For any project in Project Catalog, you need certain things from your client to begin your work. That’s why we created the requirements section.
After your client places an order, they have 48 hours to give you the information and materials you’ve set as mandatory in your requirements. If they don’t, we will automatically cancel the project and refund the client’s money.
The clock starts on the project at the moment your client sends you the mandatory requirements, not when they place the order. For example, if a client sends you the requirements at 11:15 a.m. Monday (your time) and you’ve promised a three-day turnaround, your project is due at 11:15 a.m. on Thursday.
You can also list requirements as optional. We will not cancel a project if a client doesn’t turn in optional requirements, and they won’t affect your delivery date.
These processes help you get the information you need to start working on your project and complete it correctly and efficiently. They also protect you from wasting time on a project if the client isn’t really ready to get started.
Getting everything you need from your client upfront is key to a successful project.
Plan carefully so that you’ll have everything you need from the beginning. This will let you work without interruption once you get started, since you won’t have to stop to ask the client for more information and wait for their response. This will save both you and your client time. It also helps you build trust with your clients by showing them that you are professional and prepared.
PRO TIP: You also want your requirements to make a good first impression to help sell your project. Prospective clients can see your requirements when they are browsing projects to decide what to purchase.
Be clear and specific
- If you need files, such as logos, videos, documents, or data, specify the formats and sizes that you accept.
- If you need information about the client or their business, consider creating a questionnaire that asks for specific information or a bulleted list of what you need.
- If your clients often want a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), consider including an NDA form as one of your optional requirements.
If you’re not sure what to ask for, think back to similar projects you’ve worked on and what you needed to complete the work. You can also browse through other projects in Project Catalog to get an idea of best practices. Just be sure not to copy anyone else’s requirements. Make sure you are individualizing yours and putting them in your own words.
PRO TIP: As you learn more about what you need from clients to be successful, you can always come back and edit your requirements.
Example 1: Building a website
Example of a vague requirement for building a website with content:
I need key information about your business
Example of specific requirements for building a new website with content:
- A high-resolution logo and any visuals that you want me to use (and specify the formats/sizes that you accept)
- Key information about your business — please complete a questionnaire that I will send when you order
Example of some questions you might include:
- How did your business begin? (i.e. do you have a unique story?):
- Does your business have any special credentials or licenses?:
- Main service/product:
- Other services/products you offer:
- Areas you serve (if applicable):
- Top competitors:
- What sets you apart from the competition?
- Target audience (demographics of customers/potential customers)
Example 2: Logo design
Example of a vague requirement for logo design:
Describe what kind of logo you would like for me to build.
Example of specific requirements for logo design:
Please provide the following information to help me create your logo. The more I know about your business, the better. Detailed information helps me create something that truly represents your business.
- Brand name
- Slogan or taglines
- Website address
- Information about your business, such as your main services, target customers, top competitors, business goals and mission
- Color palette preferences
- Samples of logos you like (optional)
- A description of the concept you have in mind (optional)
- Sketches of what you want if you have an idea (optional)
Example 3: Writing an article or blog
Example of a vague requirement for writing an article or blog:
Provide the topic that you would like me to write about.
Example of specific requirements for writing an article or blog:
Please describe what you would like to have in your article, how you would like it to be written, and who your expected readers are:
- Keywords, if applicable
- Target audience
- Brand guidelines for language/tone
- Note that if you don’t have official brand guidelines, you can describe whether you want the article/blog to be formal or casual, academic or friendly
- Style guidelines you prefer, if you have a preference — AP, Chicago Manual Style, APA, or MLA
- Any business services or products that you want mentioned in the article/blog
What happens if my client doesn’t provide the requirements?
Your client has 48 hours to submit the requirements that you list as mandatory. If they don’t, we will automatically cancel the order. If the deadline for submitting requirements is getting close, consider sending your client a friendly reminder.
When does the deadline clock start?
The deadline clock starts at the moment the client sends their requirements, and you’ll want to be sure to set enough buffer time in your project’s promised deliverables. You can always deliver early if you get the work done faster.