Before venturing into freelancing, one needs to know and understand what freelancing is. The concept of freelancing, is particularly interesting for university students. That said, freelance jobs for university students aren't easy to come by, but this article will address a few things you can do as a student to increase your online visibility when it comes to freelancing. 

To start you off, lets first talk about freelancing.

Freelancing: The most common and simplest definition of freelancing is the ability to work from anywhere. You may be employed by a company but if your job allows you to work from anywhere, that is freelancing. However the most famous form of freelancing is where a person uses his/her skills to provide services to various clients rather than being employed by a company or an organization. A freelancer enters into a short term contract to provide service and get paid. 

Then, who is a freelancer? Learn more about a freelancer here.


Freelance jobs for university students may include;

  • Article writing
  • Website development
  • Content creation
  • Data entry
  • Social media management
  • Translation
  • Research
  • Editing and proofreading
  • Graphic design
  • Logo design
  • Online and offline typing and so much more!

As a university student you are probably wondering whether freelancing is something beneficial. There are many websites promising to offer freelance jobs for university students however, most of them are not legitimate. It doesn't take much effort to recognise fake sites, for example, do they have support channels? The success in freelancing is almost directly interlinked with the platform you choose to join. To therefore reap the benefits of freelancing, you need to invest your time in finding the most suitable freelance platform. We will adress this below. 


                      How do I become a freelancer as a university student?


Let's first look at the benefits of getting freelance jobs as a university student


Benefits of freelancing as a university student.


The benefits of working as a freelancer while in university are .......

  • Freelancing is a good way for students to earn some extra money and gain real-world experience. Many students may continue with freelancing even after completion of their studies.


  • Because freelancing is more flexible than any other job, it suits a student’s schedule.


  • Naturally, like any other part-time jobs and internships, freelancing while in university introduces you to valuable professionals in your field.


  • Freelancing as a student can always allow you to work from home. You don’t have to get to an office to pursue freelancing and make money. An average freelance writer can write a 1000 word essay and get paid in 3 hours while sitting on a couch with a laptop, sipping a drink and listening to favorite music.


  • There is a high chance for a university student to get hired for a freelance job. Clients prefer energy, enthusiasm, tech savvy and university students can offer that easily.


  • In freelancing, you can work when you can, giving so much flexibility therefore you may chose to only work during long holidays.


  • Freelancing while in college helps in teaching students how to find a balance. Balancing work, college, family, friends and social life can be complicated but if you learn early enough, it gets easier to find that balance.


  • Show me a student who doesn't need extra cash, that is reason enough to start learning about freelancing!


Here are the steps that will guide you in finding freelance jobs as a university student.


                  Find a platform

 While some freelancers prefer to work with direct clients, if you are just starting out you want to definitely consider working under a freelance platform. Platforms assist a freelancer to connect with other freelancers and clients looking for services. Jobs are always available but the competition is always high. Below are examples of freelance platforms;

  • Apexlistings
  • Upwork
  • Fiverr
  • Hiresine
  • Bluerang among others

Choosing a platform with a model that’s fits your interest and needs including payments, is a thing to consider for you to succeed in freelancing.

There is a reason why Apexlistings is top on the list. Here is why. It is our own local platform in Kenya and payouts are made via Mpesa. Secondly it is the only platform that offers you a guarantee to earn. How? Because it offers internal jobs which you can start as soon as you have joined the platform even if you are a newbie in freelancing.


                      Decide whether freelancing is for you

In order to pursue freelancing successfully, you must possess a positive mindset on it. Freelancing requires one to be reliable and disciplined. This will enable you to be your own boss and to set your own schedule. To be successful on this, you should maintain a routine, diversify your skills, do several projects at a time and aim for quality output. You should have consistency in looking for new work. You also need a great deal of patience.


                          Create your profile

Your profile is what your clients will see. Your profile describes you; your eligibility, experiences and explains a lot about your personality and achievements.. Therefore, you have to build your profile to look nice. List your skills, experience, education and expertise. Keep in mind you are not the only freelancer applying for work. This means your profile should speak for you. You don’t have to get a classic CV to attach to gain interest from your clients. Take your time to craft a profile that will inform your clients about the most important details they need. You don’t have to make it long, clients prefer that you save their time so keep it short and appealing. Don’t forget to list your special achievements.


                              Determine your fee

Before you set your price, evaluate your skills and experience because the price depends heavily on that. While you won't always charge the same price, your fee gives a rough picture of your experience level. Note that your fee will most likely be visible on your profile hence it shouldn't scare your clients away. Your bid price should be directly proportional to your level of experience and expertise. If you have an experience of a couple of years, it sounds awkward to bid a price similar to a newbie.


                                     Find jobs

Actively look for open jobs that you can do on a platform. For example, on Apexlistings, clients post jobs so that freelancers can view them and apply. So if you are a verified member on apexlistings, you can bid for any job that is within your skills and you are sure you can do it perfectly. You shoudn't bid for a job that you absolutely don’t have skills for.

Here are a few tips to guide you when applying for jobs.

  • Only apply for the jobs that you are confident you can do as per the client’s expectation.
  • Consider your time schedule before applying on a job. There is no point in applying or bidding on a job you are sure you cannot complete on time. To gain trust from a client or your employer, it is necessary to complete a project and deliver it on time. By doing it, you get a good recommendation and chances are higher that you will be considered for another job.
  • When applying for a job, write an excellent bid that satisfies a client that you are the best choice for the job or project. Highlight the skills and experience that you have in order to increase the chances of winning the job. Find out How To Write a Winning Bid.      


                         Understand what your employer really wants

It is obvious that a client wants a project to be done perfectly, accurately and delivered on time. So, a freelancer needs to understand the project and do it how the client wants. This will increase the client’s chances of hiring you next time. Solve the problem and don’t create more!


                                Stay Active

This will keep you updated and not lose any job opening or the offers on the platform. Being active also enables you to keep communication going with the clients you win. Every client appreciates getting regular updates from the freelancer and the "update progress" feature on Apexlistings is very helpful. It allows you to mark job progress using a percentage of completion. Once the job is marked as 100%, you can receive your review from the employer.


                                     Be open and disciplined

Being open as a freelancer gains you trust from your client. Be transparent and provide what is within your skills and expertise. Don’t lie. Ensure you meet your deadlines and always offer your clients something extra at the same cost. For example, you are given an Exel sheet to fill in some details in a data entry job then you discover a column that is not properly formatted, offer to make the adjustment and if the client agrees, do it for free. This particular client will always remember you whenever he/she wants to post a job.



Don't rush into freelancing. The only way to succeed is to always invest your time.


 Article by Bismark