🐈 Community
» Forums » Freelancers » Hours Prior to Contract
Page options
d4cb8d5a
Community Member

Hours Prior to Contract

Hello,

I'm new to UpWork (I joined a week or two ago) and I've been working on a caricature job where the client asked me to provide a sample drawing before we agreed on a contract. She mentioned that she would gladly pay me for the time it took to make the sample drawing, which I timed myself on. Once she saw that drawing and was happy with it, she set up our contract and everything else has been timed properly through UpWork since then.

I've tried to manually add the hours from before the contract started, but because I did the sample the day before the start, the app will obviously not let me. I doubt there is, but is there any sort of way I can add those hours to my records? If not we can probably figure out another payment method--I've heard of people adding bonuses to payments. Thank you for your time.

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
dsmgdesign
Community Member


CW R wrote:

Hello,

I'm new to UpWork (I joined a week or two ago) and I've been working on a caricature job where the client asked me to provide a sample drawing before we agreed on a contract. She mentioned that she would gladly pay me for the time it took to make the sample drawing, which I timed myself on. Once she saw that drawing and was happy with it, she set up our contract and everything else has been timed properly through UpWork since then.

I've tried to manually add the hours from before the contract started, but because I did the sample the day before the start, the app will obviously not let me. I doubt there is, but is there any sort of way I can add those hours to my records? If not we can probably figure out another payment method--I've heard of people adding bonuses to payments. Thank you for your time.


No way to add it for a time before the contract start time Reach out to the client and mention that you'll need to add your hours retroactively. Then just add them manually and choose the time slots that match the hours you recorded. Then, start your notes with "retroactive pay for..." As long as the client is fine with it, and is happy with you and your work, it shouldn't be a problem. I wouldn't recommend this as a long-term solution, or doing it often, but should be fine in a pinch. Or you can do the bonus, like you mentioned. 

View solution in original post

5 REPLIES 5
dsmgdesign
Community Member


CW R wrote:

Hello,

I'm new to UpWork (I joined a week or two ago) and I've been working on a caricature job where the client asked me to provide a sample drawing before we agreed on a contract. She mentioned that she would gladly pay me for the time it took to make the sample drawing, which I timed myself on. Once she saw that drawing and was happy with it, she set up our contract and everything else has been timed properly through UpWork since then.

I've tried to manually add the hours from before the contract started, but because I did the sample the day before the start, the app will obviously not let me. I doubt there is, but is there any sort of way I can add those hours to my records? If not we can probably figure out another payment method--I've heard of people adding bonuses to payments. Thank you for your time.


No way to add it for a time before the contract start time Reach out to the client and mention that you'll need to add your hours retroactively. Then just add them manually and choose the time slots that match the hours you recorded. Then, start your notes with "retroactive pay for..." As long as the client is fine with it, and is happy with you and your work, it shouldn't be a problem. I wouldn't recommend this as a long-term solution, or doing it often, but should be fine in a pinch. Or you can do the bonus, like you mentioned. 

Thank you for your help!

And yeah, this is definitely circumstancial. I don't intend for this to be a recurring event. 

I know you said you weren't going to make a practice of it, but I just want to harp a little bit that you should not be doing any work samples before a contract is in place and funded. It is against ToS for clients to ask for free samples before awarding you a contract, and there are unfortunately enough scammers out there that it seems most freelancers in your position don't ever see the pay for their "paid" sample they did without a contract. I think you were probably lucky!

Sometimes clients don't even know they can't ask for free samples, so I always politely tell a potential client that I'm happy to provide a paid sample with a small contract in place. I very politely let them know that asking for samples without a contract is against ToS, so I won't be able to accomodate their request. If they insist or get rude, I inform them that Upworkers are encouraged to flag and report clients who ask for free work. And then I do it.

Sarah brings up a good point about what freelancers should and should not be doing on Upwork. While the client did not ask for free work and said she would pay you for your time, many clients don't seem to understand how they pay you for your time on Upwork is by hiring you, and by you accepting the job, and you using Upwork's app to track your hours and make notes about what you are doing in that time. There is no other way to guarantee payment on hourly contracts (guarantee being the key word in that sentence). Like I said, the workaround I mentioned is the non-guaranteed method that can work in a pinch for the good, honest clients out there who are willing to pay others for the time they put in. But, as far as this drivel: “we need a test sample, we will gladly pay you for your time,” I see it all the time in posts. I don't think there is a need to report those clients since they are not asking for free work. The answer, however, to clients like that is: “Yeah, you'll pay me for my time alright, by hiring me to create this ‘test sample’ for you.” Be careful out there. 

This is good to know. Could you point me to where in Terms of Service it says that work/samples cannot be requested/produced before the contract begins? There's a job listing I'm very interested in, but they're asking for work beforehand. I'd like to address that I can't do work beforehand, cite the ToS, and then suggest they open a small contract for me to make the sample, and then if they like that, we can proceed from there.

Latest Articles
Upcoming Events
Feb 13
Feb 28
Upwork Community Virtual Hour
Community Hour English
Mar 28
Upwork Virtual Community Hour
Community Hour English
Learning Paths