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I wanna do something a little different today: I want to talk a bit about my own process. This is not something that I’ve done before here on the podcast, at least not to the extent that I’m going to today, but I think that this is really helpful for anyone that is also an entrepreneur or a designer themselves. You can get kind of an idea of what I have found to be most helpful in the beginning stages of my process, working with clients.
Also if you are someone that is interested in working with a designer this will give you a better idea of what the beginning process of all of this really looks like. I know that it can be a little daunting to reach out to someone and not really know what you’re in for.
So we’re going to talk a bit today about why I decided to start meeting my clients first before I do anything, and I really mean anything. I do NOT just send out pricing as soon as someone inquires anymore. I used to do that and we’re going to kind of talk about why I don’t do that anymore and how my current setup and my on-boarding process makes the whole process of working with a client go a lot smoother. If you were a graphic designer or a service based business owner that typically has a client on-boarding process that involves a client reaching out to you through your contact form and as soon as they have inquired, or based on what they said in their inquiry, you send off just your set pricing within a PDF or maybe a pricing sheet of some sort or maybe you just send off your pricing just in the email that you’re responding to their inquiry, I have done all of the above.
I’ve stopped doing all of that because in some ways I felt like that was a disservice to me and that was also doing a disservice to my clients.
First, I’m going to just kind of explain these beginning stages and what the kind of inquiry process looks like within my business: I have a contact form on my website and that is where I prefer all of my inquiries to come through. Now, occasionally I will get people showing up in my DM‘s on Instagram and wanting to know my pricing or any packages that I have and I always tell them that I custom quote for every project so I don’t have set packages and if they would go to my contact form and reach out to me there then I can answer any questions and we can set up a time to meet. I always try to redirect those less formal inquiries to my regular contact form.
I have my contact form set up so that I ask some of the questions that just kind of help me get a base idea of what this person‘s business would be, what they’re really interested in, if they’ve ever worked with a graphic designer before, that sort of thing. That can tell me a lot about what our initial meeting is going to be like and I can kind of prepare. If they are a blogger, I obviously know a lot about the blogging community. I work with a lot of bloggers and I can already have kind of in my head what I think they may be looking for. I also ask if they have a website that I can go to and look at just to see how they’re already presenting themselves online. If they don’t have a website then I know this is a fresh project, they’re starting something from scratch, and that can obviously change what their budget is or what their expectations for the project are.
I think that your inquiry form can be more than just “Reach out to me and see what I offer.” I think you can ask some of those questions to get the ball rolling and to help you get a better idea of what that project is going to look like. That will just help speed things along and make everything go a lot smoother in the beginning. At that point you’re not showing up to a meeting with that client and asking them “So what do you do?” Or “what is it that you were interested in?” or anything like that. It’s nice to just have that information upfront.
After they have inquired with me, that info goes into my CRM, which is my management software. I used of Dubsado for all of my client management and all of my project management so it goes in there. Then I am immediately send them a link to book on my calendar a time to meet.
This is something that honestly I used to not do. Like I said before, I used to send off just a pricing sheet and I think in the early stages actually I started with just emailing back with my pricing and what a web design project or branding project would cost. It really depended on what they were asking for but I kind of had in my head what I wanted to charge. I was still in the early stages where I was figuring things out and wasn’t quite sure what all I wanted to offer to clients. Basically it was kind of a bare-bones approach and it allowed me to change my pricing on a whim if I felt like a project was gonna be more intense. But it also wasn’t the most professional.
When a client is coming to you and is wanting to pay you for a service they want a really professional approach from the very beginning and I think that the inquiry process really sets the tone for the rest of the project.
If you’re just emailing back with a couple of prices, chances are, you’re not gonna be able to charge as much because you’re not telling them why this project should be valuable to them and you’re not really getting any information back from them. You’re just kind of guessing at what you think they’re gonna need and then you are just giving them a price.
