Starting freelancing is not an easy decision. The first weeks / months of a fresh freelancer are far from being a walk in the park. You have to build a portfolio, learn how to schedule work, accept lower rates sometimes (to build that portfolio in the first place and get the first clients), come up with new expenses, at the moment your wallet doesn’t look too “good” either.
And, on top of all these, uncertainty. Doubting yourself. You read countless articles about freelancing, you see portfolios with good looking young men (there are a lot of women freelancing, but mainly this is the image) in their 20s or 30s and you feel inadequate.
Yes, you’re 15. Or the other category of future to be freelancers currently doubting themselves, 55. What are your chances in this market? Who does take seriously a kid? Or a grandfather? Why start freelancing anyway, if your clients will roll their eyes finding about your age?
1. Not all clients are reluctant to work with under-aged people or (less chances of a problem anyway) with people who are maybe “too old”.
In my old days as a forum admin, I have worked with a moderators team made up of young people. I have paid people for various projects and they were 13. As long as the work was done properly and I was pleased with it, there was no problem from my side.
Still, if you are under-aged, please consider discussing your career with your parents. In many cases you’ll need an adult to help with the financial issues and any problems that might arise. I would personally have nothing against my kid being a freelancer, as long as I KNOW IT and can support him.
People of age shouldn’t have any legal problems with working on a project, so I think in many cases it’s just the need to be confident in their skills and work will come. Again, as a potential buyer, I would have nothing against working with a more mature provider.
2. You don’t quite have to advertise your age.
I never understood people who have to give way too many personal details. Sure, my portfolio will include all kinds of information, but in many cases age is not quite such an important detail. When a potential client is interested in your work, maybe he’s not that interested in who you actually are.
As a young provider, having your parent back you up, is a good idea, I’ll say this again. Any client who might be wary of hiring you, should know you work under an adult supervision, so the relationship doesn’t include just the under-aged provider.
3. Have a killer portfolio and advertise your strengths
Clients hire people with good portfolios, feedback (if you are on a freelancing job site) and rates. They are interested in getting the best work done in a given time-frame and budget. Most of them don’t quite really care their provider is 17 or 70.
What I am trying to say here is that your age shouldn’t be a deciding factor when you consider starting freelancing. There are many other problems to think of, strategies and worries, don’t let age come into this too.
If you are good and want to make money, you will make it. Simple as that. And you won’t be looked for and well paid by clients because of your age. They pay for quality of work, not the number of candles you’ve blown last time for your birthday wishes.