Imagine you walk into a doctor’s office. The waiting room has its own character, the soft leather furniture begs you to sit on it, the magazines on the coffee table are calling your name. The receptionist asks you to fill out the paperwork and then brings you a cup of your favorite mocha made to order, topped with (all-natural and bubbling with protein) whipped cream.
For a moment your mind is lost in the world as you read the careful selection of travel magazines and listen to your favorite Dave Brubeck’s arrangements, playing softly in the background.
There are just a few people around you, and you feel like you matter.
“Your doctor will be here in a few minutes,” the receptionist tells you.
“Oh, no problem. He can take his time,” you say, lounging on the soft leather chair and sipping on your mocha.
Has this ever happened to you? — Right, me neither. But I like to imagine that if I experienced something like that at a doctor’s office, I would come back.
I might also tell others about this luxurious place where I’m treated as a human, not as another object of manipulation and money making. I want to know that people will help me and not use my vulnerability to come up with a dozen possible diseases and make me buy prescribed drugs for them.
First impressions matter. The way we feel when we enter an office (or visit a website, or receive a quick response to the inquiry, or navigate through a person’s blog) will determine whether or not our potential clients will know, like and trust us. This in turn determines whether they will want to work with us.
In this post I will help you create an efficient system for welcoming your potential clients so they choose you, not anyone else. And because I’m all about working smarter, I’ll help you save some time in the process.
#Online #teachers: check out this basic #client #onboarding system to save you time and sanity.Click To Tweet
But before we get into it, let’s look at your first-time visitors and how they contact you. Say a person wants to work with you. . .what do they do?
- Stalk you on Skype?
- Send you a message on Facebook?
- Fill out a contact form?
- Shoot you a text message?
Then you spend half of your day answering the same inquiry multiple times.
So let’s look at these 3 steps that will help you save time when you bring new clients.
Step #1: Decide how you want your future clients to contact you and focus on that channel only.
No matter how many times you tell people that connecting through social media isn’t professional, people are still going to do that. What that means is instead of all of your inquiries landing in your inbox, you will find them everywhere, which means you might miss some.
A simple solution? Educate people on how to connect with you. The best way to do it is through the contact page on your website. That way people learn more about your brand before sending you a message (i.e. freebie hunters will have to think).
Then you can. . .
- Create an automated response on social media directing people to your contact page.
- Create a canned message for the social media that cannot be automated.
- Update your contact page and make it easy for people to find you on your site.
- Give an option of contacting you via email.
- Let people know how long it may take before you respond (and please respond to inquiries).
Step #2: Create an introduction pack for those who contact you.
Most of the time when people contact you, they expect to hear something right away. When you teach online, you know it’s not always possible.
So to make people more excited about working with you while they’re waiting for your response and to increase your chances of signing a contract with some of them, send them your introduction pack in an automated message.
An introduction pack is a short document that explains how you work and gives them a bit of information about you and your clients. Here’re some things to include:
- Fun facts about you
- Fun facts about your clients
- How you’ve helped your clients in the past
- How you work (what it means to “work online”)
- What you offer + pricing
- How people pay you and when they can expect to get results
- FAQ, etc.
A word of caution: Please don’t turn it into another dissertation (I’m talking not just about the length, but also the language). Imagine you’re talking to this person, so try to sound more conversational and less academic.
PRO tip: This strategy also helps you free up space on your website. Many online teachers explain what teaching online is like, and that takes away from the message they’re trying to communicate through their site (which reduces the number of potential clients they’ll get). So save all these tips for your intro pack.
Step #3: Streamline your next steps.
Now that people have contacted you and you followed up with them they may decide to hire you. Are you ready for that? Do you have:
- A canned thank-you email (if you do free trial sessions)?
- A contract with an electronic signature?
- An invoice template (or a payment page)?
- A canned email with the welcome pack (a short introduction + first home assignment)?
- A scheduling page?
The good news is — you don’t have to come up with everything from scratch! In fact, I use the following 2 tools to generate contract templates, canned emails and create sexy scheduling pages.
Note: The links below are affiliate links. If you click and purchase through them you support my work at no cost to you. More info here. I will only advise what I’ve used and loved. Thank you!
#1: Dubsado is a client management system that allows you to automate the entire welcoming process. You can use their contract template to make your own, adapt their canned email responses, generate invoices (or add Paypal invoice links) and add your welcome pack PDFs. You can join for free using this link and then get 20% off your first month.
#2: Acuity is a software that allows you to create gorgeous scheduling pages (that sync with your favorite calendar), branded confirmation and reminder messages, as well as intake questionnaires. You can charge people when they schedule a meeting with you if that’s what you prefer, and you can also sell other products right on the spot. Join here.
The way you welcome your new clients shows to them that you care and that you are going to deliver outstanding results. You don’t need to be everywhere, you can automate a lot of tedious tasks and unnecessary back-and-forth emailing so you can focus on the work, not the logistics.
Smarter work saves you time and money, and it frees up your brain to come up with creative solutions you never thought of before. It’s these solutions that turn you into a memorable and unique brand that others want to emulate.
#2: If you feel like you have too many free trial lessons (aka “discovery calls,” “free taster sessions,” etc.) that aren’t converting, it might be time for you to create your passive free trial. Learn more here.