Forums Club Ed Editors’ Forum Setting expectations with clients Reply To: Setting expectations with clients

Jennifer Lawler

Adrienne, I don’t think that asking the questions necessarily drove her away. I think it’s entirely possible she wasn’t ready to commit or be serious about the work. A lot of times people are just kicking the tires or they think editing is like a vending machine; they just put some quarters in and out comes a polished manuscript. They don’t recognize the amount of work on their end. The questions probably made her realize that she would have to pony up (time and money) and wasn’t really ready for either. People coming right up to the edge of making an agreement but then scurrying back is very common. It’s a red flag most freelancers (not just editors) learn to look for so that they don’t waste a lot of time with potentials who keep being almost, but not quite, ready to do something.

I do save some of my questions until after I’ve given a fee range because I don’t want to waste time with tire kickers. If someone has a hundred dollars to spend, there’s nothing I can do for them and it’s fine for us to know that in the first five minutes.