Hey ya, everyone! I’ve been getting questions about our client onboarding process—from the first time someone contacts us until the project starts.
So in this blog post, I’m gonna give you a sneak peek into the behind-the-scenes of my client onboarding process that I’ve been perfecting for over a year now (and still am).
Here at Maevi Creative Studio, we have a straightforward client onboarding process that ensures our process goes down without a hitch. So without further ado, let me break down the six stages of my client onboarding process!
1. Initial Touchpoint
How does your client find you? For me, the entire process starts the moment my client interacts with my brand. Whether that’s through Instagram, Facebook, or my website – it’s important to note where they come from.
And I’m calling this first interaction a touchpoint because the client makes an important decision. The client has to fill out the contact form on our website so we can get more information on the project and business before we get on a call.
2. Aligning with the client (Discovery Call)
Once I realize the project ticks all the boxes (for me, it’s a type of project, budget, and schedule), I invite them for a call because it’s the most interactive way compared to emails. Not many businesses do this, but I like to speak with my potential client before jumping on board. This helps me get more information about the project and better know them personally.
So I send an email with a Calendly link so they could see my availability & efficiently book their call. We’re ALL about client ease & simplicity.
Before the discovery call takes place, I like to do a bit more digging into the person and their business and jot down some questions I might want to ask them during the discovery call.
During the call, I’ll ask numerous questions to ensure we’re a good fit and for me to get an insight into their business and ensure that I can add value.
3. Sending the proposal
If the Discovery Consultation went well and we’re a good fit for each other, then it’s time to send a proposal! Again, customization is necessary when it comes to sending a proposal too! I used to write all of my proposals from scratch for each lead when I was starting… Now I have templates for each type of project, So I save time with a couple of pre-made proposal templates. I send the proposal document via email, and here’s what I include:
- The current stage of the client’s brand and objectives
- Work process and details of what will be covered
- Timeline (How long would each step take)
- Investment: Clarify the client the time, effort, and money they need to invest.
You can get my project proposal template from my designer shop. ⬇️
So how can my client respond to the proposal? It’s simple, really – I give them the option to reply
“I’m ready to level up” to my proposal email if they want to accept it!
4. Contract & Invoice
Acceptance of the proposal is just one thing. To entirely seal the deal, I send my client a legal contract. This paperwork gives both of us the security to work together and officially kicks off the process.
Again, I keep templates for contracts. So I need to make a few edits in the document instead of spending hours away. I have set up my template for the contract, which comes in handy every time with each client.
And I do the same for the invoice too. I send it along with the contract and typically take the down payment to get the work going. This is to ensure a smooth and flexible experience for my client.
5. Notion Portal Set-Up
While I’m waiting for the client to return the signed contract and pay the deposit invoice, I start getting things together behind the scenes.
Every client will have their own Notion Client Portal with a list of tasks that must be completed throughout the project. I use this portal as our primary form of communication and feedback and set up tasks and deadlines for each other. Feedback and collaboration become easier. It’s also faster because my client and I can keep track of deadlines and the work timeline.
To make things easier for me, I already have a Notion template” for each type of project that I duplicate and customize for each project. This usually takes me 20 minutes max and saves hours of confusion throughout a single project using my very own Client Portal Template on Notion.
6. Welcome Guide
Proposal? Approved. Contract? Signed. Invoice? Paid. Hooray! 🥳
The project can officially begin!
My client will receive a welcome email with the welcome guide attached that will set clear expectations and boundaries to ensure our project runs smoothly from beginning to end.
The better you set up expectations at the beginning, the easier and smoother the project will be.
This includes everything my clients need to know about working with me effectively and outlines my processes, policies, and boundaries. For example, I would like to add about “how to provide constructive feedback,” how to communicate and get in touch with me, and a reminder of my office hours and response times.
And there you have it! These are the six steps I have to onboard a client efficiently and professionally BUT don’t be afraid to mix things up and add your personal touch to your business!
It’s all about thinking from the client’s perspective. And making sure that everything goes smoothly. After all, building loyalty, awareness, and trust are necessary. I hope you enjoyed seeing my onboarding process, and I look forward to working with you as well!
Until next time!