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Clients asking for Sample Work

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Kimberley T Member Since: Aug 5, 2020
1 of 6

Hi there, 

 

Wondering if someone is able to help me -

I have seen some discussion around how to apprach clients asking for free samples. 

Every single one of my proposals that has attracted interest, the client has asked for sample work to guage my art/illustration style, to see if I can capture the ideal that they are after. There sure are some dodgey ones that I have avoided but regardless, even the legitimate ones ask for this. 

Can anyone advise me on what the client sees when they post a job? Can they even see the Terms of Service advising that free sample work is against these? Is there a contract they are able to easily set up for payment for sample work as this seems to be in the too-hard-basket for most.

I'm getting really sick of being undercut by other freelancers on Upwork that do provide a free sample and are therefore successful over others who don't as a result. 

 

Any help would be appreciated! 


Cheers,
Kim

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Moderator
Joanne Marie P Moderator Member Since: Nov 26, 2017
2 of 6

Hi Kimberley,

 

Please know that asking for free work is not allowed and is a violation of Upwork TOS. The client can create a fixed-price contract so that they can pay you to for the test work they wanted you to do. If in case they wanted for you to share your portfolio, yes, you can share your external portfolios. Portfolios are an important part of a freelancer’s bidding process to show off their past work and their potential to complete a future project. That is why we are not prohibiting the sharing of external links to personal portfolios or other websites that provide examples of past work. We recognize that some of these links might include contact information and ways to identify and contact you outside of the Upwork platform. When you share these outside links, please remind potential clients to only communicate with you through Upwork until a contract is in place.


-Joanne
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Active Member
Kimberley T Member Since: Aug 5, 2020
3 of 6

Hi Joanne, 

 

Great, thank you. 

 

Can a fixed-price contact be easily set up by the client in relation to the job that doesnt overwrite a contract they would set up for the job they've advertised?

 

Is the client made aware of the Terms of Service when they advertise? 

 

Thanks,
Kim

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Moderator
Joanne Marie P Moderator Member Since: Nov 26, 2017
4 of 6

Hi Kimberley,

 

You and the client can discuss this further, and if both of you agree to have a trial work, they can create a fixed-price contract solely for this purpose, and end it once done. If they end up hiring you, they can send you a formal offer. If you accept the offer, this becomes an active contract. Upwork encourages freelancers and clients alike to review the Terms of Service and ensure that they do not violate it. Let us know if you need further clarification. 


-Joanne
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Community Guru
Martina P Member Since: Jul 11, 2018
5 of 6

Kimberley T wrote:

Hi there, 

 

Wondering if someone is able to help me -

I have seen some discussion around how to apprach clients asking for free samples. 

Every single one of my proposals that has attracted interest, the client has asked for sample work to guage my art/illustration style, to see if I can capture the ideal that they are after. There sure are some dodgey ones that I have avoided but regardless, even the legitimate ones ask for this. 

Can anyone advise me on what the client sees when they post a job? Can they even see the Terms of Service advising that free sample work is against these? Is there a contract they are able to easily set up for payment for sample work as this seems to be in the too-hard-basket for most.

I'm getting really sick of being undercut by other freelancers on Upwork that do provide a free sample and are therefore successful over others who don't as a result. 

 

Any help would be appreciated! 


Cheers,
Kim


You could politely point them to your portfolio for examples. 

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Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
6 of 6

Prospective clients pay no more attention to the TOS than most freelancers. It only becomes an issue when they violate it. 

Some people ask for free samples to get free work. Others think that asking for a sample is an appropriate way to assess freelancers before hiring. 

I don't recall ever having a prospect ask me for a free test work (but maybe I've just forgotten). If someone says, "I'd like you to write 1-2 paragraphs so I can just your style." my response would be that my existing samples accurately reflect my skill set and that I would need to be compensated for my time to produce a custom sample. (I probably wouldn't want to work with a client who felt they needed a custom sample before making a decision, though. That seems like a bad start to the relationship.) 

If you don't have samples in your portfolio that adequately demonstrate your style or aren't a close match to the job to which you are applying, then I can understand a client's hesitancy. The solution, in that case, is not to create a free sample, but to expand your portfolio so that it includes examples relevant to the work you are seeking. (i.e., Don't apply for a logo gig unless you are prepared to show samples of logos.)

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