How To Start Freelancing As A Student With No Experience

Feb 2, 2024

Quick Topics

  • Understanding Freelancing
  • Figure out your Niche
  • Make a Portfolio
  • Create an Online Presence
  • Start Small and Gain Experience
  • Network and connect with people
  • Conclusion

Have you ever dreamed of turning your passion into a paycheck, but found yourself hesitating at the starting line due to lack of experience? You could feel like a little fish in a large pond entering the competitive job market with only your academic background. As a student starting freelancing with no experience can seem like a long haul but worry not in this blog we’ll discuss a detailed step-by-step plan on how to get started in freelancing with no experience. 

Before we begin keep in mind that everyone starts somewhere. It's about taking that first step and refining your craft along the way. Let’s start!

Understanding Freelancing

Before we go into it, let's start by clearing up some common misunderstandings and misconceptions about the freelance lifestyle. While freelancing offers freedom and independence, it also comes with its own set of challenges and responsibilities that require careful consideration. As a freelancer, you will be responsible for finding clients, managing your workload, and handling administrative tasks such as invoicing and taxes. Amidst all this standing out requires skill, creativity, and persistence to show your unique value proposition and attract clients. Each project you take on is a brushstroke that gives your professional portfolio more depth and color. Just like a painting evolves, your freelancing career will grow and flourish as you gain experience and hone your skills. From content creation to digital marketing to web development, freelancing offers a wide array of opportunities for students to kickstart their careers.

Figure out your Niche

This part of the roadmap is an essential one. Start by thinking back on your interests, hobbies, academic strengths, and any talents you may have.  Consider what you enjoy doing in your free time or what topics you find yourself constantly researching. Brainstorm and make a list of things that you could excel at. Once you have your list, consider which of these interests could potentially be monetized as a freelance service.

Next up, prioritize your list based on the current trends. Research the freelance market and find out the niches that are in high demand and connect this to your interests. You can check out this blog (skill-related blog link) to figure out which skills to learn in 2024. 

Figure out a balanced combination of your interest, In-demand skills, and monetization. It’s a lot of research but you gotta do what needs to be done.

In this digital era, you can learn almost anything online for free you just need to look at the right places. Start with the basics and gradually go up the ladder. Leave no stone unturned in learning and mastering your desired skill. Make YouTube your best friend. Learn that one skill inside out. Once you get a hang of it, start implementing your knowledge by creating projects. 

Make a Portfolio

When you are a student with no experience a portfolio is what'll land you projects. Your portfolio is your elevator pitch which will Include a brief introduction about yourself, highlighting your skills, experience, and what sets you apart. If you are a developer, you can include your tech stacks, screenshots or links to web applications or apps, code snippets, and any contributions to open-source projects. Consider creating a GitHub account to show your projects. For graphic designers, showcase your designs, logos, or illustrations. Remember, quality is key, so choose your best work to include in your portfolio.

Once you have gathered your best work samples, organize them in a visually appealing and easy-to-navigate format. You have two options for creating a digital portfolio: you may use a classic PDF format or use websites like Behance, Wix, or WordPress. With the many no-code solutions available today, anyone without any coding knowledge can easily build a website in no time. Last but not the least don’t forget to promote your portfolio on social media, forums, Freelance platforms, etc. We will talk about this in detail in the next section. 

Create an Online Presence

Begin by optimizing your social media profiles, especially on stages like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Share your work and join relevant groups or communities to network and increase your visibility. These platforms can serve as valuable tools for connecting with potential clients. Then you can start building a professional profile with an engaging bio, samples of your work, and any client testimonials you may have on freelancing platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Toptal, or Freelancer. Apply to jobs, and submit proposals that stand out. You can give BidBuilder a try to make the proposal writing process a piece of cake.

Moreover, consider engaging in freelancing forums, slack, and discord within your field of interest. Show people that you exist loudly. Share insights, and give valuable information to build authority and attract clients. Even as a student, with perseverance and a well-thought-out approach you can excel as a freelancer.

Start Small and Gain Experience

A Tanzanian Proverb goes like “Little by little, a little becomes a lot”. This rings especially true when starting your freelancing journey as a student with no experience. On freelancing platforms, bid on smaller projects to gather client reviews. Build your reputation and add credibility with these small projects. One of the most common mistakes beginner freelancers make here is that they set unrealistic expectations and expect everything to happen overnight. Take time and once you are confident in your abilities to handle bigger projects gradually shift your workflow accordingly. 

Additionally, go Local. Offer your services for free or at a discounted rate to friends, family, or even local businesses. Contact your relatives and see if someone might need your services. You will be doing a lot of reaching out here. Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will your freelancing career. Make note that Patience, persistence, and a willingness to start small are the way to go.

Network and connect with people

Think of networking as planting seeds in a garden; the more you sow, the greater your harvest. As a student just starting in the freelancing career networking will put you a step ahead in the game. Start by tapping into your existing circle of friends, family, professors, and classmates.  Let them know about your freelancing venture, and ask for referrals. Mark my words referrals go a long long way so that’s something for you to keep in mind. You could also attend workshops, webinars, or networking events to make connections. And as we talked earlier Join freelancing communities and forums. Get engaged on social media platforms like LinkedIn share insights, and comment on posts. Consistency is the key so remember to follow up with contacts. You’ll never know when you will get golden so stay open and receptive.


If you've made it to the end of this blog on how to start freelancing as a student, congratulations on taking the first step towards a new and exciting chapter in your life. Remember, freelancing requires more than just having knowledge and experience it also requires a willingness to learn, adjust, and grow.  So, go forth with confidence, enjoy the challenges that come your way, and trust in your abilities to thrive in the freelance world. It can get a bit overwhelming but rest assured, it does get better! You got this. Best of luck on your freelancing adventure!