how-to-deal-with-client-revisions-as-a-freelancer

How To Deal With Client Revisions As A Freelancer?

Clients Revisions can be tough to deal with sometimes. As we look at the client process, the most challenging part is when clients constantly ask for edits to be made. Many times we find it really annoying when the client behaves this way after not providing a clear brief or asking for changes on something that is already agreed upon. 

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Businesses, sole proprietors, or freelancers operating in various industries regularly face clients requesting frequent revisions. With little choice left, we all succumb to making multiple iterations for the clients because our ultimate goal is to make the clients satisfied with the outcome

What clients need to understand is that it takes hours to make that one draft; going too far with the revisions can lead to a loss of motivation for the editor. The creative energy drains out with facing the strain and dealing with hard clients. Allowing endless revisions can make your living tough, you want closure and time to move on to the next project. Having a plan for the number of revisions to be made is a good idea, because not only do frequent edits eat into your valuable time, but they also lead to the deterioration of the quality of work

None of the challenges that freelancers confront on a regular basis are as frustrating as a client who insists on making adjustments to something you’ve already agreed to.

“I truly enjoy the work, but could we make a few changes?”

“Would you mind adding X?”

“I’d be grateful if you could write an extra paragraph regarding subject Y!”

Clients asking for revisions are an inescapable element of freelancing life, no matter what field you operate in. That is why, rather than getting irritated with them and grinding your teeth over the extra effort, you should have a strategy in place for dealing with client revisions.

This is something you’ll have to deal with on a frequent basis, so read up on our recommendations for dealing with client revisions appropriately.

 5 Ways To Deal With Frequent Client Revisions

ways-to-deal-with-client-revisions
  1. Ask for a clear brief at the beginning 

Getting as much information as possible at the beginning itself solves half of the problems. With clear details, guidelines, and expectations, you can deliver a project that requires fewer revisions. But asking specifics from the clients is another difficult task. Many times clients do not know what they really want or are not able to express themselves clearly. 

In order to avoid multiple revisions, having effective communication from the start is recommended. Do not shy away from asking essential questions, this way you can get the vital details that you want and can understand the needs of the client better. Do not rush into starting the project with whatever you have in hand. Spending some quality time on getting a detailed brief in the beginning, can help you save loads of energy and time in the end with fewer client revisions.

2. Specify no. of edit rounds in the contract 

Allowing an unlimited number of edits is a big mistake that many of us make. We are aware of the fact that frequent edits take up our valuable time and that it constrains us from focusing on the next project. One way to avoid this endless number of edit rounds is by limiting the number of revisions you give to the clients. Clarify it in advance only, by mentioning it in your contract or your proposal. Be specific on how many rounds of edit will you provide them with. 

Being transparent in the beginning helps in avoiding arguments later, and gives the clients less advantage on asking for frequent edits which fall outside the agreed contract. Usually, people allow for a minimum of two rounds of editing to the clients and charge an additional fee in case they request more edits. Once you state that you will charge extra fees for more revisions, they will be careful and precise with their edit requests from the beginning. 

3. Know that creating content is a subjective matter

Disagreements or frequent edits can arise when you are not on the same page with the client regarding the content drafted. The ideas that fascinated you might not appeal to them. The difference in tastes or preferences is a major reason behind spending time on multiple edits. 

The solution to this is to show your portfolio or previous works to the client before taking up the project. Make it clear to them that you are a professional to avoid complaints later on. If they still insist on making changes, warn them that getting into detailed minor changes might affect the quality of the content and that you do not recommend doing so. Saying ‘no’ when required is not a bad thing. Accept that content creation is subjective and move on. 

Tips On How to Handle Client Revisions and Reviews

1. Gather all of the data at the outset.

First and foremost, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the adage goes. Make sure you genuinely understand what your clients anticipate from you to avoid them asking for constant modifications. This is tougher than it appears.

Your client isn’t an expert in your field, which is why you were engaged to begin with. As a result, you’ll have to be the one who asks the tough client questions.

It makes sense to have a pre-made list of questions available for your clients in various sectors. That will make it easier for you to comprehend what you’re doing.

Organizing your project into many parts and encouraging client feedback at each stage will help speed things up even more. However, avoid devoting more time to feedback than to actual work.

2. Provide one or two complementary adjustments

Revisions aren’t something you should dismiss out of hand. Mistakes happen, plans change, and goals shift. Making modest changes to a product is usually not that difficult as long as the changes aren’t too severe.

Based on your market and what you’re comfortable with, offering one or two free revisions will accomplish a couple of things. To begin with, the client will be notified that each additional revision will incur a fee. Second, they will be forced to be more cautious and comprehensive in their requests as a result of this.

When a client is aware that they are only entitled to one free revision, they will make every effort to provide constructive feedback. Otherwise, it may go on indefinitely.

