Client ChecklistWhen a potential client approaches you about working together, it can be pretty exciting. But hold your horses! Just because they’ve approached you, doesn’t mean you have to say yes. In fact, you should ask yourself a few questions to make sure they’re the right fit for your business.

Recently, I’ve been using the following checklist of questions before I proceed:

  • Do they fit with my values?

My three values are passion, freedom and choice. If a client doesn’t share their values, the relationship is less likely to work. This is more the case for work I do for The Freelance Lifestyle, but it’s important that these values are respected by other clients too.

  • Do they value what I do?

This is one everyone should have. If they can’t respect what you do and the price you charge, it’s unlikely a positive client relationship will be created. If they try to barter you down in price to something you’re uncomfortable with, let them go. This is one thing I’ve been learning this year – it’s ok to be too expensive for some people. You can’t please everyone.

  • Are they ethical?

This one depends on what you consider ethical. Personally from a social media manager point of view, mine includes things like not buying large amounts of fans on Facebook, not lying to customers/fans or copying other’s content. One way to find out this is to have a peek on Glass Door, where you’ll see reviews of how companies treat their staff. This can give you a small indication of how they work.

  • Do any alarm bells ring?

Every time I’ve ignored my gut instinct, I’ve regretted it. The key is working out the difference between gut instinct and nerves (the previous checklist items should help)

  • Do I have the resources?

Finally, do you have the resources to take on the client? Do you have the time, the technology and the know how to make sure you can do the job well?

EDIT November 2017: Another question to ask! Are they happy to sign off on my terms and conditions? Make sure you get their confirmation before you proceed with any work. You can find a Terms And Conditions template here.

What’s on your client checklist?

2 Comments on How to create a client checklist

  1. I too can vouch for the gut instinct test, having learnt the hard way on more than one occasion – both with not getting paid and with clients/jobs that proved far more trouble than the job was worth.

    One that I would add to this is “Do I actually want the work?”. Not just because I might be pretty stacked up at the time, but also is it the type of work I’d enjoy? For example, I recently ‘negotiated’ on some case study writing because I didn’t want to do the telephone interviewing part. As a result, I’m earning less per case study but don’t have (what for me would be) the stressful part!

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