When Someone Asks for a Freebie

I scope out freelance job ads every now and then, and this morning I found one that looked pretty cool.  For the application, all the guy wanted was a resume and links to published clips - so I tossed mine into an email and sent it off.

I just got this response (which I've edited to protect his identity):



While I'm not insulted that he asked for a free sample, I don't think it's appropriate. (On a rough day, I might be insulted - but not today.)

I'm not suggesting that this dude is trying to pull a fast one, but some people do try to get free content for their blogs.

But I don't provide free samples.  Period.

3 Reasons it's Inappropriate for a Potential Client to Ask for a Freebie

1. Keyword: "potential."  He's not my client, and may never be - and if I chose to provide him with a sample, specific to his blog on an uncommon topic, that's time and money down the toilet.

2. I gave him links to my portfolio and a resume.  He can see how I write from both those things (especially the portfolio!) but perhaps didn't bother to look.

3. He gave me my first deadline and I don't even have a contract with the dude.  Four days or less?!  (Four days from now is Sunday, and I don't work weekends.  Not good on my calendar - and all my existing clients know that there's a serious rush fee for projects that they need in less than a week.)

So here's what I sent him back:



What would you have done?  Do you provide free samples?  Would you, if the potential gains from the job were great enough?


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© Angie Papple Johnston 2011.

Don't steal from me or I'll come getcha. Really... I've got that kind of time.