First keep in mind that you need to pass the following message to a potential client:
We do not build a web temple to your glory but a site dedicated to your users and new-targeted users
This being said:
Be sure to stay well within your capabilities
Understand what the client’s biz is about
Understand the products
Define the actual users profile
Define the potential users profile
Using those profiles foresee the user experience, what they need, what they will be looking for, how will they find what they look for.
Think in marketing terms
Think in “white hat” organic SEO terms
Shake well and serve a few ideas
Discuss with client
Draw a sketch
Seek existing content
Who’s going to write more contents?
Do a “demo” No dynamism, no interaction very basic on a test server
Then coding etc…..
Be sure to spell out everything, payment, deposit. Contract etc….
Having fun yet?