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3 Simple Ways to Stop Endless Video Revision Requests

Michael Maher

Revisions can be a pain equally felt by video editors, motion designers, VFX artists, and colorists. Here are some tips on limiting endless video revision requests so you can get to work on your next project.

All images via Shutterstock

If your clients are always satisfied with your first submission, you are some type of genius. For the rest of the world, in video production and out of the industry, revisions are something everyone deals with.  This isn’t to say you don’t create quality content, but the client may have other ideas in mind. It’s your job to create what they want, not what you want.

If a client can’t make up their mind, or has too many revisions to handle, you need to take it upon yourself to put an end to the endless revisions. Here are three easy ways to stop the video revision requests from coming.

1. Set a Number of Revisions in the Contract

3 Simple Ways to Stop Endless Video Revision Requests: Spell it out in the contract.

The best way to get clients to realize they don’t have an infinite number of revisions is to be upfront in the beginning. Set a number for the maximum round of revisions in your contract, that way clients know that any feedback they have must list as many changes at once. If the client wants additional revisions past your contracted obligation — you can then tell them that any additional revisions will cost extra. That means the clients know they must put as much information as possible in each video revision request to keep them from being charged extra.

For example, a client may say they want to swap a clip for another. Then, in another email, they may also ask for a change to the lower thirds. Then, in a third email, they might ask for a different song. That example is already three separate revisions.

What the client should have done is listed all three of those revisions in one single email — then it counts as one round of revisions. Explaining to clients that their correspondence must be as detailed as possible will save you time editing or designing. Much of the time wasted making revisions doesn’t actually come from making changes — it’s the render and export time associated with each change.

2. Explain to Clients That Changes Can Take Hours

3 Simple Ways to Stop Endless Video Revision Requests: Be open with clients about time

Your clients need to understand that the simplest change can take hours, depending on the length or complexity of the project. Sure, they may not care, but it’s your job to make them understand. If a project is on a rushed timeline, explain that every additional round of revisions will be pushing their deadline. Ask for thorough, in-depth feedback for any proofs you send. The more information they offer on what they want to change, the quicker the final product can be delivered.

If you’re charging an hourly rate, make sure to tell the client that all the render, export, and upload time is included in their final bill. Pretty much every single client is looking to spend as little as necessary. If you aren’t charging hourly, be sure to include all this extra time in your quote.

3. Say No

3 Simple Ways to Stop Endless Video Revision Requests: Say no.

“No” is the hardest thing to tell a client. You may feel desperate to please them or in need to get paid. You always have the right to accept or decline any freelance work, it’s just a matter of doing it. You also need to consider your future. If a client is very difficult to deal with, do you want to continue working with them?

If you did put a number a revisions into your contract, you are only limited to the number they agreed to. If they are unwilling to pay for extra revisions, you have no obligation to continue making any revisions to a project. If you didn’t put a number into your contract (or foolishly don’t have a contract in place), you’ve caught yourself in an endless loop until the client in satisfied. Don’t let this happen to you.

It’s your job to create content for clients that can’t create the projects themselves. Know that they need you, but you don’t need them. Value yourself and your time. Otherwise you’re bound to burn out. Also, your folders will start to look like this.

3 Simple Ways to Stop Endless Video Revision Requests: Infinite Revisions

Have any more tips? How many revisions do you allow? Let us know in the comments below.