customer research

Tips for Accepting Revision Requests from Freelance Writing Clients

Melanie Green
June 24, 2019

Nobody likes to receive revision requests from clients. Whether clients change their mind about the scope of the project or just didn’t like something you wrote, it’s no fun to find out you must change something in your writing. Completing a revision is often unpaid and expected as part of many flat rate freelance writing jobs, so it can also lower the overall profitability of a project. It’s understandable why you wouldn’t look forward to doing them. Here are some tips to keep in mind the next time a client requests a revision.

Accept That It’s Part of the Process

All freelance writers receive revision requests at one time or another in their freelance writing career. It can feel frustrating to have to go back and rewrite something, but it is a part of the process. Receiving a revision request from a client doesn’t mean they’re unhappy with your work and won’t send you additional assignments. A revision just helps to ensure that your writing closely aligns with their needs.

It’s Not Personal

Sometimes a revision request sounds personal. Since you spent so much time working on an assignment, a revision can make it seem like you’re personally being attacked. However, a revision request is simply a request to modify a piece of writing. It is critical that you do not take revision requests to heart, as clients do not mean it that way. If clients are unhappy overall with you or your work, they won’t order future assignments from you.

Ask for Clarification

Too often clients will give vague feedback that makes it hard to revise an assignment. Perhaps the client will ask for “less fluff” or say there are grammar mistakes when you’re sure there aren’t any mistakes in the document that you can see. In these instances, it’s worth asking for clarification from the client before proceeding with the changes. You need to make sure that you understand what is being asked of you. Sometimes without these clarifying questions, clients aren’t even sure of what changes they want to see.

Don’t Be Defensive

Overall, it’s important not to come across as defensive when a client asks you to complete a revision on your written work. Many writers are defensive about their writing and this makes it difficult for clients to work with them. Graciously accepting revisions, even when you don’t find that it’s merited, will increase the chances that you’ll have a long term relationship with your freelance writing clients.

Some freelance writing clients will never request a revision, while others will on every piece of work that you submit to them. Over time, you will be able to anticipate which clients will request a revision as part of the process. In fact, if a client does not request a revision, it could mean they’re not necessarily happy with your work, either. To be thorough, thoughtful, and professional, consider checking back with freelance writing clients periodically to ensure they’re happy with your work quality.

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