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Re: Cient questions/requests before job offer

dsmgdesign
Community Guru
David S M Member Since: Apr 24, 2018
1 of 6

Hello, 

 

I'm a graphic design freelancer and I talk with a lot of clients who are confused about how Upwork works. They usually all want to know the same thing, but they ask it in different ways. For example, one client wanted to see a traditional "submission to an RFP"..., while another said they didn't know how Upwork works and asked if freelancers give them a "pitch." I asked what he meant by "pitch"...did he mean pitch our ideas?...he said yes. I just kind of brushed it off, and said something like "no, not usually." 

 

Would like to understand where Upwork falls and what they mean by free work. For example, does Upwork consider pitching an idea free work...is providing a more detailed submission to an RFP with creative ideas or production strategies for their job considered free work?

 

Would like to hear from an Upwork Community Moderator on their insight as to at what extent is spending your time on something that's customized for a client, beyond submitting a proposal with a cover letter and answering their questions, does Upwork consider free work?

 

Since I get sooo many clients essentially asking the same thing, but using different language, I'm sure other freelancers have run into this before, too. Maybe more for creative freelancers, because clients seem to want to see your creative ideas first, because I think some clients are so clueless they need to see something that's customized for them first before they buy. So, if this is considered free work, I would like to hear how other freelancers handle it.

 

Thank you! 

 

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

re: "Would like to understand where Upwork falls and what they mean by free work."

 

Upwork has no way of policing what you do in this regard.

 

What is more important is what YOU consider free work.

mtngigi
Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
3 of 6

@David S M wrote:

Hello, 

 

I'm a graphic design freelancer and I talk with a lot of clients who are confused about how Upwork works. They usually all want to know the same thing, but they ask it in different ways. For example, one client wanted to see a traditional "submission to an RFP"..., while another said they didn't know how Upwork works and asked if freelancers give them a "pitch." I asked what he meant by "pitch"...did he mean pitch our ideas?...he said yes. I just kind of brushed it off, and said something like "no, not usually." 

 

Would like to understand where Upwork falls and what they mean by free work. For example, does Upwork consider pitching an idea free work...is providing a more detailed submission to an RFP with creative ideas or production strategies for their job considered free work?

 

Would like to hear from an Upwork Community Moderator on their insight as to at what extent is spending your time on something that's customized for a client, beyond submitting a proposal with a cover letter and answering their questions, does Upwork consider free work?

 

Since I get sooo many clients essentially asking the same thing, but using different language, I'm sure other freelancers have run into this before, too. Maybe more for creative freelancers, because clients seem to want to see your creative ideas first, because I think some clients are so clueless they need to see something that's customized for them first before they buy. So, if this is considered free work, I would like to hear how other freelancers handle it.

 

Thank you! 

 

 

There are clients who will take your ideas (and yes, I consider that free work), and turn around and hire someone who will recreate/copy your work at a lower price.

 

I've never (hardly ever) encountered this issue, so I'm not sure why it's happening to you so much. Perhaps it's in the way you write your bids? I submit relevant samples if I have them. Depending on the RFP, I might (rarely) make a vague suggestion or two. They see my creativity in the samples I attach, in my portfolio, in my client feedback, and in the way I write my bids. That should be enough, and if it isn't, oh well.


 

ETA: Oh, sorry ... guess I misunderstood your request: "I would like to hear how other freelancers handle it".

dsmgdesign
Community Guru
David S M Member Since: Apr 24, 2018
4 of 6

ETA: Oh, sorry ... guess I misunderstood your request: "I would like to hear how other freelancers handle it".

 

No worries. Your answer was helpful. 

dsmgdesign
Community Guru
David S M Member Since: Apr 24, 2018
5 of 6

Hello,

 

Could an Upwork Community Moderator offer some insight on this? 

 

Thank you 

aocumen
Moderator
Avery O Moderator Member Since: Nov 23, 2015
BEST ANSWER
6 of 6

Hi David, 

I would like to cite from this help article:


"Be cautious of clients who ask you to:

  • Take a test that looks like work for free
  • Create custom samples of your work for free

In these situations, ask yourself, "If the client asked every candidate to submit this kind of test, would there be any point in hiring someone?" If the answer is no, please report the client by flagging the post as inappropriate or contacting Customer Support by clicking here.

If the test seems appropriate but is going to take a significant amount of time, ask the client to hire you for a small trial contract, known as a test drive, instead."

 

You may also want to read up on the discussion about free test work herehere, here, and here. I would recommend not working for free, or offering too much details on a proposal as it may constitute as free work. I would also like to direct you to review our freelancer resources to help you work safely on Upwork. 


~ Avery
Upwork

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