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4 Mistakes People Make Onboarding New Clients

March 23, 2022

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Your onboarding process is your first opportunity to make an impression and show your new client what they can expect out of working with you. A simplified version looks like…

?? The client says yes to working with you

?? You send a contract and a link for them to process their payment

?? They sign the contract and process their payment

?? You send a welcome email with the next steps.

✨ Ta-dah! ✨


Seems simple, but let’s talk about huge mistakes you might make in your onboarding process that can complicate your relationship with your clients.

1. Missing the welcome packet/email

Your welcome email/packet is your opportunity to let your client in on your process. They’ll have big questions about what’s next from you and what they can expect and this is where you get to answer all of those questions.

Think from your client’s perspective when your write your welcome email. What information will they need to know? Where is the best place for them to contact you? When are you available to them? What should they do next?

Failing to have one means your client might message you via email when you like to text. It might also mean your client is sending a bunch of texts to your phone will a million questions you could have answered in one email.

2. Setting unrealistic expectations

Whether you’re a social media manager who is helping someone grow their following or you’re a coach helping someone improve their mindset, you want to be realistic with your clients about what they can achieve. The big key: under-promise and over-deliver.

This goes from the time you onboard your client, throughout the entire relationship. If you’re going to take 48 hours to reply to their messages, let them know. If you don’t think their Instagram audience will hit 10,000 followers overnight, let them know.

There is nothing worse than a client who feels frustrated throughout the duration of working with you because they were expecting something you never intended on providing.

3. Forgetting to get a contract

This is a HUGE mistake. So many of my own clients started their businesses without contracts and found themselves in sticky situations. If you don’t have a contract, then you don’t have clear expectations for what you are delivering and how the client needs to contribute to the relationship.

If you’re a graphic designer, how many rounds of edits do you want to do for your clients? If you’re a coach, how many coaching sessions do you provide and when does your client need to use them?

Answering those questions with a contract can help you avoid clients with endless edits and clients who use their coaching calls well past when the coaching relationship was supposed to end.

4. Acting slowly

If your client is ready to work with you, you better be ready to move! This is why it’s so important to have an onboarding process set up before you sign your first contract. As soon as you get off the final sales call with your new client, you want to send them their contract and invoice.

Your new client is probably excited to work with you and awaiting the next steps. Leaving them waiting might make them feel like they can’t trust you to be timely, which is no good.

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Hi, I'm Ashley!

Certified Life and Business Coach helping women around the world discover and monetize their expertise

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