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The Best Method For Avoiding “Revision Hell” For The Rest Of Your Life | The Infinite Clients Series

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You have had one of those projects that went south fast? You're cruising along, and then boom, you hit the revisions stage, and it's like hitting a brick wall.
Emotions run high, lists of changes start flying in, and what was supposed to be a quick fix turns into a never-ending nightmare. If you've been freelancing for a while, then I'm sure you've been there.
This is the make-or-break moment in your quest for repeat clients and referrals.
If the revisions process feels like a battleground, you're in trouble. It's supposed to be about making things better, but instead, it can end up being the thing that drives you and your client apart (sometimes forever).
But here's the good news… It doesn't have to be this way.
The revisions stage can actually be a chance to show your clients that you're 100% on their side and that you have their best interest in mind.
Instead of dreading feedback, see it as a way to make the project even better. It's about getting organized, setting clear expectations, and most importantly, keeping your cool.
So, how do you go from Revisions Hell to Revisions Nirvana? That's the topic of this week's episode of the 6 Figure Creative Podcast.
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • Making a flawless revisions process to keep your clients happy and create a viral business
  • The rules of efficient, effective revisions
  • How to politely stay firm on your project scope
  • Creating client guidelines
  • Why freelancers drop the ball
  • Refining your processes once you have data

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[00:00:00] Brian: Hello and welcome to the six Figure Creative Podcast. I'm your host, Brian Hood. If this is your first time ever listening to the show, hi. Glad to have you here. Dunno how you found us, but I'm glad you're here. This podcast is for you. If you are a freelancer who offers creative services and you wanna make more money from those services without selling your soul, That sounds like you. You're in the right place for my returning listeners. So glad to have you here still. For whatever reason, you've endured this for maybe up to 290 episodes, 297 episodes by now.

[00:00:23] Brian: That's a long time. If you have listened to all 2 97 episodes at this point, send me an email podcast at six Figure Creative Comm and just Chew me a note, say, Hey Brian, I've listed all episodes for whatever reason. Maybe you can list those reasons. I don't know.

[00:00:36] Brian: It'd be helpful for me to know these things, but for today's episode, we're gonna continue the series we've been doing for like, this is probably the fifth episode we've had for this series now called The Infinite Client Series. It is a impossible concept, but one that is worth exploring and pursuing as freelancers. And if you're new to this series or new to this podcast, it's worth explaining what.

[00:00:53] Brian: The Infinite Client's concept is, so you know why we have an entire series on this Infinite Clients concept is essentially [00:01:00] this. How do we create an experience that's so amazing for our clients that every single client that we get refers at least one more client to us? And every single client that we get never leaves us.

[00:01:08] Brian: They always come back to us or they never cancel if it's on a retainer or whatever. That is the concept of infinite clients. If you can do that, you have infinite clients. it's impossible for most people to do that. where literally two clients turn into four clients.

[00:01:18] Brian: Four clients turn into eight clients, eight clients turn into 16 clients. You have a viral business at that point. Again, we're striving towards it, and that's what we're gonna continue on the series today. Before I get into the actual topic I wanna mention we are now in February.

[00:01:29] Brian: I believe this episode still comes out in February. Maybe towards the end of it. I'm, it's like middle of February right now for me.

[00:01:34] Brian: So question I have for you is, how are you doing on those, New Year's goals you created for yourself at the beginning of the year? I'll give you an update on mine. And the reason I'm talking about this, there's a point to this. A couple goals that I had were get back down to wedding weight.

[00:01:45] Brian: I got to the highest weight probably ever in my life. Right at New Year's. I weighed in at 204 pounds, which is the fattest I've ever been in my entire life. I have hit 200 before in like, bulking season when like doing heavyweight lifting. But no, this was just like pure middle of the year, stopped [00:02:00] working out.

[00:02:00] Brian: 'cause my friend that I worked out with moved away. Let the diet kind of go and just like, and stop. I'm at one 90. Ooh, that sucks. Ugh. One ninety-five. Oh, I should probably do something about it. 200. Alright let's, definitely fix this. And then new Year's Day waiting at 2 0 3. As of right now, I weigh 180 9, so I'm back down to a weight that I probably haven't hit till the, since the end of 2000.

[00:02:18] Brian: So that goal is going really well. I still have the nutrition coach. I still am going to the gym what my friend is called, shame workouts. Orange Theory is what I've been going to, and my cardio is probably the best it's ever been, just like a month and a half into this. it's pretty crazy.

