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170 Questions to Ask A Client Before You Begin Your Campaign

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Confused about what type of questions to a prospect in the crazy world of tech?

Well, worry no more! We decided to give you our 170 questions that we ask our clients, before we begin working with them. Now, we don’t ask every question, because let’s be honest, we would be here for several hours before we get all of the answers. Choose your questions wisely and add your company’s culture into how you ask your questions!

If you’d like to add more onto this list, feel free to comment below or email us your additions.

 

Current Website Questions

– What is the purpose of your current website?

– Are there any aspects of your current website that you love?

– Are there any aspects of your current website that you hate?

– Is there anything on the current website that needs to be removed entirely?

– Is there anything on the current website that must absolutely stay?

– Do you have multiple locations?

– Where are they located?

– Do you offer different products or services per location?

– What is your business’s unique value proposition (UVP)?

– What are the services you want to highlight on your website?

– Why do visitors currently come to my website?

– Is your website easy to navigate and is it easy to find information?

– Are your current website visitors being converted into sales?

– Are competitors’ websites more functional and have they recently been redesigned?

– Does the content on my website deliver the right message?

– Is your website a good representation of your business?

– Does your current website instill trust and confidence?

– Is it easy to update your website?

– Are visitors who come to your website being tracked and analyzed?

– Does your current website make it easy for website visitors to contact you?

– What tools and apps do you use to run your business?

 

Website Redesign Questions

– Why do you want a new website?

– Do you have a proposed sitemap prepared?

– In an ideal world, what do you want your website to become?

– What are your specific goals for your new website that will help indicate if your investment is profitable?

– How quickly do you want to achieve these goals?

– Is there anything that you would like to have included in the new website that you lack currently?

– Will your copy need to be reviewed and approved by legal and compliance?

– Will your legal team need to create the privacy policy for the site?

– At the end of this project, how do you qualify it as a success?

 

Competitive Analysis Questions

– Who are your top seven competitors?

– What about these companies makes then stand apart from others?

– What elements of these companies and/or their online activity would you like to model after

in your redesign?

– What do you currently like about your competitors websites?

– What do you hate about your competitors websites?

– What are some sites that you like the style of, features, and functionality of?

 

Branding Questions

– Do you have brand guidelines?

– If not, do you need help putting this together?

– What are the brand guidelines?

– Are there any color preferences for the new website?

– Do you have the hex codes for your current brand colors?

– Have you created buyer personas?

– If you did; how many do you have and will we need to set up conversion funnels for each persona?

  • Do you have a site architecture completed?

– Do certain products and/or services speak to different type of clients?

– What differentiates your product or service from your competition

– Is there any legacy on your current website?

– Do you currently have duplicate content on your site?

– What types of content will you publish on the site?

– How do plan to market the website once it is launched?

– What are some images that relate to your business?

– Will you be updating and reusing content and/or images from your current website?

– Do you need help creating new visual components for your website?

– What are some visual components that you’d like to add to your website?

– Do you have a tag line?

– What is your elevator pitch?

– Do you have a mission statement?

– What differentiates your company from your competitors?

 

Sales, Marketing, and Advertising Questions

– Do you have a documented content strategy?

– What types of marketing are you currently involved in or practice on a regular basis?

– Why kind of ads will you be running? (Google, Facebook, native, display, search)

– Do you have a current advertising budget?

When it comes to marketing (in general), what are your biggest challenges?

– When it comes to obtaining qualified leads, what are your biggest challenges?

– When it comes to closing leads, what are your biggest challenges?

– Are there any short-term or long-term goals that need to be considered in the website redesign?

– What social media elements would you like integrated?

– Do you need a subscription option or other offer?

– Will you be blogging on your website?

– Who will be blogging on your website?

– When do you see the most customers go to your website?

– Do you currently use marketing automation software?

– Do you use email marketing, landing page, or other tools on your site?

– Do you use a CRM to store sales and customer information?

– What is the target demographic of your website visitors?  Are there specific sectors, industry segments, company sizes, geography that needs to be focused on more than others?

– Would you like to personalize content so that the content shown is targeted and relevant for different types of visitors?

