It’s important that at the start of every freelance project you take on that you have an in depth conversation with your clients. It’s important to make sure that you’re both on the same page and know exactly what they’re asking for and what they expect.
One way freelancers can do this is to create a written questionnaire for their clients to fill in. You can have one already written that you send out to all your clients. You can then go through it with them, discuss and this can ensure you’re better placed to complete the work they’re looking for.
Questions to include
What do you want from this piece of work?
This will depend on the type of work you do. If it’s something concrete, it might be used to drive sales or boost website traffic. Something like consulting or being a virtual assistant might be to free up time for other people and drive the company forward that way.
How will this work be used?
It’s important that you know what your work will be used for or promoting and check that it’s something appropriate. You don’t want your name over something inappropriate that might put off other clients from working with you in the future.
Who are your target audience?
If your work is going to go out to customers, it’s important that you know who you’re meant to be addressing. This will help you tailor your work to the specific targets.
Who are your competitors?
If you’re producing something that needs to make this company stand out among their competitors, then you need to know who they are and what they’re doing. You can go and see what they’re doing well or not and make more informed choice with your own work.
How often do you want updates?
Some clients are quite happy to give you the work and leave you to do your thing, especially if they’ve not got the time. Others wants to be kept updated every week to see how you’re getting on and check your work’s up to standard. It’s important you ask which they would prefer and then agree to it beforehand so you both know what’s expected.
Who will be my contact?
It’s useful for a company to designate one person to be your point of contact throughout the project so you can bring up any issues or queries with them directly. It becomes confusing if you’ve got a couple of people going back and forth and not informing each other what’s being said.
Do you want someone to come in or work remotely?
One of the good sides to hiring a freelancer is that you don’t have to provide them with a workstation or computer. However, some people do like freelancers to come and work in the office.
This is entirely up to you but freelancers tend to work remotely. This is especially true if you keep irregular hours and can’t get down to the office for whatever reason. If you agree to work with them at the office, then factor travelling costs into the price.
Just remember and remind them if necessary, that you are not an employee. If they try to control your hours and tell you not to work for anyone else, you could get into a tricky IR35 situation. You might want to avoid working with companies who do this.
Have you hired freelancers before?
This will give you some indication of how much you’ll have to guide them through this process. They might have their own system or they might not know how to work with freelancers. If they’ve hired a freelancer before, you’ll have to introduce them to your policies and set some clear rules before going ahead.
Do you give your clients questionnaires? Are there any other questions you would add to the list? Let us know what you think.