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Getting more and more "free demo" requests. How do you deal with them?


I’ve been getting more and more “free demo” requests in order to pitch for work. The problem: working in audio, it takes time to create even a short demo, and to make it “sound right” it is not easy. Its like completing a whole project for free. I am always refusing to send free demos. I find it undermining. How do you guys deal with this kind of requests?


Your suspicions are absolutely correct - those “buyers” are after free work.

You might direct them to work you’ve done for others, if they’re online … that will generally sort the wheat from the chaff …


Exactly, @coerdelion, but there is much more chaff than wheat :laughing:


You already have some wonderful examples in your gigs! Maybe invite them to your profile, to look at your other gigs and the samples for those?


Thanks, I do that @imagination7413, but except for some rare cases, almost all of them dont come back. I say to myself “maybe they got that free demo after all”

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I just label them as ‘window shoppers,’ archive the messages, and move on like they never messaged me in the first place.


“Unfortunately, due to the nature of my work and the substantial amount of time it takes me to do a demo, I am unable to provide free work. If you are interested, I can send you a custom offer for $5 to do xx sec.”

Whenever I need a demo or sample to “test” the seller, I order the cheapest gig. I never negotiate the price or have asked for anything free. Time is money. Any reasonable person should know that. If they don’t then it’s good they went away. :wink:


It is undermining. Just say no but find a clever way to do so. Tell people you are working on a couple of audio books at the moment and don’t have time to record fee demos. Then invite the person messaging to order a sample via your gig.

Some people will have the nerve to say, “send me your audio book.” However, by then, you have replied already and you needn’t reply further.


If only every buyer was like you, Gina :slight_smile:


“I don’t provide free demos, sorry”? Works great for me.

Although once the person said: “Well, thanks for nothing!” and blocked me like I was going to add anything else. :slight_smile: But other than that, just saying “no” works well.


The only problem is that is got pretty silent on my side lately :worried:, not receiveing a lot of orders. Hope I’m not missing something with not doing them. Judging from your experiences, I am probably not missing anything

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I*’m sorry, but I do not give free samples of my work.*

  • However, I’ll be happy to send you a custom offer for $5 to proofread a 500-word document for you.*

Would you like me to post that custom offer for you now?

Of course, you would modify it to your niche.

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I suspect them as sellers who have landed a job from a buyer and then they want it done for free and mostly this clients are found on buyer request page and once you submit your offer they are too quick to answer, i always tell them i will charge for demo lets say 5, if they like the demo and order from me i will charge less 5 so if the task was to cost 20 i will charge them 15 if they had previously ordered a demo from you.

“Window shoppers” – I love it!


I work with audio too and when a potential buyer ask for samples I say no its that easy, the basic gig can be a sample if they really need your service they will gladly spend 5$ for the basic gig to test your skills if not then they are searching for free work.