Freelancing is difficult, especially in the early stages of your career. However it is equally rewarding, especially if you put the hard work in. Starting out while at university can lay down the foundations ready for when you graduate.
Going freelance is a brave step. Having a supportive network around you is essential, and this is where your lecturers can help. As I found out during my time at university, they have a wealth of knowledge that you can tap into - one even sat down with me and went over my website - and may even help you get those first clients.
Though your university can provide you with those early clients, you still have to be proactive. Treat your freelance work as a business; have business cards printed, attend networking events when you can, and portray a professional appearance. Ensure you have your best work available on a blog, website, and even on social media so that your prospects can find it easily.
Though your freelance work is important, make sure your degree work does not take a back seat. Though meeting new clients and looking for new business is exciting, your degree will help you enhance your skills and improve your credibility. It is worth speaking to your lecturers about finding the right balance between essays and projects and your career.
Another way that your freelance career can take off at university is through funding programmes. These can help you with website costs, purchasing equipment and becoming a member of any relevant unions. Being in a union or body, such as the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), is vital; they can provide legal assistance and more in-depth advice on complex issues.
Above all, enjoy your freelance career and your university experience. It is safe to assume that you are studying something you have a firm interest in and you are passionate about, so carry that same enthusiasm into your freelancing. That passion will appeal to your clients, and just might be the reason they choose to use you.