[00:02:31] Brian: The only reason I bring this up is not to talk about fitness or to shame anyone who's falling off. It's to bring up a very important fact, and that is we as individuals, like our personal lives including health, relationships, friendships, mental health. A lot of mental health can come from, either lack thereof physical health or, how healthy we are physically

[00:02:49] Brian: because of the self-confidence that brings etc. Etc. this personal stuff, will carry over into your business because I've said this before, a billion times in this podcast. Our personal lives are intertwined with our business [00:03:00] lives as freelancers in ways that other businesses aren't. When you look at something like Apple, someone like Microsoft, some of these bigger businesses that are out there, or these, the biggest businesses that are out there, these businesses are made out of thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of, employees that make up that business.

[00:03:15] Brian: So any one individual's, mental health, physical health, relational health, those things don't really impact the business as a whole. But as a freelancer, if we don't take care of ourselves, we likely won't take care of our business. And if we don't take care of our business, then we won't make money. And if we don't make money, we will likely neglect our personal health even more.

[00:03:32] Brian: It'll likely affect our mental health even more. So that's why I bring this up now. It's not the topic of the day. Maybe we'll have another episode just completely on this topic, but something I wanted to, bring up. this is what my, my nutrition coach says. The goal isn't a hundred percent, the goal isn't perfection.

[00:03:44] Brian: The goal is 90% if you fall off the wagon. Can we get back on if so, if you've fallen off the wagon? Only question is, can you get back on? This is a good time to do that. My wife and I have a cruise coming up that we're going on, and it's the first cruise I've ever done. And if anyone knows about cruises, it's like all you can eat.

[00:03:59] Brian: All you can [00:04:00] drink. I don't really drink, but I do eat and so this will be the first time I've ever done a cruise while I'm in a health kick and I have an unofficial goal of being the first person to ever to be on a week-long, all you can eat whatever type cruise, and actually lose weight. We'll see if that can happen.

[00:04:15] Brian: I'll keep you updated on that. Alright, so let's go back to the topic today. That was a weird random side tangent, but it is what it is. It's my podcast. I can do stupid stuff like that even though I probably lost all our new listeners. Sorry. Let's bring it back on subject Have you ever had one of those projects that just ended like a train wreck? You got to the revisions process and it was just emotionally charged on both sides. maybe just the client was emotionally charged or maybe you were just emotionally charged client sending massive lists of things to change. The entire thing gets drawn out for weeks or months, sometimes, whatever it is, to seemingly forever, and it just ends poorly.

[00:04:45] Brian: I think anyone who's been doing this for a while, for any amount of time has likely had a client like this or a few projects like this.

[00:04:52] Brian: And it's where we get to the revisions process with clients where we either let the clients walk all over us or we are unorganized, or maybe we kind of [00:05:00] treat this more like a necessarily evil or a chore. The whole revisions process with our clients instead of something to be taken, as a priority.

[00:05:07] Brian: And so for these projects, and for some of you, it might be all your projects, the revisions process is

[00:05:13] Brian: an absolute train wreck. Just like all the things I talked about long and drawn out, emotionally charged.

[00:05:17] Brian: Something you absolutely dread and that leads to strained relationships, sometimes ruined relationships and if you strain or ruin relationships, especially at the very end of a project. That is how we lose clients. That is how we lose referrals. So if we're striving for infinite clients, this is yet another area that we have to look at as freelancers and start realizing this is something that can be improved.

[00:05:39] Brian: This is something that we can take seriously, should take seriously, should prioritize.

[00:05:43] Brian: instead of it just being one of those things that we kind of look to as that necessary evil that has to be dealt with.

[00:05:47] Brian: So my goal for this episode is to help you create, if not a flawless revisions process, at least a less flawed revisions process.

[00:05:55] Brian: and even give you some rules to follow that if you follow these, it'll lead to smoother, better [00:06:00] revisions process so you can end these projects. On a better note, remember this is the end of the project. This is your last chance to make a great impression to leave a lasting impact on the client, and even an slightly flawed revisions process can just leave an odd or off taste in the mouth of the client.

[00:06:14] Brian: Leading them to maybe not wanna come back to you next time, leading them to maybe not referring that friend to you next time.

[00:06:19] Brian: so if we can create a smoother process, a better process, Means that we get more repeat clients. 'cause those clients are happy with working with us. And that means that we're gonna get more referrals at the end of the day is What we want here. One step closer to infinite clients.

[00:06:29] Brian: So I'm breaking this into kind of two big chunks here. I've got five different rules for you to follow in the revisions process. And then we're gonna talk through the actual process to follow. I have seven steps here. Maybe it'll change, but that's what I have right now.

