Exactly How I Onboard My Design and Social Media Clients – In One Week!

Lindsay Scholz | St. Louis branding, social media and graphic design for small businesses, brands and bloggers

Client onboarding can be straight-up scary – especially if you're a new business owner. Not only do you want to make a great impression from the get-go, but you also want to ensure that the process of getting your new client set up for success is as easy and seamless as possible.

Before pursuing my business full-time, I made it a priority to formulate an onboarding process for my social media and design clients that would take less than a week to kick off work and cover all of my bases. Today, I'm sharing that process with you! 

Because taking on new clients should be a cause for joy – not stress, worry and overwhelm. Because you deserve to take back your time and have streamlined onboarding processes that you can rely on. Ready to onboard like a pro?
 

Day 1: Signed contracts + payment

I consider a contract signing the official kick-off day for client partnerships. Once I receive that signed contract via HelloSign, it's time to party! I use this day to review and save down the signed contract and set up my client as a new vendor in my invoicing and accounting tool – Wave. Once they're set up in Wave, I review payment terms with my clients once more – for social media clients, this means payment on the first of each month; for design clients, this means a 50% non-refundable deposit to kick off their project.
 

Day 2: Organization of assets + credentials 

Now, it's time to get organized with all of the assets and credentials that you may need to kick off the work! I use this day to set up and give each of my clients access to a personal Google Drive folder, where they can upload any and all assets that are needed for social media content or a design project. They also each have a private passwords document, where social media logins and website logins can be shared with me as-needed.
 

Day 3: Trello calendar set-up

Oh, Trello – what would I possibly do without you? I use Trello as my content and project management system for my social media and design clients, and I don't know how I would manage my workflows without this helpful tool! On Day 3 I set up a personalized Trello calendar for each client – for social media work, this looks like a full sample content calendar for our kick-off week; for design work, this looks like adding tentative project milestones and deadlines to the calendar so both parties are clear on when to expect deliverables.
 

Day 4: Social content + aesthetic planning

Thursdays are a big day of the week – this is the day that I deliver preliminary social content and design aesthetic concepts for clients! For social media clients, I deliver a social aesthetic planning guide that outlines the voice their brand will take on social, who their target audience is on social media, inspiring social imagery that mirrors their brand and relevant hashtags that will be used with content. For design clients, a preliminary brand moodboard is shared that includes typography recommendations, color palette samples and visual inspiration for their upcoming brand or web design project. 
 

Day 5: Approvals + project kick-off

By Day 5 – pending any big or in-depth revisions – I'm able to officially kick of work for my clients now that their contract and payment, existing assets and passwords, content calendar and preliminary project concepts are in place. This is always an exciting day and a great way to wrap up the work week! I'll typically use this day to get a head start on ideas and concepts for future content before heading out for the weekend to rest up before the next full week.

What does your onboarding process look like, and are there any ways that you could streamline it to help save you time? I'm sharing links to all of the helpful tools that I mentioned in this post below – enjoy! 
 

Helpful tools:

HelloSign - electronic document delivery and signing
Wave - invoicing, payment processing and accounting
Google Drive - client file storage
Trello - client content and project management

 

Meet The Brand: Juris Clothing

Capsule wardrobes and a more simple approach to dressing have always appealed to me – why spend a ton of time going through your closet in the morning wondering what to wear? 

That's why I was so excited when Danielle, the founder of Juris Clothing, approached me to design a brand identity for her to-be-released clothing line. 

Danielle and I worked together to create the perfect, sleek logo family for her brand, complete with a signature J logo mark. In addition to her brand logo family, I designed a bespoke clothing hangtag that can be used on future articles of clothing.

Stay tuned for more updated on Juris Clothing as the brand's line and website launches in the future! 

 

Juris Clothing at a glance

 

Juris Clothing Moodboard

Lindsay Scholz | St. Louis-based Brand and social media design for brands, bloggers and creatives

Meet The Brand: LARK Skin Co. Website Refresh

LARK Skin Co. is dedicated to doing beauty the simple way – and their line of organic skincare, hair and body products proves it!

