Every now and again I produce a written piece which gets signed off by my client at the very first draft. However, the majority of projects involve one or two rounds of feedback, to get the copy just right.
It’s important to have a system in place for this process. Without one, it’s easy to lose track of change requests and waste time going round in circles.
In this article, I’m going to share a few of the ways you can streamline your feedback process for maximum efficiency…
When it comes to taking feedback, clear communication is absolutely essential. Without it, you’ll only end up creating more work for yourself (frustrating for you and your client!).
Some people like to email their change requests, others prefer to speak over the phone. Some may even want to meet in person. Every client relationship is different, so it’s up to you to work out the best method of communication for your project.
That said, I would always advise backing up any verbal discussion with an email, summarising what’s been agreed. This way there can be no confusion later on, about who said what, and when.
Track your changes
If you’re both using a program like Microsoft Word, consider using the ‘track changes’ feature. This will allow your client to easily see what’s been changed in each draft. It’ll also make it easy to revert back, if they change their mind later on. If you’re emailing drafts as separate documents, make sure to use a consistent file naming convention. To see how I do this, click here.
Share your documents
Depending on the project, you might feel it’s easier to share ‘live’ documents with your client. Online tools like Google Drive allow both you and your client to view and edit a document simultaneously. This can be handy during phone calls, as you can both see the tweaks being made, whilst you talk. You can also track your changes and revert back to earlier versions of the document, if needed.
Kanban larger projects
A Kanban board is a great tool for organising larger writing projects, such as website copy or ongoing blog articles. I’d recommend an online tool called Trello, as it’s free and very simple to use. Within your Trello board, you can set up ‘tickets’ for each piece of writing (for example, a blog post). You can then create vertical columns to represent each stage of the writing process. A simple version might include ‘New ideas’, ‘Draft’, ‘Waiting on feedback’ and ‘Approved’. As a piece moves through the process, you move its ticket between the columns. This will allow you and your client to quickly see the status of each piece of work.