Being a freelancer is probably the only option you have if you are a student, unless you want to stack shelves part time, flip burgers or sell your stuff. If you want to do something else then you need to take up a freelance position. However, this does mean that the world is your oyster. You can choose to do whatever you like as a freelance agent, from being a freelance web designer to a freelance church spire repair person.
1 – Court lots of clients and book projects in advance
This is the only way that you can secure an income. Otherwise you will always be desperately jumping from one job to the next. It may also force you to take jobs that you do not want to do, or jobs that are underpaid.
2 – Do not be afraid to turn down low paid work
It is hard to turn down work, but the time you spend working on the low paid jobs could have been better spent finding a better and higher paying client. Plus, every time you accept a lower paid job, you are forcing yourself to work more, for less, which is a bad precedent to set.
3 – Budget your free time between your studies
You have to spend a lot of time studying, which means you cannot play fast and loose with your free time. You need to budget it so that you still have time to relax and do not have to work too much. If you work too much then you may have a burnout that is going to affect your studies.
4 – Call in some students to help you
You have an institution full of people who are looking for work and money, so call some of them in to help you with your jobs. Sharing the payment with them should not be much of a hardship if it helps you to effectively complete the task. You may even make a few new friends.
5 – Learn how to protect your work
Some jobs are easier than others, but if you are producing anything creative then you really need to learn how to protect your work because people are going to try and rip you off again and again.
6 – Clearly define the terms of each project so they cannot wiggle out of paying
Some clients are going to give you vague instructions so that they can wiggle out of payment. You need to be severe and strict with your clients if they try to wiggle out of paying.
7 – Using some form of escrow is your safest bet
No matter what job you do, there is no guarantee that you are going to be paid for it. The only way you can ensure a little bit of security is to have the client pay some money in escrow.
8 – Make a point of learning something new each week
You need to make a conscious effort to get better at your job and to keep getting better as time goes on. If you make a point of learning something new every week then your will inevitably get better and better.
9 – Keep some money in reserve for work expenses
You will be surprised how much money you have to invest in some projects in advance. You need to keep a reserve of money so that you can continue to operate unhindered.
10 – Maintain your professionalism on all fronts
This means that if you are a freelance writer then you should not have mistakes in your emails. If you are a painter and decorator then do not have web chats with poorly decorated or scruffy rooms in your background. It means that if you are an artist then do not turn up in a suit and tie.