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?


Follow me on Twitter, join me on Facebook or subscribe to this blog via e-mail.

© Angie Papple Johnston 2011.

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