– Do you create ebooks, white papers, and other resources are placed behind a form?

– Do you send email marketing communications?

– What types of emails do you send to subscribers, prospects, leads, and customers?

– Do you want automated emails to be triggered by actions customers take on your website?

– Do you want the ability to create, edit, and publish landing pages and site pages?

– Would you like to run predictive lead scoring every few months to automatically determine the properties and weight of each factor to create a lead score?

– Have you performed A/B tests of your landing pages and calls-to-action to increase clickthrough rates?

 

Lead Generation and Contact Page Questions

– How do you currently track leads on your website?

– How do you want to collect customer information?

– Are you comfortable with having your phone number on your website?

– What is the email address you want on your website?

– Can you speak to your customer experience?

– How does a user become a customer of yours on your current website?

– Do you currently include relevant call-to-actions on content posts?

– Do you collect information from visitors and store this in a CRM or use it to inform marketing efforts?

– What fields do you currently or want to include on forms?

– Do you use call tracking to track online campaigns?

 

SEO Questions

– Do you need assistance with search engine optimization?

– When was the last time you reviewed your website was optimized?

– Do you have someone who can review content for SEO best practices, internally?

– Do you have someone who can create unique meta titles and descriptions per page or blog post, internally?

– Do you have a Google Analytics account?

– Do you have a Google Webmaster Tools or Bing Webmaster Tools account?

– Based on what you know right now, what keywords or phrases would “you” use to search for your products and/or service offering?

– What search terms are your competitors targeting?

– Of the words you just listed, which ones would you like to target with the new website?

– Do you have existing content that can support these keywords or phrases?

– Does your existing website and content rank for these phrases?

– What are your top performing keywords?

– What are your most trafficked pages on your website?

– Which site pages rank high in SERPs?

– What percentage of visits are from organic sources?

– What percentage of traffic are referrals from other sites?

– Which referral channel gives your website the most traffic?

– What percentage of traffic is from social media sites?

– What percentage of traffic is from email marketing?

– What percentage of traffic is from direct or people who type your URL into the search bar?

– What percentage of traffic is from mobile devices?

– What percentage of traffic is from tablet devices?

– What sources — social, referral, organic, etc. — generate traffic from mobile and tablet users?

– How many landing pages do you have?

– What are your top performing landing pages?

– What are your top performing blog posts?

– How many visits does your site get each month?

– How many page views does your site get each month?

– How many leads do you generate each month?

–  How long do people typically spend on your website?

– What is the bounce rate for your site?

– What is the average amount of sales generated by your site each month?

– What is the page load time of your site?

– How many inbound links are pointing to your current site?

– Is your current site optimized for mobile users?

 

Reporting Questions

– Do you like data?

– What types of reports and data would you like to receive from our team?

– Do you prefer phone call reporting?

– Would you like to receive reports via PDF’s?

– Would you like the reports to be converted into videos?

 

Website Functionality Questions (UX and UI)

– Will you require a responsive design (adapts automatically to mobile devices)?

– How often will you be updating the content on your site?

– What functional requirements are needed within the new website?

– Is there any specific feature that is needed for your website?

– Do you want users to be able to comment on blog posts and other types of content?

– Do you need to integrate chat features?

– Will you need an internal search engine for your site?

– Do you plan to post audio/video files to the site?

– Do you have a video hosting service or will you be uploading videos to Vimeo or YouTube to embed videos on your site?

– Will you need people to log in on the site either with a username and password or by using social logins?

– Will users need the ability to post product reviews?

– Do you want people to be able to share content from your website?

– Will visitors have to enter credit card information and other personal details on any section of the website?

– Do you plan to sell anything through your website?

 

Development and Hosting Questions

– Who is your current website host?

– If switching hosting companies, do you know where your DNS is controlled?

– Do you have any and all logins?

– Hosting

– Domain name

– Website

– Where is your site currently hosted?

– Do you know the current level of hosting you have?

– Do you have or need an SSL certificate?

– Do you have specific accessibility requirements? (Possibilities include, larger text, language conversion, blind accessible)

– Will your site need to announce that they use cookies?