[00:06:39] Brian: And the goal isn't to dictate to you which exact process to follow. The goal is to give you some ideas, some things that you can hear and think, man, I've never thought of that. Or, yeah, I knew that, but I just forgot about it. Maybe I should think about doing this now or man, that part of the process I really like.

[00:06:54] Brian: I'm gonna implement that and take it. Just adopt what you will from this episode. This is an advice buffet.

[00:06:59] Brian: Take what you [00:07:00] want, leave what you don't.

[00:07:00] Brian: And as long as the revisions process makes you and your clients happy, you're doing the right thing. So let's start with rules here.

[00:07:05] Brian: We got five rules for you to follow when it comes to the revisions process with you and your clients and your projects. Number one rule, and this is a no particular order, so don't feel like this is like. a ranked list Number one, the rule is over communicate with clear expectations.

[00:07:18] Brian: if you've heard every other episode that I've talked about in this Infinite Client series, I think on just about every single episode, with exception to maybe one I've mentioned, communication or over communication, this is yet another place to over communicate to your clients what to expect, how things are done.

[00:07:33] Brian: Remind them of things like how many revisions there are. referring back to the client agreement episode or the contract episode from a few episodes back in this series,

[00:07:41] Brian: I say over-communicate, but there really is no such thing as but revisions are another place with a lot of details that the client can miss or forget about, and over-communicating in instances is always the right move. The second rule is manage your emotions.

[00:07:55] Brian: It is really easy for us as freelancers and creatives to take [00:08:00] that long brain dump list from our clients of all the revisions that they want for the project as a personal attack on our creativity. A personal attack on our talent, a personal attack on us as individuals. It is not the case. This is where we have to manage our emotional state and just not take it personal. This is way easier for me to say than it is for me to do so this is just a nice nudge, a nice reminder that next time you get that long list of revisions from a client, just take a step back, take a breath, and just say, Hey.

[00:08:27] Brian: This is not an attack on me, my skills, my creativity, it is merely what the client wants. These are two separate things.

[00:08:33] Brian: Rule number three is clarify before doing anytime you get revisions from a client that's unclear or is ambiguous or has it multiple ways, it could be done or taken. Always just ask for clarification. when a client sends revisions, we'll talk about how they can format things. We'll talk about all that later.

[00:08:47] Brian: But when they send you those revisions in, if you're going through them and you don't quite understand something, don't just try to assume you know what's right or, or just Hey, I'll figure that out when I get there. Just ask for clarification. Sometimes it might be multiple things you need clarification on, but always [00:09:00] clarify before doing, because what you end up doing is you'll do the revisions in a way that it's not what they meant.

[00:09:05] Brian: It's not what they wanted. And so you are essentially wasting around a revisions, doing some things that they don't necessarily want that makes them not happy. It adds more friction to the entire process.

[00:09:14] Brian: And it's generally speaking much faster and easier to ask for clarification than it is to do the work and then get more feedback that it's not what they wanted. Rule number four is be polite, but firm as creatives, we have to have boundaries. again, we've set our boundaries in the client agreement, it's all communicated, it's all over communicated, it's all re-communicated.

[00:09:34] Brian: So when we have done those things properly, the client agreed to these, boundaries or these rules or these limitations in what we're doing with 'em, especially around the revisions part of the process. This is where we need to be polite, but firm, you can be flexible whenever needed.

[00:09:48] Brian: You can make the decision on is this a battle worth fighting? But at the end of the day, that's a personal call. And if the client agreed to something, is it within our rights to be polite and firm that, hey, that's [00:10:00] outside of the scope of work, or this is additional cost because of X, Y, and Z.

[00:10:03] Brian: This is what was in our contract. You don't have to be mean about it. So that's the polite part. But you can be firm about it. You have the right to not do something if it's outside of the scope or outside of the boundaries you've set. Another example might be, how you've communicated. I.

[00:10:16] Brian: Specific communication hours. Like you won't respond to things past a certain hour. And if a client gives you flack about that, Hey, I'm sorry that you thought I was available, you know, at 9:00 PM on a Friday night. I mentioned in our client agreement and have iterated in these emails here, I'm available nine to five, Monday through Friday.

[00:10:33] Brian: I don't respond to things, nights and weekends. That's an example of being polite, but firm on a boundary that you've set. And then the fifth and final rule I have here is whenever possible, speed up the feedback loops. And here's what I mean by this. I talked about it a couple episodes back, on just feedback loops in general, whenever you're working with a client on the actual fulfillment process, getting quick feedback loops where, Hey, I'm gonna send you something for just some quick feedback.

