If you’ve been working as a freelancer for a while, you’ve likely come across a client asking for a revision. Taking time to manage revisions is an everyday part of the job for in-house teams and freelancers. Typically, they could involve making either minor or major changes to the deliverables.
Some clients may ask for multiple revisions, which can be difficult for a freelancer as it can get time-consuming, tedious, and costly.
As a freelance writer, I’ve always offered two revisions to my clients. This gives them enough freedom to ask for adjustments and still maintain a healthy turnaround time (which doesn’t put me out of pocket).
In this post, you’ll learn how to manage revisions to create a smoother content creation process, happier clients, and a happier you.
Why Clients May Ask a Freelancer for Revisions
Clients may ask for revisions for a number of different reasons. Those reasons could be dependent on the brand or the freelancer themselves.
Here are a few reasons why clients may ask for revisions:
Tone of voice:
To be aligned with a client’s pain points and understand their needs, it’s essential to speak and write in their tone of voice. Freelance writers may miss the mark when trying to adopt a client’s tone of voice. For example, a writer for a men’s hygiene products brand may write in a tone of voice that’s geared toward a female audience, resulting in the client asking for revisions on the copy.
Some brands adhere to certain writing styles and would like their copy and content to follow suit. I’ve worked with a lot of brands that would like all of their written content to be in AP writing style. It’s always important to check with the client which writing style they prefer, and that can help with reducing any revisions in that area.
Clients aren’t clear on their content strategy:
Sometimes, clients aren’t clear on their content strategy or didn’t ask you to format your content in a certain way. This may result in asking you to repeatedly revise components of the content. When working with clients, always ensure that you look at a content brief that details the content creation and its structure.
Grammar, punctuation, and spelling:
The number of writers in the US has been steadily growing since 2011, and the need for new tools has helped writers meet their client’s pain points. It’s easy to make spelling and grammar mistakes, especially if you’re writing for a country outside of your own (for example, capitalise for the UK and capitalize for the US). Using a tool like Grammarly can really help to streamline your writing by checking for grammar and spelling in real time.
Steps for How to Manage Revisions Professionally
It can be disheartening when a client asks for a revision, especially if the amendments are extensive. Here, I’m going to share a few steps on how to manage your revisions professionally to help you avoid getting frustrated with your client.
Ask Your Client Questions
If the revisions are unclear or you still need more clarification on your client’s needs, then it’s really important to ask them questions to gain a better understanding. For example, if their revision doesn’t make sense, ask them, “Can you please provide greater detail around this revision so that I can fully understand your needs.”
Give Your Client’s a Turnaround Time
To take some of the stress out of revisions, provide your client with terms prior to working together. In the terms, state the number of revisions you’ll offer them and how long it will take to complete each revision. This helps to avoid any confusion between you and the client and allows you some breathing room when completing the revisions.
Mitigate the Need for Revisions
Clients may ask for revisions for multiple reasons, and they could be based on the client’s tone of voice, content styling, product messaging, and even small things like typos. Most freelancers work by themselves and for themselves, and that gives them less time to work on projects in comparison to marketing agencies or companies.
You can mitigate the need for revisions by trying to understand your client’s wants and needs more. One way you can do this is by showing your client drafts of your work. This helps to get them more involved in the content creation process and helps to reduce surprises at the end.
How to Manage Revisions as Part of the Content Creation Process
Revisions are vital to the success of content that’s both informative and engaging for the client’s audience because they help to shape the content and make it better. Revising content also gives you an opportunity to align the content with the brand’s guidelines, tone of voice, and style.
I like to think of content creation as cooking a meal. You follow a recipe and add multiple ingredients together. When you taste the dish, you may notice that it’s missing seasoning, which is why you make adjustments to make the dish more enjoyable. The same goes for content creation and making it more enjoyable by editing certain aspects.
To learn more about how we can help you with content creation, message nDash today.
FAQs About How to Manage Revisions
How many revisions should a freelancer give a client?
It’s recommended to give two rounds of revisions to a client. This allows them the opportunity to send the first revised draft back to perfect the piece of content.
How do freelance revisions work?
After you submit your deliverable to a client for approval, they check the piece of content. If your client is happy with the content and they approve it, there’s nothing more to do. However, if your client asks for revisions, they will ask you to make adjustments to the piece of content. It’s important to note here that you shouldn’t be afraid to ask why a client has asked for those adjustments. It helps you gain a better understanding of the whole creation process.
What steps can freelancers take to reduce revision requests?
Ask the client questions on how they would like the content created. And ask which writing style they produce their content in. When working with a new client, check out their existing content to learn their tone of voice, style, and structure.
This post is by nDash community member Anup Sohanta. He’s a freelancer who works closely with clients worldwide to develop content strategies and content across multiple channels. Hire him for your next writing project today!