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Making Revisions to Your Freelance Work

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 9 Apr 2013 | comments*Discuss
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Freelance work is performed on a per-project basis, so freelancers often work with new clients. While this can provide a great variety of work, it also means that freelancer workers must constantly get to know new styles, tastes, thoughts and opinions in order to complete their work to a client’s satisfaction.

Freelancers will never get every project right the first time, so at some point all freelance workers will be asked to make revisions to their work. While this does mean improving the work for a client, it also means freelancers must spend more time, and possibly not get any more pay, for their work. In order to make the most of revisions, freelancers must communicate effectively with the client, set boundaries about the revisions and ultimately let go of their projects in order to keep clients happy.

Communicating Effectively With Clients

If a client requests revisions or changes to a freelancer’s work then the freelancer must know what the client wants changed and why. Unfortunately, clients often give freelance workers vague instructions at this point, such as “We need another angle” or “It doesn’t feel right.”

Freelance workers must question their clients about what they think needs improving, and why they don’t think the projects are acceptable as they are. These questions should be asked professionally, and if need a freelancer can refer back to the clients own brief to show them that the work is as they requested it. However, before beginning to make the revisions freelancers should get as much detail as possible, and have the client send new instructions on paper or email so that the freelancer has another brief to refer back to if needed.

Setting Boundaries About Revisions

Some clients will never be happy with a project and that’s that. To avoid an endless cycle of changes, freelancers should have a clause about revisions written into their contracts. For example, freelance writers might state that they are willing to do one round of minimal edits for free but that substantive edits will require an extra fee.

Most times clients understand that if a freelancer has completed a project to brief then (s)he should be paid for it – regardless of whether it is actually what the client wants or not. Many clients are quite happy to pay for changes, but some are not. Freelance workers may encounter clients who try to hold their payments hostage until the project is finished to their liking (and not the specifications in the brief). At this time freelancers must refer to the clients own brief, and their contract, and have their solicitor become involved if needed.

Letting Go Of The Project

Freelancers often pour their hearts and souls into their work, but at the end of the day the work is for a client. When the project is finished, it will be used by the client. Unless the freelancer retains some rights, the work will be owned by the client. Freelancers must learn to do their work well, but to let it go when the time is right. Becoming too emotionally involved with, or attached to, a particular project will keep freelancers from acting professionally and in their client’s best interest.

Making revisions to freelance work is tricky. Freelancers should communicate effectively with their clients, set boundaries about the revisions and ultimately let the project go in order to make the most of revisions and improve projects to their clients’ liking.

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