As freelance web and graphic designers, it’s our job to listen to feedback and complete revisions so the client is happy with their final design.
But sometimes, clients can take advantage of that.
Sometimes, clients request more and more revisions but don’t expect to pay extra for it.
They just want ‘one more thing changing’ or ‘one more tiny tweak’.
Before you know it, your project is weeks over the deadline and you’ve put in HOURS more than you thought.
Hours you haven’t been paid for.
Watch the video below or read on to learn the five key ways you can cut down on clients asking for endless revisions.
Here's what you need to understand:
Boundaries around revisions doesn’t make you mean or unkind. It makes you a good business owner.
A good client will respect your boundaries and think no less of you because of them.
In fact, a good client will think MORE of you if you have boundaries around these things because boundaries make you seem like a true pro.
Do you really want repeat work from a client who doesn't respect your boundaries?
HERE ARE 5 KEY WAYS TO CUT DOWN ON endless REVISIONS
1. Repeat the number of revision rounds their package includes
People are forgetful. We all are! You can’t just tell your clients how many revisions they’re allowed once and think they’ll remember, especially if they've got a family or a business to run.
You want to repeat yourself in your:
Contract. (Don’t have a contract? I recommend the templates from The Contract Shop!*)
Proposal + invoice.
At the start of the project or inside an onboarding page.
Inside your project management tool.
2. Use a project management tool to communicate with your clients
This is the best way that I've cut down on revisions.
Inside of your project management tool you can:
Outline how many revisions there are in each stage
Tick them off as you go through
Plus the client only has to look here to see the revision rounds that are left.
The free project management tool I use (Asana) looks like this:
If you’ve never used a project management tool before and you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the thought of learning how to use one, don’t worry. I have a free course called Project Management For Designers that'll help you! Sign up below.
3. Be clear on what happens if your client needs extra revisions
Extra revisions should cost extra money, usually at your hourly rate. The thought of paying more than they already have usually puts clients off from wanting extra revisions, but if they do, it’s good to give them the option!
Be sure to make it clear to them that extra revisions are charged separately. You should include this on your sales page, contract and on your onboarding page if you have one.
4. Stand firm with your boundaries
Even after you've done all of this, you may get a client who tries to sneak in free revisions anyway.
Make sure you stand firm.
If you give in and complete revisions for free, you’re breaching what YOU said in your contract.
You're also giving the client permission to ask for more free stuff and get away with more unfair behaviour.
The client isn’t the bad guy here. If you aren’t standing by your boundaries and your contract, your client will just subconsciously take this as permission to get free things from you.
If you stand firm, your client will respect that. They’re smart and they probably do the same thing in their business if they’re a business owner.
5. Create a template
It can feel icky saying no to a client who just asked you for extra changes. It can feel even worse telling them you’ll charge them extra for them.
Instead of putting yourself through the agony of typing out a respectful yet firm reply each time, create a template.
If you’re using email, used canned email responses. If you're using a project management system, create a separate ‘Project’ that includes scripts. Then when you need to use one, just go into that project, copy it, go back into the client project and paste it in the conversation.
Using a script takes the ickiness away and makes the conversation less personal.
Without a script you’ll probably spend 30 minutes writing these replies each time you need to, agonizing over every word, worrying how your client will react. But your client will probably read it and agree to stick to your terms, because they’re not as scary and unreasonable as you think they’re going to be.
They’re reasonable if you are reasonable. And simply reminding your client of your terms IS reasonable.
I made a free script you can use to remind your clients of your revision policy. Whenever a client tries to get extra design revisions for free, just copy and paste this script & hit send!