This episode is brought to you by my Template Shop launch! I’m launching all the templates I use in my own business with my own clients, so you can swipe ’em, edit ’em and impress your clients with a professional, streamlined process!
Jump on the waitlist to be the first to know when it’s live and get an extra discount during launch week!
The first impression you make on your clients is the of the most important steps in the entire customer experience. When your leads turn into paying customers, you want to create a great first impression and do everything you can to avoid confusion and prevent buyer’s remorse.
Once they give you their hard-earned money, it’s important to show your client the value of your services. Making a great first impression will help create a more enjoyable experience, and your clients will quickly become your return customers.
First of all, it’s a big deal to get another paying customer, and you should celebrate yourself! I remember getting my first real client, and then it hit me that I didn’t know what to do next.
Since then, I’ve learned through lots of trial and error and I found a few common mistakes that I’ve made. Today, I’ll share three common mistakes and how to avoid them to start off on the right foot with your new clients.
A project summary is the moment to put everything together and make it easily accessible and understandable. Even if you repeat some info and clauses that are in your contract, you should send a client welcome packet that’s more friendly than a contract.
I don’t know anyone who enjoys reading the fine print on a lengthy contract. So, in my welcome packet, I include the project’s start date, the deliverables, project total, payment schedule, and payment policy. You can go into more depth here and explain what your customers can expect from the completed project.
I like to explain the legal lingo in a simpler way. What happens when they’re late on a payment? Even if it’s in your contract, they may have just skimmed through it.
It’s always easier to share an overview of your project beforehand, and this ensures you and your clients are on the same page. When it’s your first time working together being on the same page is essential.
Your project overviews will also prevent last-minute changes and surprises. This could be your client’s first time working with someone like you, so sharing more details about their project will answer their questions and boost their confidence.
You will need to set expectations and communication boundaries as you’re welcoming your new client, or else there will be gray areas. You don’t want clients emailing you, messaging you on social media, or trying to text you at all hours of the day. You also don’t want to be waiting for weeks to receive a reply to your emails when you need more information from a client.
Establish how you will communicate and how you will provide updates about their project. Emphasize what happens when there are communication and feedback delays, and share how it can impact their project timeline.
I use Asana for managing my projects and tasks, so I include a short tutorial on Asana in my welcome guide. Your clients may be unfamiliar with the tools that you use every day, so sending a quick tutorial can help you both communicate effectively.
I also focus on the clauses in your contract, like revisions, how many I offer, and what happens when they want more changes. I also share the project scope: explain the deliverables, and share how they can add something extra. This ensures we’re on the same page, and addresses any misunderstandings early on.
Think about what issues happen most often in your projects? In the past, where have your expectations not matched with your client’s expectations?
You won’t be able to avoid every difficulty, but you can do everything that’s in your control to make the project run smoothly.
You always want them to know what’s happening and what to expect. Once they’ve paid you, your clients want something to happen quickly. It can be awkward for them if you don’t communicate what the next steps are.
My clients usually sign up for my services months in advance. To avoid confusion, I share things they can start doing to help. These steps include creating inspiration boards on Pinterest, looking for a copywriter, and talking with a brand photographer.
These tasks are all things that need to happen, and it helps your client feel like they’re making progress. When you help them identify the next steps, it builds trust and proves that you’re an expert.
Right after we go over the contract, I send a new client welcome email explaining the next steps, thank them for the deposit, and that they can expect my client welcome packet. Even if I’m not going to be working on their project for a few weeks, my welcome process makes them feel comfortable and assures them that I value their project.
Remember that your client isn’t a lead anymore. Now they have a fancy new label: client.
Welcoming clients takes practice, and you will find yourself making some mistakes. I know that I’ve made plenty, and I’m always improving my processes. If you want to make a better first impression, I have the perfect resource to help you!
At the end of August, I’m launching my brand new template shop, and you can be one of the first people in line. One of the templates I’m including is my Client Welcome Guide. You’ll have access to the welcome guide I use to take it and edit it for your new clients!
When you jump on the waitlist, you’ll also get access to all of my templates at the special introductory price during launch week.