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    Questions To Ask Clients (Before, During, and After the Project)


    One differentiator I see between copywriters at the top of the game versus those that never make it past average is:

    The quality of the questions they ask before, during, and after a project.

    The crazy part is, most copywriters know they should be doing strategic outreach, structured project management, and consistent reviews...but few actually do it.

    Instead, they spend too much time in their own heads. They don’t ask anything of their potential clients, they just accept jobs. They don’t dig deep during projects and deliver work that’s hit-or-miss. And when they do manage to make their clients happy, they don’t consistently turn that satisfaction into value.

    Don’t be like that.


    You’re going to be hired as an active consultant, solving real problems, creating measurable value, and developing lasting relationships.

    All those elements depend on you asking your clients the right questions.

    Here’s a breakdown of what you should be looking for at various stages of a project, from qualifying clients and understanding their problems to delivering great value.


    Ask the right questions and you’ll find great projects, develop lasting relationships, and deliver measurable value to real businesses.

    If you don’t pre-qualify your clients, though, you’re opening yourself up to bad projects that create stress, animosity, and prevent you from doing good work.


    Your goal here is to identify potential clients who:

    • Have clear goals (and clear reasons for those goals)
    • Demonstrate positive communication (friendly, open, and responsive)
    • Have experience working with freelancers and copywriters.

    Here are some questions you can use to separate great projects from nightmare gigs, while communicating your value and expertise:

    (the answers to these questions will set you up for Value Based Pricing).


    Great copywriting is all about getting inside a target audience’s head. You’ve got to understand their issues, sell the client’s value, and do all that in your client brand’s voice.

    In order to do that, you’ve got to become a great interviewer, qualitative researcher, and overall psychological sleuth. In other words, you should develop your unstructured interview skills.


    Your goal at this stage is to:

    • Develop a deep understanding of your client’s target audience behavior.
    • Deconstruct the psychological and emotional drivers behind that behavior.
    • Connect your client’s value with its audience’s identity and issues.

    Here are some questions you can use to get in buyers’ heads and create compelling copy:

    Gathering this information will make your project go much smoother, especially when working with a larger company.


    Your relationship with a client shouldn’t end just because a project has been completed.

    Great clients are just as hard to find as great freelancers. When a gig goes well, both sides have a vested interest in staying in touch and looking for future opportunities to work together.


    Your goal after a project is to:

    • Stay fresh in your clients’ minds, keeping yourself on the shortlist for future jobs.
    • Actively suggest future jobs that will add even more value for your client.
    • Get testimonials and specific referrals.

    Here are some questions you can use to keep your relationships fresh, positive, and productive for a long time to come:

    Many people forget that the best source of new business, is your old business.

    They already know you.

    They already trust you.

    They have already experienced your work.

    So these post-project questions are a great way to get more business.


    Just ASK For Business!

    Great projects don’t just show up. You’ve got to find great clients and then, together, create a framework to translate deep research into excellent results. Then keep adding value!


    In order to do all that, you’ve got to get out of your head and start dealing directly with real people. Ask the right questions and you’ll find clients who help you help them, understand the value you create, and will continue to support you for a long time.

    Cheat sheet summary image of all questions:




    Dan McDermott - Danmcd.me



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