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m-myra
Community Member

Advice on handling client with different values

Hello guys, 

I need advice. 

 

Toward the end of last year, I worked for a client who loved my work and wanted to talk about giving me a full position in their company. After a series of meetings and discussions, I started working two days ago, but I am realizing some differences I don't know how to handle. Their idea of quality work and mine are a bit different. 

 

For example, one of the jobs is about helping them turn chapters in a book to newletters, but I think the quality of writing is substandard. My JD is to just write an intro and conclusion, but I think what they have needs more work than that. I have tried to communicate as much but they love what they have. How should I handle this situation? Please advise. 

ACCEPTED SOLUTION
hglewis
Community Member

Hello Myra!

 

You and I are in the same boat. As writers/editors, we immediately see the flaws because we look at the content with "fresh eyes" and forget we are not the target audience.

 

Since your job description states provide the intro and conclusion, stick with that for now. 

 

Also, instead of providing content suggestions, create a separate "Cheat Sheet" of your content notes per piece. 

 

For instance,

"on page two, paragraph three, the sentence is too long. The topic will have more impact when broken down into 2 or 3 small sentences."

"Chapter 4, which talks about investing, the content focused more on spending."

"Page 92,  much of the content used too many commas per paragraph."

 

Advise the client that the cheat sheet is your notes. They are welcome to review it, delete it, or pass it along. That's it. 

 

The object is to subtly show you bring more value and skillsets to the table, they may not be aware of or know. 

 

If they don't use it, that's okay; it's only your notes. If the client does, it opens the door for new project dialogue between you and them. 

 

The other thing to remember, what you or I see as substandard content, may not be to your client's audience.

 

Have a great day!

 

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8 REPLIES 8
colettelewis
Community Member

It's a tough one, but if you can, just do what's in your brief, the intro and conclusion. I have sometimes been in this position as an editor. You do what you can without too much argument. People are very sensitive about their writing, so one has to go as carefully and as diplomatically as possible.  Perhaps when you have done it for a while, you can make some tactful editorial suggestions. 

Yeah, that sounds reasonable. I'll struggle a bit looking the other way on some things though. 😬 Must be tough being an editor. 

 

Thank you! This helps.  

sofia2008
Community Member

Are you still a freelancer for them or did they bring you on their payroll as an employee?

m-myra
Community Member

It's a freelance/part-time thing. I don't know how else to explain our
agreement.
hglewis
Community Member

Hello Myra!

 

You and I are in the same boat. As writers/editors, we immediately see the flaws because we look at the content with "fresh eyes" and forget we are not the target audience.

 

Since your job description states provide the intro and conclusion, stick with that for now. 

 

Also, instead of providing content suggestions, create a separate "Cheat Sheet" of your content notes per piece. 

 

For instance,

"on page two, paragraph three, the sentence is too long. The topic will have more impact when broken down into 2 or 3 small sentences."

"Chapter 4, which talks about investing, the content focused more on spending."

"Page 92,  much of the content used too many commas per paragraph."

 

Advise the client that the cheat sheet is your notes. They are welcome to review it, delete it, or pass it along. That's it. 

 

The object is to subtly show you bring more value and skillsets to the table, they may not be aware of or know. 

 

If they don't use it, that's okay; it's only your notes. If the client does, it opens the door for new project dialogue between you and them. 

 

The other thing to remember, what you or I see as substandard content, may not be to your client's audience.

 

Have a great day!

 

bundie702
Community Member

All you can do is notify them. They can choose to accept or reject your suggestions. As long as your name isn't listed as the author (or editor), there's no way it can reflect badly on you (but please save your notification just in case someone tries to point the finger at you down the line).

prestonhunter
Community Member

Myra:
That is a great question!

 

One thing I keep in mind is that everybody has different values from me.

 

I have different values than my parents, brothers, sisters, neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc.


The values held by ME in 2022 are different than the values held by ME in 2020.

Maybe not drastically different. But at least a little different. We are all constantly adapting to our environments, and growing, and changing. Maybe somebody who never had an opinion about pit bulls a year ago now has different positions and beliefs about pit bulls this year, after their nephew was hospitaliized after getting attacked by a pit bull.

My standards for programming and database design are different today than they were twenty years ago. If I look back at work I did then, I might be very critical about a lot of it.

feed_my_eyes
Community Member

If I see ways for a client to improve whatever project I'm working on, I always speak up. I work as a graphic designer, so poorly written content is even less my responsibility than in your case, but I'll still say things like, "I think the headline would be more effective if it said such-and-such." But you have to frame it the right way, as help rather than criticism.

 

You and your client have the same goal - for the work to be as good as possible - so as long as that's obvious to them, I don't think they'll take offense at your suggestions. Mine are usually happy to get feedback, and will often hire me to edit their work in addition to designing it.

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