email tips for freelancers

So you want to freelance? Getting started is one of the hardest parts. You often need to present work samples to establish credibility if you can’t score a one-on-one interview to try to sell your service.

If you don’t have samples yet, don’t worry. You can also obtain some starter gigs or do a quick job for exposure and experience. It also helps to know what type of work sample to obtain in order to land a paying gig quickly.

Here are 4 types of freelance work samples that get you hired fast.

Industry Specific

A sample of your freelance work allows the potential client to review your service and skills before they take a risk and spend any money. Generally, clients want to hire people with experience in their particular field. This is why it should come as no surprise that your samples need to be industry specific.

When you start freelancing, it’s important to determine which industries you want to target. As a freelance writer looking to get into health and fitness writing, you want to have health and fitness samples. The same goes if you’re trying to write about parenting, travel, or finance.

If you’re trying to get into freelance marketing or PR, it will help to have industry-specific work samples to enhance your application.

Case Study Format

Realize that anyone can send a basic work sample to a client or email a link to their portfolio. What might set you apart from other clients is including a short case study to provide background information for the work sample.

Instead of just showing the prospect the finished product, share the focus of the project including the problems you had to solve and the directions you had to follow.

For example, if you’re a freelance graphic designer, you might want to send clients samples of your design work but also explain the service you provided in more detail along with how you interpreted the client’s request.

A case study format may not be the best sample option for all freelancers but it’s worth a try if you are looking to stand out from competitors and prove your skills quickly so you can get hired.

High Quality

This should be a given, but I’ll reiterate anyway. You want your freelance work sample to be very high quality. When you go on a date, you try to look your best right? You might clean out your car if you’ll be driving and just try to provide the best first impression overall.

You should approach pitching freelance clients with that same mindset. You want to offer your absolute best so they can be impressed and eager to work with you.

Check over your samples and make edits to polish them up. Your goal is to have the client think “This is exactly what we’re looking for. When can you start?”

Bonus: In addition to submitting a high-quality sample of your work, make sure you choose samples that are also active and relevant. If your work can be seen live, online, or is very recent, those are the types of samples you want to submit. You probably don’t want to send work from several years ago even if it’s really good which is why you should continue putting out quality updated work.

Arrangement For Fresh New Work

The final best type of freelance work sample is one that doesn’t exist yet. One of my favorite pitching techniques is to ask a potential client to agree to allow me to complete some trial work. This is also a great option to choose if you don’t have a lot of experience.

Completing a paid or unpaid trial allows you to provide a fresh new sample of your work for the client that is specific to their needs. It allows the client to try before they buy and provides you with the opportunity to prove that you’re right for the gig without a doubt.

If the trial goes well, you can usually expect to get hired on rather soon.


Providing the right work samples is crucial if you want to secure lots of freelance work. It’s best to streamline the hiring process as much as possible by using a combination of these tips to make sure you submit as a relevant sample and get hired fast.


Choncé Maddox is a professional writer who recently left her job in the web design industry to produce killer content and manage her own writing business full time. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs be more productive and create a life they love by doing fulfilling work. On the side, she runs a podcast and blogs about getting out of debt at

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