15 Questions I Ask Every Potential Content Writing Client

Content Writing Client

15 Questions I Ask Every Potential Content Writing Client

As a freelance professional providing content writing services, I have learned a few things the hard way along the way. One of the most important lessons I have learned is that not every client is a good fit for me. I need to vet clients during the interview phase just as much as the client wants to interview me. This “get to know you” phase is crucial for ensuring I find the clients that are a good fit. These productive relationships bear the best and most plentiful fruit. I ask every potential client these 15 questions.

As a freelance professional providing content writing services, I have learned a few things the hard way along the way. One of the most important lessons I have learned is that not every client is a good fit for me. I need to vet clients during the interview phase just as much as the client wants to interview me. This “get to know you” phase is crucial for ensuring I find the clients that are a good fit. These productive relationships bear the best and most plentiful fruit. I ask every potential client these 15 questions. 

1. What Is Your Industry?

I ask this question because it’s a good conversation opener. It gets the client talking about who they are and what they do. In addition, I can determine if I want to write about the industry they are in. I can find out what products or services they offer. Then, I can decide if this is something I can bring value to. If the potential client is too far outside my knowledge realm, I politely decline the opportunity. I wouldn’t bring any value to the client’s content. There would be another writer who could do a better job. If the client is in an industry I write about, I move to other questions on this list. 

2. What Type of Content Are You Looking For?

Once I know what industry the potential client is in, I ask what type of content they are looking for. While I provide content writing services, not all content is the same. I specialize in writing articles, blog posts, web page text, product descriptions, and social media posts. While I can write other forms of content, I don’t always enjoy it. A technical whitepaper would not be a project that I would agree to do. So, if the client is looking for content I provide, this is a good sign. I politely decline if the client is looking for something I don’t have experience with. 

3. What Volume of Content Do You Want? 

This question seems to be the toughest for potential clients to answer. They know they need content, but they have no idea how much. They want to get maximum results but are limited by their budget. I rarely get a direct and simple answer when I ask this question. That’s OK. This is the perfect segway to discuss what the client wants to do and accomplish. From there, I use my years of experience as a freelance professional to provide a few content volume options. This gives the client a few options for what their content production calendar can look like. 

4. What Is Your Timeline?

I ask about the potential client’s timeline because I want to know what their turnaround needs are. Because I’m a freelance professional, I have a flexible schedule, so I can shift my production timeline to suit the client’s needs. This is also a perfect segway for me to explain my production timeline and process to the client. Our timelines must match. Otherwise, I may not be the right fit for the client. 

5. Do You Need Assistance With Topic, Title, and Keyword Selection?

I like to know if clients have their target keyword list and topic ideas list. If they already have this, it is easier to hit the ground running with writing content. The next step is to pick where the client wants to get started on the list. If the client doesn’t have keyword and topic lists, it will delay the start of production. Some clients like to do this research themselves. Other clients prefer that I do the research for them. Having this conversation helps me understand where the client is in the content planning process. I can then better assist them in moving forward. 

6. Do You Need Images?

I happily provide clients with one free-use image per content piece if they need it. This is a simple yes or no answer for most potential clients. 

7. What Is Your Goal For the Content?

Asking about the potential client’s goals helps me understand why the client is looking for content writing services. Some clients want their content to increase their search engine performance. Other clients want their content to increase their sales. Then, other clients want their content to improve their ongoing relationships with past and current customers. Each content piece will have a different tone and style because their goals are very different. As a freelance professional, I want to help my clients achieve their goals.

8. Who Is the Intended Target Audience?

Asking this question helps me with writing. I need to know who the client intends to read the content. This quill influences almost every aspect of how I approach content writing. For example, an article designed to increase brand awareness will have a different target audience than a how-to article for current product owners. 

In addition, I would like to know about the target audience’s demographics. Sometimes, clients have this information. Sometimes, I have to infer the profile based on the information the potential client has already provided. Knowing this information helps me understand the formality, writing grade level, cadence, and terminology to use. 