Again, I think that this is where it starts to creep up where you’re doing a disservice to you and to your client by not learning more about them.
Once I have sent off the calendar link and they’ve picked a time that works for them in my schedule it automatically sets up a zoom meeting for us which I just think is super super handy. With the zoom meeting they will also get a reminder 30 minutes before the meeting starts that they have a meeting coming up. That just cuts down on clients possibly ghosting you and not showing up for a meeting which I have had happen in the past. But that can also be a really good sign, in a way, to not take on that project. I do see it as a red flag if a client doesn’t show up to a meeting that they themselves have chosen the time for. So even when a client does the whole ghosting thing I don’t always see that as a bad thing. In fact I see it as a “OK, thank you. You’ve told me now that this is probably not a project that I want to take on” because my process does involve meeting up quite a bit and it involves a lot of feedback from clients. I like to have a very collaborative process. So this initial meeting can tell me a lot just based on whether or not they show up or if they show up on time.
Once we have this initial meeting, this is where I can really set the stage for what this whole project is going to be like. I can get a feeling for the clients, they can get a feeling for me, and we can really talk in depth about their project as a whole.
This is really where this first meeting is so so important:
Getting to Know the Client
The first thing is that I am able to get to know my potential client and they get to know me and this is huge because, again, I have a very collaborative process. There are lots of feedback forms back-and-forth, if it’s a full branding and web design project we will have multiple meetings throughout the project usually when I’m presenting initial brand strategy and when I’m presenting web strategy and then of course when we’re kind of wrapping things up and I want to show them their website functioning. So there will be at least three big meetings. Sometimes with clients it’s also handy to meet with them throughout the project to get feedback but that’s kind of a client by client basis and I don’t do that for everyone.
But during this initial meeting I can see if our personalities gel together. I don’t think that you have to necessarily be besties with every client that you work with but I do think that you should be able to have a very open rapport and be able to talk back-and-forth and have a lot of fun together.
This process should be fun! It is about business but it should be really exciting too! You’re designing something fresh for them or they are starting a new business journey and you’re helping them get there!
For my photography friends that are listening, if you’re meeting with a client they potentially have something big happening in their life! Either they have a new baby coming, or maybe they’re engaged, or maybe your meeting with them to discuss their wedding day and all of those things are really, really exciting! Especially if you’re photographing or filming someone’s wedding day you’re going to be spending all day with them on one of the most important days of their life! So I think it’s really important that you get along, that you get to know one another, and that you build this personal trust.
A lot of these service based businesses and relationships really come down to trusting one another since you’re going to be working together over an extended period of time.
Maybe you are a social media manager and you’re talking with a client that you could potentially be running their entire marketing for the foreseeable future. I think it’s pretty dang important that you guys are on the same page or you at least have a friendly connection with one another! So this is a biggie as far as this initial meeting is concerned. This will let you know a lot about whether or not your personalities line up together, whether or not you’re going to feel comfortable working with one another for months on end, and just kind of sets the tone for the rest of the project.
Hear Client’s Pressure Points or Concerns
The next way this meeting helps a ton is it allows you a chance to hear any pressure points or concerns that this potential client has involving the project. Now for each of my clients, even though I offer similar services for all of them, everyone has different things that they’re struggling with and they are at different points in their business. This meeting gives me a chance to ask a lot of questions about where they are and what sorts of things are concerning them and why they even reached out to me in the first place.
Maybe they really don’t know anything about SEO and they feel like their current website is just struggling in that area, or maybe they do have a brand but they have a website that doesn’t match their brand. It really depends on the client, like I said, but this gives me a chance to talk to them and really hear what they have to say.