– Do you have an existing content management system you prefer or would you like our suggestions on the proper CMS?

 

Project and Budget Questions

– What is your budget for this project?

– What is your yearly budget for website improvements?

– What is you desired kick off date?

– Who all is responsible for reviewing and providing feedback on the site?

– Who will give final approval for the site prior to launch?

– Who will be managing the site once it’s completed?

– Will you require training on how to properly maintain the site?

At Owners Magazine, we care deeply about creating an incredible experience for our customers. What better way to get to know our clients than to ask them fun questions? The world of business can be so serious and with the way our society is becoming, we decided to throw a wrench into your average questions.

DISCLAIMER: These questions don’t work for every company. It all depends on your company culture and how your customers view you.

 

Get To Know Your Clients Better

– At which store would you like to max-out your credit card?

– If you could have one super power, what would it be?

– If you could be one character in any movie, Tv show, cartoon, who would you be?

– What movie title describes your life?

– What is your favorite TV show?

– What is your favorite video game?

– If you could choose one Pokemon that relates to your personality, who would it be?

– Do you have any nerdy addictions?

– Have you ever refitted an item, and if so, what did you regift?

– What’s the strangest talent you have?

– Do you have any nicknames?

– Which way does your toilet paper hang on the wall – over or under?

– What is that one song on you’re afraid to admit that you like?

– What are three things still left on your bucket list?

– If you could eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Business

Things You Should Think About Before Bootstrapping A Business

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bootstrapping

Bootstrapping is the process of finding funding from other sources like friends, family and other potential investors. As an entrepreneur receiving a check for thousands of dollars to help fund your business validates your idea and can motivate you to work harder in achieving your goals. While it seems like a good way to get funding for your business, it is not as easy as it sounds. Bootstrapping requires flexibility and hard work. Here are some things you need to think about first before bootstrapping your business.

The Right Partner

Having the right partner or co-founder can make your business run more smoothly. The right partner can make the bootstrapping process easier. Find somebody you can trust and who has skills that complement yours. If you’re a hardcore business man but not good in keeping the books or accounting, find a partner who can balance your books for your best chances of survival.

Fundraising is Not Business

A small business is usually composed of small staff and limited funds. As the co-founder, it is your job to find funding. However, bootstrapping can take you away from your business. This can be very risky especially if the business is still in its infancy. Your business can only grow when the team is spending time to grow it. But time is a fixed resource and without you there to help grow it, your business has less resource to grow the business, making fundraising a “costly” venture for you.

The worst part of fundraising all the time is that it makes you into a good fundraiser but worse CEO. Spending lots of time away from the business especially when you’re starting out can have a bad effect on it.

More Money, More Problems

According to many investors, they add value to your company. While this is true in some aspects, there are also investors that are “problem creators” and not problem solvers. Investors bring in money for the company and are great when you want to bounce off ideas but they do not actually run the business for you. In business, the person with the most information can make the best decisions and nobody is as well informed as you. Some founders are naïve in thinking that investors have the same goals as they do. This is wrong, because investors are in it to make money only. They don’t want to become a “world changing software” or become “the industry leader in garment manufacturer”. They want a return of investment with profit as soon as possible.

This is not to say that all investors think this way. All we’re saying is that their interests are not always aligned with your own.

Find A Mentor

Having guidance can help your business become successful. When you’re bootstrapping your business, it is also important to find investors who are willing to mentor you. A good investor/mentor wants you to succeed not only because they have money tied up to your business but also because they want to genuinely see you succeed. A mentor can help you make difficult decisions without being emotional while giving you financial guidance.

Money Does Not Solve Problems

Receiving a big check can seem like a lifesaver to many businesses especially small startups but it does not always solve problems. A common mistake among founders is thinking that if they had X amount then they will be able to do something.  More money in the bank gives you more options, but more often than not, it gives the business more ways to spend the money they shouldn’t be spending like offices or equipment they can’t afford. For small businesses and startups, bootstrapped money should be used as a tool to generate more money.

