Lately, I’ve been thinking about how to choose the best clients. I want to have a systematic approach that can be repeated for everyone with whom I might work.
I started by putting together a list of questions I might use. Here it is:
- Do the client’s values align with mine?
- What is their ability to pay?
- Will I be able to publicize the work afterwards?
- What’s the likelihood that the work will go live?
- Is there proper executive support in place for the project?
- What “good” will this work do in the world?
- Does this work have strategic value for the client?
- Does this work have strategic value for me?
- Are they assholes?
- Will I be able to measure the impact of my work?
- Will I be able to use interesting metrics (such as stress created, confidence created, other perception-based metrics)?
Obviously, this is incomplete and brings up a bunch of things I’d need to decide upon before I could complete such an evaluation, but it’s a start.
My question for you: how do you evaluate potential clients? What questions do you ask? What red flags do you look for?