We’ve seen a lot of questions about managing clients and keeping projects running smoothly both online in general, as well as in our Facebook group. Since you should be the one in control of the project, we talked about how you can keep your projects on track back in episode 17.
We’ve also gotten a lot of questions, though, about how we do things specifically. So, we wanted to take some time to break down what our systems look like for you. In this episode, we’re going to share our specific tools with you guys, how we use them, and how they help the overall client experience.
One thing most people don’t realize they need help with until it’s too late is client management. Kory here! Now I’ll be honest, this is one that I put off for a long time because I didn’t see any point in investing in something I could take care of myself. However, since I’ve taken the time and money to get a good client management system set up and running, I can’t imagine going back to handling it all on my own.
What we used to do
For the better part of the time I’ve been in business, I’ve always managed my clients straight out of my inbox, and Krista started out doing this as well. It’s not a terrible way to do things, especially if you’re a really organized person and keep your inbox in tip top shape. However, it’s easy to accidentally miss out on projects when you’re doing this, and I know I did because I would often lose track of potential clients and forget to follow up with them. Not ideal! Krista pieced together as much as she could with different platforms, which was messy!
What we use now
Both of us use Dubsado (affiliate link) now for client management, and we love it! It helped me realize how much time I was wasting, especially when it comes to onboarding clients. We like that it organizes potential clients so we can quickly and easily follow up with them instead of missing out on a project. It also makes it super easy to start up a new project with past clients who are coming back for more work.
How it streamlines the experience for clients
Using Dubsado or any other client management system is great for your clients because potential clients won’t necessarily have to do a lot of waiting for you to be in your office for things to move forward. For example, you can setup a workflow so that your Intro packet is automatically sent when someone reaches out through your form. Aside from that, you don’t have to worry about wasting so much time manually creating your invoices or contract, which I used to do with each and every client.
I also love using a client management system because it helps streamline the onboarding process. Instead of sending one thing and then waiting, then creating and sending the next thing and doing more waiting, it can be streamlined so that once your proposal is accepted, your contract and invoice is automatically sent. This way, all of these things give the client exactly what they need quicker, and it gives them a good impression of what it’s like during the actual project, which makes them more likely to book their project with me.
The other side of things is dealing with projects. We’ve talked a lot in past episodes about using a project management software, and we can’t recommend it enough. We both use Asana for our projects, and we don’t plan on changing that anytime soon.
What we used to do
When we first got started, both of us worked straight out of our inbox. This quickly became a nightmare for several reasons. It was hard to keep track of feedback, obviously. Aside from that, it was all too easy to wind up with a variety of emails with random requests, which were so hard to keep track of. Eventually we both experienced anxiety when it came to dealing with our inbox.
What we use now
It didn’t take us very long to start working with a project management tool. I’ve used a variety of tools, but I ended up using Asana. I really love it because I can easily keep track of both my general business tasks and client projects all in one place. Using a project management tool also makes it easy to keep up with project content, login information and feedback from the client, and just generally know where the project is. It also makes it easy for my clients to organize their feedback.
How it streamlines the client experience
Using a project management tool is great for clients because it keeps you from forgetting the little tasks that pop up here and there. It also ensures that the project is moving along smoothly because deadlines are set (on both sides) and each of you will get reminder emails regarding the work that needs to be done. Of course, it also streamlines the process of sending over things for clients. All of these things help keep your project running smoothly and the client get everything they asked for, which makes clients enjoy the process a lot more.
- Schedule some time to evaluate your client and project management systems
- Get yourself on a project management tool first (this will greatly boost your client experience right away)
- Explore different client management options and pick 1-2 to test out and see how you and your clients like it
- Dubsado (affiliate link)
- Asana Workflows Get my copy + paste task list and more in the Polished Designer Toolkit (use the code ‘podcast’ for 15% off your purchase)