In the service business, here’s the honest truth. It isn’t about you, it’s about your clients. When working with others, relational equity, kindness, and profession standards go a long way. However, what does it look like specifically? And can upleveling happen without a huge budget?
Kindness is always the standard.
When any contract relationship starts, woo is strong and you choose to overdeliver. More than anything you can add, any gifts, onboarding, or extras you offer your business, make sure you choose to have courage and be kind. Whether it’s the way you draft your emails, how you approach a late payment, or even setting boundaries or reinforcing standards, there’s a phrase that remains true everytime. In the South, it’s something that every mom tells their little ones when they’re upset. “You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.” The same applies to doing business- EVERY TIME.
Your brand starts with communication (and tone throughout).
More than pretty visuals and logos, communication is essential. Typically when a client relationship starts to have tension, review where things started to break down. Usually everything can be solved with a bit of healthy communication. As you draft your emails, canned responses, and even the ways you sign off a Zoom call- know simply that gratitude for others time, their work, and what they care about matters. These moments are a direct expression of your brand and reputation.
Keep an onboarding process simple, fun, and a 1-2-3.
Onboarding clients can feel cumbersome and time intensive. We get it. However, with great systems in place (and some amazing platforms to help you get there) you will be able to offer a quick and easy experience to get started working with clients. Here’s our 1-2-3s.
For most clients, we start laying expectations and groundwork within the proposal phase. Within our proposal we include communication and timeline expectations before anything goes to a signed contract.
From there, we take our onboarding seriously with a legendary welcome packet. In our initial email, we include: pre-production deadlines with calendar invites, moodboard invites, client homework, and a client portal easily accessible on Google Drive.
Within packages, factor in both complimentary signing celebrations and thank you gifts.
We’ve recently introduced a new feature within our packages. When a client signs for a specific service price point, we celebrate as they begin their process. Whether it’s grabbing a juice, coffee, or drink together, it’s a great way to build relational equity and have fun while starting out the client relationship. When we offboard each client, we send thank you gifts their way where the packaging is both onbrand for our studio and offers a moment of generosity to our clients as they finish their experience.