The intake form is the first touchpoint that a client will have with your business. And it doesn’t matter if you are a freelancer, consultant, or running an agency—this form is crucial for setting up expectations and outlining the future steps.
I found that the best intake forms are straightforward, to-the-point, and provide enough space for people to write detailed responses.
The intake form will make your life a lot easier while also going a long way in helping you to manage your clients.
There are many reasons why it is important to have a well-organized intake form. For example, it will help you record all the information you need from the client, making this information more accessible when needed. It can also ensure that there are no gaps in your knowledge about the client’s needs and wants, which can be very important when dealing with an existing client or prospect.
Another consideration is how much time does an intake form save? Well, if every little detail is already documented during an initial meeting, for example, then an intake form can save a lot of time. The intake form will ensure that no crucial information is left out and a preliminary plan can be developed to execute the project.
What is a Client Intake Form?
A client intake form is a document that the client fills out to provide all the necessary information about the project to help freelancers get a detailed understanding of the project and the client’s expectations. It can be as simple as a few question form or as detailed as a full-blown survey. This form aims to collect enough information about the client and their needs to create an initial plan of project execution.
A good client intake form should help freelancers understand how the client wants their project to unfold and provide ideas about their expectations. It should also contain other useful information such as:
- The Basic Background Information About Client
- The Core Problem Related Questions
- The Clients Expectation Related Questions
- The Budget & Revenue Related Questions
- The Free Space For Client To Share Their Story Or Message
By asking questions based on the points above, you can quickly create an intake form that will make it easy for your clients to understand what you need from them to deliver value and quality.
The Importance of a Client Intake Form and Why You Need One
A client intake form is usually the first thing that freelancers will ask prospective clients to fill out. It will help freelancers decide whether or not to take the project because you wouldn’t want to hop on an uncomfortable ride where you can’t enjoy the ride.
The benefits of having an intake form are numerous- it can help you decide which projects you want to take on, avoid wasting time on projects you’re not interested in, and it can also help you determine how much you should charge and structure your whole sales pitch.
Client intake forms are lifeguards for freelancers, reminding them not to do anything that will drown them. It ensures that there are no miscommunications and all expectations are set right before hitting that start button.
What should be included in Your Client Intake Form?
It may seem like a mundane and easy task to do, but this is a crucial step in the process of understanding your clients and their needs. The client intake form will help you know what your client is looking for in terms of content, goals, channels they are looking to expand into, timelines, budgets, etc.
The client intake form will also ensure that you are on the same page about the partnership’s wants. It will also help you better understand their needs and requirements while developing the plan of execution.
A good intake form should include as much detail as possible without being too invasive.
We should always put a lot of thought into what we should ask clients on the intake form. Of course, there is no such thing as too much information, but there are many things that might not be necessary for you to know as a freelancer.
The trick here is to figure out the right questions to put on the client intake form.
As a freelancer, you are in charge of obtaining these details from your clients before hitting the start button on the project. The only way you can make sure all of the client’s needs are met and deadlines are met without any surprises later on in the project is INTAKE FORM.
There are many questions you can include in your client intake form. As you can see, I have already shared above the general idea of the questions that should be included in your client intake form.
Here are some questions that you can replicate in your client intake form. Of course, feel free to customize them according to your skills.
- Basic Background Related Questions
What’s your name
How should I get in touch with you?
Who is the project lead, and will they be making all of the final decisions?
Do you have a website, presentation, or blog that I can go through to understand your brand?
- The Core Problem Related Questions
Can you tell me about the project?
Who is the dream buyer or customer for this project? Be as detailed as possible!
What’s the website or brand URL?
- The Expectation Related Questions
What are your expectations with this project?
How much traffic do you get on a monthly basis?
Have you worked with someone else before?
What’s the goal behind this project?
How much time do we have to complete this project?
- The Budget & Revenue Related Questions
What is the overall budget for the campaign or project?
What type of project is this – One Time, Retention, Other?
What is the current customer churn?
Use the above questions types or create questions that suit your skillset.
