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Prospective client asking for Google Docs version

Good morning! I would like to ask your opinion : Last night I sent a proposal, applying for an article writing job. I sent samples in. docx format, since I believe the client only needs them as reference to see the quality of my work and my writing style. 


This morning the client messaged me if I could send it in Google Docs. I asked if they had any problem accessing the files I sent them but they only replied that they "need it in google docs". 


I find this suspicious but I may have gotten cynical over the years from other clients asking for free work. 

Community Member

If it's an hourly job, it's usually fine to share Google Docs since your logged hours and the quality of your work will ensure payment.


But if it's a fixed-rate job, I'd recommend discussing with the client upfront about securing your payment for your efforts. You could share an image file or PDF of your work for review as a milestone submission. Once the client agrees to this, then you can share the Google Docs.


Tip: You might want to share a Google Doc just once initially to gauge the client's trust level. If they're comfortable, then you can work directly on Google Docs, even for fixed-term projects.

Best Wishes Zulqarnain Ansari (Zain)

So this client isn't requesting for an account for collaboration. They want me to give them the Docs version of the sample articles I sent. When asked, they insisted that they need it to be in Docs, which made me suspicious. When I asked why, they replied "Just comply." 

This was a fixed price project and we are still in the interview phase. 

This is a scammer and/or a terrible client. Never work with anyone who says, "just comply." I would have had to censor myself in that reply.


From their actions, I believe this is a complete scam, and advise you to stop communicating and report to Upwork. You haven't even reached a contract, and they are making demands? Nope, this client is a scammer.

I use fixed rate exclusively, as do many freelancers. There is no problem with sending samples. No matter the contract, you always discuss payment.


There is no reason the samples must be in Google Docs, except that it makes it easier to steal.



Community Member

Never go off site and never give free samples unless you enjoy working for FREE.

Hey, my post got deleted??


I was only saying that "William loves ChatGPT so much he sound like one. Generic and not useful".


It's a joke, come on, William shouldn't be mad at it.


And it's 100% true because OP was not doing free work and going off site is allowed for this. It's well documented.


"How can I contact an admin or lead moderator?" 🤣




Or was it because I wrote that **bleep** or lazy clients are not necessarily cheap client?


Anyway, if it's me, I don't know yet if it's a scam or not, but I'll upload the sample to Google Docs to share the link and see. I've met a few clients that were hard at the start but turned out to be nice later. Some people also don't use Office. I, too, haven't installed it on my workstation for a few years already.

Community Member

I always watermark my submissions during the interview phase for assessment purposes.
I suggest that do not submit anything unless you've been hired.

Best Wishes Zulqarnain Ansari (Zain)

Watermarks are easily removed.

Community Member

Are these your samples from previous work or created for a portfolio?

It doesn't matter whether you send it as a Word docx or Google doc. Some prefer the ease of opening doc files as you don't need an Office app.  I always link to my previous ghostwritten client work saved in G doc with the "view only" option to save them time and effort.


If you've created a sample for this client as an unpaid trial,  details from any file format (even PDFs) can be lifted/copied and used by the client if they intend on getting free work.


What stands out for me in this client's conversation is their blunt requirement to comply. I would be wary of such clients. Clients who are not polite during the interview stage tend to be difficult to work with later on.

Good day! 

I sent her old articles that previous clients gave me clearance to use for my portfolio or as samples when applying. The topics are different for all three.

She finally replied and told me "my hard drive is not that big that's it". While I can understand that, the files I sent are only 7.6kb. The largest one is 172kb because it has images.  Also, I asked her several times if she had problem accessing the files, but she only gave me short replies insisting on a docs format, which is why I was skeptical of her intentions. 

I'm not sure where she's having the issue. If she uploads your Word (.docx) files to Google Drive, she can preview the Word document or open the Word document in Google Docs.

Community Member

Two possibilities.

She probably wants to share it with someone else. She may be a farmer or a project manager.

 She is one of those clients have set ways of working and brook no contradictions.


I had a client (nice one but set in her ways) who wouldn't add me to her Canva team account. As a workaround, I had her send me the template, completed the work using my account, and shared it with her. 

Her excuse doesn't make ant sense. Even more reasons to refuse.

Community Member

Personally, with the red flags I see, I would have nothing to do with this "job."

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