In this episode Scott and Wes talk about the freelance client lifecycle—from gathering requirements, to project hand-off, and everything in between.
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03:29 - Gathering Requirements
- Probably the most important part of the process. If you botch this, you'll be dealing with change orders and scope-creep throughout the entire project. Poor planning is why agencies have project managers and why many freelancers hate their clients.
- Ask lots of questions
- Get lots of examples
- Break down each page into functionality
- Ask about budget
- Clarify who will be updating the site
- Do this in person if possible
17:00 - Quote
- Figuring out the quote
- Break it down into major functional areas that don't necessarily depend on each other.
- Multi-staged quotes are great because if it's too expensive, the client knows they can add additional features later in the project.
- Explain the tech you will use in relation to how it will help their business, or how easy it will be for them to manage.
- Presenting the quote
- List what will be included
- List what won't be included
- Make your quote valid for two weeks
- Create a template that looks professional
- Our agency had a professional template, printed on heavy paper in an embossed folder with our logo on it.
- You don't have to go this far, but experience matters. Think Apple. You can quote more if you have a higher perception of quality.
30:20 - Timelines
- Timelines should include hard dates. You should have a "hard on" and and "hard off".
- Assume 24-hour turnaround on questions
- Be generous with your estimates. Under promise, over deliver.
- Quoting time is a huge skill
35:58 - Contract
- You best have one
- Spell out what the client is getting (from quote)
- At the very least, have the client sign your quote
- Clear communication and a good relationship is extremely important
- Use online templates, or have a lawyer create something specific
41:09 - Setting Expectations
- Don't make yourself available 24/7
- Establish a professional environment by not being too casual
- Your choices will set the course for your relationship
- Don't be too quick to reply to email
- Schedule emails for 10a.m.