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Tips for High School and College Students: How to Work Freelance the Right Way

You can start freelancing when you are still in school – from the age of 16-17. This is a great way to learn and get practical experience at the same time. But it is important not to forget the work ethic and not to make mistakes that will give away the fact that you are not the most experienced specialist. We’ve compiled a checklist of the most common mistakes.

1. Grab it and do it right away

The most common mistake is to take on everything in a row. There is a category of clients who are willing to support fledgling freelancers and help develop their portfolios. But these clients will not clearly explain what results they want to see, because they themselves do not understand it. The “make-it-nice” category of people is a common phenomenon in the world of freelancing. So ask the customer questions:

  • What goal do you want to achieve, what are your main objectives?
  • Who am I doing this for?
  • What examples of cool solutions can you give?

A clear terms of reference – this is the key to your future success, both in working with the first client and in personal growth. Sometimes you have to add it yourself.

2. Work even at night

There is an opinion that young student freelancers can only work at night because during the day they study and go out with friends. But it’s better to pump up your time management – install an application like TimeTune, then it will be easier for you to allocate time for studying, socializing, and work. It’s easy to get caught up, fall in love, and lose track of time. But the applications will remind you that the customer is waiting for “write my essay for me” work on the exchange and it must be completed before the concert to which friends have invited.

And sometimes finishing the order means “scoring” an important lecture and staying to pore over the project. It is excellent if your freelance work is related to the field in which you are studying at university. You put theory into practice, and you earn money for your vacation.

3. Don’t learn new things

As a student, the most important thing is to study and learn new things. Read more and communicate in a professional environment. There are plenty of online schools, courses, and communities where you can exchange experiences. For example, there are courses on online marketing, copywriting, creating websites, and dozens of other professions. 

4. Waste all your money

Of course, this is relative. But the first earned money is better spent with the benefit, to invest in your development – on training, a new computer, or access to the database of all customers on the exchange. It is a smart investment – so you are more likely to get the hang of the profession, and do not get a reputation as a spender.

5. Be passive

Don’t let the grass grow under one’s feet for weeks. It is a very bad idea to ignore all the offers from customers, or not to respond to the posted orders. The more you do nothing, the more you drift away from earning and experience. Your job is to get your hands on it, build up your portfolio, learn to feel the peculiarities of entrepreneurship, and develop a base of contacts. And by inaction and passivity, you nip things in the bud.

6. Don’t create a portfolio

At first, it will seem like you have nothing to show for it. But you don’t: collect all your projects for friends and class projects. If there is nothing – make them for yourself, this is your main driver when communicating with the customer. It doesn’t matter that there may be better work on the site than yours. The goal is not to be better, but to get hands-on experience.

7. You will certainly have to work with boors

No, you don’t have to. You don’t have to feel like a doer who has no say, even at the startup stage in freelancing. If the customer has no respect for you and initially treats you with disdain – leave this project. You will spend more time and nerves on coordination, and you have it worth its weight in gold.

8. “I’m worthless”

It’s very easy to lose faith in yourself. After your first order, you may be unhappy with yourself or your communication with the customer, but don’t take it too personally.  The same text can cause admiration in one customer and disgust in another. Do not get upset, because everyone has a different vision and sometimes contradictory tastes. Tastes differ. You need to draw conclusions and move on. Even if the customer is not happy with your work, you need to live and move on. Everything in this world is relative.

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