Why conduct dream client interviews
Conducting a dream client interview is a great way to get information that can help you as you make changes to your business, add new services or products, or update the copy on your website. The goal is to gather information about your dream client instead of assuming that you know what they want and need from your.
Dream client interviews are also great because they allow you to:
- Use their words in your copy
- Speak to their concerns
- Think of new services that are missing in your industry
- Get feedback on ideas before launching
Conducting the interview doesn't have to be difficult, but it does require some preparation. To get the best information possible, you want to interview 3-5 people. This allows you to see what answers are repeated and which you can throw out as one person's opinion.
You should keep each interview to around 20 minutes (8-10 questions) to be respectful of everyone's time.
To make it easy, use a scheduling software like Acuity Scheduling to find a time that works for btoh you and your interviewee. Conduct your call video video on something like Zoom that allows you to record so you don't have to take notes as you go.
Choosing the right people
It's easiest to reach out to people you know or have a connection with. And, of course, you need to interview dream clients – people you want to work with in the future or have loved working with in the past.
Preparing for the interview
As you prepare for the interview, ask your potential interviewees and have them schedule a time. You want to let them know why you need their help and what to expect.
This is the email I sent:
- Say Hi
- Include something personal
- Ask for their help (I know you’re busy, but I would love to have your help on something.)
- Explain what you’re doing (I’m currently transitioning my services from overall graphic design to just website design and I want to make sure that I’m creating a service and process that is really helpful for my ideal clients. I think you fit that mold and I know your insights would be really beneficial!)
- Explain what you need from them (I’d love to jump on a Zoom call with you for 20 minutes and ask you some questions about your business and the things you’re struggling with.)
- Give them a way to schedule (If you’re willing to chat with me and answer some questions, you can find a time that fits your schedule here.)
- Wrap-up (And if there is any way I can support you, just let me know and I’d love to help!)
Feel free to use this template or write your own.
Writing the questions
As you're writing questions to ask during the interview, use no more than 10 questions. You can ask the same thing in different ways to get more information. You goal here is to learn about their pain points/struggles and make sure you're clear on what they want (not just what you think they want).
These were the questions I asked:
- How do you feel about your website?
- Do you feel your website design is holding you back?
- What made you decide to work with a designer for your website?
- What is the biggest challenge you face when it comes to your website?
- Do you feel like your website is doing its job?
- What type of website design service do you wish existed?
- What would you expect to be included in website design and strategy?
- How involved in the website design process do you want to be?
- What are your future goals and what type of support might you need?
- What would you want to see in a design portfolio to give you confidence in hiring someone?
Since I was asking about website design, these questions are tailored to that topic, but you can use the same types of questions for your own service or product.
Conducting the interview
This may be the most nerve-wracking part, but if you've chosen people who are willing to help, it won't be as scary as you think. Keep it simple - get on the call, remind them of what you’re doing, and ask for their permission to record so you don’t have to take notes.
Then ask your questions, adjusting as needed based on their answers and wrap-up and thank them for their time.
What to do After
Now that you've conducted your dream client interviews, it's time to actually use the information you've gathered.
You first step should be to send a thank you email and possibly send a small gift (I sent a $5 Starbucks giftcard).
Next, get the interview transcribed. You want to get the exact words your interviewees used so that you can have them for reference. Then, make notes to keep everything organized. Here are the four documents I created:
- Common answers - answers that I noticed were repeated for certain questions
- Keywords - the words I could use for SEO based on what my dream clients would search for
- Notes - notes for myself about changes I wanted to make or things I wanted to remember
- Word bank -list of words and phrases my dream clients used that I could work into my website copy (especially around their pain points)
Once you have your notes, you need to put the information to use. You can use these interviews to update your services, packages, and process, write social media captions and brainstorm ideas for blog posts, rework your website copy to speak to your dream clients' concerns, and create on-boarding emails that remind your clients how you're going to serve them.