18 essential tips for freelancing as a student

10. If you have a nagging feeling about a potential client, don’t ignore it. Small businesses are often keen to work with local suppliers so it’s worth focusing on your immediate neighbourhood. It’s fine to say you can’t go because you have other time commitments. Bartlett was tasked to create bespoke illustrations for this rebranding of the House of Dorchester chocolate collection, on sale in John Lewis10. Chase late payments
If clients are late in paying, it’s worth chasing this up. Be honest about any problems or delays and do your best to solve them quickly. Don’t forget your business cards
If you do go, remember to take business cards – and avoid booking non-refundable travel in case the meeting is cancelled or delayed. Look for details of graduates, too, as they may be open to hearing from students at the same university they attended. It’s also worth emailing key files to yourself on a regular basis. Destructive workflows might be slightly faster in the short-term, but long term they’re disasterous. 13. 12. If they mention a specific problem, ask who can solve it and when. Will clients care that you’re a student? Some freelancers use apps like Wave or Xero to help with accounting, or you might prefer to create your own spreadsheets and invoice templates. So be upfront about costs from the start and agree a fee in writing before doing any work. Take care over your communication with clients. Send invoices promptly
And keep track of when they should be paid. 09. Testimonials can work
When a happy client signs off on a project, thank them for their business and ask if they’d consider writing a testimonial for your website. What about client meetings? University of the Arts Bournemouth graduate Lewis Bartlett created this typographic print series for the National Literacy Trust during his time as a student06. 16. Keep things as simple as possible. 04. 11. Ask yourself if the client seems to value what you’re selling. Never rely on just one hard drive, or one cloud back-up, to keep all your files safe – things can and do go wrong, such as files becoming corrupted or simply inaccessible. Generally though, clients focus on what they’re getting for their money and what it’s actually like to work with you, not what you do the rest of the time – so make sure you’re professional, focused and enthusiastic. Offer to send over any relevant information beforehand. Don’t be scared to talk about money
Freelancing can feel very personal, but remember that you’re conducting a business. That said, always trust your gut instinct, whether you’re chasing a late payment or debating whether to step out of your comfort zone. In part one of our essential guide to freelancing as a student, we looked at the process of setting up as a freelancer, including essential equipment, declaring your income, and key things to put in contracts and invoices. Don’t rely on memory
Even the most experienced freelancers can forget important tasks, so use a calendar, wall planner or task management app to keep track of what you need to do and when. Be honest at all times
Don’t misrepresent your skills or experience. Aim to impress people with what you do, not what you say. 05. After that, you’re entitled to charge interest on late payments. 08. If you haven’t agreed a payment deadline in writing, the legal default is 30 days in the UK. Some universities list freelance opportunities – University of the Arts London’s Creative Opportunities website is just one example. Portfolio sites like Behance and Arts Thread can help bring in the work, but you’ll probably get your first projects through personal contacts – so ask them to spread the word. Here are 18 top tips for tackling the day-to-day challenges of running a freelance business, from finding new work to managing your money… Is it solely about your project, or is that one item on a long agenda? Keep your workflow non-destructive  
Save multiple versions of each project rather than overwriting the same file each time. They might. If you use Adobe Creative Cloud or Dropbox for online storage, consider making a physical back- up too. 14. Reply to emails promptly and professionally, include a polite sign-off (such as “Kind regards”) and avoid text-speak. In the beginning it’s tempting to say yes to every opportunity that comes along, but you have a limited amount of time in which to freelance. Spread the word
Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, whether you’re networking on Twitter or asking friends and family to recommend you. Hand-deliver flyers, give out business cards, advertise on local listings boards and check sites like Eventbrite for local networking opportunities. Be polite when refusing work
Refusing work won’t sabotage your career, so long as you do it politely. 02. As mentioned in part one, invoices are usually sent by email but they must always include your name, postal address and contact details, and those of your client. Succeeding as a student freelancer requires a smart approach to managing your time and money. Don’t just think about final deadlines. For your clients, it’s just part of their working day. Choose a system that makes things easier and that you’ll actually use – there’s no point putting everything on a wall calendar if you won’t remember to look at it. Then set yourself some mini deadlines. Plan ahead
When you’re juggling work and studying, it’s essential that you plan ahead. Good chat wins repeat clients
As a freelancer, relationships are essential. Don’t say yes to everything
Some clients may push prices from students.

Updated: 08.12.2014 — 18:17