How to Onboard New Clients With Success

How to Onboard New Clients With Success

Updated August 3, 2020
Reading Time: 6 minutes

How To Efficiently Onboard Social Media Clients

Are you ready to scale and take on more clients? 

More clients mean more work; are you, and more importantly, is your business ready for that?

Can your business really handle onboarding more clients, spend all this time to get to know them, collect their brand assets, and establish their client profile?

Is your business ready to scale?

Growth entails lots of processes that you need to manage. Processes change for different clients, different needs, and different goals. You need to address all of these, and be effective as well as efficient!  

As social media managers, we may have superb organizational skills. Unfortunately though, when it comes to scaling our business as a social media manager, having a good grip on organizational skills alone is not enough. 

A Project’s Success Depends On A Two-Way Effort Between You and Your Client

It takes two to tango!

via GIPHY

Whether you manage one client, or five, the onboarding process stays the same.

Onboarding is the cornerstone of a successful client relationship and can make or break everything that comes after.

Onboarding is the perfect time to set expectations on both sides and ensure you have everything needed to make your work easy, and a total success for your client.

Caution; time is the biggest hurdle when onboarding clients: onboarding is often more time-consuming than the actual work that comes after!

Thankfully, we live in an era of technology.

Nowadays, almost everything can be done with a few clicks of a button – client onboarding included!

How To Streamline Your Onboarding Process For New Clients

Onboarding is the perfect time to start building relationships with your new clients. It’s also the best time for you to ask questions and set expectations. 

An automated onboarding process may require you to invest some time in building the system in the beginning. But, in the long run, it is all worth it – you’ll easily save yourself roughly 75% of the time spent on briefing new clients manually. Automating the process also eliminates mistakes.

Imagine how liberating it will feel once you eliminate steps that are tedious, repetitive, and boring. For sure, you’d have more time (and resources!) to spend on things that truly matter in your business. 

Ready to make your onboarding process a lot faster and easier? 

The 5-Step Process to Simplify Your Onboarding Process Without Losing Your Personal Touch

1) Create and Use a Lead Form

Your relationship starts with how well you know your client. Thus, the getting-to-know-you step is crucial. 

To get started, incorporate a lead form on your website. Make it concise – just enough to capture the essential data you need to pre-qualify your prospect. 

If you don’t have a lead form for your website yet, start incorporating one now.

To get started, only ask for the following information:

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Name of their company
  • Contact information
  • Immediate Need
  • Budget

PRO TIP:
Use a tool like Dubsado that lets you build lead capture forms and connect them to a workflow that allows you to automate all the steps that come after the initial contact request.

2) Discovery Call – It’s Time To E-Meet Your New Potential Client

NOTE: If you have created your lead capture form in Dubsado, this step can be fully automated!

After a prospect reaches out to you, the next step is getting them on a call with you!
Send out an email that thanks them for their request and links them over to your online calendar scheduling tool, so they can schedule an initial call with you.

This is the time for you to get a feel for each other, but also the set expectations.

The intake form they will get in the process of becoming one of your clients is probably quite long.

Now is the time to put your new client at ease about that: “Yes, the intake form can be quiet overwhelming but be assured it’s the best use of our time! Using this form we ensure I don’t need to bug you simply because I forgot to ask that one thing or us both spending hours going forth and back on email for me to get all assets. You know what?! I’ll send you a little Starbucks gift card! Block 20 minutes in your calendar, go grab your favorite Starbucks and just fill it all out. How does that sound?”

You prepped your new client that this will take a little work. You've just made a new friend, because who doesn’t like gifts?! 
And you just made your life easier by automating the client intake.

3) Send Out Your Proposal and Execute a Contract!

Just like the first two steps, you can fully automate this part as well. 

There are two types of proposals:

  • Chose your packages
  • What we recommend (custom solution)

You should have both versions ready as a template.
The “chose your package” solution is the easiest. Add all packages and let the client choose.

The “what we recommend” is a little bit more involved, but you still can have the template ready to go with and simply add the custom piece before sending it out.

And to really take it over the top, add a visual roadmap that shows our clients what to expect, what they’ll have to do, and what you’ll be doing… and most importantly when!

PRO TIP:
Coming back to Dubsado, this can be set up as a template, automatically populated with the client’s info and for the custom proposal you can even pull in an invoice to showcase your client’s custom package in the proposal.

In the process of automating all this in Dubsado, you can get your contract signed and the first invoice paid – all in one swoop.
Dubsado proposals allow you to connect a contract to your proposal. Once your new client chooses and approves your proposal they should be sent a contract to sign and after the client signs, the first invoice pops up for them to pay, like it is magic.

All without lifting a finger.

4) The Real Work Begins, With Strategy

Time to dig deep with your new client.
Here comes the questionnaire you told them about in your discovery call. This should be able to shed light on your client’s branding, voice, do’s and don'ts.

It is important to note you should never do start this next step without having a contract and paid invoice!

Using a questionnaire, ask your new client everything you need to know to help you do your job. 

Here are some questions you might want to include in your questionnaire: 

  • What are your goals? 
  • What are the things you are allowed to talk about? 
  • What are those things that they prohibit you from doing? 
  • What is the ‘personality’ and ‘tone’ of their brand? 
  • What are the top 10 questions most of their clients ask? 
  • What are the top 10 questions their clients should ask?
  • How do we want the target to FEEL after seeing the brand, website, or advertisement? 
  • Are there any legal requirements for this project? 
  • What advertising vehicles are being considered? 
  • What is your business’s unique value proposition? 
  • What are your organization’s goals? 
  • Who is your target market, audience, or persona?
  • And many more, keep updating your intake form when new things pop up.

PRO TIP:
As you probably guessed it, this would be your next automated step after an “invoice is paid” in your Dubsado workflow if you decide to put all this on autopilot.

Get paid to write social media strategies!

 5) Don’t Stop Here 

A solid onboarding is always followed up by regular updates. Make sure your client sees (and not just guesses) what you are doing for them and the results you achieve for them. Keeping the client in the loop is not only the easiest way to keep the client happy, but it is also essential to creating new content!

How can you do this?

After your new clients pay their monthly retainer, make sure to send out an email that asks them about:

  • New events happing next month
  • Ongoing or new sales
  • New client testimonials
  • Industry-specific news
  • Or anything else they’d like you to focus your content on

so that you can start on creating their content calendar.

The Work Does Not Stop!

This onboarding workflow is the same for every new client. There is no need to modify anything from the automated process other than tweaking and optimizing it.

I know, I know…  Many think it’s much of a hassle – but remember, a streamlined process like this will save you about 75% of your client onboarding time. So, why not start doing it right now? 

Good luck, and have fun with your business! 

Do you have any questions? Are you ready to tackle your onboarding process?

If you are a visual person, check out my YouTube video about onboarding!

Yvonne

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