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Asking for Sketches before Placing Contracts

vinluna
Active Member
Vinicius C Member Since: Dec 13, 2020
1 of 10

Hi, y'all!

 

I'm a new freelancer in the platform, been using for only 4 days and already received the rising talent badge.

 

The thing is, after sending 10 proposals, one client reach out to me and said that, since i'm new there and got no reviews at all, that she would want to see if i could get the job done.

 

She asked for 3 different sketches, which i did the work and sent to her. The thing is, after sending the last one (which took me 30min to get it done) she just stopped responding. I thought she could be deciding or not if she was going to hire me. So, i asked politely for a position, since other proposals were rolling over and she was just super unpolite. 

 

Again, i'm new here and since i dont get any reviews i wanted to be proactive and show her i could get the job done.

 

How you guys manage clients who wants 'work for free' kind of stuff to know if i have the skills to get the job done?

(even though i'm new, i think i got scam up)

 

Thanks !

All the best

millermelanie
Community Guru
Melanie M Member Since: Jul 13, 2016
2 of 10

I think you just did a job for free.  You're new and got taken advantage of. Don't feel bad. Most of us fell for that when we first started here, as well.  Lesson learned.

 

So, what to do in the future?  Build up a good portfolio which contains a variety of samples of what you do -- different styles, media, etc.  That SHOULD be sufficient for most clients who want to see what you can do. If they want more evidence, then maybe offer a small test job or an incomplete one for a lower "test rate," if you like. Watermark it or make it just complete enough that the client gets an idea of your skill but can't actually USE it (hopefully). 

 

I wish you luck here on Upwork. I've been here a little over 4 years and love it. I'm just at hobbyist earning a little spending cash on the side now, as I have a full-time day job.  I hope to expand my freelancing enterprise when I retire, though. Off to a good start!

vinluna
Active Member
Vinicius C Member Since: Dec 13, 2020
3 of 10

Thank you so much Melanie. That was really sweet of you.

And of course, i'm just learning. Next time i'll be wiser when i client does something like this.

 

Thank you!

All the best

mtngigi
Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
4 of 10

Vinicius C wrote:

Thank you so much Melanie. That was really sweet of you.

And of course, i'm just learning. Next time i'll be wiser when i client does something like this.

 

Thank you!

All the best


You should also know that it is against TOS for clients to ask for free work. When that happens, report them. You can learn more by reading the wealth of information Upwork provides for new freelancers

monicabonvicini
Active Member
Monica B Member Since: Jul 25, 2019
5 of 10

You're right Virginia, it's against TOS to ask for free work. But sometimes smaller clients are so insecure about the style they like!

Plus, there are freelancers who don't mind delivering free work and infringing TOS.

When clients ask for free sketches and you tell them that you can't because you don't want to go against TOS, they reply something like "I'm interviewing four illustrators and you're the only one saying this"

 

What I usually do is proposing a compromise: I ask them to hire me for a super-small "sketch" project (let's say, $30) so I can work on the sketches withouth infringing the TOS, and then (in case they like the sketches and decide to hire me for the full project) grant them a $30 discount on the project amount.

This means I didn't work for free, I didn't lose the opportunity and I had the occasion to know a new client.

In case they insist for free work, then I report them and move on.

Hope I've been helpful!

prestonhunter
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
6 of 10

re: "When clients ask for free sketches and you tell them that you can't because you don't want to go against TOS, they reply something like 'I am interviewing four illustrators and you're the only one saying this'"

 

I am unmoved by such an argument.

Because I am really good at what I do.

 

If the client wants to hire me, then the client is going to need to pay me. Whether it is for a "test project" or the "real" project.

 

Moreover:
The fact that a client was able to behave unethically and in violation of Upwork ToS with 3 other illustrators does not make it right.

9e0b1847
Active Member
Stephanie H Member Since: Feb 21, 2021
7 of 10

Hi Vinicius,

 

Doing work for free always stinks! Just because you're new and don't have any jobs yet doesn't mean you shouldn't have anything to add to your portfolio. You can add personal projects that show what you can do and your art style. A lot of my portfolio is personal art and as I got jobs and permission to share that work I added to it. If you ever need to do something like this for a client I would suggest never sending the final piece without a watermark. Also if something seems sketchy don't be afraid to say no. You get to decide in the end what jobs you accept and the type of clients you want to work with. I hope that helps! 

 

Best of Luck,

 

Stephanie Hardy

basicolors
Active Member
Viktor T Member Since: Jan 18, 2021
8 of 10

Hey, Stephany,

 

you said, that as you got permission to share delivered work you added it to your portfolio. Since I am new to the platform, I want to know how to do it better - immediately after delivery to ask the seller permission to add the work to the portfolio or there are still some more acceptable methods? Thank you in Advance and have a nice day.

 

Best
Viktor

9e0b1847
Active Member
Stephanie H Member Since: Feb 21, 2021
9 of 10

Hi Viktor,

 

Whenever you complete a project just ask the client if they are ok with you using it in your portfolio. In some cases you may have to wait for the project to be public and up and running. Just depends on the type of project. Always communicate well with your client and don't be afraid to ask questions.

 

Best,

Stephanie

snusilda
Active Member
Oleksandra M Member Since: Mar 6, 2021
10 of 10

Hi Viktor,

 

Thought I'd add to Stephanie's reply by saying that you can choose between uploading a new item to your portfolio independently, or you can attach it to one of the projects from your work history (you will have an option to do that while uploading it to the portfolio).

 

In the first case, you just upload it and it appears immediately. 

In the second case, it takes 3 days to appear in your portfolio, because it is sent to be reviewed by the client. As far as I know, the client doesn't need to confirm it, they only have the option to reject. If they don't reject it during those 3 days, it will appear in your portfolio, as well as next to the client's feedback for that project in your profile. The contract must be finished in order for you to be able to attach a portfolio item to it.

 

I personally prefer to go the 2nd way because I feel like it looks more legit to potential clients - that it's an actual job that I completed and the client was happy with the result, and not (for example) a conceptual work created solely by myself for myself. I personally just like it more that way, although there's also absolutely nothing wrong with adding the projects you created just for portfolio purposes.

 

I know that some freelancers don't like to attach portfolio items to the jobs because of that waiting time and the need to involve a client in it (even if it's just an email notification they receive about it). Then also every time you edit anything in that item, it will again have to be reviewed and reappear only after 3 days. 

 

So both ways have their pros and cons, and it's only up to you how you prefer to do it. You still need the client's permission to share the work in both cases, of course. I usually just ask if it's ok for them right after we finish the project.