How To Onboard Your First Freelance Client

Onboard Your First Freelance Client

Congrats!!! After putting in the work to get clients, you’ve finally got your first yes You’ve probably done a happy dance, called your nearest and dearest to share the good news and then thought.. ‘oh crap.. how do i onboard them?’. You’re striving for a slick and professional set up that oozes I’ve been doing this my whole life but you have no idea where to start…

Well fear not, I’m here to guide you..

Getting your process in place to onboard new clients can feel super overwhelming, but having a set to do list helps you come across as organised and professional to your new client and will set your working relationship up for success!

At this point I will assume that to get the YES, you’ve already had your discovery call and written a project proposal.

Have A Solid Contract

The first thing that kicks off the client onboarding process is the contract and should be the first document you provide after a client has said yes!

Your contract needs to outline what the relationship is going to look like, what services they are getting, how you’re getting paid and any terms of service. Your contract is a legally binding document that acts as an agreement between the freelancer and client, so it’s always a good idea to have a legal professional look over the contract for you.

Good Business Members have access to contract templates written by a law professional.

Send Your Invoice

If you’re contract states that you’re getting paid ahead of time (which it should or at least a 50% deposit). You need to send an invoice along with your contract. There’s lots of ways you can do this, but my favourite is through Quickbooks – accounting software. This allows you to send reminders and keep on track of what’s owed when.

Client Questionnaire

Now this part is a little more industry specific and whatever freelance job you’ve been hired to do will dictate what kind of questions you ask. But this is your opportunity to find out everything you need to know to be able to get the job done in the more efficient way while keeping your client happy.

My favourite way to complete the client questionnaire is to hop on a zoom call with my questions prepared. I make sure you record the call so I can go back to it if I missed anything. I have previously sent out my client questionnaire as a Google Form, and while that does work, I found that some clients would give me the bare minimum in their responses and it would often leave me with more questions which then meant a back and forth email thread and it just got confusing.  Doing this on Zoom means I can be present in the conversation, ask more questions when needed and if I record it, i’ve always got it to refer to. 

Setting Up

Again, this part will be unique to whatever the job is that you’ve been hired to do. But setting up could include gaining access to their accounts and software, adding them to a Slack channel or setting them up on your CRM.

If you do need to gain access to any of their accounts but are worried about sharing passwords, last pass is a great tool to do this while looking super professional and taking any worry away from being hacked,

You’re ready to get started with your first freelance client

Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to onboarding your first freelance client with confidence.