Just like any other business, freelancers should know the client in and out before they accept a new project. Asking a few important questions goes a long way in choosing the right clients and forges long term relationships.
Asking these questions gets a few difficult things out of the way:
You’ll know who you are dealing with, why the client wants to work with you, what project will you be working on, how important is the project for the client.
Get down to the nitty-gritty by asking your client these essential questions. Don’t worry, the list isn’t that long; you want to be thorough without scaring your client away. Who’d want that?!
Have you hired a freelancer before?
If it’s the first time they’re working with a freelancer, they won’t know the dynamics of freelancer-client communication. This could pose a potential problem to a smooth communication process. But, this can be easily solved. You just have to take a little extra effort to guide the client along the way and also to the work you do.
For a client who has experience in regards to hired freelancers, you can expect an easier project coming up. Knowing their history ensures a productive collaboration. If you want, you can even enquire more about the past projects they have outsourced.
How Important is This Project For You as a Client?
This question lets you in on what the project means to the client. Some projects are definitely more valuable than others. If the project is a top priority, you can gauge whether or not you have what it takes to make the project successful.
By understanding the stakes, you can then decide if you will be a good fit for your client. You must think about their expectations of you and the project, and be honest and transparent. It’s important to know why the client has decided to start this project in the first place.
How often do you want updates on my progress?
This one is a critical question that NEEDS to be answered. if you’ve just entered the freelancing sphere, you must have started wondering how often you need to notify your client.
While some clients need bi-weekly updates, others might need updates every alternate day.
If you know when you need to submit a report to the client, you will be better equipped to organize your time efficiently. So, finish your duties according to the client’s expectations and come up with new updates which outline the progress you have made.
Updating your client on the progress you’ve made is a critical aspect of a successful collaboration.
What are the Payment Terms?
As a rule of thumb, we beg you not to ask this question at the very beginning of an interview. If you ask this first, don’t hope the interview to last very long. By asking about money first, you’ve already lost most freelance clients interest in hiring you for their project. Always first ask about their company and about the project itself.
Apart from knowing the figure, you also need to know the terms of payment. Is payment received when you send the final draft or when it is approved? Or perhaps you need to wait till the end of the month? All of these will tell you how well your efforts will be rewarded by this client.
What About the Intellectual Rights?
Asking this question might seem like you’re digging a little deep. But, it’s still professional to know whether your name will be featured. Your work can end up anywhere on the web. So you need to know if the company is holding the intellectual rights.
If a freelancer is looking for a long-term gig to develop his reputation, the client needs to know this straight away.
If your life goals are to become a reputable and well-known freelancer, you can use the reputation of your past projects.
By knowing the answers to these questions, you’ll be well informed and will be able to judge whether to accept work from the client or to move on.
So what questions do you ask your potential clients? Do share your views with us.
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