3. Make it obvious that additional revisions are costly.

Limitless work isn’t a problem as long as it’s accompanied by endless income. That is why, after the initial revisions, you should charge for each subsequent revision. Determine that figure straight now and add it as a revision fee clause in your freelancer contract. An hourly rate and an estimate of how long the revision will take would be a decent method to determine this.

Check out to determine how much you should charge your freelance clients

4. Treat requests with respect.

Taking your client’s input as seriously as possible is one technique to ensure that there are no endless modifications. Isn’t that counter-productive? It may be, but it isn’t.

When you actually listen to what your client wants, you’ll be able to tackle the original issues before they grow into a negative spiral of everyone being dissatisfied with the work.

Yes, the taste is subjective, and you may believe you know better – and you most likely do. However, you must treat your customers with respect.

5. Make it clear that you’re the expert.

Taking input seriously does not imply agreeing to everything the client requests. In reality, it implies the polar opposite. Relationships between clients and freelancers aren’t one-way. You, the freelancer, must also provide accurate and detailed comments. If what the client wants does not work, tell them so, but also explain why.

Make sure you demonstrate your expertise, as you were employed for it. As a freelancer, you will be responsible for determining what is and is not necessary.

6. Revisions do not imply starting from the beginning!

There will also be clients that require you to make so many adjustments that you throw out all of your previous work. Requests that are vague are a significant red signal for that type of behavior. When this happens, you really only have one reasonable option: finish the project as quickly as possible without wasting time, and never look back.

It’s impossible to avoid clients who want to micromanage you and look over your shoulder for every tiny detail. In that scenario, declining the client’s revision is perhaps the best option.

Additional tips:

  • Follow the step-wise method for asking for feedback. To avoid the load at the end, split the project into phases, ask for feedback after each stage
  • If you go wrong in the process or if you have misunderstood the client’s expectations accept your mistake, apologize, and redraft the whole project. 
  • Specify and emphasize on the number of revisions left for the clients to make them aware of the same. 
  • Know the difference between being firm and flexible. Do not waste your time with the wrong clients, know when to say ‘no’.
  • Once you have sent the edited draft, set a deadline of time they have to give you the feedback. This way you can focus on your other work and save on your valuable time.  

How to Refuse Free Revisions Politely

There will be times when you are unable to provide a client with a free revision. Maybe they’ve asked for revisions too many times, or maybe the revision request is too large for you to do for free.

Regardless, discussing this topic with your client can be challenging. You don’t want to irritate your customer and jeopardize your working relationship, but you must be upfront and firm about your working methods.

For example :

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your comments on the project I submitted for evaluation lately, as well as the improvements you provided.

I estimate that these new modifications will take another X hours, and as a result, I will need to charge an additional fee for the job to account for the additional time and complexity of the revisions.

Please let me know when a good time is for us to talk more about this.

Thank you very much,

The Freelancer

When refusing a free revision request, keep the following in mind:

  • Always be courteous and professional. A good client will understand that this is just professional and not personal.
  • Prepare to justify why you wish to charge an additional cost to make further adjustments.
  • Whether you determine your revision rates based on hours spent, a percentage of the project, or another method, have them ready to provide to the client.

Tips On Preventing Client Revisions 

Of course, the most effective way to deal with customer modification requests is to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

So here’s how it’s done:

  • Confirmation and Communication

It’s all about communication when it comes to client revisions. You should define the project goals and what exactly the client expects at the start of a project.

Once you’ve done that, sending the client a quick summary of all the key points that need to be addressed in the project for final approval is a great way to ensure that any last-minute changes are addressed, as well as providing a clear brief that you can refer to if any subsequent revisions fall outside of this.

As a result, producing a proposal or an order confirmation will assist you in ensuring that you and your client are on the same page.

By reading this blog post, you can improve your client communication skills.

  • Make sure you have a contract signed.

Another strategy to avoid customer demands for reviews (or at the very least, unsolicited requests for free work) is to spell out your terms in the contract you sign before you start working.

As previously stated, you may be willing to include one or two free modifications in the project before charging – but you should specify this in your contract, as well as the scope of those free revisions – i.e. one or two adjustments rather than a complete re-do.

Conclusion 

Even if your client only wants a few tweaks, the revision process might be difficult. Clients aren’t always sure what they want until they see your first version, which might lead to a lot of requests for modifications.

Hence, the above provided essential pointers for dealing with modification requests in an efficient and professional manner will satisfy both you and your client

Dealing with frequent revisions can be tough when you want to maintain good relations with clients. You want to have repeated clients and establish a long-term bond through client experience. Therefore, it is essential to choose a way that is beneficial for both parties. Just always make sure that you and your client are going in the same direction and having a smooth flow of communication. Remember to deliver a solid project, because only then can fewer edits arise.

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