Many potential clients ask to see samples of a freelance writer’s work as part of the application process. If you have been freelancing for a while, you have worked on numerous projects and can provide several samples when asked. When you are deciding which ones you should share with potential clients, how do you decide which ones to include?
Show Relevant Samples
If you have experience with topics that are similar to the one the potential client is looking for someone to write or blog about, then you will want to include them. Some clients just want to get an idea of your writing style, or “voice,” and as long as you give them something that shows that you can write web content, blogs, or copy, they will get an idea of what you can do.
Do You Show Your Best Work?
That’s an interesting question. While most of the time you strive to do good work, there are some days or some projects where you know that you have absolutely nailed the assignment. The words flow well and you can’t get them down on paper or typed out fast enough. All is well in the Universe and somewhere the angels are smiling and giving each other the high-5 because you have produced an absolute masterpiece.
You know which pieces of your work fit into this category. Do you show them to a potential client? I wouldn’t, and here’s why: When you are looking for freelance writing work, you want to show the potential client what you can do on an everyday basis. While we all strive to do good work every day, not every project we work on has that magical quality that I have described. Unless you can summon up that kind of performance regularly and make every piece you write an A+++ you are far better off showing a potential client your usual A-level work.
What do you think? Do you pull out your most stellar samples to share with people who may want to hire you, or do you show them what they can expect on an everyday basis?
Jennifer Mattern says
Relevance is definitely the most important aspect to me. I work with several different types of clients within my basic market area, and they like to know if I’ve worked on something similar. Chances are good that I have, so I pull that out.
If I have multiple relevant samples, I don’t necessarily go with what I’d consider the most “stellar” sample. If I also have a testimonial up from one of those clients about the project, I’ll show them that sample along with the testimonial, so they know what the praise was in reference to.
If there are no testimonials, and if we’re talking about something where conversions play a role, I’ll show the sample that achieved the best end results, whether or not I consider it the better writing sample.