Gaining the attention of well-funded venture capitalists can be very flattering. First time entrepreneurs who have a difficult time finding capital through traditional sources can find bootstrapping attractive and it is a great way to start a business. However, entrepreneurs should not see it as a safety net that your investors provide. To make the most out of bootstrapping, you need to manage your business’ money as if it were your own because let’s face it, the business is your own.

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Business

How To Do Business Marketing For Free

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business marketing

Any entrepreneur that’s just starting out will tell you that one of the most difficult things you need to face is the challenge of reaching and retaining customers. Marketing a new product can be a costly and time consuming task, which are some things many entrepreneurs do not have. Business marketing is basically the process of letting your customers know about your product. Small businesses and startups generally do not have the luxury of outsourcing their marketing needs to the professionals. But instead of waiting around for your product or service to get noticed, there are things that you can do to promote your business and drive business to your door. Here are great examples of marketing practices that don’t require you to burn through your valuable resources.

Local Awareness

Start educating your customers by starting locally. Get local news coverage and build a website. Starting small can help increase name recognition early and educating customers about your business will help with customer acquisition. Many big businesses will not shy away from hiring expensive business marketing agencies and public relations firm. However, small businesses and startups can get a start with simple DIY PR.

Start by doing research on your local paper. Know which writer covers local businesses. Once you know who’s in-charge, get to know them and create a pitch around your business to pique their interest. For example, you’re a local web design company. Explain how your business will impact the local economy and how other businesses in the area will benefit by subscribing to your service.

Be Present In Social Media

Social media is not just about reconnecting with your old high school buddies. If leveraged correctly, social media can become a powerful and affordable business marketing tool. You can maintain identities in all social media platforms or a select few. Whichever you choose to establish a presence, be present and active. According to a study conducted by Mashable and their webcam eyetracking study, Facebook users spend the most time looking at a brand’s wall compared to other elements on the page. Being active on social media allows you to engage your customers better. Better engagement allows you to be on top of your brand while encouraging positive reviews and dealing with negative ones.

Using social media also gives you the platform to provide your customers with something useful, sharable and interesting. Start with a few posts per week to know your audience and understand who is using your content. Once you find out what they want, you can ramp up your efforts.

Use Your Customers

Satisfied and happy customers are the best business marketing tool. You can make personal connections with brand advocates and turn this into a mutually beneficial relationship. For example, you can pitch you business to a well-known writer. In exchange for your services or products, the writer will mention you in his or her blogs. This tactic can lead to a stronger relationship between you and your customers. Once you have an army of satisfied customers telling other people about your product, you can save a lot of money on PR and marketing because happy customers will be very glad to tell other people about your product.

According to marketing experts, a customer singing your praises to other people is the cherry on the icing. This is free marketing at its best.  When you take care of your customer, they can take care of you by telling their friends about your product. However, this is the tricky part. You need to keep them happy and build a brand they can trust. If they don’t trust you and are not happy, they will not endorse your product to other people.

Marketing is a sensitive but vital part of a business’ growth. If you have a new startup you probably have not broken even yet. This is the time to be extremely smart about your marketing budget. Frugality is a skill many new entrepreneurs need to learn and by looking for smart and affordable ways to market your business, you are cultivating a habit of wise spending. The marketing strategies outlined above require little time and money. However if they are done correctly, they can be successful without draining your precious funds.

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Business

The Power Of Storytelling

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Today’s consumers are an extremely connected, discerning bunch, and engaging with them requires a thoughtful approach to communication. Reaching them goes beyond pitching your product or service, even if you think they’ll love it. It’s about effectively tapping into their values and lifestyle and finding a way to connect on a more personal level. But, how do you get them to care and ultimately choose to invest their time and money in you? One secret is an age-old method, but it’s a powerful one: it’s the art of storytelling.

Storytelling is intrinsic to every culture. From creation myths to legends and folk tale, it’s at the core of what makes us humans and how we relate to each other and the rest of the world. It works in PR and marketing because it allows us to connect with our audiences and take them on a journey; one that stimulates feelings, ideas, and attitudes consistent with our marketing goals. The word “storytelling” can sometimes get bad rep, especially when associated with the PR profession and our reputation to put a “spin” on things. But storytelling can be genuine, authentic and most importantly, effective, when it comes to empowering a brand and forging more meaningful relationships with their audience. The human brain is hardwired to remember stories, not to recall facts or data.