9. Is My Rate Within Your Budget?

Let’s face it: everyone has a budget. Businesses don’t wake up one day and decide to start spending money. There are budget meetings, strategy talks, and plenty of planning. By the time a potential client reaches out to me, they should have a pretty good idea of how much they want to spend. It’s OK if their budget doesn’t align with my rates. It just means we aren’t a good fit. As a freelance professional, I set my rates based on the value I bring to the project and the amount of resources I will need to dedicate to it.

However, some clients significantly undervalue the content writing services they are looking for. If you want an American writer whose native language is English, you will pay more than if you hired someone from another country with English as their second language. Hiring a writer with personal or professional experience will be more expensive than hiring one without. Hiring a writer with an established reputation will be more than hiring someone new to writing. 

10. Have You Worked With Freelancers Before?

If a potential client has never worked with a freelancer, they may not have accurate expectations about the services they will receive. I am an independent contractor, not an employee. We are treated differently. I will take some extra time to ensure we are on the same page about relationship expectations. 

On the other hand, a client who has worked with a ton of freelancers isn’t always a good thing. A potential client that cycles through freelance content writers can be a red flag. Why are they churning through so many writers? Are they hiring poor-quality writers? Are they making unreasonable demands? Are they struggling to find a good fit? Do they not know what they are looking for? It will take a more in-depth conversation to sort out the source of the turnover. 

freelance professional

11. How Collaborative Do You Want to Be?

As someone providing freelance content writing services, I am comfortable working independently. However, I understand that some clients want more interaction and communication. Before freelancing, I worked in multiple corporate settings on a marketing team. I ask this question because I want to understand how much interaction and communication the client is looking for. That way, I can ensure we establish the appropriate relationship from the start. Clients often feel dissatisfied with a freelancer’s services because of a lack of communication. 

12. Will This be Ghostwritten or Authored?

Personally, I provide content writing services. That is where my job ends. I’m honored and flattered if a client wants to give me a byline. However, I don’t find it bothersome or insulting if a client wants ghostwritten content. I only ask this question because if it is authored, I will need to provide a byline and headshot image. 

13. What Is Your Approval Process?

Once I complete a deliverable, I send it to the client. At this point, it is in the client’s hands to do what they want with it. At the same time, I would like to get paid for completing the work. If I don’t understand the approval process, I don’t have a timeline for when I will get paid. Knowing the approval process also tells me who I will be working with as someone outside of the organization as a hired freelance professional.

For me, it is a red flag if too many people are involved in the approval process. A client needs to trust one to two, at max three, people to complete the approval process. Any more than this and the content will never get approved. Conflicting opinions and input grind production to a halt.  

14. What Is Your SEO Knowledge and Experience?

I ask this question to determine what a client knows or understands about search engine optimization (SEO). If the client isn’t well versed in SEO, I take this opportunity as an SEO freelance professional to give them a crash course on SEO. I do this for two reasons. The first is to provide them with a better explanation of the value of my service.

Second, I want to accurately set their expectations about their content’s performance. I find that clients who do not know SEO expect their content to rank in the top spot immediately. They believe that if they just follow all of the SEO recommendations, it will be #1 the day after they post it. This is not true. SEO is a long game. Clients need to understand this, or they are setting themselves up for disappointment. 

When a client understands SEO, we can collaborate better. It fosters better quality content and a great ROI. The client changes the way they approach content because they understand how it works to bring in traffic and profit. 

15. Is There Anything Else I Should Know? 

I always finish any potential client conversation with this question. You never know what you’ll learn, and I can’t predict everything a client may have. This great catch-all question opens the floor to clients for any question or comment they may have. As a freelance professional, I have heard some pretty out-there questions and comments at this point. I won’t share them here, as I want to respect my client’s privacy. However, take it as a sign that you are free to address whatever topic you need. Commonly, this is when I address unique challenges or lingering doubts that a potential client may have. 

Work With a Freelance Professional 

If you want content writing services, I would happily speak with you! After reading this article, you have a solid idea of what to expect in our first conversations. As a freelance professional, I have years of experience in helping clients determine what their motorcycle business needs. Your next step is to check out my article about the questions every client should ask a potential freelance content writer before they hire them. This will help you vet potential freelance writers while learning my answers to each question. 

Adblock Detected
Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker