Questions to Ask a Freelance Client Before You Get To Work

You might be wondering why is it so important to have questions to ask a freelance client. Well, with freelance work, if you want things to go smoothly it’s all about the preparation. And the most important step there is to have a proper talk or discussion with your client. Once you have all of the answers to your questions, you’ll have an easier time doing your work.

Just imagine, you are an artist and your client wants you to create a cartoon character. You start asking for every little detail that you can before you even pick up your pencil and start sketching. It’s way better than coming up with a character only to find out your client doesn’t like your drawing style or your color scheme. Having questions to ask a freelance client creates a solid foundation for you, it also helps in ensuring that both of you are on the same page. This way, your work, and effort do not go to waste.

Below are some questions that are usually asked before freelancers get to work. These are divided into 3 categories. The first pertains to the actual project, the other is geared towards the actual client, and the last is with regards to you, the freelancer.

Questions Related to the Project

When you find a potential client, of course, the very first thing you ask about is the project itself. Anything and everything about the project so you will know if you can actually take the job or if it is something you are capable of doing. Aside from the actual details of the project, below are some of the most important questions to ask a freelance client:

• What is the timeline and deadline of the project?

A clock, a calendar, a bull clip, a pen, and a notepad.

Take note that some clients require progress reports during the project while others are only concerned about the deadline. So, make sure to ask about both of these. Projects that have a specific timeline can help you structure your work before you get started. The same goes for having a deadline.

There will be no reason for you to procrastinate and you can give yourself ample time to do your work. It’s best to have a written agreement with your client when it comes to timelines and deadlines so there will be no confusion on your part. This will keep you from rushing through a project so you can submit deliverables that you gave your 100%.

• Who is the target market?

Before you get started on work, you need to know who exactly you need to cater to. Of course, you need to satisfy your client but apart from them, who else? Knowing who the target market is can definitely alter your work. Again, this should be in writing so that there isn’t a chance the target market is changed mid-way through your project.

Just imagine creating social media content for an education platform thinking that it is targeted toward students. But once you present your progress report your client says, it should be aimed toward the parents. Of course, your social media content needs to change because the angle for a student is different from posts that will appeal to parents.

• What are the goals or expected results?

You can’t just work aimlessly, everything has a purpose. So, you need to know what exactly is the purpose of your client’s project. By knowing the endpoint, you can better map out your schedule and tailor your work toward the expected results your clients want.

Questions to Ask a Freelance Client

Man talking on the phone, standing in front of a window showing surrounding buildings. On the foreground, a table with a glass, laptop, pen, notebook, and newspaper.

When you are working with someone, you need to get a little information about them. This doesn’t mean you need to get all chummy or be friends, you just need enough information to ensure you have a good working relationship. This will be especially helpful if you plan on working for this client for future projects or long-term ones.

• What is your working style?

Everyone has their own working style and learning about your clients can make your life easier. You need to know if your client has a tendency to micro-manage or if they prefer to get daily progress reports. Communication is key for freelancers and their clients, so you definitely need to talk about this.

When you know the working style of your client, you can also have an easier way of scheduling your work. Maybe your client wants weekly meetings, then you can add that to your calendar.

• What are your working hours?

One of the best things about being a freelancer is you get to work with just about anyone. However, the drawback here is the working hours. It’s fairly common to find a client who is at the opposite end of the world. So, you better work out a schedule for when you can talk. You don’t want to end up pissing off a client because you send them a question in the morning but it’s actually 12 midnight for them.

The same goes for you, you need to tell your client your own working hours so they will know why you aren’t answering their calls or messages. This is very helpful when setting boundaries and also if you are on a time-block work schedule.

• Which communication channel do you prefer?

Everyone is different, some clients are also introverts and prefer emails while others would rather video call. The important thing here is you know which channel you will use to communicate with your client. This way, you can actively check your phone and you don’t end up missing important discussions that may be sent through your email or Slack.

Questions About Freelancers

Now that you already know more about the client and the project, it’s time to make way for questions to ask a freelance client that will help you get a better grasp on the why. Why exactly did your client need a freelancer and what is it that you can do as a freelancer?

• What are your expectations from me (the freelancer)?

This needs to be very clear so that there will be no problem when you work. You need to know what it is exactly what your client hired you for. What do they want out of hiring you or collaborating with you? Are they expecting you to work 24/7? Do you need to be on call? Are you allowed to work for other clients or other projects?

All of these need to be discussed so that you as a freelancer will be able to satisfy your clients. It is also a chance for you to back away in case you are aware that you cannot meet your potential client’s expectations.

• Which products or services do you need?

Woman sitting in front of desk that has a laptop, mouse, mobile phones, and a book.

This question is best answered in black and white. You and your client should agree upon your actual tasks and deliverables. Before you start getting to work, you need to know what exactly you are in for. It may very well help to have a contract so there are no surprise billings on the end of the client and unexpected tasks on your part.

• Is there anything else you want to discuss with me?

Always give your clients a chance to express themselves. There might be something they want to share with you regarding their business, company, or project that you may really need to know about. It can be anything from their work schedule or the reason why a project is very important to them. This can very well help you become motivated and inspired to do your best on the project.

Tips for Asking Freelance Clients Questions

Remember that every client is different and not everyone may be prepared to answer your questions. It’s important that you don’t bombard your client with questions. Set an appropriate time with them if it’s going to be a call or online messaging and do note what the discussion will be all about.

This talk or discussion does not have to be very formal. It can be a bit casual but still remain professional. If your client does not have time to chat, just send an email. And do tell them the importance of the questions you need to ask as these will benefit the project—you need these questions answered so you can get started working after all.


Woman looking at question marks

Make sure to refine the questions to ask a freelance client according to your industry or project. It may seem awkward at first as it feels like you are interviewing your client but this will really help you in the long run. Instead of bothering your client every so often about project details, you already have pretty much all the information you need to submit your deliverables.

That is the key to picking questions to ask a freelance client. You need to be asking questions that will make your work easier, have all the details so you can minimize the number of times you need to contact your client.

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