Updated: Jan 4
*This blog is repurposed from episode one of my podcast which you can check out at here.*
As a virtual assistant or even a small business, you need to be able to look after multiple clients. That might mean working with them on a daily basis, weekly basis, monthly basis or ad hoc basis.
But you need to have a system in place to enable you to do that. For those starting out, I would highly recommend that you look at Trello.
Trello is a project management system that allows you to have various boards for free. You can use the free version with have multiple boards, I've got quite a few. I tend to set up a different team, eg Live Virtually Marketing or Live Virtually Social Media. This way, you can have ten boards under that team.
The thing that helped me the most when I was starting out was having a process and a system for everything that I do. The first one would be , for example, a social media board. This is where you will plan out what you're going to do for your social media.
However, the ones we're going to talk about today is your clients. If you are juggling multiple clients, which you probably will be in whatever business that you're in, but certainly for virtual assistants and most of the freelancers. I work a lot with course creators and coaches. They definitely will juggle multiple clients!
Set yourself up with a system that (1) holds your clients details: their name, their website, their email address etc. If you need like their hex codes, their logos, their fonts, etc, might you might have images for them. If you do social media, for example, you're going to need all of those, and then you're probably going to put them into Canva, or you're going to put them into Photoshop or whatever you use to create their social media graphics. If you create him PDFs for a client, same thing, you're gonna need all of that.
You therefore need a place and not just Canva, where you keep all that information. Trello is a great tool for keeping all this in because you can have not only a one for each client, but within that you could have links to each client's information. It might be that you keep it in a Google Doc, but you want an easy access to the Google Doc. You can simply share through the Trello board in in the links.
At some point, you're going to need their information such as the ABN or the business information, because I am assuming that you're going to be sending them a proposal or a contract, or even both.
Go into your board, you create the cards, so you create the card. like to think of the Trello cards as the old note card. For those of you that are as old as me may remember, we used to have little note cards.
I think of Trello this way: the front of the card is the front of the note card. Then when you click on it, what's on the back, on the inside, is what you would have on the other side of your note card.
Within your card, you can add labels, and you can add a cover. I like to be creative and do them in Canva. You can do any size from you know, like 300 by 300 to as big as a social media post. That will show up as a cover so it's just going to be a little bit bigger. But if you just want little tags, just play with the size in Canva.
You can make really pretty Trello boards, that's probably the good thing about it is as well is you can make it really, really pretty. You would go in there and you'd click on cover, add in your image, and then it would show up.
You can also have a description, you can have a checklist, attachments, due dates, you can add members. So, if you've got various members, or you want to add your client into there, as long as they have got a Trello account, you'll be able to add them in.
If you do have somebody in there with with you, under activity, if you start typing the at button, like as if you were tagging somebody on social media, then you would be able to leave them a message. So for example, if you typed @Jo Draper, you would be able to leave me a message if I was on your Trello board, of course. Then you'd be able to write a comment to me or leave a message.
You can also add one PowerUp in the free version. I normally add on, like either Google Drive or the calendar, just because I like that calendar view. But there are various ones, but you would only get one PowerUp per board.
From there, you can also move copy, make it as a template. So when I mentioned earlier in the post about having the social media details, I've actually made mine into a template. Every time I come to a social media post, I just do one, I just create the card from the template, and then that has all my checklist on for everything to do with social media.
With your clients. I think if you're starting out, don't make it too complicated. Have one board and have your clients. So have a board for your clients, and maybe a board for your week or your social media.
You could have a new client onboarding. Within that it could be a new client checklist. In the description, you would have say the client name, their business name, their email, and what services you're going to be providing for them. Within the checklists, I would have an initial checklist that says initial contact.
It might be they signed up for a call with you, or you sent them a questionnaire. If you sent them a questionnaire, has the questionnaire been sent back to you? Have you added a copy of that question into the Trello board.
Then, if you are having a discovery call or you're doing a proposal, remember to send them a reminder, you have the call, you send them a thank you email, you then draft a proposal, you send the proposal, and then you check in with them 24-48 hours later.
Now we're assuming that they're going to work with you, so we've got contracts. They want to move ahead with you (woo hoo - yay!). You need prepare your contract. If you do invoice in upfront, then you can do your invoice, it might be that you have a deposit, etc. Then you would send the contract and the invoice. Then you could have a note in there to say the contract has been signed, and the invoice has been paid. I would also add in a link to the contract. You can add in the payment if you like but presumably you'd have a different system for your payments.
You would have then have your welcome packet, if you have one that you send that off. You might send them a list what's going to happen next or f you have a client portal or you have something that you send to them.
Then you have a kickoff meeting, if you're going to do that, and your project starts.
The above is an example of client onboarding. That could be something that you would have into a template. Then you can move them along. You might have ten different people under initial contact. Then you might have three people under discovery call with proposals, you might have two contracts and invoices out, and then you might have five under the new client implementation. Once they're at that point, that's when you could, if you wanted to have that Trello board that's between you and the client, to see how that's going to go.
If your client is not so tech savvy, I would do them a quick Loom video telling them how to use it, and how to talk to you within the Trello board.
This is the easiest way for you to manage multiple clients when you're starting out.
You could start with Asana or even ClickUp but Trello is much easier to begin with. And
I think also with regard to your diary, you need to be able to schedule out various times, I work with a lot of different clients, and I work on task basis, so somebody sends me an email or they send me a task, then I'll prioritise that depending on when they've said they want it or when I when I know that they need it. Make sure that you're on track with that too. Don't get lost with what you need to do; add them into your calendar.
You could even create a Trello board for your workflows but keep on top of them, give things due dates, and you'll work through it.
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