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Which Samples should I Show?

Before a client hires you, there is a very good chance that they are going to ask for work samples. In fact, this happens almost 100 percent of the time. The samples that you show will go a long way in deciding whether or not you land the gig. This leads to a simple question: which samples should I show the prospective client?

If possible, you want to show samples that are on topic. So, if you are in discussions with a personal finance website you want to pull out samples related to investing, money management, budgeting, etc. You may not have samples that are an exact match, so get as close as possible.

Is it okay to write an article just to use it as a sample? Of course it is. If you think this will better your chance of landing the job, go for it. Even if you get turned down, at least you have another sample for future use.

I have a folder on my desktop that is full of 20 or more samples. Keeping them organized and in one place makes it simple to find and send one or more within a matter of minutes. Every time I write a piece that is “sample worthy” I make a copy and add it to this folder.

How many samples you send depends on what the client is asking for. Some only want to see one piece. Others will ask for three to five or more. Do your best to comply with their request, without delay.

One last note: always let the client know that you have more samples if they want to see them. You may be surprised at how many times they come back with one final request, just to get a better idea of your overall writing style.

With this advice you should have an easier time deciding which samples to show.

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Comments OffFreelance WritingSeptember 16th, 2010

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