questions freelancers should ask clients omniceps

Today we are going to discuss about the first few Questions Freelancers should Ask Their Client Before Initiating the Project.

Questions Freelancers should ask Before Initiating a New Project:

So you are a freelancer trying to get a new project. On your choice of platforms you land on to a project which looks interesting to you and you think that you will be able to work on that project. You start bidding and the client replies you with affirmation of a meeting or an email. Now you would want to get more details about the project you are going to work on for the next 3-6-12 months. But you need to be careful at this step so that you can get all information about the project beforehand. This will help you plan about your next steps before you even start working on this project.

We have seen a lot of freelancers just accept the project straightaway and start working on. But this will lead to a failure in delivery most of the times as you are not aware about a whole lot of stuff which goes through your client’s mind.

So we will look today at some of the top initial questions you must ask as a freelancer to the client before starting the project.

1. Project Timelines and expected delivery date:

This can be your very first question as you must be aware of what the client thinks about delivery date. It will also give you an idea of how complex or easy the client thinks about this project.

On the other hand getting answer of this question will help you break down the whole project in small bits which you can deliver as specific milestones. Majority of the times the client’s are non-technical and they expect a very small timeline. Knowing this beforehand will help you communicate about the timeline to the client and come up with a mutually possible delivery date.

Do not promise the client an unrealistic delivery like 3-4 days if you think its not possible as it will damage your future relationship. This is one of most important questions freelancers should ask their clients.

2. Personal Image or Corporate Brand of the Client:

This question will help you get answer on the vision of your client. What they expect from their end product. What is the brand image they are trying to create by their product etc. It will help you have a vision about the design of the product and eventually you can figure about the behavior of the product, tone and intent.

If you do not have answer to this question you might end up with a product not meeting client’s vision which will be useless.

Read about the best guidelines for integrating API’s. Click Here.

3. What are the Deliverables of the Project (Project Goals):

Does your client wish to have more visitors, does your client wish to have more presence on social media, does your client wish to sell more products from their eCommerce or they just want to showcase products and sell offline. Knowing these details beforehand will enable you to visualize your end goal and focus on achieving that instead of wasting your time on non-important stuff.

4. What is the Expected Audience of the Product:

It is not advisable to start developing a product unless you know who will be end users of the product. Understanding the demographics and end users in advance help you develop a more focused and smashing product. For ex. if you know that the majority of the end users will be from a MENA country then localization to Arabic language will be a plus point for your product.

So basically this information will enable you develop a product which is more focused and has a higher impact on your intended audience. This is also one of the important questions freelancers should ask their clients before initiating the project.

Read about the best PHP templating engine, Latte from Nette. Click Here.

5. Additional Requirements, Concerns, Questions or Clarifications from the client’s end:

Ask client’s feedback on each step, this is important because it is important to know what is in client’s mind before you starting working on the product. This will help you fulfill the requirements more accurately. Ask questions and clarifications from your end as well.

Ask for more clarifications on points which the client think are left for assumptions. Assumptions are definitely hazardous because for a single feature there can be multiple assumptions and agreeing onto one solid approach will remove the confusion created.

6. Overheads and Standardize Communication:

Let your client know about all the extra overheads and any additional researches which will be required from your end. A lot of time the effort spent in researching for a particular feature is more time consuming than implementing the feature itself. This research time should also be considered as you productive time.

Don’t let bad communication destroy your relationship with the client. Do not hesitate to have a call from time to time with the client as it makes the client more involved in the development.

Also, make sure all the communication you are doing with the client is using standard features like emails, google drive shared documents. This will help you track the history of development and also check from time to time if you are heading in the right way at the right time.

So these were some of the questions freelancers should ask their client before initiating the project.

Check out 9 best open source tools for developers in 2017. Click Here.

  • jminkler

    Missing the most important piece! WHY DO YOU WANT THIS? WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO ACCOMPLISH? 🙂

    • Omniceps

      @jminkler:disqus should a freelancer ask a client why they want to create a new product ? A part of it comes under clarifications and requirements phase. Thank you for the tip.

      • jminkler

        Your mission isn’t just to code the website. Anybody can do that (literally). Don’t let the client dictate anything except what they need as a result of the project. Literally nothing else they should be telling you to do. This is where the value comes in, consulting them on the correct course of action. Anyone can build site, and quote a price.

      • jminkler

        Starting with budgets and timelines comes off as poor business. Are you only in it to do the job and punch out? They could hire anybody for that and you are leaving $$ on the table. Your mission should be to show them the value accomplishing the project, the value and insight you bring, and they should have no problem raising the budget. Unless of course they know nothing about running a business.

        • Omniceps

          @jminkler:disqus There is not a single mention of budget in the post :-). Moreover, timelines discussion is really important. It is helpful to know what your prospective client thinks about the project timeline so that you can come up to a realistic timeline. The post clearly says not to promise an unrealistic timeline to a client. Thanks for the information though.

          • jminkler

            If you are asking about timelines, you are inadvertently asking about budget, remember your Cost triangle 🙂 you ask what they want to accomplish, you go over the details, then you come up with your proposal – giving realistic prices, and timelines for each feature (even separately) . If they don’t like it, tough, it’s not your job to make the client feel good. This is what’s wrong with all the “freelance” sites, they totally miss the point, and all you get is everybody trying to underbid everything, and the clients end up with disasters.

          • Omniceps

            @jminkler:disqus thank you. That’s really insightful. We will update our post with the points mentioned by you.

          • jminkler