I'm relatively new to Upwork and after submitting a couple of proposals, a potential client reached out. They have spent a good amount on the site and have good reviews. However, in their response to me they are asking for a short copy sample as a pitch but specifically about the project and how I would approach it. I don't quite know how to approach this and believe that this might be against the rules to even act on the request. Has anyone else had this request asked of them? If so, would you normally flat out decline it?
Free/unpaid work is not allowed, as mentioned in the ToS and quoted by a mod in a similar thread recently:
1.2 USING THE SITE OTHER THAN FOR THE INTENDED PURPOSES
"Requesting, demanding, or receiving free services, including requesting Freelancers to submit work as part of the proposal process for very little or no money or posting contests in which Freelancers submit work with no or very little pay, and only the winning submission is paid the full amount;"
I'd just tell the client it's not allowed and ask them to look at my portfolio to get an idea of my skills. But that usually gets them defensive.
Petra has some good advice on this and usually says something along the lines of: "Sure, I'd be happy to do --- as a test project. Would you prefer to set that up as a fixed rate or as an hourly contract?" etc.
I know that quite a few freelancers do offer free "test" projects. When I was new to the site, I submitted a short free article and unsurprisingly, I never heard back. I wouldn't recommend it.
I'd like to have our team review the client's request and take action if necessary. Please click on my name below the photo in my comment and send me a private message with the link to the job post and a screenshot of the request your client shared.