First, let’s elaborate on why it’s vital for a brand to have a story. It breathes life into what might otherwise may be considered a cold corporation solely interested in the bottom line. People connect with other people and storytelling allows you to sell a brand, rather than a product. Successful brands are subtler when it comes to promotions and are more focused on being part of a bigger conversation, because today’s consumers expect more from the companies they support. Both the public and the media love a good story, and want to align with brands that are authentic and transparent. They want to know about the real people behind a brand and the causes they’re committed to. Storytelling is about entertaining, educating and engaging with an audience to build that emotional connection that can lead to earning a customer’s loyalty.

The first step is identifying your story. What do you want to be known for? How will you stand out? And, why should people care? This is where public relations plays a key role. One responsibility of public relations is to uncover a story that a brand’s audience will care about. Most of the time, a business already has a fantastic brand narrative, heartwarming anecdotes or a rich history that lends itself perfectly to the story. But often, the team is too close to the brand and doesn’t recognize the value in sharing. Bringing in a professional storyteller, like myself and my team of brand strategists and creative copywriters, provides an unbiased perspective and the know-how to tell that story in the most effective and lasting way possible. Storytelling is at the core of public relations, as we seek to influence reputations, perceptions and behaviors. To meaningfully relate to journalists and your target audience, we need to tell compelling stories. We are expert wordsmiths, developing an authentic voice that speaks louder than what many today see as “canned” advertising. Simply announcing a product launch isn’t effective anymore. The news needs to be in the context of something bigger to convince whomever we’re talking to that our announcement affects them and they should care. And a truly good PR team knows how to get the most mileage out of your story, and continue to build upon momentum gained; it’s not a one and done deal, we make your story work for you!

Storytelling is not cookie cutter. A good story could start with an interesting origin that traces back to humbler beginnings, or shine a light on a company’s unique culture. It could also be as simple as expanding on a fun fact, such as an ice cream chain with its highest performing location in Alaska. However, some of the most impactful stories are purpose-driven. Research has shown time and again that when a consumer feels good, it translates to more sales at the register, even if they must pay a premium. It gives them another reason to choose you over the other “good enough” options, even if you’re the more expensive choice.

For example, we worked with an iconic fast food chain with a rich history and its largest share of customer made up of baby boomers. It was time to appeal to their next generation of guests. We worked closely with the team on a for-cause marketing campaign designed to support the brand’s desire to give back while making an impression amongst a younger crowd. A cross country RV tour to help feed and clothe the homeless, enlisting the help of high school-aged volunteers? It was the complete package, and to think they almost didn’t talk about it!   

Not only did it have that feel-good aspect, but it was visually compelling which was perfect for reaching a digitally-driven consumer. In a world bombarded with information, the saying ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’, has never rung truer. We weren’t shouting why the brand was better or shoving promotions down throats. Rather, we offered a platform for the students involved and the homeless community to share their thoughts and stories, which always came back to our client in the most organic way. The media was especially receptive to the message and it was a story they wanted to share. For those touched by the campaign, the brand would now be remembered for being more than a fast food chain. It’s a brand that cares about the communities it serves, and that is a major differentiator.

Your story is what sets you apart from your competitors, but a story is only truly good if it is heard. As media strategists, we understand how, where and when to tell the story and who to tell it to. PR professionals also help connect the dots so that your narrative complements your overall brand messaging. Of course, we understand that storytelling is a means to support bigger sales and marketing initiatives.

Today, storytelling is not only an essential part of your brand identity, it helps your customers feel connected and closer to your company. In a time when millennials are calling the shots and their passion lies within brands that stand apart from the rest, it’s imperative now more than ever to have your story be told. The fact is, everyone has a story to tell.  The companies that do it well often succeed and, more often than not, they have a professional storyteller assisting them. So, what’s your story?

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