12 Questions to Ask Your Clients Before Starting Any Creative Project
Providing a service for a company can be difficult if you don’t have a full understanding of exactly what the company is about, what they are looking for, and what they value. It is nearly impossible to go blindly into a creative project and come out with the correct idea. This only leads to revisions, changes, and sometimes even losing the project.
Before you begin any kind of creative project, you’ll need to get a firm understanding of what the company is looking for. Here are some questions that can help you begin to create a picture:
- What kind of services or products do you provide?
One of the most important things to understand is what the company does. If you can’t explain what a company brings clients and customers, you’re going to have a difficult time creating something that can pull more clients and customers in.
- Who is your target audience?
While a description of the services or products may be able to give you some idea of who the company is looking to target, you’ll still want a clear description of the people in their target audience. This can help you make design choices that appeal to those individuals.
- Who do you see are your competitors?
Looking at what the competitors are doing can provide great insights on what to do and what not to do. It is common for creatives to consider the choices made by a competitor’s design team before making decisions on their own.
- What are your company goals?
When creating anything for a company, you need to understand what they hope that piece of work will do for them. If they’re looking to attract new customers or reach a different age demographic, these goals will be incredibly important to what you end up creating. Discuss both the short term and the long term goals with your client.
- What is the main problem you’ve been facing in reaching your goals?
Asking this question can help you understand why the company hasn’t been reaching their goals. It can help you to identify any hurdles that they have already discovered and find ways to infuse your expertise into your creation to help overcome those hurdles.
- What makes you different?
After discussing who they believe their competitors are, you’ll also need to understand what sets them apart. Without this information, you won’t be able to stress the appeal of why potential customers might choose your client over their competitors.
- Do you have brand colors?
You will want customers and clients to easily be able to identify your creation with the company, so it is important you stick to the brand guidelines created by your client. This includes using their brand colors whenever applicable. This question may also include asking if there are any colors that they would like to avoid, or if there are supplemental colors, like black, gray or white, that they frequently use.
- Is there a specific font you would like to use?
Just like brand colors, you’ll want your project to stick within the guidelines of their brand package. Usually, this includes certain fonts that should be used and ones that will need to be avoided. To create an easily recognizable final product, discuss what fonts should be used to avoid unnecessary edits in the end.
- Where will the project be used?
Before you can create anything, you’ll need to know where it will be posted. This will help you determine things like size, detail, and other aspects of the design process to help ensure that the end product fits perfectly in the desired space.
- What is your budget?
The budget is one of the most important parts of a project. You don’t want to create something so intricate that it goes over budget and the client refuses to pay, but you also don’t want to under design and not give the client what they would have paid for. Instead, discuss the budget range before doing any work and give your client a clear understanding of what that budget can provide.
- Is there a due date?
Knowing when the project is due can be another huge part of working with a client. If there is a specific day or even that the client will need their finished project by, you will want to know this before you begin creating a timeline and schedule.
- What do you hope to achieve?
Asking this question can help you understand if your project has a successful outcome. Before creating a design, talk about what the company would like this specific project to help them achieve. Keep this in mind throughout the entire creation process to help you stay on target and help your client to achieve their goals.
When you create a solid foundation to move forward on, it can prevent the need for time consuming and expensive revisions. Both your time and your client’s time is valuable, so asking these questions and having this discussion prior to the creation of the project can help keep you on track and ensure that your final product is as close to perfect as possible.
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