Help your clients give better briefs


A great brief is a time saver. Asking a few important questions upfront means you know you have the same goals and any interaction afterwards will be much better. It also shows that you care about being the right choice for your client.


To help with this, we have created a template that you can download from our Facebook community. You can use the pdf template as it is and add it to your site, or if you would like to make some changes first, you can download the InDesign version to add your logo, contact details and brand fonts. We have also added all the questions at the end of this post if you would prefer to create your own document.


We will now look at each of the sections and why they are good to include.



OVERVIEW:

  • Company information

  • Vision

  • What are they looking for?

  • Practical details

  • List of questions

Company information


In this section, we want to get a brief overview of the basic information like the size of the company and the industry. This is especially helpful if you have a design niche but it will also help you understand how competitive the market is. Many clients feel most comfortable speaking about this topic so it can be helpful to get this out of the way before you move on to more strategy based questions. It is always a good idea to ask for the company's website so you have the opportunity to review their previous designs before your first meeting.


Vision


This is perhaps the most difficult section for your potential client to answer so it is important to make it clear and quick to complete. By knowing more about the company's vision, you will be able to prepare for the first meeting and can even look for partners if they need a skill you don't do in-house. Try to ask specific questions like "why did you start this company" or "what led you to consider a rebrand?". These will often help reveal the underlying problem the company is facing and help you find a good solution.


What are they looking for?


Often times we try to figure out what a client is looking for by searching their site and reading things in to their answers, when in reality, it is better just to straight up ask them. Try to ask your questions in a way that moves beyond features and helps them think about what a successful project would look like. You can also ask what they value in a good designer. Perhaps they look for a collaborative approach or maybe they prefer to pay you and give you 2 months alone to come back with a concept. Make sure your way of working aligns with their preferences. If they don't you can still reach out and explain why you prefer working in a different way but make sure you feel comfortable.


Practical details


Much of the fit comes down to budget, timeframe and who you will be working with. Asking who the contact person will be is helpful for understanding how decisions will be made and if the person reaching out is the same person that will be in charge. Not all clients are comfortable suggesting a budget so offering a few options with a range can help them feel more at ease. This is also an opportunity to make the lowest option your minimum project fee that you would be willing to work for. This shows your potential client that anything under this means you are not a good fit. For example, if you need at least £1500 to cover meetings, your work and a 20% buffer, you could make your first option £1500 - £5000.


List of questions

  • When was your company founded?

  • How would you describe the products or services you provide?

  • Who is your customer?

  • Do you have any employees?

  • Why did you decide now is the best time to work on this project?

  • In what way would you like this project to add value to your business?

  • What do you look for in a good designer?

  • How do you prefer to work? Would you like to be involved in the process?

  • How did you hear about us? What about us made you choose to get in touch?

  • Do you have a time frame for the project?

  • Who from your company will be the contact person for the project? Is this the same person that will make the final decisions on any work?

  • What is your budget for this project?

  • How can we best contact you?

  • Did we miss something?


Don't forget to download the free template by joining our Facebook Community! In the community, you will also be able to ask any of your questions directly and get a ton of tips to grow your business. See you there!