4 Tips for College Students to Start Freelancing

college freelancer

Are you thinking of freelancing while attending college? This strategy could be an excellent way to increase your income and pay off your student debt even faster.

But do you think you’re ready to handle your commitment to studies and as well as your clients? If yes, then here are some tips for you to get started!

Without a doubt it’s possible to run an efficient freelance business while you’re in college, and make some good money on the side while doing it. Here are a few ideas on how you can do this without compromising your grades.

#1: Spend Time Creating a Foundation

The initial stages of freelancing can be difficult, since you’re still building a reputation and there aren’t many clients on hand.

The situation becomes even more complex knowing that most students don’t really have an impressive portfolio of recent work to show off to potential clients. All of this could mean less work and less income, at least until you’ve had some experience and honed your skills.

Thankfully, you can use the summer break to build a decent portfolio. Since most students don’t have much to do during summer, these months can be used for laying groundwork on your freelancing business and creating a solid foundation.

Why not go ahead and get a website, learn about freelancing, organize some good portfolio pieces, start marketing yourself and take up some gigs?

#2: Know Your Priorities

While keeping track of the time you spend on any client projects is good, it’s not enough. You need to have a calendar where you list out the important dates for your classes plus clients.

Sit down with your syllabus for each and every class then correspond these tasks to the calendar where client due dates are kept.

I personally use one type of calendar for all my due dates and client responsibilities — whether it’s a digital calendar or agenda book — so I don’t get confused or misplace appointments. There’s enough chaos going on while you’re in college, let’s not add to it by not keeping a clean schedule.

It’s essential you know your priorities. One of the most important things is to continue pursuing is your education.

If you’re interested in niche topics, like health, wellness, or even biblical studies for instance, Cardinal Stritch offers a Christian graduate program. Colleges offer great programs to help you increase your worth as well as your real-life experience.

Just see to it that this time doesn’t collide with the “freelancing time”. If you know and understand your priorities it will make the whole process easier.

#3: Focus on Recurring Revenue

If you’re in college managing full-time studies, then you’ve already made a time commitment — a big one at that.

Now, freelancing is about take up your time with projects on the side while working/studying full-time. So this means you’ll want to spend most of your time actually working on your client projects.

Instead of going the hard way and locating one-time projects, focus on landing recurring ones. Look for projects that you know will keep you working for a long time.

For example, if you’re a writer, you could look for a gig that requires you to write consistently for a blog or contributing to a weekly/monthly newsletter. Recurring revenue will make your job a lot less of headache.

#4: Avoid Showcasing Your Student Tag

Clients are already picky about how much they pay freelancers. They’re always negotiating for the best price. But the moment they know they’re dealing with a student working as a part-time freelancer, they automatically want a lower price quote.

Not only that, there are companies who generally avoid hiring student freelancers thinking/assuming they aren’t qualified enough.

This is why it’s not worth to mention anywhere that you’re a student. Keep the “student status” out of your freelancing business. Avoid putting the fact that you’re in college on your website or for that matter, on any promotional materials that you distribute.

What other tips do you have for college-level freelancers?

Get the FREE ebook on Delegating!

ebook freebie


  • - Learn to outsource on a budget
  • - Make more money in less time
  • - Be happier and less stressed

About Carrie

Carrie Smith is the owner and editor of Careful Cents. She helps serious solopreneurs and full-time freelancers earn more money in less time, through systems and financial organization. She's been featured in The Huffington Post, Glamour Magazine, Kiplinger Finance and several other business websites. In May 2013 she quit her full-time accounting job to pursue entrepreneurship and blogging. You can find her on Twitter or Instagram @carefulcents.

Share a comment on Google+

Powered by Google+ Comments