One of my previous clients called me her brand therapist and I actually love that because I think that something that really any designer should do is listen to what their client is saying and what their client is needing in order to design something perfect for them. Design is not a one-size-fits-all situation and your client is going to tell you what it is that they are worried about or things that they’ve been thinking about. Even if they’re struggling to put it into words, they’re at least going to try to tell you their pressure points and concerns, and it’s really our job to listen and interpret what they’re saying and then try and turn that into visuals that help them with those issues that they’re facing. I see a lot of what I do as listening and then interpreting and helping clients achieve the goals that they’re trying to achieve.
With any service based business owner, if you are talking with a client they’re going to either tell you upfront, “This is why I’m contacting you. I need XY and Z. I really hope that I can achieve this with my business.” but even if they don’t outright tell you those things, maybe they haven’t identified them yet. This gives you an opportunity to ask those questions like, “Is there anything you’re loving about your current business situation? Anything you’re not loving about your current business situation? Any goals that you’ve thought about? If this project were to absolutely do the most for your business, what would you like it to do?”
Sometimes a client will just come to you and say “I think I need social media management. I think that that will help me get more inquiries.” but maybe they’re not really sure and that gives you an opportunity to say “Yes! I definitely can help you in these areas and this is what I can provide for you.”
Set Project Expectations
That kind of leads into my third point but this gives you an opportunity to discuss expectations and to also set expectations. So in this first meeting you should really talk about what the endgame looks like for this project. If your client is expecting maybe a totally revamped website, where you have done every single page and they haven’t had to touch a thing, you obviously need to talk about that in this first meeting! You could be quoting them for just re-doing their blog or just redoing their homepage not realizing that they are expecting you to handle everything so it’s really really important that you kind of set the boundaries of what the project contains but then also what they can expect delivery wise or what they can expect from the process as a whole.
I always like to explain to my clients what my process looks like and then I also like to discuss expectations like, “if we’re doing branding, we’re going to do a brand strategy session first and then we’re going to establish creative direction before we even get to designing the logo.” I know that some of my clients have never had a professional designer design a logo for them before and they may just think that tomorrow they’re going to be presented with a bunch of main logo concepts and that’s just not how my business runs. So it’s really important for me to discuss that with them but then also to discuss deliverables at the end and say something like “It sounds like to me that you were going to need a main logo asset and you’re gonna need some patterns to use throughout your marketing campaigns and you’re going to need a hangtag design to use for your products, etc.” and that can also give them a bigger picture of what this project may involve in terms of budgeting. Sometimes clients may think that coming into a project like this that it’s just something really simple and they just need a logo and some brand colors. And really what it comes down to is they need to be thinking big picture: what is their marketing going to look like, do they need a designer to handle that, what does their product look like and will they need a designer to handle that. They might really need a designer or want a designer for those things but they just haven’t thought that far ahead yet.
Same with other businesses: if you’re a wedding photographer you definitely know about what’s called scope creep. We talk about this a lot in the designer community. Scope creep starts with a client wanting just a little bit extra of something within the framework of the project. Maybe you haven’t discussed marketing campaigns but the client just needs like one email designed and then you’re like “Fine. I’ll just throw that in.” and then they want like one more asset designs and you’re like “Alright. I’ll throw that in too.” and that starts to be scope creep where suddenly you’ve done a lot of stuff within the project that you didn’t even charge for.
That happens a lot with wedding photographers and I’m sure, if any of you are listening, you’re nodding your heads. I have filmed and photographed weddings and there are certain times where if you have not set the boundaries of either how long you will be at the wedding or how many photos or how long of a video you will deliver there can start to be scope creep in terms of what the client expects you to do. Especiallly on the wedding day itself! It’s so important for photographers to establish when they’re going to arrive and when they are going to leave. I find that the leaving part is usually where the scope creep really starts to come in because you’re already there, you already have your gear, you’ve already been photographing and filming all day, and if the client wants you to stay for, say, the bouquet toss and it’s only 30 minutes away from where we are now it’s easy to be like “Well sure, I’ll stay and I’ll get the bouquet toss.” and then they’re like, “well in 30 more minutes we’re gonna be leaving so can you just stay to get that?” It’s so important to have a timeline for the day and to let your clients know how long you will be there and that if you stay longer it will cost extra. That’s just good business. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you have ended up staying for hours longer than you intended and you have hours more footage to go through and it ends up being a ton more work for you in the long run but you haven’t charged the client for that time or effort that you put in.
