Three Ways to Get Through Revision Requests in One Piece
If you’re reading this, it’s very likely you’ve gone down the rabbit hole of client revisions once or twice. OK, maybe it’s happened more than a few times. As a freelance writer, making content updates at the request of the client is to be expected; it’s part of the gig. However, there’s a fine, fine line between meeting client expectations with revisions and actually creating an entirely new piece of content. Knowing how to navigate this maze is both an art and a science. You’ll do yourself a big favor by learning how to identify when you’re in this part of the content creation process as quickly as possible.
Revision literally means to “see again,” to look at something from a fresh perspective, especially after you’ve received new information from the client. Just so we’re clear, it is absolutely necessary to solicit client feedback on your work. Consider this: Most clients are business owners, employees, entrepreneurs, and a few things in between. They’ve chosen to outsource content creation because they need your help and expertise. You are their content creating partner. On occasion, the work you generate may give them new ideas, or perspective on what they were hoping to achieve, and updates will need to be made as a result. That’s a really good thing.
Even with the best of intentions, revisions can become so extensive that both you and the client find it hard to navigate back to the original request. It’s a Hansel and Gretel thing. If you don’t leave breadcrumbs on the path, everybody ends up lost in the weeds. The most clever and experienced writers can share at least one anecdote of the writer revision predicament. So, brace yourself, it’s going to happen.
Your best option is to have a plan of action. Here are three ways to get through revision requests in one piece.
1. Review the Reasons for Revision
If you spent a lot of time researching and writing an order, getting a revision request may feel frustrating. When you see the “Client requests revision” subject line in your email, or the revision request populates in your Textbroker dashboard, you may experience a moment of feeling upset, panicked, or annoyed. Take a minute, do a few deep breaths, and open the message.
When a client sends you a revision request, they’re obligated to state the reason(s) why. The client may indicate that you made spelling or grammar errors or you didn’t use the correct voice. If the client requested hyperlinks, but you didn’t include any, this is another reason for a revision.
Perhaps your writing style was too formal, and the client wanted something more exuberant or flowery. Maybe you were too casual in your tone, and the client would like a more authoritative stance on the subject. It’s also possible that you missed the mark entirely. If the client’s briefing asked you to write about the nutritional benefits of organic pet food, but you wrote about the pros and cons of organic pet food, the client might not be able to use what you wrote.
Keep in mind that the client is obligated to include all information and requirements in the original request/briefing. They can’t come back in a revision request to ask for something different because the author sparked a new idea. For example, if you were asked to write a product description about mattresses, and you indicated that this mattress accommodates deep-pocket sheets, the client can’t ask you to add more information about sheets. However, they could ask you to remove the sentence about compatible sheets.
2. Reach Out to the Client or Textbroker
If you’re confused about a client’s revision request, Textbroker’s administrative team is always available to help. Email [email protected], and you’ll get a prompt reply. You can also send a message to the client with your question about the revision.
Most clients want their orders written as quickly as possible, so they’ll respond to your question. Be clear with what additional information you need in order to complete their revision request.
3. Know Your Limits
In most cases, clients request simple revisions that only take a couple of minutes to complete. If you’re asked to remove two sentences that are only tangentially related to the topic and replace them with two sentences that are more cohesive, this won’t take long.
When you get a revision request that looks like a complete revision of what you wrote, however, the decision may be tougher. Consider your relationship with the client. Click on their client ID, and you’ll see a list of what you’ve written for them. If you’ve written 10 orders for them, and this is the first time they’ve asked you for a revision, you might want to go ahead in order to preserve a solid working relationship. If you love the subject, you may also want to revise your work. When you desire to establish more Direct Order clients, it’s wise to proceed with the revision. Many authors have completed extensive revision requests and gone on to have great working relationships with those clients.
On the other hand, if the revision request was worded rudely, requires a total do-over, or is for a client you’ve never worked for, you’ll have to consider if you want to spend your time on it.
As a freelance writer, you’re not required to complete any revision request. You can refuse the revision. You also have an option to resubmit it as-is. If you choose this route, though, the client may reject your work. You won’t get paid if the rejection is upheld.
The entire revision and refusal process has already been defined by Textbroker. It’s even built into the terms of service. If the client doesn’t accept your work, it remains your property. If you drop the revision request, it won’t be counted against you in any way. It won’t affect your star rating or your ability to work with that client again in the future if you so choose.
A revision request isn’t the end of the world. It doesn’t mean you’re a terrible writer or that the client is persnickety. In many cases, you can learn from each revision request. Working through a revision is also a good way to foster positive communication and accept criticism of your work without getting personally offended. All authors get client revisions from time to time, and you’ll soon be able to take them in stride.