Which Samples Should I Send?

Often times, a client will not want to work with you until you prove your experience. As you know, the best way of doing so is to show off some of your past work. Of course, this leads to one very important question: which samples should I send?

Here are three tips to keep in mind as you sift through your portfolio, searching for the perfect samples:

1. If possible, find those that are related in terms of topic and project type.

For example, if you are trying to land a feature article gig with a travel magazine you should forward past travel samples of the same type. This shows the editor that not only do you have experience with the particular niche, but also with a specific type of project.

2. Choose samples that received the best feedback from editors and readers. In short, if other people enjoyed your piece in the past there is a good chance that the potential client will feel the same way.

3. Don’t follow your heart. It is easy to fall into the trap of sending the samples that you consider your best. While there is nothing wrong with this and it often times works out just fine, you don’t want this mindset to overpower the two tips outlined above.

Personally, I keep a folder on my desktop of the samples that have helped me land jobs in the past. When samples are requested from a potential client it only takes a few seconds to attach them to an email response.

By following this advice, you will find it much easier to forward appropriate samples to interested editors and webmasters.

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Chris is a full-time freelance writer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He specializes in web content, sales copy, and many other forms of writing. Chris has two books in print, as well as hundreds of articles in local and nationwide publications.

3 thoughts on “Which Samples Should I Send?”

  1. This is excellent advice, Chris, thank you. I often have this problem. Sometimes I don’t have a specific sample of a job I’ve been asked to bid on. For instance, it could be a new field I’m entering, or a different type of writing. What would you recommend in this case? Writing something specific as a “mock” sample? Hoping what you sent will translate?


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