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alygabriela
Community Member

Sample tests Before Hiring?

Hello Freelancers, I just wanted to ask how do you feel about doing samples of jobs you're still not hired to? 

 

Example: I got a invitation for a interview for a hand lettering design and the client sent me a small brief and references for this test. 

 

What would you do in this instance? Is it okay to ask for samples even though you're not hired? 

 

thanks a lot in advance, cheers,

Aly. 

7 REPLIES 7
niag
Community Member

In my proposals (if there was enough info in the job descriptions), sometimes I do create a quick, partial mockup. For example, if a client wants an article about "10 Fun Things To Do In Italy," I might write up "3 Fun Things To Do In Israel." This way, you can show your skills, without wasting too much time and giving a client free work that they can actually use. 

 

As far as conversing with potential clients, I only do paid trials. Nothing free. I might discount the trial a bit (on a fixed price job), but that's it. I might also point the client towards the most similar samples in my portfolio if he/she is hesitant about paying for a test piece.

 

Not sure how extensive of a sample you're being asked for (full or partial). It is okay to ask for samples, but they must be paid for. Otherwise, the client is basically going against the Upwork ToS.

lomen_jan
Community Member

You ony submit your portfolio and perhaps point out similar work you did so far. No contract - no work.

 

Nia - we cannot give partial sample. We could do them quick pencil sketches, but clients are never into that. They want to see finished stuff. 

niag
Community Member

My comment about submitting partial mockups was in regards to proposals, not sample tests. These mockups have gotten me interviews and a job or two. This doesn't break any rules and there are clients who appreciate it. 

 

Take a look at this article (particularly step 4 about the Minimum Viable Portfolio). This works in many other industries as well.

 

As for clients with whom you are interviewing, my advice was also no contract, no work. 

lomen_jan
Community Member


@Nia G wrote:

My comment about submitting partial mockups was in regards to proposals, not sample tests. These mockups have gotten me interviews and a job or two. This doesn't break any rules and there are clients who appreciate it. 

 

Take a look at this article (particularly step 4 about the Minimum Viable Portfolio). This works in many other industries as well.

 

As for clients with whom you are interviewing, my advice was also no contract, no work. 


 You know that we have portfolios that are showing the range and skill levels? We send them that.  What we call mock-up is usually placing the design onto photo that has blank brochure, poster, phone screen or whatever neded on. And it is a part of what we do. We do not do that for free. I am not stating that designing is hollier than thou when compared to writing freelancers, but you can't compare us. you also can type for free sample during the interview, couple of sentences - what would not be considered work, but I have to take pencil/brush do artsy stuff, scan open my sofwares do the artsy stuff there. Sometimes we can cut directly to software artsy phase. But it would take us to to do something at least an hour to prove prospect client something. Depending on how fast and correct you type - you can do a small bit in less than 5 minutes.

We can point out portfolio pieces that are similar to job needed. I just wish clients have enough knowledge to see what range of skills is invested in execution of pieces shown, cause i have to explain them what I did, basicly like doing a tutorial. 

I have bunch of handlettering done, for various medium (walls, menus, tattoos...), so in my case I'd send to this client job I did.  Anything custom is considered commision and therefore shoud be paid.

niag
Community Member

I certainly do respect your viewpoint on this. And I'm not trying to compare designers as a whole with writers. My comments here were based on the OP's message, which had to do with hand lettering. The word "mockup" may have different meanings to us. My point is not to do a whole job or even the job that a client is requesting. If you already have similar work, definitely show that. I do the same whenever I have an opportunity.

 

However, it does no harm (in my opinion and in the opinion of other very successful freelancers in several fields here) to create a partial sample. I understand your point about having to use software and do more work. But that depends on how far you decide to go with your sample. The key is to do a minimum. 

 

In the end, it just comes down to what you're willing to do and if you think it's worth your time. If not, fine. Anyway, as I said, I respect your viewpoint. I was just stating mine, which happens to be based on the knowledge that some designers also do this. 

lomen_jan
Community Member


@Nia G wrote:

I certainly do respect your viewpoint on this. And I'm not trying to compare designers as a whole with writers. My comments here were based on the OP's message, which had to do with hand lettering. The word "mockup" may have different meanings to us. My point is not to do a whole job or even the job that a client is requesting. If you already have similar work, definitely show that. I do the same whenever I have an opportunity.

 

However, it does no harm (in my opinion and in the opinion of other very successful freelancers in several fields here) to create a partial sample. I understand your point about having to use software and do more work. But that depends on how far you decide to go with your sample. The key is to do a minimum. 

 

In the end, it just comes down to what you're willing to do and if you think it's worth your time. If not, fine. Anyway, as I said, I respect your viewpoint. I was just stating mine, which happens to be based on the knowledge that some designers also do this. 


 Handlettering is visual applied art not a writing gig.  

We can't offer samples as we develop the sample we actually like 40 to 80% done. The rest is detailing and finessing the said idea. I will suggest you that you say to those freelancer in design field to stop doing such move as there are plenty of farmers who can ripp the idea off (by reworking idea or farming to cheaper freelancer). I am not going to prove my prospect client anything by offering "sample", if you call my portfolio pieces samples - then yes - we offer samples that cannot be used cause they are done jobs. Just to show you what it takes I advice you to take a good look at this video. I guess that OP's client is not really looking for pinnacle of handlettering like in this video, but it just serves for you to get idea what handlettering is.  Would you after this video talk about providing samples?

 

itsrashad
Community Member

A quick demo/mockup makes the job successful state...