Reply
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Reply

Re: Question/advice needed about client using a second editor

Active Member
Tara Y Member Since: Jun 3, 2019
1 of 6

Hi All:

I'm working with a client on a grant application. This is my third contract with her and we've worked together well (though she's requested a couple of phone calls for clarification on projects, for which I essentially don't get paid because I work with her on a lump sum basis). A few days ago she shared the document I had written with an "advisor" she works with, who has expertise on a slightly different aspect of the topic than I do; the advisor is now making edits and comments in the document, some of which I agree with and some of which I don't. I just wrote a polite email to the client asking her to accept/not accept the advisor's comments so I know what edits to make--making it clear that I am responding to the client's wishes and not the advisor's, unless they align.

Essentially this advisor's input makes me uncomfortable--she's not the client; she does certainly have some expertise, but I've actually worked in the field longer than she has; her comments to me have a slightly edgy rather than collaborative tone {she told the client that she "hated" another piece I had written with/for the client); and I just don't want to have a situation where there are too many cooks in the kitchen. Is this a reasonable reaction or am I being turf-y? I am considering telling the client after this project ends that I won't work with the advisor, but as the client is one of my few regular clients at the moment, I don't know if that's a bad idea. 

 

Thanks for your insight!

 

 

Active Member
John S Member Since: Jun 4, 2019
2 of 6

It sounds like the advisor is trying to take your business away from the client.

 

In my opinion the Client hired YOU and not the advisor.  If you feel the advisor is wrong then explain to the client why.  The client hired an expert to handle the grant application.  Sure other people could make suggestions but they're not being paid to be right. 

 

Take or leave the suggestions from the advisor and gently remind the client that she hired you to do the job right.

Active Member
Tara Y Member Since: Jun 3, 2019
3 of 6

Good advice -- thanks.  

Highlighted
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
4 of 6

Tara Y wrote:

Hi All:

I'm working with a client on a grant application. This is my third contract with her and we've worked together well (though she's requested a couple of phone calls for clarification on projects, for which I essentially don't get paid because I work with her on a lump sum basis). A few days ago she shared the document I had written with an "advisor" she works with, who has expertise on a slightly different aspect of the topic than I do; the advisor is now making edits and comments in the document, some of which I agree with and some of which I don't. I just wrote a polite email to the client asking her to accept/not accept the advisor's comments so I know what edits to make--making it clear that I am responding to the client's wishes and not the advisor's, unless they align.

Essentially this advisor's input makes me uncomfortable--she's not the client; she does certainly have some expertise, but I've actually worked in the field longer than she has; her comments to me have a slightly edgy rather than collaborative tone {she told the client that she "hated" another piece I had written with/for the client); and I just don't want to have a situation where there are too many cooks in the kitchen. Is this a reasonable reaction or am I being turf-y? I am considering telling the client after this project ends that I won't work with the advisor, but as the client is one of my few regular clients at the moment, I don't know if that's a bad idea. 

 

Thanks for your insight!

 

 


I think your expectations may not align with the expectations of this particular client. I have found that the job of a freelancer often involves more than just delivering a final product, you are also responsible for managing the scope of the project and providing customer service.

 

Most clients expect you to include anything related to the project in your fixed price. So, if they need to discuss the project or ask for revisions, those tasks are all included (within reason). Set your terms at the outset with regard to communication and revisions. 

 

With regard to the advisor, you are being turfy. It is the client's project. They can hire whomever they want to work on it. If you disagree with a suggestion, state your disagreement and make sure the client is "on record" acknowledging receipt of your advice. (I jokingly tell one of my clients that he is acting AWA-against writer's advice).

 

I understand the impulse to want to limit input from third-parties. I don't think many writers enjoy having someone look over their shoulder. And, it is possible for you to screen your clients to ensure that you only work with those who will defer solely to you as the expert. But, if you haven't insisted pre-contract that you and only you will manage a project, then the client should be free to bring in other consultants. 

Active Member
Tara Y Member Since: Jun 3, 2019
5 of 6

Thanks for your input. I appreciate it. A clarification and a follow up question if you don't mind. First, I'm completely fine with the client getting input from the advisor--the document is hers to do with as she pleases. I'm objecting more to the expectation that I will communicate with the advisor and the client through the Google doc we're using. Second, can you point me to a resource that explains more about how to set terms in a contract--I'm not sure how I would actually specify them. Thanks again.

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
6 of 6

Tara Y wrote:

Thanks for your input. I appreciate it. A clarification and a follow up question if you don't mind. First, I'm completely fine with the client getting input from the advisor--the document is hers to do with as she pleases. I'm objecting more to the expectation that I will communicate with the advisor and the client through the Google doc we're using. Second, can you point me to a resource that explains more about how to set terms in a contract--I'm not sure how I would actually specify them. Thanks again.


In my experience, the shared editing practice is very common. Some of my clients don't have a system in place for the delivery of documents, product management, etc. For those clients, I introduce them to my system and hope they use it. Other clients already have practices in place and I have to adapt to their processes. For example, I may share documents via Google for one client, Box for another and Dropbox for yet a third. I'm signed into at least three different task management apps and still keep my own calendar as well. 

Not every freelancer is willing to deal with all the different apps clients use. I assume they disclose this during the interview process. Ask if they have a system that they currently use, who you'll be working with, how they handle collaborations, etc. Then, if you don't like the answers, tell them you aren't a good fit for the role. You can also emphasize (if that's your preference) that you will do one or two rounds of edits and anything additional edits will require an additional fee. 

Sometimes you and the client will have completely different ideas of what is reasonable when it comes to back and forth. So you either want to be crystal clear up front or be prepared to absorb the (time) cost of those extra edits. 

TOP SOLUTION AUTHORS