Doesn’t it feel amazing when you hop off a discovery call with a client, they’re a fabulous fit and you booked her?! But that feeling quickly goes away when you start thinking off all the onboarding tasks you have to do. (yawn)
Thankfully, onboarding your new clients doesn’t have to be a long drawn out process. By creating a simple (and free!) system for your client onboarding, you’re able to get everything done quickly, without missing any crucial steps.
Okay, these first 2 are really for pre-onboarding activities, but it’s going to make your entire onboarding process flow together.
Your client is at the peak of excitement when they send you an inquiry, they’re dreaming about all the possibilities of the two of you working together. The last thing you want to do is waste 3 days deciding what day and time you’re both free.
When someone inquires about my services, I shoot them an email with the link to my scheduling page on Calendly. You could even automate this system even more. I know when people fill out my services form on my WordPress site I get an email with a subject line of [SERVICES], and if I click reply, it automatically fills in that person’s email since they entered it in the form. You could set up an automated email that goes out thanking them for inquiring, with the link to schedule their appointment. That means you literally do nothing except show up for the call!
Set up forms in WordPress
You don’t want to go into a call with a potential client not knowing a single thing about them or their needs. You may be able to weed out whether you’re a great fit (or not) for someone just by the answers to your form questions. If you have WordPress, click the “Add Contact Form” button at the top of your page to customize your form.
For example, on my services page, I ask people for their website link so I can check out their website + social media sites to see if I have the voice they’re looking for. As you can tell, I’m pretty laid back in my writing! If someone from a fancy law firm wanted their social media to sound super professional and lawyer-esque, I’m not their girl. Now, if I check out their website and find a business owner who takes their work seriously, but loves to add personality and fun into her posts, I’m gonna hop on that call. Decide on the most important things you want to know before hopping on a call with a potential client and put it on your form.
Create contract templates
Your client said a big fat “YES!” to working with you, now it’s time to get down to business. Creating a contract template is a lifesaver because all you have to do is fill in the blanks with the new client’s info. You don’t have to go design crazy with your contract template. I created mine in a Google doc so I can easily update it when necessary.
Next, save your contract template as a PDF and add fillable sections to it so there’s no chance of mistakenly deleting something. Every Time you need to onboard a new client, make a copy of your contract PDF and save it as something like “Julia Contract” and update it through there. I use PDFescape to add fillable sections to my PDF’s. It’s totally free and really easy to use.
Get your contract signed
Your contract is ready to go, but do you dare send it via email and task your client with printing it out, signing it and scanning it back to their computer? If they don’t have Adobe to electronically sign it, this can be a huge pain. Make your onboarding process as easy as possible for your client by using a platform like HelloSign to manage your contracts and get them signed. You can send up to 3 contracts a month on their free plan and will have to upgrade to a paid plan if you need more than that.
Create invoice templates
PayPal has been my go-to spot for sending invoices. You’re able to add your terms + conditions, tax rate, discounts quantity, logo, product description and price to your contract rate. Seriously, all I have to do is hit ‘create invoice’, it automatically updates the invoice number for me, is completely filled out and all I have to do is enter the client’s email and my invoice is ready to go. After you create your invoice template the first time, you’re only a couple clicks away from sending out all future invoices.
Your entire client process from the second they show interest on your form to sealing the deal with an invoice has a system and will run so much smoother!