If you are a fairly new business or you've been going for a while, but you don't actually have a process, then I've actually got a free Client Onboarding Trello board, with videos and checklists.
Where Did They Find You?
It all starts with that initial contact. When somebody contacts you, do you always know how they found you, where they came from? Were they were recommended to you?
How are you tracking that?
The Discovery Call
Is it something that you need to do in your business?
They help to get to know the person, see if you resonate with each other and whether you can actually assist them.
You could do it via messenger or via Instagram DM. If somebody is happy to start working with you via messenger or a DM, then you don't need to step on that call.
Try and keep it to that 15 minutes. This is definitely from experience.
If you are doing that discovery call or if you're not, do you have a questionnaire that you send? For example, a Google form? It could be a little quiz that you send.
Have you received that questionnaire or that quiz? If you haven't, what is your process for following up on that?
It might be a canned email, it might be part of your onboarding automation in your email service provider.
Do you have a process for somebody who hasn't sent that questionnaire back?
Have you reviewed the answers to the questionnaire?
Do you send a copy of your professional profile document?
If not, jump onto Canva and make one for yourself. I would have a photo of you. I have mine on my front cover because people want to see who you are. They want to know a little bit about you, a little bit about your background, what services you offer, what your terms are, how you work, what your hours are and things like that.
If you are part of affiliations or associations add those and don't forget to add a thank you page and your socials in there.
Now onto that discovery call or proposal. If you're having that discovery call, remember to send a reminder 24 hours before the call, and maybe even send another one an hour before the call, if you want to.
You could use Calendly, Acuity or YouCanBook.Me, for example, You can actually set those up so that they can go through for you so you don't have to remember.
Remember to automate as much as possible but keep it human. If something doesn't link, you can always use Zapier to create a link to that, which will automate it for you.
Then the call takes place and you absolutely nail it. Yes!
We've Got That Client - What's Next?
Do you then do you send a thank-you email? Again, you can use a canned response from your Gmail, but make sure that you personalise it.
Do you need to draft a proposal when you're doing that? Think about the value, the value to the client, and not necessarily the time, because when you first start, say you do a slide deck and it takes you two to three hours, but then when you get faster and faster, it's only going to take you an hour.
If you're charging hourly, you're only going to then be charging an hour where you were originally charged three hours. Think then about the value to the client.
If you think, it takes me three hours and my hourly rate is $50 an hour. So a slide deck is three hours up to X amount of pages or whatever it is that your service is, it might be that you're a healer, or it might be that you sell something else, whatever it is.
Think about the value to the client and not the time it takes you because they're paying for your experience. They're paying for your skills and they're paying for your knowledge. Remember that all of those things count.
Then the next thing to do is send that proposal.
So check in with them after 24 to 48 hours, do they have any questions? Do they need you to clarify anything for them?
What happens if the proposal is not signed? What's your process for that? Again, this could be a part of that automation. For example: do you have any questions? Do you need me to clarify anything before you sign the proposal?
Once you've got that proposal, send them a message to say thank you.
Before that process, we've got the contract and the invoice.
They've signed their proposal. So now you need to prepare your contract because you want to cover all your basis. You need to be having a contract that has legal ramifications. If something untoward happens. Prepare your contract, prepare your invoice if you need to.
It might be that they're paying a deposit or they might be paying off in full, which is awesome.
Once you've got that back, save a copy on the client's card. You can even make a Google folder for the client so that the contract stays in there that you share with the client.
If you don't use a CRM system at the moment, that's what I would suggest that you keep everything in a Google Drive or a Dropbox and that it gets shared with that particular client, so that you've both got access to those signed documents.
Once your invoice has been paid, add it to your expenses planner - income coming in because you'll need that for your tax purposes and then chase that contract if you've not received it after 48 hours.
Working with the Client
Then I would create the client's own board if that's how you're going to work. If you're going to work with Trello, you can create a client board. If the client's not going to work with you in there, you can just create a client card within your client board. Add in their proposal, invoice, contract etc. You can also add links to their social media, to their website and whatever other details they share with you.
For example, I get logos, I get colour codes and fonts. All of those things would stay inside that client's file.
Client Welcome Pack
Again, if this is something that you don't do, think about all of those things that you need that client to know. What happens if you go on holiday or you're sick, what hours do you work?
You could have in the document other resources for people that you work with other businesses say, you might know somebody who does Google Ads, or you might know somebody who does social media, or you might have an affiliation with somebody that offers templates, whatever it is. You can add those links to that client welcome pack.
You can also put details in about the project that you're going to be doing for them. If you're doing a project,
Your invoice terms can go in there. Everything that you can think of how they contact you. What's the best way to contact you; is that by phone, is that by text, messenger, Voxer, email, whatever it is, add it in there.
If you're going to have a kickoff meeting to discuss all the details of the project, send a link to schedule that meeting.
Remember to send those reminders again, so that 24 hours before, and the one hour before,
Keep the Client Updated
Then the client starts working with you on an ad hoc or an ongoing basis. So keep that client care going. So while you're doing a project, if you're using the Trello board and it's a shared board, keep writing notes, letting them know where you are.
If you do not, send them a message letting them know you’ve finished section one of whatever it is. Keep them up to date because you want this client to either come back to you or recommend you to others, or continue to work with you on an ongoing basis. It might be that you have a small project for them and that you want to continue to work with them, which would be absolutely amazing.
Make sure that you are top of mind when somebody asks that person, Hey, do you know anybody that does whatever your service is? You want them to be telling that person. Yes, I do. I know this person she's just helped me so much, and these are her details.
It might be that you have a little referral card, that you send them, that they can send to their friends that go on their phone. It might be a QR code that you designed for them and get going.
What Happens Once I Finish Working With This Client?
If it gets to the point where you’re not working with that client any more, because that was a one-off project or, you know, it was healing or it was a reading or whatever it was remember to say, thank you to that client, send them an email, send them a message saying, thank you.
Create yourself a nice little email header that says thank you. Ask them for a review, send them a link to your Facebook review page and your Google my Business so they can leave a review on either one of those. Or if you're on LinkedIn, they can add a review on there as well.
Share the Love - the Client Love
When you get that review, tell people about it. Share it on social media, share it on your Stories, talk about how you helped that client - make it about the client.
For example, Jo came to me because she had some outdated graphics.
She didn't have an email signature. She was using images that weren't to her brand. She came to me and I upgraded our email signature, included all her social links and her phone number. I then upgraded all of her graphics, templates, PDFs and documents. Now she's getting clients that meet her brand. She's showing up fully as her brand.
Then share whatever it is that they wrote about you.
Share details about that client because that's free advertising for them and what better way for you to say thank you.
If you’re in a group that says who's done an amazing job this week, shout out that client for something that they did, it might be that they gave you a review. Say thank you to them for being awesome and giving you an amazing review.
Take all those opportunities to keep those clients top of mind, because if you keep those clients top of mind, they'll keep you top of mind.
Download my FREE Client Onboarding Trello Board
If you would like a copy of the Client Onboarding Trello board with videos, checklists and more, you can check that out here.