The burning question facing freelancers today is how can they be sure that the client can offer exactly what they’re looking for?
As the gig economy expands, so does the amount of businesses looking for freelancers. With knowledge being a key commodity in this growing economy, freelancers today play a huge part in ensuring businesses succeed in a competitive marketplace.
With this success comes not only great responsibility, but a sense of empowerment that enables the freelancer to pick and choose who they work for. Selecting the right client could propel you to greater things, whereas choosing the wrong type of work could lead to irreparable damage.
Without doubt, the burning question facing freelancers today is how can they be sure that the client can offer exactly what they’re looking for? Before embarking on any project, it’s important to take the time to ask the client some important questions to ensure you’re the right fit for the job.
Let’s take a look at the Top 10 questions to ask a client before working with them.
- What is the objective or goal of the project?
According to teamgantt, knowing the why behind a project can help you understand the work and enlighten you on what you’re getting yourself into. Make sure they provide in-depth briefings and background information on the project, and they outline exactly what they expect from you. Being focused on the goal at hand enables you to devise a project strategy that ensures you meet your client’s overall objective.
- What is the deadline?
Every project has milestones and/or a deadline. It’s important to be clear on the project timeframe before embarking on any work. Make sure you can commit to the task at hand, you’re available for the duration and it’s a deadline that can be met. It’s also important to assess whether the client’s expectations are realistic and whether they can be delivered on time.
- How do you measure project success?
According to Inc., how the client defines and measure success is the most important question to ask. Ask the client whether they have clear goals in mind, and whether there are metrics in place to measure these goals. Ask how all this ties in with your role and how your input will help achieve these goals.
- Who is responsible for what part of the project?
Making sure the team comes together to service the client’s needs is paramount to business success. Asking questions about who will be responsible for which part of the project will help clarify in your own mind what you should be taking responsibility for, who you will be working with and which part of the project is your main priority.
- What is your budget?
According to Early Growth Financial Services, one of the most pertinent pieces of information to gather is the overall budget and starting date of the project. Knowing the client’s budget will allow you to determine whether you can work within those constraints, and whether it’s a realistic amount. Knowing the start and end date of the project will give you a good idea of whether what they are looking for can be delivered within budget, and on time.
- Has the team worked on a project like this before?
According to teamgantt, history can teach us a lot when it comes to running projects. If your client has completed similar projects, they might be able to share some insight on how to make things go smoothly. The more you can learn about what does or doesn’t work, the better prepared you’ll be to create a process that works for them.
- How do you normally communicate?
Not being part of an already existing team can throw up challenges and misunderstandings surrounding project outcomes. It’s therefore important to ensure that communications are clear, concise and detailed. Ask questions about what methods the client uses to connect teams, whether they use the latest technology and how they see you fitting in with their already existing team.
- Do you foresee any major challenges?
Teamgantt highlights that risks or issues are inherent in any project. As a freelancer, it’s your job to predict project risks then overcome them. The best course of action is to ask your client what risks they might foresee before you even get started. Not only will it give you the upper hand, but will ease any client worries over project success and demonstrate your ability to problem solve.
- What risks are you willing to take?
Expectations are not the only thing you need clarity on to perform your job well. If you’re a consummate professional and have achieved groundbreaking results in the past by taking risks then discuss this with your client. Make sure you are on the same page with exactly how far you are prepared to go to deliver a market leading product. Some clients are willing to lay their trust in your hands to get the work done, others prefer to set their own boundaries. If you’re a freelancer that works better with a free rein then make that clear before moving forward.
- What are your expectations?
Tyler Arnold from SimplySocial Inc. says it’s important to continually keep track of a client’s expectations throughout the course of a project. As scope and expectations change, so should the contract. Discuss openly at the start of the project any risks of failure, budget overrun or consequences if things go wrong. Running through these what-if scenarios at the start will set the tone for honest discussions further down the line. But most importantly, asking the client to clearly outline exactly what is expected of you from the outset is the best starting point.
Finding clients isn’t easy, so why not use an online talent platform to find one for you. Online freelancing websites – Alifery – are now proving the best way for freelancers to promote their skills and for businesses to find new talent.