10 Steps to Onboarding a New Coaching Client

Client Onboarding
10 minute read


You got a new client! YAY! Now what?

They signed on the dotted line, and they are ready to start working with you. No doubt that you have a process for working with your clients, but when was the last time you looked at how you onboard them?

What is your new client onboarding process for ensuring they are informed, excited, and ready to get to work?

The opportunity to welcome your new clients only comes once. After you begin to work with someone, the language changes and the types of nurture emails you need to send also changes.

New clients are never going to be more excited (and possibly scared) as the moment they first say yes to working with you. You have the opportunity in the first few weeks of that relationship to make them feel welcome, provide valuable information that helps set expectations, and lays the groundwork for moving forward.

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Why Your Welcome Sequence Should be Intentional

New client onboarding helps to ensure that the client is set up for success and increases the likelihood of retention, referrals, and more.

The customer journey is something that I believe too many coaches leave to chance.

A well-crafted customer journey includes nurturing your clients at every major intersection of working with you, including an intentional approach to welcoming them.

A welcome sequence goes far beyond a few emails. It encompasses many touchpoints that are designed to relieve your client’s worry, make them feel prepared and equipped, and lay the groundwork for what to expect.

Your new client onboarding process is an essential part of your ongoing marketing program because clients who feel prepared and cared for are clients who give great reviews and referrals.

Break It Down

I remember the first coach I ever hired and his welcome packet. It was a little overwhelming. I think he believed that a robust welcome packet imparted value and professionalism and it did, but it also didn’t accomplish what he wanted.

Part of the instruction was to make an appointment with his assistant to go through the welcome packet. That was a nice thought, but honestly, if you have to have someone explain the packet that is supposed to explain the next steps, you have missed the point.

I am not saying that beautifully created, and SIMPLE brochures are not a good idea, they are. However, if you put too much into your brochure, it will not do what you want it to do…which is to inform your client and build a relationship.

In the next few paragraphs, I am going to lay out the foundation to create a powerful welcome sequence for your new clients.

Sure, the goal is to welcome them, but how do you want your client to feel? What experience do you want to create for your client that helps them start on the right foot?

client onboarding

First, identify the emotions you hope to elicit with your welcome sequence.

Those emotions will drive the rest of the sequence’s elements and delivery.

When we onboard a new client in our Entrepreneur Business Accelerator program, we want our clients to feel excited, appreciated, supported, confident of the next steps, proud of the decision they made and we do not want them to second guess the investment.

By focusing on those feelings, our entire team is prepared to support them as they begin the process of working with us.

Next, identify who will be supporting them.

Celebrate your team if you have one. Help the client feel supported by introducing them to the people who will be working to make their experience the best. Even if your team does not work directly with the client, you want to showcase that your team supports you so you can deliver the best coaching possible.

Finally, decide how many touches constitute the welcome process and map them out.

Do you have a touchpoint every day? Once a week? What is the right schedule for your process?

The schedule depends on how much information your new client needs to feel welcomed and informed.

I have outlined 10 touchpoints that may be used to help onboard a new client.

If you want your client to feel appreciated, that seems simple enough. A great way to build a relationship with your client and show appreciation is to do it in stages.

What triggers the welcome process/sequence?

The contract is signed, the first payment is made and the rescind period is complete. So basically once they are officially your client. I do not believe you should start the onboarding process until they are officially a client.

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Here are some creative ways to welcome your new client:

TouchPoint 1-3

  • Welcome video – unique to the client, show excitement and give the next steps.
  • Welcome email – short, simple, to the point.
  • Welcome gift shipped – brand specific, unique, creative.

TouchPoint 4-6

  • How to reach us email – lay the groundwork for the best way to communicate with you.
  • Like/Follow us email – invite them to connect with your on your social media accounts.
  • Invite them to your Facebook group – if you have a private group for your clients, make sure they are invited to become a member.

TouchPoint 7-10

  • Meeting/Call Schedule – send an email with your meeting schedule and any access information available. This will allow them to see all of their upcoming appointments in one place.
  • Phase One Objectives – send a simple, separate email with your phase one objectives.
  • What I need from you – do you need access to their technology? Do you need resources from them to begin your process? Whatever you need, send it in an outlined email to remind them of what they need to send to you.
  • The all in one place email – over the course of a couple of weeks you have sent a variety of emails with smaller bits of important information. This email takes all of it and puts it in one place for their convenience. If you sent this email at the beginning, a large majority of your clients would feel overwhelmed. Sending it at the end of the sequence allows them to better process everything you have shared in the onboarding process.

The goal of the welcome process is to systematically provide the essential information your client needs to fully engage with you. When you break down all of the information that you want your client to have into smaller bits to digest, it is easier for them to appreciate the next steps.

Do you want access to my new client onboarding emails? I have written several onboarding emails, and you can have my copy and outlines for free – just adapt the language and information to match your brand.

Get access to my New Client Onboarding Process here!

Includes the timeline and email copy. All you have to do is edit for your specific information and everything is there for YOU.

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  1. Tanner May 27, 2021 at 9:46 am - Reply

    I appreciate this detailed overview!

    • catalyst May 27, 2021 at 1:01 pm - Reply

      Thanks, Tanner!! XO Lisa

  2. Kristy July 15, 2021 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    This is SO HELPFUL! THANK YOU!!!

    • catalyst July 26, 2021 at 2:33 pm - Reply

      Thank you Kristy!

  3. debbie February 9, 2022 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    Thank you!

    • catalyst February 9, 2022 at 1:20 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome, thank you for commenting.

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