[00:10:55] Brian: What do you think about this? What do you think about that? What do you think about X, Y, and Z? Just getting some early feedback from [00:11:00] clients even before project's completed. It can help immensely on actually finishing the project in a timely manner. when it comes to the revisions process, a lot of freelancers, myself included I've made the mistake of this, where we do all this work and then we dump it all on our client and then we get all the feedback at one time.

[00:11:15] Brian: So we're putting a lot on our client's plates when it comes to, Hey, here's like 30,000 things to look at, and you're gonna create. All of the revisions for these 30,000 things, and it's gonna take you forever and it's gonna be a lot of work for you. And then we're gonna find out none of it was right. And if we would have just done deliverable one and then deliverable two and just gotten feedback as I completed them, I'd have quickly realized, oh, I'm messing up a lot.

[00:11:39] Brian: I can actually get numbers five through 30,000. I don't know why I picked 30,000, but you get what I'm saying. Five through 30 would've been correct. Had I just gotten feedback earlier on in the process. So every niche is different, every freelance is different. But I'll show you an example. based on my background that will help you at least understand what I'm talking about here instead of like this heady, theoretical thing in music production.

[00:11:58] Brian: My background, when you're [00:12:00] working with bands, you are doing individual songs. You might have five, 10 songs, sometimes more. Usually like between three to five, up to 10 songs. You're working with a client on. And if I'm mixing a song, which means taking the song and making it sound good in the simplest terms, if I'm making it sound good in my ears, then I have two options.

[00:12:16] Brian: I can send the client a song as I finish it. Here's a song, here's a song, here's a song, gimme revisions on this song. As I'm continuing the work and I finish a new song, I'm sending it to the client for feedback. Or I can mix all 10 songs and then send to the client for revisions and then make them give revisions on all 10 songs, There are some arguments to be found on both sides of the table when it comes to efficiencies on delivery, but in general by sending a song out for feedback. Getting the feedback before I really do songs two through 10 or songs as I finish them and taking the new feedback into account, it can lead to better things.

[00:12:51] Brian: Another example,

[00:12:52] Brian: and I like to use examples of things that are happening right now, is a copywriter. I'm working with the copywriter took the time to write a bunch of emails for me. For [00:13:00] a new nurture sequence for six figure creative and copywriter sent all of the emails in one go. we did have kind of a feedback call to review outlines and things, so that's one kind of quick feedback loop.

[00:13:10] Brian: But now I have to go review, eight to 10,000 words worth of writing to give feedback on, and I haven't done it yet. It's on my schedule today. So this is one of those things where it may or may not be a problem, but it, could be potentially me start to go through and realize. The tone is off.

[00:13:23] Brian: It doesn't sound like me It's a recurring thing, so now he has to go back and redo all of them versus potentially, here's an email that's I think is a good sample for the rest of the emails. Let's start with this one. You gimme your feedback and then we will see whether or not this works before I write all the other emails.

[00:13:39] Brian: That's what I'm talking about here. When possible, speeding up the feedback loop, so those five rules can help eliminate a lot of headaches. Again, just to reiterate those over-communicate with clear expectations. Manage your emotions, clarify before doing, be polite, but firm in your boundaries and policies, and then whenever possible, speed up the feedback loop.

[00:13:56] Brian: Those are all, great things to follow, but now let's talk about [00:14:00] process. Process is the part where a lot of you are struggling or failing and have no real process. You will send the things off and then the client will just. Figure out how to communicate those revisions to you. And then you will do those revisions and you'll send it to the client and that's your process.

[00:14:14] Brian: It's you have a process. You just may not understand what that process is. It's very willy-nilly. that a phrase anyone uses? Willy-nilly. What's another word for Willy-nilly.

[00:14:22] Brian: Haphazard. There we go. Your process is very haphazard. Thanks Google. So again, I have a seven step process here. This is not like a perfect end all, be all process, but it's a great starting place and it's probably better than what a lot of people have. And there's probably a few things in here that you haven't thought about, even if you feel like you have a really good revisions process.

[00:14:38] Brian: So step one in my revisions process is create guidelines for your clients.

[00:14:43] Brian: So in those guidelines, there are gonna be multiple things, but here's just a few things. First is how many rounds of revisions this is in the client agreement. go back to our client agreement episode, a few episodes back in this series where I talk through things to put in their agreement revisions, revision policies are in there, but beyond that, what [00:15:00] actually qualifies as a round of revisions.

