Understanding Client Goals4:49 with Pasan Premaratne
Understanding your client and their project is crucial to doing your job well. There are different ways you can achieve this goal but we're going to tackle it straight away by going over a basic client questionnaire.
Click here to download a list of possible questions for your questionnaire. These are a sampling of the possible questions you could ask your client, and they have been compiled from many sources around the web. There are by no means a comprehensive list and you should always include questions that are specific to the project if possible.
[Pasan Premaratne] In our previous video, we decided that the best source of clients 0:00 if you're new to freelance writing are your personal contacts. 0:03 Now let's assume that we have found this hypothetical client from among our contacts and are about to embark on a project with them. 0:07 The initial meeting you have with a client is very important, and it sets the tone for how everything will pan out— 0:14 the project, the workflow, and the relationship you eventually develop with your client. 0:20 In the first meeting there are lots of things to cover. But before we get into any of that, let's spend a little bit of time talking about attitude. 0:26 When you meet the client for the first time, it's up to you to set the right tone. 0:34 Come off as too nice and certain clients might walk all over you—taking a long time to get back or not even paying your fee. 0:38 Be too rigid or too aggressive and you might turn the client off. 0:46 The point of freelancing is not to just get work done so you can get paid. 0:50 If you approach it that way, you're going to see the client as a hindrance and just something in the way of your check. 0:54 If you view your goal as delivering the best experience for your client and you so that you gain mutual benefit, 1:00 then you will have a long and happy life as a freelancer. 1:06 There are bad clients, no doubt, but the best freelancers and those who are happy in their craft 1:10 are those who have learned to make the best of every situation. 1:15 All right. So let's go back to talking about that first meeting. 1:19 What should we go over with our client? 1:22 Well there's quite a bit, so let's break it down into the following sections: 1:25 client goals, the target audience and detailed feature requests, and administrative stuff. 1:28 Not all clients are a match made in heaven. It is your job to make sure that your client is a good fit for you. 1:35 With our first few clients, we may not be able to pick and choose like we want. 1:41 But as you get better and seek out work, you need to make sure that this is a project you want to work on 1:46 and this is a client that you want to work with. 1:51 There are many ways you can figure this out. But the best way is to ask a series of questions. 1:53 These questions make it easy for you to understand the clients goals, 1:58 and they're short and simple enough to include as a questionnaire on your website, email to your client, or even ask in person. 2:02 When preparing for this part, do a bit of research. There's plenty of generic questions out there that apply to all clients. 2:10 In fact, I've included a list in the downloads below. 2:16 Other than that, do some research on the clients themselves to get a better understanding of what questions to ask. 2:19 What excites you about this project? This is a great first question to ask because you can immediately figure out what the client's vision is. 2:26 A lot of clients find it hard to explain the project expectations and goals, but by framing the question differently and getting them excited, 2:33 you can start to understand the motivations behind the project, any problems with existing solutions, and what their desired outcomes are. 2:41 Next ask them to tell you briefly about their company. What does the company do? What products does it sell? 2:49 Or if you're not working for a company, ask about the entity behind the project, whether it's a person, group, or organization. 2:55 Get a feel for the company and the culture within. 3:03 Great websites communicate this culture of the company. But before you can design for that, you need to understand what it means. 3:06 What problems does the business solve? 3:13 Understand what problems the company is trying to solve with its existing products or services. 3:16 The aesthetic and feel of the website, as well as its functionality, needs to be in tune with the problem that the company is solving. 3:21 Next ask them what makes their product better than those of their competitors? 3:28 All websites are selling something, whether it's an actual product, service, or whether it's you and your persona. 3:33 The website is meant to highlight why you or the product is better than anything else out there. 3:39 In order to do that for the client, you need to know what the unique selling points of the product or service are 3:45 or what the company's competitive edge is. 3:51 Only then can you do a great job of highlighting it and making the website serve its purpose. 3:53 Ask them why they want this website. Ask them to describe their goals. 3:58 Websites aren't just something you get done because it's nice to have. 4:03 They cost time and money to set up and more time and money to maintain and update. 4:06 So they should serve a specific business purpose. 4:11 Find out the reason you will be creating the website. What goals does the company seek to achieve through the website? 4:15 Is it to increase sales, brand awareness, or customer interaction? 4:21 Each of these warrant a different design with different objectives. 4:25 Understanding these goals can help you plan your solutions. 4:29 Those questions should serve as a good starting point when exploring your client's goals. 4:33 For more questions check out the list I've provided below. 4:39
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