When university students are looking to make some money, getting a part-time job or summer job is often the first thing that comes to mind. For many students, a far better approach would be to take a shot at developing a freelance business while you’re still in school.
You can take just about any skill that you have – social media skills, graphic design, blogging, making videos – that you use in your spare time, and convert it into some form of freelance business. There are many businesses, especially small ones, that are looking for some sort of computer, Internet or social media skills, but can’t afford to pay the price of using professional services.As a freelance student, you’re in a position to charge a much smaller fee. And once you get a few clients, even if you don’t get paid much for the work, you can start getting some all-important references that will bring in even more business.
If nothing else, you can begin your freelance business through online services, such as Fivver, or related sites. You can build a small portfolio of clients, which you can parlay into even more as an independent business.
There are at least five advantages to building a freelance business in school.
The first and most obvious advantage to freelancing is earning money. Though you may not make a whole lot of money at first, your income will grow as your business builds. But while you’re making money you will have an advantage that a part-time job cannot offer: you will have greater control of your time.
Related: Top Freelancing Work That Earn College Students Money
As a freelancer, you will be paid to do certain jobs, not to keep hours the way you would on a part-time job. That will enable you to build a business around your university schedule, which will make your school life a lot easier.
Gain PAID experience
Freelancing is also an excellent way to get paid experience, and that can be a big help when you are looking for a full-time job upon graduation. Even better, you may be able to tailor your freelance work to match your major, or at least certain aspects of it.
You can do this through paid internships, but they’re not easy to get. But the news isn’t as encouraging with the unpaid variety. There are reports that unpaid internships don’t make a difference when it comes to getting a job.
If you are unable to find a paid internship during junior or senior year, give serious consideration to freelancing.
Build hands on skills
Employers love skills, especially when combined with a university education. Freelancing is a great way to build those skills, or at least to build on the skills that you have in a paid environment.
If you like to make videos or do graphic work in your spare time, you can build transferable skills by doing freelance work. It will provide you with an opportunity to perfect your skills so that when you are out applying for jobs, you can seriously emphasize those skills as selling points for your job candidacy
Anytime you do paid work you could ask for references, especially if you’re getting repeat business from the same clients. In fact, there is no better reference than the kind that come from people who have paid you to work for them.
Related: 10 Graduate Resume Tips
References from 10 paying freelance clients will probably be worth more to you than supervisors at one or two part-time jobs that aren‘t remotely related to your career major. This will be especially true if the freelance references are for specific skills that may have value to a future employer.
Learn the business world
Perhaps the biggest advantage to building a freelance business early in life is that you’ll be learning how the business world works. More specifically, you’ll be getting your feet wet as an entrepreneur. This can have tremendous potential for the rest of your life.
You may, for example, decide at some point in your career that you want to be self-employed. If you did freelance work while you were at university, you will already know how to make that happen. And along the way, if you ever need additional income you could always resume your freelance work to make some extra money on the side.
If you’re looking for ways to earn some money while you are at school, give serious consideration to freelancing. It could be worth a whole lot more than money to you.
Inventory your hobbies and skills, and see what you have that you can sell as a freelancer.
Have you ever tried freelancing?