Again, setting expectations for what this project will be and what you will provide for them service-wise is so so important. Of course you will put that into writing within your contract as well but it’s important to say all of that upfront and have the client agree that all of that sounds good. They can also add anything then and you can jot that down and of course that will affect pricing but you can just discuss all of that within this meeting before the contract even goes out.
Maybe the client is wanting more than you ever delivered to people! I know in the beginning I was really scared to take on product based businesses because I just had no experience in the packaging end of things. So when I had clients come to me and they wanted help with printing the packaging and they wanted all these different assets designed, when I was new to all of this, that scared the hell out of me and I did not want to do that! So there were some clients that I just said “I’m so sorry but I don’t offer that but I can point you in the direction of a designer that does!” That was so important to know upfront before I had even put together a contract, or thought that I would have this project on the books. If I had gotten into that project and realized that it was something that I just couldn’t handle at that point in time, that would’ve been way worse for me and the client both!
Discuss your process
The next part of all of this that I think is really important is to talk about the process. Again, I kind of touched on that in the last part because a lot of this kind of bleeds together but talking about what the process itself will look like is also super important because no matter what type of service-based business you are or that you’re working with you need to know what the project is going to look like from start to finish.
Some businesses will not be able to tell you what the project looks like from start to finish and I, again, see that as a red flag. If you were a client hiring a business that can’t give you any sort of timeline idea or can’t tell you what the process will look like I would say don’t work with that business. That’s not to be mean, it’s just that a business who has done this sort of project before should know what their processes and what their timeline is like. If you are that service based business, you need to figure out what your processing timeline is so that you can discuss it with your client and then you can agree on it now!
This helps you as a service-based business by letting your client know the timeline upfront and letting them know again that expectation of meeting those deadlines because we all know that if a project runs longer than it should then that cuts into the other work that we can take on that year and that cuts into how much business we can do in the year. Timelines are SO important, especially when you are a business like a graphic designer that’s working with people for months on end.
I like to stagger my projects so that none of them are in the same time frame as each other but I have very specific dates for when things should get done so that things move a lot smoother. Things do happen. Project timelines get pushed around and it is important to have some kind of flexibility within that but I think that if you can really talk through the process within this meeting that’s going to help things down the line. Then it won’t be a surprise to your clients when either things move a lot faster than they thought that they would or even a lot slower. And it’s just important to be realistic about this this part of things because if you promise that things will get done faster than they will, then that can be really disappointing for a client. It’s very important to be realistic about how long things take. I think it’s way better to say that things will take longer and then finish them quicker than expected.
In my proposal that I make after this meeting I always like to overestimate the timeframe of things because generally I like to meet or exceed those expectations for the client and get things done faster. That just makes me feel better and makes them feel better and makes the whole process feel better. So during this meeting I go through and I say, “Okay, this is how we’re gonna start things out: this is what we’ll do first and then you’ll receive this from me and then will move onto this stage in the process, etc.” and I just go through the process until at the end I’m like, “and then will wrap things up and we’ll celebrate together the launch of your new branding and website!” and that always makes them really excited! They can kind of get a full picture of what things will look like. Then I always restate in my proposal, that I sent to them later, what this process will be like just so they can have a reminder.
