Let’s say you’ve convinced a client to get a project to work upon. The medium through which client contacted you is either offline (meetings, conferences) or online (portfolio, blogs, social media etc). What you do next? Is there any defined process that you follow? Or is it just you contact them and discuss the project through effective client management process?
It does not matter which path you follow, either of them is called as client intake process in freelancing. As the name suggests, it is the process through draw in clients to your freelancing world. Many freelancers ignore this part thinking that they don’t require it. But at a later stage of freelancing, when they start making contact with the big fishes, they quickly start losing them.
Considering on how you handle the first few steps of your work greatly determines your professionalism. Any client would like to work with a professional freelancer in effective client management process who follows a set path, not with a freelancer who has no idea of what to ask and when to ask.
These few steps also make it easy on your part to deal and understand the requirements of your client intake process in freelancing. Indirectly, not only it affects how quickly you can complete a project but it also shows how happy your client will be with you.
Let’s discuss a thorough client intake process in freelancing. These are the steps after the client have contacted you and have got convinced to give you some work.
Well, this is the most basic and the most important part of a client intake process in freelancing. You need to know what are the requirements of your client and what does he demand from you. This information extraction can be done in different forms.
One long call where you ask a ton of questions from clients and make notes of their answers is one of the popular choices. In this case you require a checklist of questions that you go through while asking questions to the clients on the phone.
A great alternative effective client management is to convert that list of questions in a professional questionnaire that you can email to your clients. It is a more formal and a cheaper method of communication, thereby saving you some extra phone costs.
In order to have a smooth work, there are some answers that you need to have.
- All of your client’s contact information.
- Stakeholders in the project who gets to make decisions.
- Invoicing process and procedures.
- Passwords and permissions for resources that you will require to access for your work.
- Budget constraints.
Here are some questions that every freelancer should ask their clients. The list of 72 Top Questions to Ask New Web Design Clients.
Include every relevant question about the project that you’d be working upon.
Once your client has filled the questionnaire and you’ve understood all the details, it’s time you present your contract to them. Hopefully, the client will sign the contract as the clauses of the contract were unprofessionally discussed through effective client management. Now-a-days most of the freelancers demand an advance from clients before starting to work on the project. This is because of the fear that the client won’t pay or leave the project in the middle of client intake process in freelancing, thereby wasting freelancers’ efforts. Discuss this advance payment clause with the client beforehand and also include it in the contract.
C. The Client Pays Advance:
As discussed above in effective client management, the client paid some advance cash via methods already included in the contract. Once you’ve got the money in your bank account, you can start off your web design work.
Before starting off your web design work, ask the client for the site map according to which you’ll create the website. A site map is a structural representation of all the content in the website. For example, this is Fedobe’s sitemap. The content of the client’s website can either be given by the client itself or the client can ask you to write it (this clause will be included in your contract). If the client asks you to write content, hire a freelance copywriter and charge accordingly to your client intake process in freelancing.
Once everything’s settled, start your rough work. Do not start the actual work unless you have a clear cut idea of what you need to create. Roughly create multiple designs for a website so that you can show it and get approval from your client. By presenting choices, you can showcase your skills effectively. Create this multiple design part too in your contract.
F. Present Designs:
Present your created rough work to your clients. The client will have three choices here:
- The client can completely agree with a single design and can give you the green signal to create design 1 (for example).
- The client may ask you to make some modifications in your design.
- The client may ask you to prepare a whole new set of designs.
Always remember that you need to listen in this case. You need to understand their problems and explanations and give them exactly what they demand. This is what is expected of a good freelancer. A client would never waste his/her money on a disliked work. If you don’t do the work according to him, the client will go and hire someone else. It’s as simple as that.
G. The Client Approves Design:
Listen to your clients and prepare a design that meets his/her requirements in your client intake process in freelancing. Wait until the client is completely satisfied and approves your work.
H. Start Actual Work:
Once you get the approval for effective client management, start building the actual website. After building the actual one (which must be an exact replica of your approved design), present it to your client.
I. The Client Approves The Final Build And Project Launches:
The client may ask you to do some modifications here and there. Do those happily. Once the client approves the final build, launch the project online.
J. Get Paid:
Finally, you get the reward of your efforts. The rest of your payment is credited to your bank account.
The copyrights and source code transfer should be according to the contract. Discuss this important matter before starting of the effective client management project. This is the most basic process that every freelancer web designer follows.
If you have some extra steps to client intake process in freelancing or would like to interject in between above points, kindly mention it in our comments. We would be more than happy to include your point in our post.
If you are looking for a step by step process to start your own freelance web design, you can visit our Complete guide to become freelance web designer to reach near targeted visitors. Please feel free to leave any comment you have in your mind.