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first time i've had client ask for content to be changed

naomij1411
Community Leader
Naomi J Member Since: May 15, 2015
1 of 14

So i have a client who asked me to write on two topics, and had a few basic starting points but was happy for me to write creatively for the target audience.

 

I did so, and client is happy with one, but decided he doesnt like the angle I took with the other. He would prefer me to put a different emphasis on it. His preference now was hardly mentioned, and certainly not emphasised, in the starting points.

 

I always mention I am happy to make any necessary revisions - but I am not happy about a whole rewrite on a whim. This might be a tricky line to draw in the mind of the client.

 

I'm going to do it this time, but request more clarity for any future work I might take on.  If the client can't give it, I will move on.

 

Out of interest, if I were to try to dispute such a situation for a less easily revised job, would Upwork consider the contract fulfilled?

 

colettelewis
Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
2 of 14

"Out of interest, if I were to try to dispute such a situation for a less easily revised job, would Upwork consider the contract fulfilled?"

 

I think it would depend on how you have set the job up.  If you disputed and had to go to arbitration it could be extremely costly.

 

It would be best to discuss all aspects of the job before starting. However galling, the most professional thing to do if a client is not happy with an aspect of your writing is to agree to do it the way he or she wants, even if it goes against your better judgement or creative instincts.

 

However, scope creep can come into it. I have had one client who demanded three revisions regularly on a translation before it was grudgingly accepted. Eventually, I realized that this was a ploy to keep me in line and to keep my prices down. He was a repeat client, but one day, I was 'not available', and I never heard from him again!

 

My feeling on a client's serial dissatisfaction, is to quietly let him or her go rather than disputing. 

 

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
3 of 14

Ah yes. Been down this road many many times. I actually don't like it when people say "write anything you want." It's a recipe for "oh... why didn't you mention x? You didn't mention y either and it's important." So you kinda ask yourself "hey buddy you could have said something if you want something specific."

 

I think it's a bad idea to start with demands in a proposal, so then you have these times when you're stuck wondering what to do, and it's annoying when they do this.

 

So, after my ramble, here is my suggestion. I would go ahead and do it and then from here on out always ask the person "is there anything you want me to focus on? What is your angle? Who is your audience?"  Things like that will save you a h-e-double hockey sticks full of headaches when someone just tells you to write whatever.

 

I haven't had too many endless rewrite people but it does happen occasionally. Full rewrites are very annoying, and when the pull something like that, I put very little effort into it and send it back with a "Thanks!" with no prompt for "Let me know if you need anything." Just "thanks" to close the coversation.

naomij1411
Community Leader
Naomi J Member Since: May 15, 2015
4 of 14

Thanks both - yes I'm rewriting this time, but will be asking for more info if I take more work on. Its a bit frustrating as some guidelines were given and I used them to guide what I wrote. But, I guess I do have a clearer idea of what's wanted next time.

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
5 of 14

Oh, also I ask people to point me to a site they like that sells something similar. Obviously, not to copy it, but it gives you an idea of what tone and style they like.

vin_freelancer
Active Member
Vinayak J Member Since: Oct 25, 2015
6 of 14

Ah! I truly understand how dissatisfying it would have been for you but I personally feel that a one time revision/rewrite is completely fine considering the fact that there are chances that it may lead to further work from the same client.

 

Retaining a client is always better than hunting a new one esp. with the level of competition we now have on upwrok.  

researchediting
Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
7 of 14

@Vinayak J wrote:

Ah! I truly understand how dissatisfying it would have been for you but I personally feel that a one time revision/rewrite is completely fine considering the fact that there are chances that it may lead to further work from the same client.

 

  1. Rewrites are not revisions.
  2. Revisions are not rewrites.
  3. I offer a single revision. If the client comes back with a request for a rewrite, I refer them to points one and two.

 

Retaining a client is always better than hunting a new one esp. with the level of competition we now have on upwrok.

 

No, it's not. Finding professionally-oriented clients is a better use of my time than teaching and hand-holding exploiters, manipulators, fusspots and agents of chaos.


Best,

Michael

geigerj
Community Guru
Julianne G Member Since: Oct 21, 2015
8 of 14

We should be allowed to assign multiple kudos for using the word "fusspot".

cclapper
Community Guru
Cathleen C Member Since: Aug 17, 2015
9 of 14

In the future, you might also want to include in your proposal "x amount of minor revisions are included in the price. Page rewrites are out of the scope of the proposal and additional charges may be incurred." That way, you have covered yourself. If the client then asks for a whole page rewrite, you shouldnt feel bad for asking for more money.

 

i am in the design category, but i always include 2 rounds of minor revisions in my quote. Anything more gets charged for, and i put that wording in every single quote. I have seen jobs where the client states in their project brief that they want unlimited revisions. I dont even bid on those jobs. I would be working for free if i did.

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
10 of 14

That's a sticky situation. I don't like to put demands in my proposals, but I also understand that it can help avoid situations like this. I guess you could spin it in a positive direction and say "I offer 1 full revision after submission." 

 

I've tested the waters with stuff like that and I felt that it was harming my success rate, but then again my success is great some months and others not so much with no changes to my proposals.

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