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You still with me on this Welcome Packet thang? It’s so much more than putting together useful FAQs for your new clients – and don’t get me wrong: that’s an awesome goal on its own. But really, putting this WP together has the potential to be so much more:  really truly understanding & deciding how you want to work and serve. Aaaaaah, transparency. Such a relief!

Since we’ve already gone over Work Hours – i.e., WHEN I’m available to clients (see last post and don’t forget this checklist so you can figure this out for yourself), now it’s really about HOW we will do this great work together – in my specific case, of getting real about your numbers. It’s tools and communication time, huzzah!

And just like the last post, click through here to grab your own worksheet so you can take this chance to clarify this shizz for yourself, too. 

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I live in the cloud.

With rare exceptions, I don’t make house calls. Instead, I rely on a host of amazing integrated tools to work and communicate and keep a dozen or more plates arcing gracefully through the air at any given time. Which means I get to work the way I’ve always dreamed of working: from the coziness that is my own home. #introvertdreamcometrue

And since I’m really committed to working this way, then I need to communicate that well and make it easy/easier for people, in the interest of the most successful engagement possible.

Questions toward defining Project Communication

General Communication


1. Are there specific ways that I communicate with clients and that I’d like my clients to use to communicate with me? 

Email is my go-to, with texts second, and phone calls a dead-last. But really, I hate the phone. See below under Meetings for what I rely on instead.

2. What’s my commitment around response time? Do different clients get a different response time? In my case, my monthly peeps get 24-hour turn-around, generally much faster though, quarterly clients get 48-hour. Are there methods of reaching me that engender a slower response? [i.e., if you Facebook message me, I might miss it altogether?]

Project/Engagement Tracking


As above, I DO love email, but it’s not the most efficient tool for keeping track of documents and progress. 

3. Do you have a specific app/software to track details of your work with clients? Some people swear by Trello, Evernote, Asana, or 17Hats, to move their clients through a process. For me, the most important thing is Google Drive.

4. Is there anything else you use to move information to your client? I personally love using Screencastomatic to record short explanatory videos to de-mystify aspects of Quickbooks Online, for example. 

Meetings


5. If you do meetings with clients, how: in-person or remote? I’m 99.9% remote (as above, I live in the cloud), and want my new clients, especially if they’re local, to know that up-front so that they’re not disappointed that we’re not in the same physical room on the regular. 

6. Is there a typical length for meetings? I’m generally a 60-minute meeting kinda gal. Anything longer than that, and my poor introvert self starts to come apart at the seams. What’s your rule?

7. Is there a standard interval? My regular clients are generally on a one meeting per month arrangement, though for others it’s quarterly. 

8. How do people book meetings with you? My strong preference is for people to book themselves through Calendly, since it minimize back and forth, but I do also book next meetings with clients toward the end of a call. 

9. How do you conduct meetings, if remotely? Zoom is my tool of choice. For lots of reasons, not least is that cell reception at my house can be spotty. Plus I love seeing people’s faces and being able to screen share. 

10. If you conduct meetings in person, where? Do you have a designated office space or co-working space where you host meetings? Do you go to the person’s home to deliver your service?

Any Other Specific Tools


11. Are there any required apps, software, tools that you employ in your work that your clients need to be on board with? Me, for example, I work exclusively in Quickbooks Online. I need people to know that up front, so there’s no question later as to why I’m not doing their books in Xero or Freshbooks. Hubdoc is another non-negotiable app, so I make sure my peeps know about that one up-front.

Frosting on the cake: the required tools, QBO and Hubdoc, are included in my clients’ fees. Paying for things makes them so much easier for people to adopt. ;>

12. Finally, are there any other communication or project management tools you’d recommend your clients adopt to ensure the greatest success of your work together?

YESSSS, I am still loving this so much! One more piece coming next week, and then I’ll be ready to put my whole Welcome Packet together and send it off for design. I just can’t even wait to have this document complete and be able to send it to new clients to orient them to what’s coming. 

If you’re building along with me, let me know. I’d love to see what you’re coming up with, and how this may be helping you to onboard your new people.

Xo
Ariane

PS. Oh, that next piece: Timeline and Process, i.e., is there some standard way that the work unfolds? This is milestones in the work, of course, as well as the softer side of things, as in – speaking for my own work – preparing them for how the feelings they may have as we dig into the work. ☺

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