One of my clients sent me a four page draft of a business plan written by an associate of his. While I was reviewing the blurb about him as one of the team members, he asked me how much would I charge to review and clean up the whole document. So I looked the document over, noticed it didn't have page numbers or any formatting except for bold-faced headings, but it was still in draft mode as was indicated by the word Draft written on the top of the first page. Without really thinking, I added one of Word's stylish page numbers at the bottom of the page, inserted a vertical line at the beginning of each section, ran a spelling and grammar check, did a quick proofread and emailed him back the document with the changes I made. The next morning he called to tell me that the four other people who received a copy all wrote back to him commenting on how well "he" fixed up the document. I told him my invoice would be in the mail.
Sometimes it is the little things we can do for our clients that can be appreciated the most.
Then there is the opposite scenario. A group of business people who can get around using Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Their files get passed from partner to partner each adding their part to the documents. These documents are then sent to me with the request for me to "beautify" them. As I scan the many pages or slides, I find that the headings are different sizes, several fonts have been used, text blocks do not line up, text runs off the page, columns do not line up, different theme styles or colors were applied, capitalization and punctuation are inconsistently used, and the list can go on. My eyes get crossed as I review the document trying to find a common denominator that I can use to start the "beautification" process.
When I am asked to "beautify" documents, I will run the spell and grammar checks and proofread their documents too. As I do this I also have the Show/Hide command on so that I can see all the formatting symbols, making changes as necessary. Clients can be pleasantly surprised when you return their documents looking much better than they thought, and pointing out things you changed or think should be changed. And this makes you look good and more valuable to your client.
As professional desktop publishers we should make it our responsibility to make our clients look great. After all, we are the experts in our field!