[00:15:02] Brian: It may seem straightforward, but the client might not fully understand that. So having a definition for what is a round of revisions. So if you only have three rounds of revisions in your policy, what constitutes one round of revisions? Secondly. What if you screw something up? this is where. Being flexible or understanding of something. If you mess something up, you're gonna make it right. But just having those in there of like what constitutes those round of revisions and if you screw something up, does that mean that they get a free round after that?

[00:15:27] Brian: It's just something for you to actually have in the revision guidelines Next, and to me, probably more importantly is how should revisions be formatted and created? This is something that I think a lot of freelancers fail to do. They just let it be on the client on how best to communicate or write or, organize those revisions, which can lead to a lot of issues.

[00:15:44] Brian: So, Few things to think about. Is it gonna be text, video, audio, every niche, every industry is gonna be slightly different on what makes the most sense. could be live and in person or on a Zoom call where you're actually on a call live, getting revisions from a client. In some industries that may make more sense.

[00:15:58] Brian: What about like any special formatting? So [00:16:00] if they're writing something down, what format makes the most sense? For example, in music production, the way I had my clients do everything was in writing. this was before File Pass existed. So for my audio nerds out there, you know what file pass is.

[00:16:10] Brian: But, I would give them an example of how I wanted my revisions, formatted. It included timestamps. So always include timestamps where the revision is in the song. So if it's like at two minutes and 50 seconds, turn down the vocals, that would be an example. And it's also, I wanted my revisions separated by instrument because of the way I had my sessions organized.

[00:16:28] Brian: Have all of your vocal revisions in one section, all of your drum revisions in another section, all of your guitar and bass revisions in other sections. That made it easier for me to be able to organize the revisions later. And it wasn't any real extra work for them. It's just this is how it will be organized.

[00:16:42] Brian: And then also what is a example of a good revision and what is an example of a bad revision? So I would give my clients examples of like, this is a really good revision request. This is a really bad revision request. Most clients don't understand good versus bad. It could just be how they're communicating something.

[00:16:56] Brian: It could be the type of thing like. Generally, if my clients are asking for [00:17:00] one decibel changes in something that's probably a bad revision.

[00:17:02] Brian: Or if they're wording something vaguely that's a bad revision. a good revision might look like x, Y, or Z. So let the client know what a good revision looks like and what a bad revision looks like with actual examples. 'cause that's helpful for the client to see. And then finally, when it comes to revision guidelines, and this is another hugely important one, that if you have multiple stakeholders involved with the project, this is even more important, is create one central contact for revisions So for example, if there is five people in a band, I. One band member is responsible for collecting all revisions from the other four band members, so that one person is my go-to contact for revisions. And the reason this is important is when multiple stakeholders are involved in the project, AKA, too many cooks in the kitchen.

[00:17:41] Brian: It can be on you to try to sort out between all five people or 10 or however many are involved with the project. It can be on you to determine how are you going to, deal with the conflicts of. conflicting revisions.

[00:17:53] Brian: Whereas if you just create one central person to collect all the revisions and then give those to you in the format you've requested, it essentially [00:18:00] makes that person, the person, to make sure all of those things are hammered out before the revisions touch you.

[00:18:04] Brian: now, if you don't know who that person should be, ask all the party Who of you wants to be responsible for collecting and communicating with me? For all the revisions, only one of you, you can ask them, but generally speaking.

[00:18:14] Brian: At least the way I worked and the clients I was working with, I knew which person in the band was going to be my go-to contact for revisions. So you can choose or you can have the client choose. So that's the first step, is just create these revision guidelines for you to follow throughout the entire revision process.

[00:18:27] Brian: Number two is organize all the feedback. So when you've sent something to the client.

[00:18:31] Brian: They have followed your process for revisions as far as how they're formatted, the best way to do it, how they're organized. They've been sent to the central one person, the single person that you're, contacting with, and that person has sent you the revisions. I. Now you have all the revisions in the format that they gave you.

[00:18:47] Brian: That doesn't mean it's going to be perfect. It doesn't mean it's going to fall exactly the way things should be for you. So it's up to you, or it's important for you to organize these into a way that makes sense for your workflow and for your needs.

[00:18:57] Brian: So for some people, that might be a spreadsheet. You put it [00:19:00] onto a spreadsheet. To track things. It could be that you have a checklist, you create a checklist in Evernote or Notion or some other kind of note taking app to just knock those off one at a time. It could be a simple bullet list. It might be a full on project management system like we talked about a couple weeks ago when I talked about project management.