Discuss project outline, timeline + budget
Next I use this meeting as a chance to talk about the project outline and timeline in terms of budget. This is something that I learned from Morgan Rapp who does Design Biz Mastery. I actually had her on the podcast last year to talk about DBM and all that I learned there because I have literally never had a course like that in the almost 6 years that I’ve been in business. It was literally a game changer for my business so if you were a designer I highly highly recommend Design Biz Mastery. It is well worth the investment. And she does a much better job teaching this sort of thing than I ever will. Morgan talks a lot about how to approach the sales end of things in a way that made so much sense to me. Kind of the idea behind it is to outline what all the client is going to get from you and restate what you are going to be able to do for them and then talk about how long the project is going to take. If this is a branding project that also involves packaging and marketing assets and newsletters and all of that I think it’s very important to say, “I see that you’re going to need all of these things. Realistically this is how long it’s going to take. So this project is going to fall between this range of pricing.” and it’s just a way to talk about pricing in a way that doesn’t feel gross and sales-y.
I honestly used to hate talking about budget when I was on a phone call with clients and for a long time I didn’t talk about budget but after taking Design Biz Mastery with Morgan and hearing about how to really show the value to the client and how to position yourself and asking for what the project is worth, it’s not that you’re trying to upcharge them, it’s not that you’re trying to make it sound like a bigger project than it is really. All that you’re doing is telling the client “this is what I’m doing for you, this is how much time and effort and thought and process that I’m putting into your project” and spelling it out for a client. Especially one that has maybe never worked with a designer before. It is so necessary for them to see “oh yeah, she is going to be working on my project for three or four months and what she’s asking for then maybe isn’t that much!”
I have found that I have been able to charge more when I have been honest about the amount of work that I’m going to do. No one wants to end up in a situation where you have undercharged for what you’re going to provide that client and then maybe the project runs long or maybe things come up and your client needs other add-ons. You obviously need to be charging for what you’re doing and what you’re providing to them so this is a chance to really lay all of that out on the table and say, “OK, these are the things that we’ve discussed, these are the things that I have heard from you that you’re needing from me, this is what I can do for you, this is how long it will take, and this is how much it costs.” Again, I have just found a lot of potential clients are much more receptive to any sort of budget. Even if it’s something that maybe you don’t think it’s super high but you’re just like I’m willing to do this project for this amount. If you’re just very realistic about it I have found that clients are much more receptive.
Now that’s not to say that there aren’t clients that absolutely don’t want to pay for all that you’re going to put into that project and I think, again, that is a really good thing to learn in this first meeting. It saves you the time of putting together a proposal, of putting together a contract, sending out an invoice, and then a client being like “I just really don’t wanna pay this” or “this is just more than I expected.” That to me kind of a nightmare situation because I don’t ever want my clients to feel like I am trying to cut corners or charge more than I think the project is worth. I want to be very upfront with them. I want them to feel in control the whole time. I want them to be making the big decisions because, let’s face, it this is a big decision when they are hiring a designer to totally revamp the look and feeling of their business as well as the full online presence if you’re also doing web design. This is not something that I want to kind of beat around the bush. I want them to know upfront that this is what the project will be and this is how much it will cost.
I think this still works for other service based businesses. If you’re social media manager it’s so important to kind of lay out how much work you’re going to be putting into this project, what you can see happening for the client, how you can relieve any pressure points for them, and realistically what the budget for that looks like. Every client is going to be different. you’re gonna have some clients they really just need you to come up with some content ideas for them and they will execute everything, but then you’re also gonna have clients that need you to come up with captions as well and help them with the copy, and you’re just gonna have other clients also need you to do engagement for them, and the list goes on and on. If you have a client that is worried about engagement but they really just want you to plan out some content for them you could still say, “this is what it would look like if we were to just do this aspect and handle this concern for you but then, you know, if you were also interested in me handling engagement this is how much that would be.” So it gives you an opportunity to talk about multiple packages even though they don’t have to be set in stone packages, just what those additions would look like in terms of budget.
I have found that with even some of the wedding clients, that I’ve had when I have photographed and filmed weddings, sometimes when I really lay out for them “you can get these additions if want to pay for them or what I can provide for you with this number of hours at your wedding or this length of film.” and sometimes that’s plenty for a client. But then other times I’ve had clients be like “no, I want the full thing! This is the only time I’m getting married. I wanna go all out!” and it really just depends from client to client.
