Surprisingly enough, how I onboard clients is one of my most asked questions in my Pinterest 1:1 coaching program! With that being said, I figured I would put up a blog post detailing my onboarding process from client inquiry to a signed contract & paid invoice. I hope that this blog helps all of you new business owners not only feel more confident in your ability to onboard clients, but also answers all of your questions! Here we go!
Step 1 in Onboarding Clients: The Client Inquiry
The client inquiry can come in many different ways: as an Instagram DM, an e-mail referral, a comment on a Facebook post, or even (but surprisingly rarely) as a filled out client application! No matter how this inquiry comes in, the most important thing for you to do after you receive their inquiry is get them into your system as a lead. When I get an Instagram DM inquiry, I will express how excited I am to potentially work with them & ask them to fill out a client application so that I can get to know more about them and their business. Once I have their E-mail address via the client form, I will outline what I offer, send them a welcome packet, a link to book a discovery call if they would like to and allow them time to get back to me before I follow up.
This first step is the step that I like to use in order to weed people out that I don’t think I will work well with or who are not ready to make the required monthly investment. Consequently, in my client application and in my preliminary discovery call questionnaire, I state up front that the investment begins at $XXX per month and ask whether this is an investment they are ready to make at this time. If they are, they’ll fill out the application and send it back to me. If they’re not, they more than likely will not finish the application & that’s okay because they just saved both of us a ton of time!
Step 2 in Onboarding Clients: The Discovery Call
Sometimes, if you get lucky, this call doesn’t even have to happen. Sometimes a referral is so warm, they already know they want to work with you. Send them the contract, send them the invoice, hop on a kick off call, and off to the races. However, this isn’t always the case. Most of the time, people will want to chat with you before they commit to working with you. So, after your lead fills out a client app and you have all of their info, if you believe that the two of you would be a good match, draft an e-mail or DM letting them know how excited you are to potentially work with them and share a link to you discovery call scheduler with them so that they can book a call. This step can also be automated within a Dubsado or Honeybook workflow if you’re fancy like that!
Step 3 in Onboarding Clients: The Commitment
I try to warm my clients up so much that by the time we get on a discovery call, it’s basically just to discuss a start date rather than determining whether we actually want to work together or not. One way that I do this is by pre-vetting them with both my client application & discovery call questionnaire. By the time they have scheduled a discovery call, they have seen my prices at least TWICE and have not walked away. Another way that I do this is with my welcome packet. In my welcome packet, I cover my policies, timezone, some fun facts about me, and a service sheet.
So, by the time my potential clients and I actually make it to the discovery call, they already have so much info, their only question is typically “when do we start?”
I encourage you to streamline the first phase of your onboarding process with a welcome packet and pre-vetting forms so that you don’t have to deal with being ghosted or told that you are out of budget after waiting 3 weeks for a discovery call. However, even after all of this, sometimes clients still aren’t quite ready to sign with you immediately after the call. Maybe they need to check their budget, pay off a debt, or finish a course before they’re ready to commit. If they don’t give you a “yes” on the call, wait two days and reach out to remind them.
Step 4 in Onboarding Clients: From Lead to Job
Woohoo! Your potential client just became a REAL client! Now it’s time to get this party started. First thing you should do after you get a “yes” is send your client an invoice and contract. I personally use Dubsado for project management; however, Honeybook is also amazing! Now on to the much awaited step 5….
Step 5: Onboarding Your New Client
Onboarding a client can be super intimidated when you first get started. What questions should you ask? What all do you need from them? Images? Logos? Calendars? Stop right there! That’s why I created my onboarding freebie! Click here to download a list of questions to ask your Pinterest clients when you’re onboarding them.
How should you create this form? I used to create my onboarding forms in Notion! I know, random right? But it actually worked REALLY well. In fact, I recently switched over to Dubsado and designed out a ton of fancy forms and proposals, but I think I actually preferred my old Notion onboarding system! With Notion, you can share certain pages with certain people and allow them to edit the document themselves. You can also embed your calendly, a google drive folder, and even add an editable calendar for them to add important dates to!
If you’re not a fan of Notion, you can also create onboarding forms via Dubsado, Jotform, Honeybook, or you can even just e-mail them and ask them to send you responses. Don’t stress yourself out!
Step 6 in Onboarding Clients: The Kick Off Call
This is the fun part! Now you have all of their info & assets, their contract is signed, their invoice is paid, and they’ve scheduled a Kick-off call via your onboarding form (or e-mail). I like to use the kick off call to answer any last minute questions, let them know what our first week is going to look like, and make sure all of the Usernames and Passwords that they supplied me with work! It’s a super short & sweet call. Once this step is finished, your onboarding process is complete and your new client is officially a part of the team! Congrats!
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If you’re a new VA or Pinterest manager and you’re not feeling super confident in your ability to get results for your clients or feel like you could use a bit of extra help, fill out a client application for my 1:1 Pinterest coaching! The next round begins in January but applications are always open. I will also put my “How to Become a Pinterest EXPERT” workbook back on the market at a reduced rate for Black Friday, so keep an eye out for that if you’re not quite ready for 1:1 coaching!
Looking for more Pinterest related content? Check out my last post about the Pinterest Spam Filter & how to avoid it!