[00:19:15] Brian: But once you've organized the feedback into a way that makes sense for you in a format and visual that makes sense for you, Then we move on to the next step in the process, and that is prioritize the revision.

[00:19:24] Brian: Not all revisions are created equally. I think you already know this, so I prefer to prioritize them, in kind of an order of impact to the overall project.

[00:19:32] Brian: For example, small, little nitpicky things are probably gonna be the bottom of the list and the big picture, big things are gonna be the top of the list. I'm gonna start with those big picture things because those might change how I approach or attack those little nitpicky things if I do them at all.

[00:19:45] Brian: Which brings me to kind of another thing within this kind of prioritization of revisions, and that is. No one to say no. It's okay to not do all the revisions your client sends. especially when it's detrimental to the project or if it's just not at all helpful.

[00:19:57] Brian: Earlier I mentioned you don't know audio, you [00:20:00] may not understand what this means, but earlier when I mentioned like little one decibel or half decibel changes in, in volume on something like, turn the kick up right here, one decibel. That's an example of like a really nitpicky. And in most cases I just won't do those.

[00:20:14] Brian: in some cases it will make a difference, but in most cases it won't. Especially when we start tackling those big picture things. There may be bigger changes in the overall levels that I need to change that now that one little thing that they ask for is meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

[00:20:27] Brian: So that's step three in this process. Prioritize the revisions and no one to say no. Now step four is complete the revisions. That's the actual part where you have to do the work. This is gonna look different from everyone. There's a couple things within this that I want to make sure I pull out and give to you that are worth considering, at least for you specifically, and you can determine whether or not this makes sense for your needs.

[00:20:45] Brian: First thing is when you're doing the revisions, I recommend tracking your time, especially if you are a highly product, high service. If a lot of your projects look very similar, the steps are involved are very similar, like in music production, mixing, mastering, or in certain photography niches certain [00:21:00] productized design services.

[00:21:01] Brian: Anything where it's not like a super bespoke thing, that's like every project looks completely different. If you were very productized, you're on that side of the spectrum where projects look relatively uniform. It can be really helpful to track your time on revisions or just track your time overall on all things, but especially on revisions for a few reasons.

[00:21:16] Brian: The first thing is just a better understanding of how long it takes you to actually do revisions on average. That's the big key. On average, some clients will take way more, sometimes they'll take way less. There's a standard deviation there that's gonna be different for every person in every niche. But generally speaking, we're looking for averages and you don't know averages until you have tracked the time from multiple projects, preferably 10, 15, 20 projects till we know the revisions process on average takes X number of hours.

[00:21:40] Brian: when we know it takes on average X number of hours per project, we can better schedule these things for our clients. We can better communicate how long these things will take to our clients and when we are better at scheduling things, we have fewer dropped balls.

[00:21:52] Brian: Because one of the biggest reasons freelancers tend to drop the ball is they take on too much work when you're in a feast or famine mode, and. You [00:22:00] are in feast mode at this specific time, you end up taking too much stuff on. 'cause you just, you're so hungry for it and you end up dropping the ball because you don't have any clue how long revisions take.

[00:22:09] Brian: So whenever you finish this project and started the next project, but you didn't realize you need another 16 hours to do revisions while doing this project, now it puts this next project behind because you're trying to do revisions or it takes that first project forever to finish because you're working on this next project, which means you're always behind on all things and you're stressed out.

[00:22:25] Brian: That's the kinda stuff we want to avoid. And if we know. How long it takes to complete revisions, then it's easier for us to schedule these things out in advance and we can actually put time on our calendars to do these things for our clients. The next step when it comes to actually completing the revisions is keeping a good version control.

[00:22:41] Brian: most industries know what this is, but version control is essentially keeping track of the different versions of your work.

[00:22:46] Brian: When I send a new mix to a client that's Mix one or Mix Two, or Mix Three, or Mix Six or Mix 10,

[00:22:52] Brian: and it's helpful for a few things. It may be that we found out on Mix 10, that Mix four was actually the one that everyone liked more, and that's generally the case. What I [00:23:00] found is after three rounds of revisions, everything passed that was either meaningless or detrimental to the project, and it just got progressively worse.

[00:23:06] Brian: So if you've properly saved the versions of your sessions or your files or your projects, then you can go back to those when needed. But also, and this is the thing that most freelancers don't think about keeping track of all the revisions done between those versions is also important. So we know that on version four, here's all of the revisions I completed so that we can go back and start to things. So in case there's misunderstandings or disputes, can go back to the actual version four and we can see all the revisions that were done and all the revisions that were done up to that point for each and every version.

