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Old 11-20-2008
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Default Not sure how to react...
Okay, so I have a relatively new client that I've done some editing work for here and there. He contacted me a few weeks ago to ask for a quote for a weekly newsletter. Here's what the proposal said:

Physical Therapy Newsletter Required.

Written work should include correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and usage errors.

Must be easy to read, patient friendly.

Original content needed, with 'call to action' in each newsltter.

Newsletter needs to be 800-1000 words, divided into 3 categories.

Article Title
Article Body (700-800 words)

Thought Of The Day Title
Thought Of The Day Body (100 words)

Message From Your Therapist Title
Message From Your Therapist Body (200-300 words)


So I gave him a quote for strictly writing the newsletter. Then he came back and said he wanted me to search for and add a few photos to each newsletter. I did it one week and found that it took me almost an extra hour to find and insert 3-4 relevant photos, so I informed the client that I'd need to revise my quote to include the extra time, or we could go back to the original quote and I would only provide the writing. He just wrote back and said:

I'm surprised the images take you that long to find.
Unfortunately, our maximum alloted budget for the newsletters is $XX which includes image design. If you can do the image requirement in under 20 minutes, cause that's what it takes me, then that fits our requirement. All we need is 3-4 images of something that fits what the idea is in the text.

Don't spend 1 hour on the images, use good keywords so you get good images. you should get a good image in under 5 minutes..that is estimated to under 20 minutes for 4 images. My advise- use good keywords in your search, and look for images for no more than 5 minutes per image..


I'm a tad offended by the implication that I lollygagged and don't know how to use good keywords, but whatever. The point he's not getting is that it takes me a full two hours (which is what I initially quoted) to research and write their newsletter articles, which means that any time spent searching for images goes above and beyond what they're paying for.

In your honest opinion, did I misunderstand their project proposal? Am I being unreasonable in requiring extra money for the image design, which they threw in after the fact? I enjoy the work, and other than this incident, this client has been easy to work with, so I don't want to just write him off. Any thoughts or opinions would be very much appreciated!
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Old 11-20-2008
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Default Re: Not sure how to react...
Hi Tammi,
That does sound like a frustrating exchange...

I would say: just tell the client word for word that your quote does not include image hunting (you said it best here "it takes me a full two hours (which is what I initially quoted) to research and write their newsletter articles, which means that any time spent searching for images goes above and beyond what they're paying for.") Or, you could just let him know you're happy to complete the proposal weekly as discussed but that you'll leave the image search part up to him since he's so quick at it.

I'm just curious, when you sent the proposed rate for each week's newsletter did it come with a reiteration of what it was you would do? i.e. - X$$ = X words or hours or pages? If not, maybe hourly would work best for this kind of project - you can always offer clients an estimate but let them know up front that any changes to their initial request will necessarily change the cost of the project. That should be understood but all too often isn't - that way you can just send the original email back to the client as a gentle reminder of what it was your proposal included.

Please let us know how this goes for you, remember the value of your work - and good luck!
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Old 11-20-2008
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Default Re: Not sure how to react...
Tammi - This is a pain, but not uncommon, eh? Stick to your guns, that's my advice. Indeed, if he's in the industry already, it may be easier for him to find pix and he should just do it. Or, if he doesn't want to do it, he should pay whatever it takes to get you up to (his) speed. If you're creating all the content from scratch (your own research, no input from him) it's unbelievably fast to do it in two hours, so he's already getting a great deal. Stick to your request for an added hour of pay, or else he'll take increasing advantage of you.
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Old 11-20-2008
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Default Re: Not sure how to react...
Thanks so much, ladies! That's kind of what I was thinking, but it's nice to have reassurances from my trusted virtual colleagues.
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Old 11-21-2008
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Default Re: Not sure how to react...
I think he's pushing it a bit! and also cheeky at his reaction to your proposal. I would be really offended by what he said (that's just me ;o) )

For this reason, I have a fixed fee for newsletters, and then when I have drawn up the initial template I reduce the fee slightly for further publications.
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Old 11-21-2008
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Default Re: Not sure how to react...
Extremely frustrating Tammi.

You could always go back to him and suggest that as he's on a fixed budget perhaps he could source the images and send them through to you? Reiterate that you don't have a problem doing it, but it would take you extra time over and above what you quoted for...
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Old 12-02-2008
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Default Re: Not sure how to react...
Just wanted to give an update on my little problem. I sent an email explaining my situation on the Friday before Thanksgiving and waited a week...no response. So I sent a follow-up email on the following Friday, asking if he'd made a decision. Still no response, so I assumed the worst and figured I'd just lost a client. I was a bit peeved that he couldn't send a simple response ending our business relationship, but whatever.

Lo and behold, I finally heard back from him yesterday. He apologized for the delay, saying he took his wife on a cruise and didn't have email access for over a week. (I thought, you can afford a week-long cruise and are squabbling over a few extra dollars a week for your newsletter production?)

We're going to stick with my original quote that only includes research and writing, and he's going to search for images himself. Works for me!

I'm glad I stuck to my guns and didn't let this client get somethin' for nothin'. Many thanks to you ladies for your support and encouragement!
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Old 12-02-2008
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Default Re: Not sure how to react...
Good for you Tammi for sticking to your guns and I am glad he finally responded to you.
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Old 12-02-2008
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Default Re: Not sure how to react...
This was a very interesting thread. I love Tess' response, "...but that you'll leave the image search part up to him since he's so quick at it." and your own, Tammi, " I thought, you can afford a week-long cruise and are squabbling over a few extra dollars a week for your newsletter production?)"

It's nice to find some humor in the negative...

Glad to hear this worked out. I only charge hourly for these things. Images do take time. And there are always changes in newsletters over and over that take additional time.

I'd be interested in knowing if he finds the images himself and continues doing this on his own or eventually compromises and turns the image-portion over to you (realizing his mistake)?

Thanks,
Jan
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Old 12-02-2008
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Default Re: Not sure how to react...
Hi Jan! Regarding your comment,

I'd be interested in knowing if he finds the images himself and continues doing this on his own or eventually compromises and turns the image-portion over to you (realizing his mistake)?

I'm wondering the same myself! Either way is fine with me, but I do wonder if he'll eventually decide to wash his hands of the whole mess and let me take over (at a higher rate, of course). We'll see!
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