035: Crafting the Right Questionnaire to Attract the Clients You’ll Love

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 – 1 hour, 10 minutes

Download: MP3 (66.8 MB) | Lo-Fi MP3 (33.4 MB)

When you carefully structure the questions in your questionnaire, you can filter out the clients you don’t want while at the same time setting the stage for good relationships with the clients you do take on. We look at the right and wrong ways of going about finding the questions to ask.

Show Notes
  • 01:14 Preliminary discussion: Is publicly announcing your plans helpful in that it keeps you accountable, or harmful in that it prevents you from finishing?
  • 07:32 Update on the Community development.
  • 09:29 All the links are purple.
  • QUESTIONNAIRES:
  • 15:51 A questionnaire is the start of your relationship with a potential client. It’s the beginning and the platform on which a successful project is built.
  • 16:06 A questionnaire serves two purposes:
    1. Acquires all the information you need for the project.
    2. Filters out the wrong type of client.
  • 16:37 The client is responsible for two things only:
    1. Content
    2. Goals
  • 18:21 If you’re working with a client, you need a contract.
  • 18:40 If you decide to work with a friend, then you especially need a contract.
  • 19:21 The questionnaire is what determines the goals of the project. Those goals are something that should be iterated in your contract.
  • 19:41 The content is something you acquire from the client in initial discussion before you start the project. Acquire the content before the project starts. Before the contract is written, before papers are signed, before payments are made—before this person is your client.
  • 19:51 You Design the Content.
  • 20:05 You don’t make a design—a design is not a “thing”. You design content. It’s an action. It’s a verb.
  • 20:15 If the client doesn’t have content, they’re not ready to hire a designer. It’s your job to tell them that.
  • 21:02 “What kind of questions should you be asking in your questionnaire?”
  • 21:20 When it comes to deciding on questions to include in your questionnaire, only include questions you’ve found on other designers’ questionnaires if you’re able to say them in your own words. This proves that you have a grasp on what the questions are asking and the answers they are soliciting.
  • 26:06 Examples of questionnaire questions.
  • 32:10 The tricky balance of asking the right questions, while not asking the wrong questions, and also asking questions that are going to filter out the wrong type of clients.
  • 34:21 Ask yourself: “What does my ideal client look like?”
  • 34:53 Defining the Right Type of Client. Guard your passion by structuring your questionnaire around your ideal client.
  • 36:29 “What happens when you realize you already took on the wrong type of client in the middle of a project?”
  • 37:10 Every single thing that goes wrong is always the professional’s responsibility.
  • 37:27 Look for opportunities to correct errors in your process and holes in your questionnaire.
  • 38:07 “Bad clients.”
  • 38:25 No one can be a client unless you take them on. The only reason there are “bad clients” in the world is because bad designers took them on. Not a single one of them could be a client unless someone took them on. It’s the designer’s responsibility. Every “client from hell” is a designer’s responsibility.
  • 40:52 Always take responsibility for conveying something to another person.
  • 48:12 “What do you do when you find yourself in a place where you know you did things wrong?”
  • 54:25 Turning down the wrong type of clients in a professional manner.
  • 55:40 Should you tell the wrong type of client the reason that you didn’t take them on?
  • 59:08 Talking contact forms.
  • 01:01:44 “At what point in the interaction should the questionnaire come into play?”
Links


By Sean McCabe

seanwes-podcast seanwes podcast
Tangible insights on creativity & business in the design industry
Wednesdays & Fridays
Newsletter:

Sean McCabe
Sean McCabe
Ben Toalson
Ben Toalson