Unlike in a normal full-time or part-time job, freelancers don’t have a supervisor they usually work under. Instead, clients that are hiring them for these short-term gigs are the ones who will be calling the shots. While they won’t necessarily be able to control very much of your life, it’s still important to find people that you enjoy working for which can open the door for repeat customers and building a network of clients. In order to get the most out of the gig economy and to enjoy your time as a freelancing college student, there are a few tips I recommend in order to find the best clients!
Firstly, it is imperative that you find a trustworthy client to work with. Especially if you will be putting a lot of time or effort into the end product, make sure you are working on a platform that keeps your information safe and with clients who will guarantee payment upon delivery of the product. It can be disheartening and unsafe to work with anyone who seems shady, so be cautious if someone is trying to get more information than they need or seems hesitant about the cost of your services. The great thing about using platforms like Uplancer or Fiverr is that payment is agreed upon in advance and that the transactions are handled internally so there is documentation of everything in case the agreement goes south for whatever reason! Working independently is a great idea to keep more of your cash flow and avoid fees, but at the beginning let the experts handle the back-end work so you can focus on building your freelance career!
Another important factor in finding quality work is to work with companies or clients that know what they want. Similar to having a touch professor that seems to never be satisfied, it can be frustrating to think that you are doing what someone expects only to have several rounds of edits, multiple revisions to your original plans, only to have a low rated review of your services! If a client is reaching out to you, assess to see whether they have a defined goal that you will help them reach; where possible, quantify the work you will be doing to make sure everyone is on the same page. (ex: write 1 article -> write 500 words on the topic of socially distanced vacation destinations) This helps avoid potential miscommunications and actually makes your client’s experience better as well.
Lastly, find work that is meaningful to you. This can be interpreted in many ways, but I find that since freelancing is something you can squeeze into your free time, make sure it’s worth spending time doing. Whether you’re doing it to make ends meet or to get a little extra spending money, it makes the time fly by if you’re engaged. If this means finding clients that need extra help since they’re working on supporting causes you support, seek out those opportunities! This also could mean finding ways to make money from a hobby you enjoy, like photography or digital design. Sometimes, work will pass slowly and the work won’t always be meaningful, so where you can, try to make the most of the great opportunities freelancing can provide. If this sounds doable and you’re feeling empowered to take the next steps, check out Uplancer.io or the Uplancer app on the App Store to sign up!