Getting To Know Your Clients By Asking The Right Questions

Hey, Darling!

Does this sound familiar? You feel so lucky to have your own biz doing the work you love and then you land a brand new client you can’t wait to work with. It’s so exciting, isn’t it? This is the dream. :)

But then you freeze, as you start to think, “What do I do now? What in the world am I supposed to ask them so that I have all the info I need for our project?”

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It’s normal to feel a bit lost about what to ask your brand new client to get their project rolling, especially when you’re first starting out. Whether you’re a web designer, a copywriter, or another kind of creative pro, the beginning of your working relationship with a new client (some call it the “on boarding process”) is so important.

If you’re not prepared with some key questions to ask, you’ll just find these questions popping into your mind along the way as you work on your new client’s project. You’ll have to stop what you’re doing and shoot them an email, then wait. It comes off as pretty disorganized and usually results in one of those endless back-and-forth email chains.

Worst case scenario: your client isn’t satisfied in the end—all because you didn’t ask the right questions at the beginning.

But, no worries! There’s a hugely effective way to handle this stage of the process: be ready to go with your very own client intake questionnaire.

I’ve found there are a few key questions that quickly help me understand what my client is really looking for from our work together. I refer to it as “the homework questionnaire” and it walks my design clients through every component of their brand, collateral, and websites.

And bonus: these questions can also be fun for the client, too!

Like this post? Check out this one: So What Is A Brand Anyway?

Since I want to keep my promise to each client and stick to our two-week timeframe, it’s so important that they answer these questions before the design process starts.

The result? A much more streamlined, effective workflow and a process that’s low-stress and fun!

Today I want to share with you some of the questions I ask during these early stages. Would any of these work for you in your on boarding process? Take a look!

My Client Homework Questions:

1.
   Background
What is your business’s mission statement?
How long have you been in business?
Describe your business in one sentence:
Describe your business in two words:
Describe your business in one word:
Where are you now? Where would you want to be in 1 year? 3 years? 5 years?

2.    Objective
What are you trying to accomplish with your business?

3.    Target Audience
Who are your ideal customers? (Be specific)
Who do you perceive your audience to be? What are their problems, needs and wants?
What benefit can you provide these customers that they can’t obtain elsewhere?
Use three or more adjectives to describe how you wish to be perceived by your audience.
If the audience could come away with just one thought about the company what would that be?

4.    Competition
Who are your biggest competition?
What makes you different?

5.    Distinguishing Characteristics:
What makes your brand unique?

6.    Creative Considerations:
Do you have any specific directions that should apply to your work? (i.e. colors, fonts, etc.)

7.    Tone or Keywords:
What personality do you want to project to your audience?

These questions offer a peek into the minds of my brand new clients! They’ve worked beautifully for me, so feel free to swipe ‘em, adapt ‘em, or just think ‘em over.

Now it’s your turn: what questions do you ask as you begin a new client relationship? Feel free to share in the comments below!

To thoughtful questions and brand new friends,

Lauren

Lauren BrownComment