It doesn’t hurt to at least put yourself out there and have that discussion with them that way you’re not guessing when you’re putting together pricing or proposal or anything like that. You kind of have an idea of what that client is expecting, they already have an idea of what they’re going to see, and a lot of that stress is just taken away from the whole equation right here at the beginning
Determine if you and client are a good fit
All in all I use this meeting as a chance to determine whether or not I’m gonna be a good fit with a client and I think all of these things come into play. I have had clients that personality wise we really clicked and I was excited about their project and excited to work with them and to get the ball rolling but when we talked about process or we talked about timeline there were things that maybe they weren’t expecting or things that they felt like they didn’t need and that was totally fine that just meant that we were not a good fit on that project.
Like I said, when I was first starting out I did not like to take on product based businesses and if a client really needed packaging designed I would tell them to go with a different designer. Even though I would’ve loved the income, it was much better for them and their projects and also better for me and my mental health to not take on something that I wasn’t ready for.
Obviously budget can be a big deciding factor for a lot of people on whether or not they decide to work with you and I think that’s OK as well! I have, at this point in my business, decided what realistically I will charge for a blog design or for an e-commerce site or for branding and even though that changes based on what that specific client is needing I really have a set price that I don’t go below. If I feel like I’m charging something that realistically is what that project should cost, and that client can’t afford that right now, I’m OK with them going with someone else. I am not going to take on a project just to have a project but then not make enough money to cover any of my expenses. That’s just not going to happen at this stage in my business. But I know that there are probably designers out there that would be a better fit for them budget wise or there are always options on Creative Market to buy premade logos and things like that.
I do think it’s a good idea to have some smaller services that you offer, just to bring in those clients that maybe have a smaller budget, either with themes or premade brands or something that is not a fully custom situation for your clients. I know that that’s a little bit harder for other service-based businesses like photographers. There’s not necessarily a good way to offer a smaller package in terms of wedding days. Weddings just are a lot of work and by all means I think that you need to be upfront with your client about just how much work that is and that’s how much you charge and if a client can’t afford you for that wedding day I say that’s OK. I would not say lower your pricing to better fit that client. I think it was the Weekend Creative had a post a few years ago actually, but it has stuck with me. and it said something about budget. It basically says “just because they are just starting their business doesn’t mean that you are” and I really love that. The whole idea that it’s totally OK that someone is just starting their business and maybe doesn’t have the money to invest in it, that doesn’t mean that you as the business owner that they’re hiring is also starting your business and is charging basically nothing. You have to charge what you need to charge and if that causes people to not work with you I think that’s fine and this is a reason to talk about it in this meeting.
Even with my process being super collaborative, for some clients they may not like that and that’s OK with me as well. If they just want a designer to just handle it and send them the files and they don’t want to think about it then I’m not the designer for them. I really like my clients to have a say in what we’re doing and I work with a lot of creative entrepreneurs so I really love to hear their thoughts on things and I want it to be as collaborative as possible. I obviously will give my two cents as the designer and tell them what I think they should do but I want them to also approve of it and I don’t want to just have my thoughts on their business be the final say. I want them to have the final say and and really love everything that we do together. So talking about the process is a way to see if you’re a good fit with the client that you’re talking with. Obviously talking about the expectations of the project, that is a given that if they’re expecting more deliverables from you or if they are expecting certain things that maybe you don’t offer within your business then obviously you are not gonna be a good fit to work together.
This whole meeting is really for them to vet you and for you to vet them and see if you guys are really gonna enjoy working together. You should enjoy working together especially if you’re in a business where you’re working with someone for the foreseeable future like a social media manager, or if you’re working with them for several months like a graphic designer, or even if you are working with them on potentially one of the most important days of their life like a wedding photographer. All of that is really, really important that you and your clients are on the same page and that you really see eye to eye on what you are offering to them.
