So you’ve landed a client, great news. Whether this is your first client or not, you’re well on your way to building your business, but how do you make sure this experience goes well?

You’re ready to accept the work and take on this new client? Wait, make sure you get as many details as you can. You might end up uncovering something that rings alarm bells. Even if you’re a beginner, you can still choose who to work with.

Think you know what the client wants?

Don’t just assume you’re both on the same page because they asked to hire you. Though you should have a good idea what work you will be doing, you need details. You should ideally get them questions to ask new clientsbefore you agree to do the work and sign a contract. In fact, this conversation can help you to alter your contract as necessary.

Misunderstandings are easy to make, particularly if your communication is mostly via the Internet. Skype is a useful tool for communication and is probably the best thing you’re going to get unless you work with local clients.

The best way to learn what the client wants is to ask the right questions. Most freelancers don’t start off this way, they tend to make mistakes and then make a note of things to ask their future clients. Mistakes are probably the most common way to learn anything. However, if you want a little head start, there are a couple of things here you can think about before you speak with your potential client.

What to ask about:

Project expectations

  • Don’t be afraid to ask about the basics. What tasks are you expected to complete for your fee? Your client might have different expectations, it’s better to address that at the start.
  • Even after you have explained what you will do, it is always important to get the client on the same page. Go back through everything you’ve said and give a summary of their expectations so you can compare notes and make changes as necessary.
  • Does the client know your policy on extras and alterations? If you don’t have one, you should. Avoid the ‘scope creep’, the client who keeps asking for just a little more work, for free.

Target audience

  • If you’re hired to write blog posts for a website, you need to know a little more than the subject you’re writing about. You need to know about the current audience and the ideal audience that your blog posts should aim to reach. Knowing more about your audience will help you to target your blog posts more efficiently. Customers like to be addressed directly, it establishes a connection and makes them more like to convert.

Delivery

  • When can you do the work by and how does that fit into the client’s needs?
  • What’s the best way to deliver the work? Word documents, PDFs, physical copies, it will depend on the nature of your work.

Updates

  • If it is a longer project, you might want to agree on times to catch up and update your client on the project. You should check when it’s best to do this so neither party feels they’ve been left in the dark. This will help your working relationship which will make the client more likely to come back to you with more work in the future.

Payment

  • What payment method would the client prefer? Paypal, bank transfer? Try to make it as easy for them as possible.

Usage

  • Depending on the nature of your work, you may have it displayed on websites or used in some other way. Ask how your work will be used and what effect it will have on the client’s business.

Testimonials

  • Particularly if you’re new, you should ask for testimonials that you can display on your website for future clients to see. This will help with your credibility and will make it easier to find clients in the future.

What else would you include? Have you ever regretted not asking these questions beforehand? Let us know in the comments.