When it comes to discovery calls, one approach doesn’t fit all. At Aureo, we recommend a call with each top prospect once a brand has submitted a marketing project request and reviewed proposals from aligned freelance talent.
Whether you already have your top candidate in mind or a few contenders, setting up a discovery call is a great way to confirm that you’re on the same page with deliverables, timelines, and investment. It also ensures confidence that you are entering an agreement with someone who understands your industry and your unique needs.
If they do, ask for details about how they addressed and handled the challenges. If not, have they handled something similar? How do they anticipate getting to that understanding?
It’s important to know the level of understanding the talent you’re vetting already has in your industry. If they haven’t worked directly within it before, are they experienced in parallel industries? What makes them qualified to take on your specific project?
No direct industry experience isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but hearing how they expect to acclimate to and succeed in your space is an important consideration early on.
You want to leave this call with confidence that the candidate has a plan before kicking off the project. This question allows the freelancer to explain their overarching process for handling your challenge and what deliverables and responsibilities you can expect from them as you enter into a partnership.
This is not an opportunity to ask for strategic thoughts and specific recommendations before paying talent for their time and skillset. A discovery call isn’t a time to acquire free knowledge, it’s a chance to ensure you feel confident in the talent you are hiring.
Building upon the approach, what is their expected timeline for accomplishing the process that has been laid out? And in the event that anticipated timelines aren’t going to be met, how and when will updates be communicated?
If their preferred method differs from yours, this is the time to determine what will work best for you both. Aligning on communication cadence and expectations is so important during this call. If you expect a weekly update, voice that. If you are comfortable with less communication but want updates recorded in a tracking sheet, voice that.
Sometimes the scope of work will end up going beyond the initial agreement. In the event that the project requires more time or deliverables down the road, will the freelancer work with you to update the scope? Will they charge hourly for work beyond the initial agreement? If there’s any question that deliverables might change, it’s worth mentioning and discussing from the beginning so no one is caught off guard later.
What metrics will they use to measure project success? How often will they measure against them? What does their optimization process look like? How will success be tracked throughout your partnership?
Sometimes brands will hire freelance (or in-house) talent and expect to sit back and let them run immediately. Asking what resources, answers, and availability will be needed from you in order to help them succeed not only shows that you are invested in their success but also ensures that they feel comfortable coming to you with questions as they arise.
These questions provide a foundation for transparent expectation setting and reduce the likelihood of miscommunication between your brand and talent. What other questions do you always ask in a discovery call? We’d love to hear it!