Lisa of LARK Skin Co. approached me to help with a refresh of her website that would allow shoppers to access all parts of the site more easily while providing them with a gorgeous user experience. We worked together to transition her website from a no-scroll homepage to one that's full of great content – from a curated shopping section to including glowing testimonials from her customers.

The end result was an on-brand website that showcases LARK's products on a user-friendly platform for easy shopping. I had the best time working on this feminine and minimalist web design for Lisa, and am so pleased with the end result. 

Take a look below at the updates that were made during this website refresh, and let me know in the comments: what are your favorite parts of the new site, and what do you love most about your own website? I can't wait to hear from you! 

 

 

Website Page Updates

 

Refreshed Homepage View

Lindsay Scholz | social media and branding for businesses, bloggers and creatives

The 4 Biggest Lessons I've Learned In My First 4 Weeks Of Business

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As I sat down at my desk this morning and looked at my to-do list, I couldn't believe two things: how lucky I am to have full days of client work, and that I've already been pursuing my business full-time for a whole month

If feels like just yesterday that I walked out of my office for the last time, just standing there for an idle moment in the parking lot muttering to myself, "Soak this little moment in. This is the moment you've waited for. Now, get in the car, turn up 'Roll Out (My Business)' by Ludacris on full blast and kick off the rest of your career." 

(Yes, that really happened). 

Over the last month I've learned a ton of valuable lessons about myself and my business, and today I want to share these lessons openly with you. These are honest words for my dear friends who are on the edge of taking the leap and need to know that it'll be OK; for my readers who aren't so sure if climbing the corporate ladder is for them; for fellow business owners who often feel isolated and overwhelmed by the journey. 
 

01. At times, I'm my own worst boss.

Have you ever had one of those bosses who was Miranda-Priestly-dragon-lady levels of domineering, constantly barking demands, throwing bits of criticism your way and picking your work apart on a daily basis?

No? Good, me neither. Not until I began working for me, at least.

Almost immediately, I noticed that my inner dialogue of harsh and negative self-talk escalated ten-fold when it came to my client work and getting things done. I believe in setting the bar high, meeting deadlines and providing quality work, which are all wonderful things, but I lost sight of what realistic goals were for any given workday. I wanted to be perfect. I wanted to work 12-hour days without growing weary.

Since realizing this, I'm working on giving myself grace and starting fresh each workday. I'm working hard to silence my inner critic and talk her down with logic and reason. I'm continually reminding myself that I'm allowed to feel successful, happy and grateful for each little accomplishment along the way. I'm re-reading Jen Sincero's "You Are a Badass" to bolster my confidence and remember that I'm a human who needs to be kind to herself.


02. Digital nomadism is not for me.

In my first 4 weeks of full-time business ownership, I've been traveling 3 out of those 4 weeks. These were trips that had been planned since I was still working in my corporate role, and I told myself that I'd easily be able to transition to working remotely like a pro. 

Wrong!

Working from a bachelorette party in Nashville was hard. Working from the car en route to Colorado was hard. Working from my father-in-law's house was hard. Working from my parent's house in Atlanta was the hardest.

As much as I admire and respect digital nomads for their ability to travel the world while looking awesome on Instagram and rocking their business, I've quickly learned that in order for me to produce my best work I need an established home base. And for me? That's in my cozy office with my trusty desktop and laptop here to help me out.

In time I'm confident that I'll acclimate better to working while on the go, but for now, I'm reserving hardcore travel for when I'm able to take a true vacation day or two.


03. Dress for success.

I'm not going to lie: I was really looking forward to the life of yoga pants and comfy clothes day in and day out, and for my first week or two, I was rocking that life hard.

And then I had a meeting scheduled one day, and got dressed and ready early in the morning and began one of the most productive workdays I've ever had. The next day, I tried the same thing: hair and makeup done, full outfit on and shoes on before settling into my home office. Bam – more productivity. 

