Onboarding. I bet the word pops up constantly in your social feeds. Onboarding is usually the different techniques that web apps and apps use to help their users get started. HR depts also uses the phrase. Typically referring to how they onboard new employees.
Web agencies have one moment when onboarding becomes very relevant. Onboarding new clients.
Optimizing the onboarding process of new clients can save up valuable time but few web agencies takes the time to automate it.
If you did a quick analyze of your process of onboarding new clients works I bet you come up with a list with 15 -20 steps.
Do you think you can automate the way you’re onboarding new clients? Maybe even free up some time while doing it? You betcha!
Onboarding new clients in an automated way can save you A LOT of time
Let’s start with understanding what we want to achieve by automating the onboarding of new clients.
- We want the process to help potential clients get familiar with our business on their own time.
- We want to answer as many common questions as possible
- We want to get to a sales call as fast as possible.
Let’s investigate a possible process :
- Client finds out about you and navigates to your webpage.
- Client browses through the portfolio section of your site.
- They like what they see and are interested in working with you. The client fills in their name and email address on the form you provided. In return they receive a “Getting Started” PDF. You automatically add their email to a MailChimp mailing list. Set the list to automatically send out the Getting Started PDF. Track if they click it or not (Mailchimp does this automatically). You never use this list to do any other sendouts. It’s exclusively for sending out the Getting Started PDF.
- In the PDF you detail your pricing, your work process and the type of projects you do. Make sure you also lists the types of projects you don’t do. Your Getting Started PDF should answer the common questions you always gets asked on the phone, or in emails. Make sure to include as many client testimonials as possible.
- Have a link to a project planner form in the end of the PDF.
- Host your free project planner form on wufoo.com. This form saves all the answers of the potential client and sends you an email when they’re done.
- When the client is done filling out the form they’re presented with a screen which includes a link to schedule a Skype call with you.
- Put the booking form for the Skype call in a system like NeedToMeet. These types of services visualizes your available meeting slots. Your potential client picks a time and both you and your client is sent an email confirmation. If you’re using Gmail you could also automate a Google Calendar event by using this Zap.
This process of onboarding new clients is only a suggestion. You’d want to adapt it to work with your infrastructure and your team. (Hot tip, Zapier can help you automate across a whole bunch of services.)
Everything that happens after this process doesn’t really need to be automated. You do the call and if both you and your client feel you’re right for each other you create a work description, get the initial payment and start the project.
By setting up an automated process like this for onboarding new clients you free up tons of time. You don’t have to answer the same questions over and over again. It also accelerates the whole process of deciding on a time which sometimes takes forever.