Freelance: What to do when a client asks for revisions?

When is enough, enough? As a freelancer, you have probably experienced clients asking for revisions on projects you are in the process of completing, and this sets you back, or makes you change course. What do you do when the client deletes half your work, or tells you to re-do parts of it with a big change, and STILL expects the job to be completed on time and on budget? 

5 million self-employed and currently over 2 million freelancers are available in the UK for work and to assist on projects, and in this article, we will help you to know what to do when faced with this situation. 

Freelancers want to (Need to) maintain a harmonious relationship with their clients, so that they have continuous work, and will be considered for more projects in the future. It is also important to remember that there are clients that you MUST keep, and there are also clients that you should let go.  It is OK to let go of difficult clients, clients that are disorganised and clients that drain the energy from you without much reward. It might seem scary to let go of work, especially when you do not know where the next job will come from, but as the saying goes, when one door closes, more opportunities come your way.

As a freelancer, you will experience a client asking for revisions at some point. It is normal and to be expected. You might feel that your work is top quality, and you might be proud of it, but if it does not match the client’s expectations, then you will have to make the revisions that they want. Of course, part of being a freelancer is having to finish a project as quickly as possible and get paid then move on to the next one. 

Now, you must ask yourself these questions to determine the boundary of your service: 

  1. How many rounds of revisions are you willing to take?
  2. Does the revision sound unreasonable?
  3. Should you be paid for doing revisions?
  4. How long can a client ask for a revision? 
  5. Is it a revision, or is it a totally new project?

Once you have set your limit then you are able to create your revision policy. This must be shared with your clients in your engagement contract to protect yourself from spending too much time with one client. Of course, you can also avoid encountering revisions when: 

  1. Ask clients if there are any examples of similar projects they like? 
  2. You do not rush to finish a project.
  3. Discuss and clearly agree the contract 
  4. Have on-going monitoring of the project, and regular times for feedback, constructive analysis of work and review sessions
  5. Make sure that the initial agreement is clear, concise and mutually signed off, whatever happens outside of that scope is on-going work, or an additional project.

There could come a time when you simply have to say NO. 

NO – I will not do any more revisions

NO – If you want it changing, do it yourself

NO – my time is too valuable, and if you need changes made, pay me for them.

Asserting yourself in a client relationship is a stressful decision for some people, so make sure that you review and revisit the initial agreement to make sure that you have completed everything that the client wants.

There are clients that are just difficult to work with, and the experience that you get from those clients will help you to know who to work with in the future, and who to avoid. 

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