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Samples for clients

Question
What do you say when the client asks for a sample before they decide to hire you? 
Answer
Basically, this is working on speculation, and for many small businesses, is prohibitive. Also, since much of what would be offered as a sample is intellectual property you've created, offering a sample could be risky.

However, there may be times when you will want to be considered for a particular job despite having to create a sample. Advertising agencies, architects, and designers are among those who prepare samples. If the opportunity is compelling enough, or if this is the industry norm, you may not want to pass it up. 
Brain Trust contributor: Author of How To Set Your Fees And Get Them
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