Curiosity Gym

Does freelancing sound like something you’d like to try?

If you’re wondering what freelancing is?  How can you get started while you’re still studying? How will it benefit your career after you graduate from college? Then this article is for you.

Read on to learn about some ways to get started freelancing and how this experience can help you.

If you want to gain work-world experience while still in college and make some money, then freelancing is worth considering. Gone are the days when the only obvious answer was to get a part-time job. Part-time jobs are undoubtedly great, but are they the only way? No!

With your college schedule, community club meetups and entertainment time, you may have a hobby or skill that you enjoy and want to take up small projects based on it. What if you could earn some money with your skillset, set your own hours, and gain experience? This would make your resume extremely appealing to recruiters. Freelancing is the best way to go. 

Why freelance?

  • Freelance work allows you to work on your own time, wherever you want, and in any area where you can provide value-added service/product for someone else.
  • Freelancing is also a great way to gain the knowledge you need to get your job, especially if you want to work in an industry that is too new or changing for college curricula to keep up with.
  • While freelancing, you can build a portfolio of your work to show potential employers. Assume you want to work for a graphic designer role. While you can talk about your course experiences in an interview, wouldn’t it be more impressive to show a recruiter a few samples of your actual work, along with client testimonials? This shows your knowledge of the subject and demonstrates professionalism, which are essential characteristics that you will never learn simply by attending class in today’s work world.

Even if you don’t want to become a full-time freelancer after graduation, it is certainly a great way to gain relevant work experience while still in college. 

How to start freelancing?

Before you can make any money, you must first decide what kind of freelance services you would provide. Choose a skill you already have to find your freelancing area. It should be something you enjoy doing and that you can do well enough to create value-added service or product for others to pay you for. Let’s talk about some ideas for getting started with freelancing. 

Finding your niche

  • Do you have artistic skills? Do you enjoy painting and drawing? You could create logos, personalized art, cards for birthdays and anniversaries, and other gifts for people to give to their friends and family. Such art-oriented projects can show the creative side of your portfolio.
  • If you are good with web designing tools, then you could take up web designing projects. Some of these free video courses and online courses in UX design may be helpful to enhance your skills. Other options include photography and video skills, portrait photography, and video editing.
  • If you have some gardening experience, you can assist people in starting their garden or terrace farming.
  • You may have excellent interpersonal skills. What about organizing parties or becoming a local tourist guide? If you have planning skills and enjoy interacting with people, you could also host such events.
  • If you are someone who likes writing, then writing for a magazine or a publication agency could be worth giving a shot. Have a look at these content writing courses to enhance your writing skills.

Basically, anything you’re good at has the potential to become a freelance skill, to begin with, and later as you improve, you can do pretty well. Indeed, it depends on the demand in that particular field. If it is related to your job field, all the better, but even if it is not, you will learn some professional skills. You can gain expertise by doing online courses in your area of interest to level up your skillset and help you land freelancing projects.

How to get freelance work or gigs?

Now here is another challenge – how to get clients when you are just starting to freelance?  What can be done before you start going to clients? 

  • Create a blog or website for your work so that you can have a digital presence.  Also, over time, you learn a new skill and believe you could use it to get some freelance work done. Having a digital presence and portfolio is a great way to reach out to people; otherwise, how will people know for which services they can approach you?
  • Make the most of social media to get your name out there. Even if it does not directly lead to employment, social media is a great way to make connections that can lead to future opportunities.
  • Networking is essential to find clients. Finding clients may appear difficult at first. The standard piece of advice for finding freelance clients is “it’s all about using your connections and communication skills,” but if you’ve never done any work, you can’t rely on previous clients to recommend you. However, it is also important that you start somewhere, and this is where you can turn to family members, friends, and local businesses. You can approach one of the local businesses and may offer to design brochures for them or it could also be designing a banner for advertisement or you could help writing the web pages for a website. Keep an eye on job portals and freelancing sites to find suitable freelance opportunities. At the very least, it will help you get out of the “comfort zone” and start approaching people by putting yourself out there.

Freelance experience teaches you how to:

  • To communicate clearly
  • To take ownership of your work
  • Producing deliverables on time
  • Learn basic accounting
  • Instill professionalism early on

Building your student portfolio takes time, but starting a relevant freelance gig early in your career can be especially beneficial.

Do you work as a freelancer while still in college? How did you find it? We’d love to hear about your experience; do let us know in the comments below. 

Originally published at on November 14, 2021.


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