A Freelancers Guide to the Onboarding Process

It is far more costly to attract and find new clients’ than it is to put time and effort into maintaining them. So why would you want to lose them? Keep your clients’ happy and coming back to you month in, month out with the help of an effective onboarding process.

Your onboarding process should begin the moment your potential client makes contact with your business.

Utilise an Onboarding Process Checklist

Collect all necessary information to allow you both to begin a working relationship. This not only means collecting and storing the basics, like contact details this information should be a given.

Your onboarding process should also involve doing some research into their business and the clients’ they work with. Get to know them on a personal level. Ask yourself questions about their company ethos, their attitudes and aspirations and get a feel how working together will benefit you both.

Onboarding also means giving your clients’ vital information about you and your business. So:

Personalise your welcome

I send my clients’ a Welcome Pack. It contains everything they need to know about working with me and includes:

  • A personalised, welcome to Virtuoso-PA letter
  • My Contact details – which includes every known to man way of contacting me; Phone, e-mail, Skype etc
  • Your Contract with the client
  • Terms and Conditions – which should include rates, payment and invoicing details
  • FAQs
  • Copies of professional licences and your confidentiality agreement

Make it easy for them to contact you

Communication and client retention go hand in hand. Customer service is an integral part of any business, no matter the size of said business. So make sure you offer an impeccable customer experience for them. Let them think they are the only client you have and offer a top notch personalised service to them.

As I am a sole trader, which my clients’ obviously know. I often let my clients’ know in advance when I am going to be away from my office for more than an hour during the working day. At first I questioned myself about this… do I really need to do this?  I use ‘out of office’ on my telephone and email, so isn’t that enough!? Well, NO. My clients’ deserve better than a bog standard “I’m unable to answer your call/email…” message. They are special and unique to me!onboarding retentionFollow-up and Check-in Regularly

To stay in business and bring in recurring revenue, you also have to add an extra bit of zing to your onboarding process and for this you need to think of a retention policy.

Think of ways to retain your clients’. Send them regular personalised email updates, which should include new services you are offering. Speak to them at least on a monthly basis and involve them in a referral program.

Constantly remind your clients’ how you bring value to their business and how much you value them.

I offer a discount on services to my clients’ for a referral and do not offer those discounts to anyone else in any other promotions. Discounts on my services are only for my clients. It’s my way of saying thank-you to them.

How you approach the onboarding process will greatly impact your future revenue.

Strive to give your customers an amazing service and an impeccable experience and they will shout about the services you offer; which, will ultimately bring in more business and revenue.

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Karina Bailey

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Written by Karina Bailey

Karina is the real person behind the Virtual Assistant. I support local small business owners, helping to relieve their admin stress and concentrate on their core business. When not at my desk working I can be found in graveyards, researching my family history. Dancing the Salsa and listening to local bands.