Last week, I was faced with a somewhat common situation. After sending out a few cold emails, I got two responses. One client hired me on the spot, based largely on the samples that I provided. However, the other company wanted to see more of what I could do for them. They asked if I could provide a free sample, based on their particular needs, within 24 hours.

This is something that you should expect from time to time as you get involved with cold emails and cold calls. Simply put, some companies will trust that you can help while others will be a bit more skeptical – especially since they have never talked to you in the past.

My advice is as follows: there is nothing wrong with providing a free sample to a potential client as long as you feel that it could turn into a paid gig. Unfortunately, there are people out there who collect as many free samples as they can from as many writers as they can find. When everything is said and done, they did not pay a dime yet have plenty of unique content.

Over time, you will become skilled at separating the pretenders from those who are truly interested in hiring you if you provide a high quality sample.

If you are going to add cold emails and cold calling to your marketing strategy, expect some people to request a targeted sample. This may not be something you want to do, but if that is what it takes to land the gig so be it!

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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.