4 Essential Things I Do Every Time I Book A Client
After working online for 3 years (and making my fair share of mistakes), I’ve learned a thing or two, and refined my client workflow to make the entire process go super smooth from start to finish! And here’s the cool part: YOU CAN TOTALLY DO THIS TOO!
Here are four of the most important things in my client workflow that I do every time I book a client:
1. Send Contract & Proposal Online via Honeybook
Today, I use Honeybook, for contracts and invoicing… but I didn’t always.
For a whole year, I processed all of my contracts and collected all of my payments via free softwares. When people would ask me what online system I used to book clients, I would laugh and respond, “too many”.
I had one for payments, one for contracts, one for accounts flow and a good old fashioned spreadsheet, to boot!
My, ahem, “system” looked like this:
I send a styled Pages document “proposal” to my client via email; my client responds and says they’d like to book; I type a contract in Pages; I convert the document to an editable PDF; I send the contract; I email the contract to the Client with payment instructions… THEN… Client signs the contract; Client sends a paypal payment;; I transfer the funds from PayPal to my account; I type an email confirmation to Client, I sign and date the contact; I attach the signed contracts and explain when the balance, if any, is due.
You guys. So many steps. So many final payments being chased down. Plus all the extra time adding reminders in my Google Calendar, sending reminders to my clients when they forgot (because, let’s be real, they were busy, too!).
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Talk about exhaustion and scarcity mindset. I resisted any monthly payment for a management system. so. hard.
I’m Dave Ramsey person with “gazelle” intensity, so I always did everything I could to save and be a good steward of what I had, and for a long time, I thought I was making the best choice by doing it this way.
But the longer I was in business, and still doing “all the things” myself though, I realized that being a good steward of my time is just as important as managing my money because time is a non-renewable resource!
Here’s the thing. It totally IS possible to make more money over time! It’s NOT possible, however, to create more time! Over the years, I’ve learned time is actually my most valuable asset.
Earlier in my career, I didn’t understand that. So, for years, I wasted umpteen hours playing with different free systems when I could’ve been using that time focusing on profitable actions. There’s a time and place to DIY it in your small business. Contracts and payments isn’t one of them.
To help get you started, here’s a code for 50% off your first year with Honeybook.
2. Schedule First Session
I love Honeybook and I also love Acuity.
One of the biggest time-saps in on-boarding client and booking the first client session is the ping pong emails of finding a time to schedule the sessions.
Have you ever experienced emails like these?
Does this Thursday at 10 am work for you?
No. How about Friday 1pm?
Nope, the kids get out early that day. How about Monday at 2pm?
That works! Let me put you in my calendar.
Ok, I’ll put it down in my calendar too! Thanks!
15 of your profitable minutes, GONE.
With Acuity, the client can book their sessions for a time that works best for them based on the availability you set prior to sharing your calendar with them.
If they need to reschedule, they can do that on their own too!
It automatically sends you a notification and gets added to your Google calendar (which also shows up in Honeybook once you link them).
And it gets better. You can even make this step an automated email with the Acuity scheduling page link in Honeybook! And if you are wondering if that Acuity link is a promo code as well, it is and you should snag it to up-level your systems.
3. Send Pre-Session Homework
Early in my career, I was hustling for clients so when I booked the first ones, it was overwhelmingly exciting.
Nothing shattered that excitement faster than showing up to the first session with expectations of: THIS is going to be awesome! We are going to have SO MANY BREAKTHROUGHS! Only to arrive to the first session to hear the client waffling about what they wanted and “needing more time” to figure that out.
Even though, I reminded them that these sessions were FOR thinking, and I asked probing questions, they just would still feel so torn and unable to come to a decision. They just kept asking for TIME. Which to a certain point, is totally fine.
But the session just felt unproductive and I felt like a total goof.
Here’s the thing though, it wasn’t THEIR fault.
I hadn’t served my clients well. I hadn’t done my job of intentionally educating them on how to maximize our time together (and it was my responsibility, not theirs!) A brainstorm session filled with uncertainty and lack of clarity certainly wasn’t going to help me attract higher end clients or get the testimonials I knew I was worthy of.
I didn’t want to repeat that experience so I very quickly created “pre-session homework” workbooks such as the Personal Branding Workbook and the Logo Questionnaire and that changed everything for me.
I send that now, prior to our first session together so they have TIME to think about some of the tougher questions and we can process those answers better during the session.
It’s REVOLUTIONIZED the first session and clients are SO excited about next steps coming out of that session! Talk about a game changer.
4. Send Client Questionnaire
If a client books me out in advance, say, 3 months out, Honeybook can automatically send a questionnaire to my client. However, I’ll usually wait until 2 weeks before the first client session to send it because, if I send it right at booking, she’ll probably a) forget because it’s so far away, or b) feel stressed because she isn’t in the right headspace.
In my experience, one- two weeks before the client session, she is in the right headspace and starting to think about our time together, has most of the answers she needs, she’s in client mode (so she gets it back pretty fast) and there’s enough time before our first session that if something stands out in the questionnaire, we still have time to address it and get it all sorted out before it’s too late.
Because this is automated, I don’t even have to think about this as I get closer to the first session. It’s all automated in the initial setup!
(If you want to learn exactly how I set up Honeybook automations, check out this blog post)
These 4 simple steps are what I consider to be most essential and these steps are almost ALL automated thanks to HoneyboOK.
The automations have transformed my business and client experience as well as their results.
If you want to know the rest of client onboarding workflow, you can download my Client On-Boarding Workflow Checklist for FREE by clicking here.
I like to use Honeybook in conjunction with Acuity and Asana.
Even if you already have a client workflow, go ahead and download mine anyways! It’ll give you peace of mind where you’re on the right track, and help you fill in any gaps that you maybe didn’t see. It never hurts to double-check your work!
Then you can use my client workflow checklist in your own system and get the whole thing automated thanks to the folks at Honeybook! And remember, if you’re ready to streamline your systems for the first time, you can get 50% off right here!
I love systems. They don’t have to be complex to be powerful. I really hope this helps give some insight into my client workflow and booking process!