Clients can be tough to deal with sometimes. As we look at the client process, the most challenging part is when clients constantly ask for changes to be made. Many times we find it really annoying when the client behaves this way after not providing a clear brief or asking for changes on something that is already agreed upon. 

Businesses, sole proprietors, or freelancers operating in various industries regularly face clients requesting for frequent edits. With little choice left, we all succumb to making multiple iterations for the clients because our ultimate goal is to make the clients satisfied with the outcome

What clients need to understand is that it takes hours to make that one draft; going too far with the revisions can lead to loss of motivation for the editor. The creative energy drains out with facing the strain and dealing with hard clients. Allowing endless revisions can make your living tough, you want closure and time to move on to the next project. Having a plan for the number of revisions to be made is a good idea, because not only does frequent edits eat into your valuable time, they also lead to deterioration of the quality of work

Read this article below to frame a strategy and to know a few tips on how to deal with clients asking for frequent edits. 

handling frequent edits
  1. Ask for a clear brief in the beginning 

Getting as much information as possible at the beginning itself solves half of the problems. With clear details, guidelines, and expectations, you can deliver a project that requires fewer editings. But asking specifics from the clients is another difficult task. Many times clients do not know what they really want or are not able to express themselves clearly. 

In order to avoid multiple revisions, having effective communication from the start is recommended. Do not shy away from asking essential questions, this way you can get the vital details that you want and can understand the needs of the client better. Do not rush into starting the project with whatever you have in the hand. Spending some quality time on getting a detailed brief in the beginning, can help you save loads of energy and time in the end with fewer edits.

2. Specify no. of edit rounds in the contract 

Allowing an unlimited number of edits is a big mistake that many of us make. We are aware of the fact that frequent edits take-up our valuable time and that it constrains us from focusing on the next project. One way to avoid this endless number of edit rounds is by limiting the number of revisions you give to the clients. Clarify it in the advance only, by mentioning it in your contract or your proposal. Be specific on how many rounds of edit will you provide them with. 

Being transparent in the beginning helps in avoiding arguments later, and gives the clients less advantage on asking for frequent edits which fall outside the agreed contract. Usually, people allow for a minimum of two rounds of edit to the clients, and charge an additional fee in case they request more edits. Once you state that you will charge extra fees for more revisions, they will be careful and precise with their edit requests from the beginning itself. 

3. Know that creating content is a subjective matter

Disagreements or frequent edits can arise when you are not on the same page with the client regarding the content drafted. The ideas that fascinated you might not appeal to them. The difference in the tastes or preferences is a major reason behind spending time for multiple edits. 

The solution to this is to show your portfolio or previous works to the client before taking up the project. Make it clear to them that you are a professional to avoid complaints later on. If they still insist on making changes, warn them that getting into detailed minor changes might affect the quality of the content and that you do not recommend doing so. Saying ‘no’ when required is not a bad thing. Accept that content creation is subjective and move on. 

Additional tips:

  • Follow the step-wise method for asking for feedback. To avoid the load at the end, split the project into phases, ask for feedback after each stage
  • If you go wrong in the process or if you have misunderstood the client’s expectations accept your mistake, apologize, and redraft the whole project. 
  • Specify and emphasize on the number of revisions left for the clients to make them aware of the same. 
  • Know the difference between being firm and flexible. Do not waste your time with the wrong clients, know when to say ‘no’.
  • Once you have sent the edited draft, set a deadline of time they have to give you the feedback. This way you can focus on your other work and save on your valuable time.  

Dealing with frequent edits can be tough when you want to maintain good relations with clients. You want to have repeated clients and establish a long-term bond. Therefore, it is essential to choose a way that is beneficial for both parties. Just always make sure that you and your client are going in the same direction and having a smooth flow of communication. Remember to deliver a solid project, because only then can fewer edits arise.

Understand what a good brief should look like in our article here.