The Affluent Agency has seen catastrophic growth in the past six months and the curve doesn’t show signs of slowing anytime soon. When your agency begins to take off, you could be signing up 5 clients per week, so it’s no surprise that the process of onboarding these new clients needs to be streamlined and professional. What is onboarding?. Onboarding is the process of taking a client that has verbally said yes to your service to a full time paying client.
We would argue that onboarding is one of the processes of owning a marketing agency or of being a freelancer that so few people bother to do correctly or even bother to do at all. This step is crucial for many reasons, not only does it portray your business as professional and efficient it also helps cover you legally if anything was to go wrong with your arrangement with your clients.
For any service-based business, whether you’re a Videographer, a Facebook Ad Expert or a Freelance Social Media Manager it’s essential that you get everything ready in advance, so that you can fulfil your service to the highest standard. This includes (but not limited to) setting up and receiving payment, writing up contracts and creating questionnaires.
Don’t be fooled, this can be one of the most time-consuming parts of the relationship because you’re just getting to know your new client, nonetheless, it’s important and unfortunately, there’s no avoiding it. This is your time to address questions and concerns and ensure the client understands the service you provide and exactly how it will be provided and I can assure you that later down the road, it will make your service delivery 10x easier and quicker.
It’s worth noting that this will be the first real communication you’re having with your client other than the initial sales call, so you must find a system that is stress-free but effective because first impressions matter in this industry. These steps are the steps that we take during the onboarding of our clients at the Affluent Agency. Please feel free to adapt or replicate them to work best for you, your business and your new clients.
Step Number 1
Decide on your communication tool, maybe it’s Slack or Gmail, but for us, it’s WhatsApp Groups. Set up a group with all relevant people added and name it. Top Tip - try to keep your communication across the whole company to one tool if you can, it will make things a lot less complicated down the line.
Step Number 2
Draft and send your digital contracts (Service Agreement), this is a legal document that underlines everything from your client name, the service you’re providing, monthly deliverable, payment terms, minimum terms of service and so on. Every member of the Affluent Academy get’s access to our Service Agreement Template that has been checked over by our lawyers. This will save you lots of time drafting one up from scratch.
Step Number 3
Send your payment request, it’s very important in any service based business that you don’t start work without receiving your first month's payment. You wouldn’t expect to be able to walk out of a shop with a pair of jeans and pay for them a month later would you? So make sure that you send and receive payment first! We teach you exactly how we send automated payment requests within the Affluent Academy.
Step Number 4
Get all the information you need to hit the ground running by sending your ‘Onboarding Questionnaire’ to your client, this comprises 5-10 questions that help give you a better understanding of how your service can best help them. For example; ‘Who are your main competitors?’, ‘What is your 1 year business goal?’, ‘What would you like to achieve from my services?”. Again... This is a template that our Academy students will have access to.
Step Number 5
Now it’s time to gain access to the files, documents and platforms needed to carry out your service. For example if you are a Social Media Manager, then you will need access to their Social Media accounts, if you are a Facebook Ads Agency, then you will need to show them how to add you to their Business Manager. From a lot of experience onboarding 100s of new businesses, we would suggest sending them a Loom video explaining how to do this, as texting back and forth with instructions can get messy.
For a more detailed, verbal explanation delivered by the Managing Director of Affluent.co, Jordan Platten, check out this video below!