I love opening up my email to something like this:
I was really scared and nervous when I reached out to you. I thought that working together wasn’t going to be fun. Honestly, I was dreading it so much that reaching out to you sat on my to-do list for months.
You’ve been so patient with my questions and have a knack for translating the legal mumbo jumbo into plain English. Working with you has been such a treat and relief!
Thanks so much!
I’ve changed this email a little bit to protect the client but sharing this email feels braggy. However, I’m sharing it for an important reason–because I’ve pinpointed why I get more emails like this now.
I’ve established a system to establish boundaries and expectations before I work with clients.
I’ve got several points in my client intake process to help with this, but it starts with the FAQ on my website. These client policies can help set the tone before an email is sent or the phone is picked up.
What might you want to include in your client policies?
- What services do you offer?
- What does the process of working together look like?
- Who will be working on my project?
- How do you charge?
- How can I pay you?
- What if your refund policy is we aren’t the right fit?
- How do we get started?
Now, I’m not crazy enough to think that everyone is going to read your policies before reaching out. So I think that it’s important to reemphasize these policies throughout your intake process. That could be:
- an email follow-up to your initial consultation
- a conversation during your initial consultation
- an attachment to your contract
The method will vary based on what works for you and your clients. But what’s not negotiable is communicating them to your potential clients.
Establishing these not only leads to happier clients, but they make your life so much easier. When working with an expert, we want them to take the lead and show us what working together looks like.
- If I know that you need to be left alone the first two weeks to come up with concept sketches, then I’ll leave you alone because I know that’s normal.
- If I know that you will do all the creative work, but your admin person will be my point of contact, then I’ll email her and not you.
- If I know that you won’t start our project until you have a signed contract, the deposit, and my Pinterest board, I’m more likely to do them.
Which means you’ll have more time to focus on the work you like best, rather than managing the client.
Do you have something set up on your website to start establishing boundaries? If so, what other boundaries are important to your business? If not, I challenge you to put something together. Either way, share a link to your policies so we can all learn from each other.