"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Monday, October 22, 2018

How to Onboard New Clients (and why you should)

It doesn’t take a “rocket scientist” to realize that the better you treat your clients, the greater the likelihood for retention and repeat business. It’s a “no-brainer.”
And one of the best ways to provide them with a positive experience is an onboarding session. In today’s post we’ll explore what it is, why you need one, and how to properly execute it.

So, if you’re “on board” let’s discuss client onboarding.


According to Practiceignition.com: “Client onboarding is the process of bringing on a new client to your business. It’s your opportunity to build a relationship, address concerns, get the client up to speed and start the project on the right foot.”

  • It helps them to better understand your practices, policies and preferences.
  • It shortens their learning curve.
  • It decreases the likelihood of miscommunication and unmet needs.
  • It outlines expectations and often enhances client relations.

  • It helps to establish a professional image and contributes to client confidence.
  • It allows for a more strategic approach to your projects.
  • It saves time.
  • It can protect you legally (in case of contract breaches.)

Though your needs and objectives may vary, here are a few things it should typically address and include:

  • A client welcome letter
  • A client profile or questionnaire (to identify and record their initial goals, expectations, and related costs for the project)
  • Contract for services
  • Your refund/cancellation policy
  • A disclaimer
  • A "FAQ" page 
  • Outline of duties (who is responsible for what?)

Take it from me. I learned the hard way. Not every client you encounter will be familiar with the publishing industry, know what constitutes a legal and binding agreement, or what is considered a reasonable expectation. The more info you provide them with upfront, the fewer detours on the path to a successful project.

  • Create your own checklist to follow.
  • Have a consultation with the client over the phone.
  • Depending upon your location (and that of your client) set up a coffee date.
  • Meet via Skype.
  • Conduct online through emails.


Business expert Dan Steiner states that: "Getting a client onboard is all about how you present yourself and your product. If you show them you’ve kept their needs in mind through development, and you lay out what your product can do for them, it’s a whole lot easier to score their loyalty."

Client onboarding can set the right tone for a rewarding experience for you and your clients.
And that "tone" will serve as music to your ears.

Have a great week, folks. Thanks for reading.

Thoughts? Questions?
Do you have an onboarding for new clients? Did I miss anything here?

Image credits: Pixabay.com



  1. Good to know. I didn't realize this practice had an official title. Thanks for the helpful info, Jen!

  2. You're so awesome! I don't suppose I've truly read something like that before.
    So nice to discover someone with genuine thoughts on this issue.

    Really.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is
    one thing that is required on the internet, someone with a bit
    of originality!

  3. As always great advice. I am going to pass this on to a friend.

    1. Much appreciation, Lin.
      I hope she finds it useful as well. Thanks for your feedback here.

  4. Thanks for this post Jennifer, this is definitely something that I need to think about how to communicate because,

    Recently I was at at Birthday party and at such occasions I frequenly are asked to explaining what service we offer as Photographer/Designers. It appears that somehow for many it is difficult to understand.

    I sell Products with Our Designs - ON - them through Online Webstore(s), and I DONT sell just - One - Product, infact I don't even make any of the Products myself,

    I only create Designs that get Printed
    - ON - Products.

    (Many of our designs are
    All-Over-Printed Photo Designs)

    Designs especially for Nature Lovers, Special Colorful Nature Inspired Designs that make you feel Part Of Nature.

    - ON - a Wide Variety of Products, ON Office Products like Pens, Notebooks, USB-sticks, ON Travel Products like Suitcases, Backpacks, ON Clothing like Leggings, Hoodies, T-shirts,
    even on Shoes, etc. etc.

    Somehow it is difficult for people to understand and they think that I Design the Products themselves or something.