Freelancing For College Students: Why It’s Worth It and How to Do It
If you’re currently enrolled in college, you know that money can be short. With the cost of textbooks having increased by 812% in the past 35 years, ever-expanding tuition rates, as well as the need for food to eat and a roof over your head—it can all add up really quickly.
While many college students are used to taking on a part-time job to help make ends meet, some also explore the potential of freelancing to increase their income. But freelancing for college students brings so much more value than the money you stand to earn.
In this post, we’ll take a look at why freelancing will benefit you both now and in the future, and then talk about the steps you need to take to get started today.
Why You Should Start Freelancing in College
Let’s start by taking a look at some of the primary reasons that freelancing for college students might be one of the most important paths that you can embark upon.
You will have more freedom over where and when you work.
A part-time gig at the local pizzeria or the campus cafe can be a great way to earn some spending cash. But let’s face it, there are plenty of downsides as well.
For starters, you often have little say over your schedule. Employers need certain hours filled. If you can’t fill them, they’ll often cut your hours back significantly or let you go completely. Likewise, if your job isn’t close to your school or where you’re living, then you are probably wasting hours every week just traveling back and forth.
As a freelancer, you’ll be able to work when it’s most convenient for you, often from the comfort of your dorm room (and even in your pajamas!).
You will increase your employability.
If you’re pursuing a college degree, odds are pretty good that you are planning to land a well-paying career after graduation. However, upon entering the workforce, you may discover the same thing as plenty of other college grads who have gone before you: employers want to hire people with experience.
Obviously, when most people graduate college, they have very little in the way of demonstrable work beyond irrelevant part-time jobs. Building yourself a successful freelance career is the perfect way to set yourself apart from the competition. How many of your fellow job applicants do you think will be able to put on their resume that they started their own business before graduating?
You will earn extra money.
Of course, the most immediate benefit of freelancing for college students is the extra income. Even if you already have a job, you can fit freelancing in to earn even more. You probably have plenty of down time between classes already, so why not fill it with something that pays you back.
Whether you’re using the extra cash to pay your student loans off early or just for some fun money—it will be worth the effort.
You will prepare yourself for the workplace of the future.
Did you know that by 2027, it’s predicted that 50% of U.S. workers will engage in freelance work. And those numbers are only like to increase.
Businesses are turning more and more to freelance workers to increase efficiency and reduce overhead. If you get your foot in the door now, before the tide turns, you’ll position yourself as a leader in whatever field you specialize in.
How To Get Started Freelancing in College
If you are convinced that joining the freelance workplace is the right move for you during your time in college, here is everything you need to know about getting started.
Figure out what you want to do.
Obviously, the first step is to decide what sort of marketable skills you have. Think about your major and the skill that is required of your studies.
An English major could work as a freelance writer. A visual design major could create business logos. And a computer science major might design websites. These are just a few examples, of course.
Use your own ingenuity to think of how you could be of benefit to others. If you are looking for some ideas to help you brainstorm, be sure to check out our Guide to Freelance Jobs for Beginners.
Decide how you want to market yourself.
Once you know what services you want to offer, the next step is to think about how you can go about getting clients.
Most universities have a classifieds website of some sort. There may even be bulletin boards available to advertise yourself on around campus, at the library, or in local eateries. (Just be sure to ask permission before posting fliers).
These can be great ways to land your first clients, but they do limit you to the small pool of customers in your local area. Depending on the services you are offering, you can gain access to a global network of clients today if you advertise online.
And you don’t even have to build a website. You can create an account for free here on Legiit. We offer a secure platform that pairs clients all over the world with the freelancers who have what they need. Once you create an account, you’ll be able to launch your first service within minutes.
Not sure what to put in your service description? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here is a link to our Complete Guide to Writing a Service Description That Sells.
Make time for freelancing.
Once you have started marketing yourself, you’ll eventually land your first client or two. Before you do, though, you need to make time for freelancing in your schedule.
You’ve got a lot of stuff to do. Between classes, homework, projects, studying, and your social life—there are only so many hours in the day. So sit down with your calendar, and plot out all of your responsibilities. Before you find yourself drowning in freelance work, identify all of the free room in your schedule that you can devote to getting it done.
Then, check out this post on How To Find Your First Clients as a Freelancer to start your new job off on the best foot possible.