While I still opt for my go-to leggings from time to time, I've personally found that getting up and getting dressed and ready as I used to currently works best for me in terms of establishing a morning routine and feeling good about myself. Knowing that I could be ready to run out to an impromptu coffee meeting at the drop of a hat is a great feeling!


04. Be yourself, focus on you, and business will come. 

This is the biggest one for me. Prior to my last day at my corporate job, I was in a constant state of panic trying to figure out who I would be once I was pursuing my own business full-time. "What would I look like on social media now that I'm full-time? Should I blog differently? Do I need to redo my website?"

It was pure craziness.

Thankfully, I let all of those questions fall to the wayside and continued to carry on exactly the way that I had been on social media, serving my audience to the best of my ability while refraining from screaming, "HELLO, I'M A FULL-TIME BUSINESS OWNER NOW, HIRE ME PLEASE!"

And you know what? New business came in abundance, and I feel so blessed because of it. In the last month I've taken on three new clients who I adore dearly and can't wait to serve, all of which are definitely who I would call an ideal client.

I firmly believe that this would not have happened if I had deviated from who I truly am on social media, on this website and beyond. So, if you're out there and find yourself comparing your business to others in the industry and are wondering if you need to conform to look or sound more like them, the answer is a resounding no. Stay in your own lane, hone your brand voice and brand identity, and you will attract your people – people who you'll love working with. 

 

Thank you to everyone who has been so kind to me in this last month of change, growth and lessons learned. I truly appreciate the comments, Instagram messages and emails – and I've kept all of them! If you're about to take the leap into your own business and have any questions, I want to hear from you and cheer you on.

 

Lucky To Live Here: Why I Love Living and Working in St. Louis

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This post is sponsored by Explore St. Louis and St. Louis Civic Pride. All opinions are my own.

It's time to be honest, friends. When my husband first found out that his job was relocating him to St. Louis, I had a few doubts: Why would I leave gorgeous Denver? What was the Midwest even like? Was there a thriving creative community in this city?

Despite my hesitation and fears, I landed a great job in St. Louis and made my move out to the city in February 2016. In the last year and a half that I've lived here, I've fallen more and more in love with this city, and I'm proud that I launched my business in St. Louis. 

Thinking about visiting St. Louis soon or moving to St. Louis yourself? Here are my top three reasons why I'm truly lucky to live here:
 

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Neighborhood charm is abundant.

If you know me, you know that I have a thing for historic houses and neighborhoods that exude character and vintage charm. Luckily, St. Louis is full of those! Before moving into our current home, I lived in an old schoolhouse that had been converted into industrial lofts, complete with original chalkboards in each residence. Now, I live in St. Louis' University City neighborhood, which is filled with adorable restored bungalows. I feel so inspired each time I step out of my house to take a walk around the block because of all of the historic architecture that surrounds me.
 

The creative community is thriving – big time!

I could go on and on about St. Louis' creative community, because it's just that great. Almost instantly, I began getting invites to networking events, creative conferences and coffee dates from fellow creatives in the city who had found me on Instagram, which was such a welcoming feeling. St. Louis is full of great spots for freelancers to work in, too, like Blueprint Coffee, RISE Collaborative Workspace and TechArtista, all of which are perfect spaces for co-working and networking. 
 

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Neighborhood restaurants are abundant.

Another thing that I love about living in the city? Its neighborhood restaurants! One of my favorites is Winslow's Home, which is just around the corner from my house. There's nothing that I love more than wrapping up a workday and taking a quick walk or drive over to Winslow's to enjoy their farm-to-table fare along with a fresh paloma. 

Thanks to Explore St. Louis for teaming up with me to highlight the #luckytolivehere contest. St. Louis friends: Share your favorite neighborhood experiences on social using the hashtags #LuckytoLiveHere and #ExploreStLouis for a chance to win some incredible prizes!