Make money with your talent: How to become a freelancer

If you have a skill such as web design, creative writing or graphic illustration then becoming a freelancer is an easy way to earn some cash in your spare time.

There are no plenty of freelance marketplaces around which allow you to sell your skills quickly and easily to millions of customers on the web.

Here is our quick guide on making cards by becoming a freelancer.

Advantages v Disadvantages

Becoming a part time freelancer is a relatively low risk way of making cash, but there are some drawbacks you should consider.

  • Advantages
  • Work for yourself
  • In full control of what projects you take on
  • Work to your own schedule
  • Something extra for the CV
  • Experience in working with customers and clients
  • Can become a full-time occupation
  • Disadvantages
  • Can be hard to start off
  • Lots of competition
  • Boring admin work (e.g. chasing payments, tax returns)
  • No employer benefits (e.g. paid leave)

The websites

A quick Google search will turn up thousands of websites and forums where you can post your skills and connect with those looking for someone to work for them, but here's five of the most popular and trusted.

Get the price right

Price is everything: Too high and you won't get enough customers and to live and you'll find your self being overworked and undercharged.

See what others of similar experience are charging and make changes as and when you complete work. When it comes to bidding for projects, don't be tempted to go to too low, Don't undervalue your work and time!

Prove yourself

Getting your first project is often the hardest part of freelancing. Without any feedback from other clients it'll be hard for others to trust you. Gather as many examples of your work as you can, whether it be something done for family and friends, something in your own time or even college coursework. Sharing and proving that you have the skills you claim is the first step to getting a commission.

Promote yourself

Posting your skills on freelance websites is the first step to getting jobs, you should look to promote yourself wherever possible: Basics start with links to your social profiles such as on Twitter and Facebook and may also include getting some business cards printed for a few quid.

Build a reputation and keep it

Getting regular work requires a good reputation and lots of positive feedback. Always work closely with your clients and try to keep them happy. Sometimes it can be hard and testing, but aim to please all the time. Only accept projects you know you can complete on time, and don't be tempted to accept jobs that require skills out of your expertise or that you may struggle to finish.

Declare it!

To stay legal you should ensure that you declare any revenue you make from freelancing. Even if it is well below the current tax-free threshold of £8,105, you should keep records and inform the HMRC, one of the disadvantages to freelancing!

About the author: Thomas Brella

Thomas Brella is the founder of Student Hacks, starting the website in 2013 while studying at the University of Brighton to share tips and tricks on life as a cash-strapped student. He's now spent over 10 years scoping out the best ways to live on a budget

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