelancer can have is the ability to plan and manage time. Working around a scheduled time would afford you the ability to perform your assignments and other school work and also handle your freelancing successfully.

Identify your goals
Identify what you want to achieve with your freelancing. Do you plan to have it as a full-time job once you leave university or you want to make it a side hustle that you would drop after university? Make a conscious decision on what you intend to get from freelancing. Do you want to gain extra money from it? Or you want to gain experience in your field? Or maybe you just need to get a first-hand knowledge of the practical aspect of your career. Identify your reason for freelancing and make sure that your actions are purposely directed towards achieving those goals. 0nce you do this, you’ll find that it would not only make you more focused, it’ll also allow you to find a way to fit your school goals alongside them.

These five tips on how to become a student freelancer have worked for me and many others like me. Do you have any experience you want to share? Share them in the comments section.


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