Then, as we’re wrapping up the meeting, I always like to let my clients know the next steps. Again, a lot of this is just taking the guesswork out of the process. For a lot of clients it is nerve-racking just to inquire with you so anything that you can do to alleviate some of those nerves and not have them feel like they have to be in charge from here on out, that you have it all under control, that is going to set the stage for the rest of the time that you’re working with them and make you seem very very professional.
Explain next steps
So if I have felt like the meeting has gone really well and I really enjoyed the client, we’re on the same page as far as what I can do for them, and all the expectations seem to fit together, they’re really excited about what I can do for them, and the outline, the budget, all of a it, then I will let them know the next steps: I will put together a project proposal that will go over all of the things that we talked about in the meeting so that they can look through it decide the different options or things that we’ve talked about that they would like to pursue. If they have approved the proposal then will I will set up a contract and an invoice so that they can go ahead and officially be booked in my schedule. And then they will know that the process will start and that’s when they will start getting questionnaires and we will officially be working together. Setting this expectations of what they can expect next, and that you have it all under control, I think takes a lot off the client. Even if I’m telling the client “I’ll send that proposal to you in a couple of days” I usually like to send it the next day just so that I am setting those expectations a bit further out and then I am showing up earlier getting things to them faster. That’s just gonna set the precedent for the rest of the project that they can really depend on me, that I am showing up for them, that I am thinking about them already, and that I’m not just waiting to the last minute with everything that I’m sending to them.
Now the project proposal is where I will go more in-depth with the time frame and the budget. I try and set dates even for the timeframe and I tried to reduce the budget from a range of prices into more of, “if you get the specific deliverables from me, and we work on these aspects of your business, this is how much it will cost.” and I think that just helps people really see this is exactly what I would be charged, this is exactly what I would get, this is exactly what the process would be, etc. So while the meeting was a bit more of big picture and what this project will be like, the proposal is really where we nail those things down and the client can approve that before moving forward.
That is just a small peek into the beginnings of my process with my clients. Obviously depending on the type of business that you run, or if you are a client and you haven’t ever worked with a service-based business owner, obviously all of us are going to have a slightly different process.
I find that these initial meetings not only set the groundwork for the project but, like I said, take a lot of the stress out of the project as well. It is kind of stressful to reach out to a business owner not knowing how much it’s going to cost, not knowing what you’re in for, not even knowing how they can help you, and it is an investment for a client to officially say “Okay, I trust you. I’m going to put my faith in you that you really understand my business and what I’m trying to achieve.” and anything that we can do as business owners to let them know that they are totally in good hands, that we understand them completely, that we have done this before, that we have our process that is tried and true, and that they don’t need to worry, that is going to make you so much more trustworthy. That’s going to make you look so much more professional.
Even for you as a business owner, when you’re meeting with these clients it take some of the stress out as well of getting to know your client and knowing you have this really cool project to start thinking about and planning for and getting excited for. I always love having my projects booked out in advance so that I know what projects are coming up. I can have a lot of things ready to go for my clients when the project starts, there’s just a lot of things that help me feel less stressed about my business or where I’m headed or what I can expect from my workload or from the year in general. So having these meetings, getting some of those jitters out of the way, establishing some of those expectations all of that will help so much in your business and how your clients feel about working with you from the get-go.
If you are someone that does not meet your clients first before you do anything else for the on-boarding process, I would love to hear your thoughts on all of this and if this has changed your mind in any way or has encouraged you to think about your on-boarding process in a new way. I’m not saying that you have to do this but I would love for you at least to try it with one client and see how it goes and see if it alleviates any pain points in your own business and you’re on-boarding process.
Drop me a line on Instagram, send me a DM or a comment let me know your thoughts on this and if this meeting your clients before anything else is something that you are going to try with your potential clients.