Workflows are often like SEO in the entrepreneur world: sometimes hard to understand, often way too overwhelming of an undertaking to actually get started on. At the thought of getting in over your head, (like a character in a film who turns a corner and, seeing the impossibly long journey in front of them, pales and asks, “We have to climb *that* monstrosity of a mountain?”) you might find yourself in the rationalizing camp: “I’m getting by just fine doing everything manually.”
Are youuu, though? (You can’t see me but I’m giving you the same look your favorite aunt will shoot you over the holiday dinner table when you say oh yeah you’re doing fine just fine and definitely not having a quarter-life crisis — we see straight through that answer)
Let’s dive into the things that will answer the question: How do I know if I need a workflow makeover? (hint: if you’re reading this post, you probably could stand to polish things up under the hood a bit)
You need a workflow makeover if…
1. You’re having to schedule all of your calls and meetings by going back and forth over email or text
You know how this goes. Maybe you ask for your lead’s best times to get on a consult in your lead capture form, or maybe you list the next three slots you have available in your first email to them — either way, at least two back-and-forths have to happen before you actually schedule the meeting. And that’s BEST CASE scenario. Probably more likely, you go back and forth a couple more times:
LEAD: “I actually can’t do any of those days because I work during those hours. How about OPTION 4?”
YOU: “Shoot, I’m already booked that day! Can you make OPTION 5 or OPTION 6 work?”
And when you multiply this by the 3-7+ inquiries you get every single week (or the 15-40+ clients you book per year), that is A LOT of time spent in your email coordinating these meetings.
Enter: your automated scheduler. You pre-design your availability, send one single measly link to the lead, and BAM. Without exhausting back and forths, they choose the day and time that works for their schedule. Best of all, the appointment is automatically added to your calendar, AND you can easily set it up so the client receives an immediate email confirmation with a link to add it to their calendar too. No more forgetting to add the meeting to your calendar and then later having to dig through your impossibly tall pile of emails to find 1) the right email thread, and 2) the date and time you finally landed on.
2. A client has completed a required form and you didn’t even realize it
During your work with a client, there’s probably at least one questionnaire or form that you send to them; which needs to be completed before you can get started on the next part of your process. Have you ever had that form be finished by a client and not realize it until days or weeks later?
Enter: subsequent to-dos and form confirmations. To-dos are internal tasks and reminders that will never be seen by a client, and what you can create for yourself once the form is submitted.
If you find yourself in this situation where a client completes the form and it’s a required piece for your next step in the process, I highly recommend setting up at least one to-do in a workflow for it. Set it to trigger when the form in question is complete, and also tick off the ‘send email reminder’ box at the bottom so it drops straight into your inbox. Put in a couple notes reminding yourself what the next action step you need to take for their project is, and you’re done! Now you’ll never miss those completed form steps in your process. On this topic, form triggers are ones I love using! Head to this post to read more about my fave triggers.
I also love using confirmation emails for forms (same concept as an appointment confirmation): it lets the client know that everything successfully went through on the form they just submitted, and it’s a great opportunity to let them know what’s coming up next now that it has been submitted.
3. You have more than 5 projects in your pipeline that ghosted you from over a month ago
If your project status pipeline looks more like a graveyard of inquiries than your actual active projects, it’s probably time to clean house a little. The point of having a clean pipeline is to make it as easy as possible to see what’s on your near horizon and the leads you’re actively communicating with.
Do you have that one junk drawer or room in your house that just seems to attract clutter like a magnetic field? If so, every time you think about organizing it, you probably take one look at it and immediately your brain goes, “NOPE”.
A cluttered and outdated pipeline has the same effect on your brain. You probably don’t even realize it, but if you have a bunch of projects that should’ve been archived or moved along in the pipeline (but haven’t been), it’s just as overwhelming to your brain as taking a look at that stuffed-to-the-brim junk drawer. It’s completely understandable why it’s so hard to take action on organizing those projects (your nervous system shuts down at the sight of it and makes you move on to something else), but it’s a clear sign that you need a workflow makeover.
Enter: project status changes and automatic archival. Status changes make sure that the project in question is getting ferried along in your process according to the thresholds you’ve dictated. For project archival, you can either do this 100% automatically in the workflow, or create a to-do for yourself reminding to check if the project should be archived after a certain period of time.
These archival options are great to use anywhere in your inquiry-to-booking pipeline to keep your projects organized. And for projects that you do book, completely automatic archival at the very end of your process after you’ve offboarded the client is another great and easy way to keep your dashboard clean!
4. You panic when you realize you have no idea when the last time you checked in with your client was (and not in a good, my-workflow-handles-everything way)
I hate to break it to you, but this is a huge sign that you need a workflow makeover. Being an entrepreneur is no small feat: at any one moment, you’re probably juggling ten different things. But when you suddenly realize that it’s been a long time (read: too long) since you’ve touched base, that’s a sign that things are starting to fall through the cracks. The last thing you want is a client feeling like you’ve forgotten about them because it’s been months since they’ve last heard from you (spoiler, I’ve been this client before and it’s not fun).
Enter: automatic check-in emails. Setting these emails up for your clients are the way to go for this pain point. You don’t even need to be sending them something important or that requires a response — it can be as simple as saying, “hey, I just wanted to check in on you and see how you’re doing. If you have any questions or need help, I’m an email away!”
To take it to the next level, pull together your best blog posts and email those resources to your clients at designated intervals throughout their client journey. Those intervals could be anything from two months after they officially booked to six weeks before their project start date. (pro tip: think about the timing of when it would be most helpful for them to receive that information. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, you probably want to send resources about planning an engagement session earlier on in their journey than closer to the wedding date.)
So there you have it friends, the four signs that you need a workflow makeover! I hope this was helpful to you in your pursuit of a stellar all-around experience. These solutions will improve not only your client’s experience, but also yours as you manage all of your projects!
Feeling the struggle of these signs that you need a workflow makeover, but way too intimidated or overwhelmed to create a cohesive workflow?
That’s what I’m here for. I’d love to work with you to get your client experience back on track and scale up with you as you continue to build your business to new heights! Head over to this page to fill out my inquiry form to get started. 😊