As I have said earlier, there’s no fixed length for the client intake form; as long as you don’t get too deep, you can extract enough information to lay out your initial plan of action.
Why I Created This Client Intake Form Template For You?
I want to help you save time, get more done, and give you an idea of how to structure your client intake form that’s effective and gets you everything you need to create the initial plan of action and timeline.
When I started freelancing, one of the most important things I needed to get right was my client intake form. Unfortunately, I had no idea what would be the best way to get all the information. So I started with a simple template that helped me get the basic details for each project to avoid wasting any time throughout the process.
I have refined this form template and made it available for other freelancers like myself to use when they need help getting their client intake forms in order or getting inspiration to customize their intake form.
The benefits of using a client intake form as a freelancer
A client intake form is an important tool to help freelancers establish a good relationship with their clients. It also helps with the project workflow and saves time for everyone involved in the project.
To be successful, freelancers need to know their clients well and produce high-quality work tailored to their needs. One way they can do this is by understanding the client’s goals & needs.
This is where a client intake form comes in handy. This form helps freelancers understand what exactly the client wants from them before starting to work on any project or task assigned by the client.
There are few other benefits of having an effective client intake form like:
- Figuring out if the client is the right fit for you to work with
- Able to provide value and show your professionalism (It matters a lot)
- Save time & avoid future hassles
- Planning the whole project & being able to give a more accurate timeline
- Have all the nodded information with you always (You don’t need to schedule frequent calls with the client)
That’s why you need a good client intake form to succeed as a freelancer.
Some rules to keep in mind for creating a better intake form
Collecting all possible data from your client is beneficial. You can use the intake form to find the correct solution for their problem and provide higher value. But there’s a catch; your form should not feel like their college examination paper; it should be arranged so that they enjoy sharing their information and don’t feel intimated by it.
Rule #1: Short but contains all the necessary information.
Rule #2: The look matters a lot here – it shouldn’t look like few questions put together.
Rule #3: Stay on point and relevant – It’s a key to creating a successful client intake form.
Rule #4: Wait, Observer, Improve – Based on your experience, keep improving your intake form.
The tools that you can use to create your client intake form
What are some of the tools that you can use to create your client intake form?
I will tell you about three of the most popular tools that offer user-friendly and customizable intake forms.
Tool #1: Creating your client intake form using your website or WordPress (recommended)
You can create or upload your client intake form on your website and have a link that you can easily share with your potential client. There are two main benefits of having your client intake form created on your website. First, you can easily share client intake forms with your clients and have complete control over the data that’s being stored. The second advantage is that you don’t need to pay anything extra, as well as the data will always be available to you.
Tool #2: Using Google Forms to create your client intake form
Although Google Forms can be used for multiple purposes, one of those could be creating your client intake form. It’s not my favorite tool, but Google Forms is the best option if you’re starting and looking for something free and gives you some control over the form customization with different question formats.
But as you get few clients, I’d suggest migrating over your website form or some paid tools.
Tool #3: Typeform – Best for creating surveys and forms
When it comes to creating interactive, sleek forms, Typeform is the best tool to go with. It has made its name in the market with some of its unique features and the ability to customize the form layout as we want.
You can create some sleek client intake forms that clients will enjoy filling out and won’t feel burdened, especially if you use the card design format to design your intake forms.
Still, I’d highly recommend creating your client intake form on your website to control every aspect of your form.
My Final Thoughts
This concise and straightforward guide will walk you through the process of creating an effective client intake form.
Your client intake form is the first impression for the client regarding professionalism and experience, so you must create an intake form that helps clients understand your process, share the needed information, and feel confident in choosing you.
Too many questions, a confusing structure will leave potential clients feeling frustrated. They have to provide a lot of information which can be tough and not good for you if you make the process too complicated.
Use this guide to design a client intake form with ease. It’s concise and straightforward, with easy-to-follow instructions that will help you create an effective client intake form that creates a great experience for the client.
A client intake form is an invaluable tool for freelancers. It is a means by which freelancers gather crucial information to deliver value to the client and meet their expectations.
Share your client intake form if you want me to review it in the comments!!