[00:23:36] Brian: Sometimes a client can ruin their own project. That's why we have to know when to say no, right? But sometimes, especially when we're newer or inexperienced, we let the client ruin the project the client may start to blame us or may start to ask questions, what happened? Why is version three better when we're on version 10?

[00:23:52] Brian: And this leads to being able to educate your clients because you have all of the documentation of the revisions you did at each step. And you can start to show them, [00:24:00] here's where you ask for conflicting revisions. version three asks for X, Version 10 asks for Y. Those are completely opposed to each other.

[00:24:07] Brian: what is inevitably happening? Client who I love and I respect is, we've gotten so far into the weeds that we've lost the big picture. Now we're starting to ask for all these nitpicky little changes that aren't really pushing the needle at all. And if we really dove into it client, it's because you're too scared to actually release the songs.

[00:24:24] Brian: There's fear holding you back from actually getting stuff done. So you're just nitpicking away instead of doing the things that actually matter, which is releasing your music or releasing your new website or whatever. Every client's different. Every niche is different, but that's what I saw in my clients.

[00:24:36] Brian: So that's step four in this process, and that's completing the revisions. And you wanna track time and keep really good documentation and version control for each and every version that you work with. And now we're on to step five, decide how you're going to present the new version.

[00:24:49] Brian: There's different ways to do this. Every niche is different, so choose your own version here, but you can do a review call. Where you're actually on Zoom or in person presenting the new version to them to get real-time feedback from them and to gauge [00:25:00] their actual reaction. That works well in some niches or some industries, you can do a written summary.

[00:25:04] Brian: So here's all of the changes I made. Here's the new version. Here are our expectations moving forward. you know what to do next or what the next round's gonna entail. And then in this entire process, you also have to let them know that, the revisions are complete. essentially saying, I did all these revisions. Round one is done. Here's what to expect next. This goes down to just basic communication. So if you're on a call or doing a written summary or doing like a video overview, sure you communicate these points to them.

[00:25:27] Brian: If this is the final round, by the way, it's always, always, always something you want to mention to them. Just so you know, this is the final round of revisions. After this, I will have to start charging. So be sure you get everything that you want to get done in this round together from all parties involved before submitting them.

[00:25:42] Brian: Step six, clarify final approval just because it's the final round of revisions that you sent off to the client and that they said that they liked. You always just wanna make sure that, Hey, just to clarify, are you saying this is the final version?

[00:25:53] Brian: You guys are signing off you can have a formal sign off process that them signing. This is the final version. Or you can just have 'em say, Hey, this is great. We love it. [00:26:00] This is the final version. Awesome. Can I get the files? Whatever. But just never assume that this is the final or this is the end of the project ' because sometimes the clients are more than willing to pay for additional rounds or revisions if there's something more they want to change or add or do differently.

[00:26:12] Brian: But we don't just wanna assume. And now step seven, and this is actually after the project's done and after the files have been sent off to the client.

[00:26:18] Brian: Revise and improve the process. This is the last step. In any good process, you will always want to continuously improve that process. So what worked, what didn't work, which we change, add, remove, take away. is the only way we get better at something is by looking at something, analyzing what worked or what didn't, figuring out what needs to change in the overall process.

[00:26:38] Brian: Try it again. So next time I will try a video call instead of sending the files to the client, with a written summary,

[00:26:44] Brian: or I'll start tracking my time next time because I realize that I need to know that information Just understand that every single process that you do the first time will still be flawed. You can follow this to a tee and it will not work for you specifically perfectly because you are a individual who is slightly different from [00:27:00] me, maybe really different from me.

[00:27:01] Brian: I am a weird person, so you have to find what is your version of a perfect process here. Because at the end of the day, the only way you are going to get infinite clients is to have a perfect process in all things that you do for your business. That's why it's impossible. Infinite clients is a wonderful goal. It's a great thing to strive for, but realistically it's probably not achievable. You've heard me talk about the word of mouth, death trap, the referral death trap it does, in most cases, take more than just referrals and just repeat clients in order to have a sustainable, long-term freelance business.

[00:27:30] Brian: you need to make sure you have each of the four parts that we talk about in a client acquisition machine. There are four kind of main parts. I'll quickly recap these. If you're new here, one part of the machine is a predictable way to generate leads for your business.

[00:27:41] Brian: Another part of the machine is a way to stay top of mind over a long period of time, because when a client first hears about you or first becomes a lead, they're not always ready. Sometimes it can be weeks, months, or years before they're actually ready. And a way to stay top of mind over that long time horizon is one of the biggest keys to actually getting clients that I think a lot of people don't understand.

