Sample Client Questionnaire

Woman taking a questionaire. RoBeDeRo / Getty Images

In the article associated with this set of questions, I went over the best way to develop your own client questionnaire, how to present it to your clients, how to best use it, what to use it for, and some caveats. Be sure to read that article!

Following is an exact reproduction of my own client questionnaire. You'll notice that it's personalized and unique to the three services that I personally provide (as a freelance writer, freelance translator and freelance editor).

You'll want to build your own tool, using this and other writers' examples as a starting point.

Without further ado:

Basics:

  1. Name/Company Name/Are you the main decision-maker for the potential project?
  2. Willing to provide the names of past contractors/freelancers hired?
  3. Briefly, explain the project type. (writing, editing, translation, other)
  4. Briefly, explain the project format. (ebook, lesson plans, website, media pieces, blog, other)
  5. What is your preferred deadline? Is there a specific reason/event for this deadline?
  6. What is your projected budget range for the project?
  7. How did you find the tone of your company? Or, what is the culture/tone that you are hoping to convey through this project?
  8. Describe you target audience/reader/customer. (consider geographic, demographics, tech-savvy, education level, reading level)
  9. Prior to today, how has this need been fulfilled? (old web content, outdated brochure, Google translate, not fulfilled)
  1. What current/rough materials, research or portions of the publication are available for me to review? If accessible, please provide details. (past titles, current site, past press materials)
  2. Why have these materials not worked in the past? What obstacles or failures are you experiencing that make you want to write/edit/translate now?

    Project Specs:

    1. Think of your blog/brochure/site/ebook: What is the primary action desired or takeaway message?
    2. What is your main goal for the publication? (sell copies, increase blog traffic, educate)
    3. What kind of research do you anticipate for this project?
    4. What roadblocks or issues do you anticipate in this project?

    Work Specs:

    1. (Longer projects) How closely do you prefer to work? Do you want daily/weekly check-ins? In person/email/phone?
    2. What platforms/tools do you anticipate I'll need to complete this project? Or, what tools do you prefer I use?
    3. How do you envision I submit this project to you? (CMS, Word document, Wordpress, directly to your site, PDF)

    Writing Clients:

    1. What is your target ?
    2. What is your target length? (total word/by page/total pages/by word)
    3. Will the text be edited by a third party after I provide it?
    4. What is the general education/reading level of your readers/audience/customers?
    5. Who will own the copyright to the work? (Or, if you purchase established rights, what are they typically?)
    6. Is a byline given?
    7. How and by whom will the final version be published? When?

    Editing Clients:

    1. Are you seeking a hard copy or electronic edit?
    2. What format/platform is the piece currently in? Are you seeking an edit in a different platform?
    1. Are you willing to credit me as an editor once the piece is published?
    2. How many times has the piece been edited before?
    3. At what level?
    4. By whom?
    5. Will the text be edited by another party after me?
    6. What level of editing do you feel you need?
    7. Do you want story and thematic feedback?
    8. Do you want structure, arrangement, an order of events, flow, etc edited?
    9. Do you want graphics and running components (chapter titles, page numbers) edited?
    10. Do you want spelling and grammar corrections?
    11. How and by whom will the final version be published? When?

    Translation

    1. In what geographic area will the translation be used?
    2. If the translation will live online, what geographic area do you anticipate using it most?
    3. What is your target dialect?
    4. What is your target audience within that dialect (demographics)?
    5. What format/platform is the piece currently in? Do you want the translation provided on a different platform? Which?
    1. Are you willing to credit me as a translator once the piece is published?
    2. How and by whom will the final version be published? When?

    Debrief:

    1. Please provide any final thoughts on the project.
    2. Please provide suggestions for future client support? What would improve my service?
    3. Do you anticipate any future writing/editing/translation needs?
    4. Is there anyone in your social or professional circles who would benefit from the services I provide?
    5. Would you provide a testimonial or LinkedIn recommendation for me?
    6. Would you be willing to provide me a courtesy copy of the publication?
    7. Can I use your work as an example on my website?

    Hopefully, these questions help you and serve as a jumping off point to develop a list for your own clients! Keep it fluid and dynamic, and update it after every couple clients to address any recurring issues you're having!