Is it called “Client Onboarding”?

I had the honor of returning as a speaker at WordCamp Atlanta in May 2019. My session was: 

Getting Clients to Sign on the Dotted Line

Consultations, estimates, proposals, contracts, oh my! If onboarding your clients is a struggle, this session is for you. I’ll share my super straightforward system and break everything down into actionable steps you can put in place to get clients to sign on the dotted line. If you’ve got a buttoned up client onboarding process, your clients will have confidence moving the project forward with you. It’s how you set the stage for a smooth and successful project (and keep yourself efficient, calm and sane). Get the slides here.

I spoke about about this “onboarding process” at WordCamp—and I also created the Client Onboarding Toolkit that shares my onboarding process. It’s a simple, hassle-free way to get people from prospect to paying client.

I created this product because clients always tell me how easy my “onboarding” process is—and colleagues often ask to model theirs after mine. It covers:

  • Contracts
  • Qualifying and Vetting Prospects
  • Estimates
  • Getting paid
  • Having a strong kickoff call

But what the heck is it actually called?

I’m not sure if “Client Onboarding” is what people call this process. (Onboarding…Are we getting on a plane?!) Perhaps you call it:

  • Client Intake (Are we being checked-in at the doctor’s office?)
  • Closing the Deal
  • From Contract to Kickoff
  • From prospect to paying client
  • After the Selling, Before the Working
  • Navigating No Man’s Land
  • Dotting Is, Crossing Ts, This is how you work with me!

Help?! Is it called “Client Onboarding”?

I created a poll and asked “What do you call ‘Client Onboarding’?” Here are the results:

“Client Onboarding” was the most popular! A big thanks to all who participated. How do you refer to “client onboarding”?

Is the paperwork and contracting side of your creative business bringing you down? My Client Onboarding Toolkit is a simple, 4-step digital course that walks you through my time-tested process for onboarding clients. Jam-packed with advice, tools, and templates designed for creative professionals, it’ll save you time, stress and frustration while making you look like the creative rockstar you are. You’ll convert prospects into paying clients with more clarity, sanity, and confidence than ever before. Learn more »

About Jill Anderson

Hi, I’m Jill, a WordPress WordPress designer/developer who partners with talented designers, copywriters, and agencies on their websites, and their client’s sites. I’m passionate about crafting beautiful and innovative WordPress websites focused on clear positioning and positive user experiences. Get my free report, Get Your Website Done: 12 Actionable Steps for Designers, and check out my Client Onboarding Toolkit, a simple 4-step digital course for converting prospects into a paying clients.


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2 thoughts on “Is it called “Client Onboarding”?

  1. Didn’t see a link for a survey here, but I’ll just respond in this spot…
    I like the Client Onboarding title… haven’t really heard anything else either, but this works. Dotting I’s and Crossing T’s – this is how you work with me is also a good one, although more lengthy title.

    ONboarding makes me think of boarding a plane as well, but it also makes me think of the journey idea – me and my client are traveling this distance together, working together, getting to know each other and solve the client’s problem. Starting with making it easy to get started, working rules, going over the game plan together…makes for a nice easy experience for everyone involved.

    OFFboarding likewise has similar intonations — our journey is coming to an end, here’s what’s happening next so we part ways knowing where and how that’ll happen and when we’ll be connecting again, if at all. This makes me think of when you get off a ski lift that you’ve never had the experience of using before — it’s great to have someone explain what you need to do next so that you don’t fall off or injure yourself.

    Hope this helps! Sorry – I don’t have any other title options to offer up for this process. I’m not sure it needs one though. I get the feeling more and more folks are hearing this onboarding/offboarding reference for this process and so it’s familiar now.


  2. Admission, as in joining into an experience you’re willing to give something of value for in exchange for receiving something of value….just a thought.

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