[00:27:58] Brian: The third part [00:28:00] is a sales process that actually turns strangers into clients. A lot of people, They have pride that their conversion rates on sales calls are so high, and when they don't realize that a high conversion rate is actually detrimental to your business. It's a sign that you are only working with the hottest leads, the ones that would say yes to you no matter what.

[00:28:14] Brian: That's not a good thing. It's generally means that there's a ton of other people out there that you could get if you understood. The sales process and the marketing process to actually have those conversations with people that are a little further from your sphere of influence. It's another sign that you also might have way too lower prices, because what freelancers tend to do is they get beaten down by hearing that they're too expensive all the time, so they lower their prices until they get more yeses 'cause they're afraid of getting nos.

[00:28:36] Brian: A great sales process allows you to charge higher rates with getting fewer objections to your pricing so you don't get constantly beaten down. And the fourth and kind of final piece of the client acquisition machine is a sustainable pricing model that maximizes something we call AACV acronym Average annual client Value.

[00:28:52] Brian: How much is one client worth to you over a period of a year? So whether it's a one-time project or a recurring project, or a reoccurring project, for [00:29:00] those who don't know, recurring is like a monthly retainer or a subscription. Reoccurring means they come back to you. Sporadically once, and then they come a few months later, and then maybe 12 months later, that's reoccurring.

[00:29:11] Brian: But no matter what, it's having a sustainable pricing model that maximizes that average annual client value. Al upsells is another part of that, and that's kind of part of the sales process, those are the four pieces you have to have in place.

[00:29:20] Brian: This is literally why our coaching program clients by design exists. we look at your business, we create an entire marketing roadmap for you that you have to approve or else we don't work with you anymore. If you don't approve it, then we'll part ways this friends, and we don't coach you.

[00:29:34] Brian: It is the linchpin to everything that we do. And once you approve that, we coach you through building all four parts of the client acquisition machine and then refining it. Remember I said the last step in any process is the actual refining process. That's what we work with you for. After you've built all four of those, 'cause some of you might have all four pieces of that.

[00:29:49] Brian: You might have leads coming in, you might stay top of mind with those people. You might have a pretty decent sales process. You might have a pretty decent average annual client value. But something in there is weak right now. For a lot of you, it's the lead generation side, [00:30:00] and that's the thing that needs to be refined.

[00:30:01] Brian: So until all four parts are as strong as possible, really hard to have a sustainable business,

[00:30:05] Brian: we also, when we coach you, we hold you accountable. Right now, as of this week of all the clients we worked with, one client was inactive, only one of our clients is inactive right now. And that number hovers from anywhere from zero to two clients at a time. I don't think we've had anything more than two clients inactive at any given time we continuously follow up with you.

[00:30:23] Brian: We have emails, texts, phone calls, handwritten letters we'll send you to make sure you're actually doing the work so that you're building the machine to get the results that you want. We surround you with other freelancers all along the way who are on, a similar path or similar journey to you. If that sounds like something that you need right now that you're interested in, maybe the infinite client's concept, wonderful thing that you're striving towards, but we need something more immediate, something that's going to be a little faster, a little more predictable, that's you just go to sixfigurecreative.com slash coaching and apply and we'll see if it's a good fit.

[00:30:50] Brian: If it's a good fit, we'll have a conversation with you

[00:30:51] Brian: and talk to you about what that would look like. So that is it for this week. This might be the final episode of the Infinite Client Series. I'll have to look at my, notes here. Maybe there's one or two more that we do. but [00:31:00] I've gotten some really good feedback from the series. I appreciate everyone who's emailed me for this, the episodes we've had here.

[00:31:04] Brian: I anticipate a few more emails because we have, like two unreleased episodes in this series that haven't even come out yet as the time to record this. So I'm looking forward to seeing what the response is, and if the response continues to be good, and I look that I still have an episode or two that I want to do, then I'll continue this series.

[00:31:17] Brian: Otherwise, I'll move on to a new series or start doing more guests. last week's episode was a guest, as you probably noticed, and it was a wonderful conversation with Janda. So I encourage you go back and listen to that where he talked about getting infinite clients through building amazing relationships with people being very likable, and that was like a, just a wonderful reminder that some of us are not very likable.

[00:31:37] Brian: So if you feel like you're not likable, if you feel like you struggle with personal relationships, go back to last week's episode and that'll be a wonderful one for you. So that's all I got for you this week. Tell you next time. Thank you so much for listening to the six Figure Creative Podcast.

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