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Providing samples of work

Active Member
Md Akhtar H Member Since: May 28, 2015
1 of 12

In a cover letter, I often paste links to the articles that I ghostwrote for my clients. The links will take you to the clients' websites or blogs. To prove that I'm the original writer of those articles, I attach a few screenshots of conversations that I had with my clients. In this way, I can show the prospective client my most recent articles that are also very relevant to the job description.

Is this a bad practice for providing samples of work? Am I somehow violating Upwork's ToS? Do clients generally dislike this method of providing samples?

Any help would be highly appreciated.

Thanks,
Akhtar

 

Ace Contributor
James H Member Since: Apr 6, 2016
2 of 12

Hi Akhtar,

 

I believe that would be a violation. Upon submitting the work to your client, you give up all rights to it and it becomes the property of your client.

 

If you wish to use it in your profile or provide samples of it, you require the permission of the client concerned.

 

When applying for new jobs, a prospective client might consider it unprofessional. By sharing work you no longer own, and breaching the confidentiality of communications with your clients, perhaps some clients will reject your proposals.

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3 of 12
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Sharing your communication with a client with another client to prove that you have written the article is definitely not OK. Ghostwriters mostly cannot show their work. I only share links to articles that are available online when I am not bound to a NDA. As it is ghostwriting my name does not appear anywhere. The client has to believe me and does. There may be freelancers who lie about their experience. However, after the first article they will be demasked. Moreover, the reviews of clients on your profile should reflect your qualification.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
4 of 12

Do you have permission from the clients to 1) show the work as yours and 2) to share private communication?

 

Personally I think it is beyond unacceptable. In fact, without permission you are not only breaking trust, breaking confidence, breaking Upwork's terms of service, you are likely breaking the law.

 

If you want to show prospective clients your work, write articles for yourself and put them in your portfolio. Or ask permission to share.

 

If I were a prospective client and a freelancer sent me screenshots of personal correspondence I would not just decline you, I would report you as well.

 

Under no circumstances would I work with a freelancer knowing fully well that that freelancer might share MY personal communication with him with heaven knows whom.

 

Seriously, it is quite scary that you would even THINK that's remotely acceptable.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 12

Ugh.

 

No, I don't like it either.

 

Let's assume you have permission to use and send everything you are sending. Even then, I don't want to see proposal letters with a whole bunch of junk attached.

 

I don't want to deal with downloading attachments. I would rather look at things in your portfolio.

 

And all your attachments have nothing to do with me.

 

Your proposal letter is supposed to be about me and my project and what you will do for me. I don't want a scrapbook junk drawer of your life. If I want to know about you, I'll click on your name and read your profile and examine your portfolio.

Active Member
Md Akhtar H Member Since: May 28, 2015
6 of 12

Thank you so much, all of you, for the awesome help. I have withdrawn all my proposals that contained screenshots of conversations with clients and links to articles that I ghostwrote. But I'm confused whether I can share links to articles that have my name mentioned in it. Sometimes, clients give credit for my work. I never ask for it, though. Smiley Happy

I have understood that attaching links in the cover letter is totally unnecessary if I have samples in my portfolio.

To show prospective clients my work, I have recently written an article for myself and have added it to my portfolio.

I have a blog that contains my samples. The blog has no contact information or contact form. It only has my articles and a short bio. I always share the link to my blog in cover letters but I haven't added it to my portfolio fearing it might violate Upwork's ToS.

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
7 of 12

@Md Akhtar H wrote:
1) But I'm confused whether I can share links to articles that have my name mentioned in it. Sometimes, clients give credit for my work. I never ask for it, though. Smiley Happy


2) I have a blog that contains my samples. The blog has no contact information or contact form. It only has my articles and a short bio. I always share the link to my blog in cover letters but I haven't added it to my portfolio fearing it might violate Upwork's ToS.


1) That should be fine.

 

2) As long as none of the articles you have in your blog were written for clients you can put them in your blog. If you have written them for a client then publishing them in your blog is absolutely out for a number of reasons, mainly because you do not own them. It would / could even create problems for your clients. So NOTHING you have written for a client must be republished in your blog. ONLY things you wrote for yourself.

 

You can link to your blog if there is no contact facility on the blog.

 

You know that you can link portfolio items to your contracts, if clients agree, right? That is the elegant way to do it!

 

When you upload a portfolio item it asks if that item was in connection with an Upwork contract. If you go through the process the client gets asked if they mind, if they don't object the portfolio item can be used and a link to it appears in your feedback history which is a great feature.

Active Member
Md Akhtar H Member Since: May 28, 2015
8 of 12

Yes, I know that I can link portfolio items to my contracts if the clients agree. It's a nice feature.

I have been running my blog since 2012, and I NEVER publish anything that I don't own. I have my own Visual Basic tutorials and my own blog posts on it. I know it very well that if I republish articles that I wrote for my clients, it would create serious problems for me and for my clients.

So I can link to my blog from my portfolio and I can also share the link to my blog with the prospective client in the cover letter, if there is no contact facility on the blog, right?

Thank you. Smiley Happy

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
9 of 12

@Md Akhtar H wrote:

So I can link to my blog from my portfolio and I can also share the link to my blog with the prospective client in the cover letter, if there is no contact facility on the blog, right?

Thank you. Smiley Happy


 Yes, but I would also put your best work from the blog in your portfolio, as many clients prefer to have the things they need in one place (your profile) and not have to go clicking about to find things elsewhere

Active Member
Md Akhtar H Member Since: May 28, 2015
10 of 12

Thank you so much, Petra. Smiley Happy As a relatively new freelancer, I have learnt so much from you.

Could you please visit my profile and check my portfolio? Any suggestions to improve my portfolio are very welcome.

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