The Freelance Client Lifecycle - Part 1


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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Show Notes

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.
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