Project Brief Questions

These are the 10 questions I ask all new clients to start us off in a marketing review project. Listing them here gives you a chance to understand why they are important, and begin to prepare your answers.

Because some people are unsure whether their current marketing could be improved upon, I hope this shows you that we are basing this work on common-sense. We are aiming to use the best forms of English language to achieve the results you describe here.

  1. What are your priorities for your preferred future clients?
  2. Have you started a marketing review project yet?
  3. What concerns have you picked up from new and/or current clients?
  4. What suggestions have you picked up from colleagues and/or staff?
  5. Are you concerned about people noticing a change of client-friendliness?
  6. Do you have a timescale for this project in mind?
  7. Describe your business structure and aims in two or three sentences
  8. What problems do you solve for your clients?
  9. What is the story behind your business?
  10. Who are your main competitors?


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Q1. What are your new priorities for your Client-Attracting Pathway?

Examples: more clients like our current ones, the same numbers but different typs of clients (different how?), more returning clients, fewer clients for certain services, etc.

I ask this so I can understand what you want to gain from any changes on your website, leaflets, adverts etc. Don’t worry if you’re not sure about the right mix of marketing materials – we can discuss that once we are clearer about the fundamentals.

This is often the most important question of all. We have to understand the audience in order to write something that will appeal to them. I will work with you to clarify who your Ideal Clients are.

Q2. Have you started a marketing review project yet?

Examples: 4 weeks, early September (specifics are better than ‘as soon as possible’)

I tend not to work on more than a couple of projects at once. So to make sure there’s room in my diary, I need to know when you need to finish the work.

Q3. What concerns have you picked up from new and/or current clients?

Examples: hard to navigate, difficult to read, didn't answer my questions, broken bits, etc.

This is an important area to understand as these clues are relevant and free. Any revision is likely to aim to solve this issues as a first step.

Another way to use this data is to identify those types of clients you want more of, or less of. This can inform your decisions on how to modify your messages as a result.

Q4. What suggestions have you picked up from colleagues and/or staff?

Examples: more case studies, more client-friendly, better recruiting results, easier payment systems, etc.

Asking this helps us to design marketing materials that your team will feel comfortable in using.

Also, as new marketing messages may begin to reshape your team's self-image and perhaps working habits, we should consider what steps may be useful in introducing novel ideas to ease the implementation of your revision project.

Q5. Are you concerned about people noticing a change of client-friendliness?

Examples: Might competitors react? Will potential clients be confused? Will it re-value the firm?

Sometimes, your aims in revising your marketing messages may be to avoid upsetting any key stake-holders in any way. At other times you may feel quite bold in breaking out of restrictive ???

Q6. Do you have a timescale for this project in mind?

Examples: Examples: 4 weeks, early July (being specific tends to work better than ‘ASAP’)

Let's make sure we can both accommodate your ideal timescale, before we get too involved!

Q7. Describe your business structure and aims in two or three sentences

Examples: we are a small independent partnership led by our founding Managing Partner, aiming to support successful businesses with legal needs usually located outside the local community.

We need to define what your key business proposition is. What is your field of expertise? How do your clients benefit? Let's search for better way of describing it to travel towards your priorities for your preferred future clients.

Q8. What problems do you solve for your customers?

Examples: we maximise legal strengths to minimise potential losses and save businesses time, money and aggro with our experienced legal trouble-shooting team.

We may need to understand the empathy issues they have to better describe what gives your potential clients pain so they can recognise themselves and latch on to your offer.

Q9. What is the story behind your business?experienced legal truble-shooting team

Examples: we are a family-owned business started in 1965, created to support ambitious business people in the area. (A lot more detail is needed, perhaps later.)

While this is old news for you, it will be relevant news for your potential clients reading about your firm for the first time. At this stage, they are wanting to reassure themselves you are suitable for them and seeking to judge between you and your rivals.

This sort of historical information can be useful in your website's About, FAQ and Team pages. They give readers a feel for the human background behind the expertise they may need – and they are more likely to decide on the human bits than the expertise bits they often know little about at this stage

Q10. Who are your main competitors?

Examples: 3 local rivals, top 5 Google results, new mergers/acquisitions/branches, etc.

In a commercial environment, we need to make sure you do not look the same as your competitors. And when you want to look different, it’s good to be able to research their content and their techniques to start thinking strategically. With a fresh pair of eyes, it's easier for me to assess your competitors to see what’s working for them and what isn’t, and shape sensible recommendations for you.

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