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New client? No problem.

Onboarding a new client doesn't have to be difficult.

Two women sitting at desk in front of laptop, looking at fabric swatches and architectural drawings

Finally! After months of back and forth, RFPs, tweaks to the RFP, tweaks to the tweaks, meetings with the marketing team, meetings with the executive team, meetings with, well, everyone, video calls, and one final in-person collab to hash out the details and shake hands, your creative agency won a new client. It's a big account with lots of moving parts, and it feels great to have landed the plane.

Now, the real work begins.

The first step: Getting the client onboarded so assets and work can flow back and forth smoothly. A smooth and efficient onboarding process provides a great foundation from which to build a successful project. A new client will be impressed by the simplicity and thoughtfulness of a solid and seamless experience. Your team will know they have everything they need to start, as well as systems in place to send and receive additional files and folders. They'll also know they can find and access what they need when they need it, while employing security practices to prevent data leaks.

Here are some strategies for making client onboarding as painless as possible.

Standardize the contract creation and signing process

One of the most exciting things about winning new work? Signing the contract that makes it official. One of the worst parts? Creating the contract. With Dropbox Sign templates, however, it's simple to create a standardized contract once, then use it over and over again. It's also smart to develop templates for the different types of schedules your organization uses frequently. It's a tried and true, plug and play system for easy client onboarding. (While we're here, why not use Dropbox Paper templates for creative briefs, video production projects, and other needs as well? That type of drudge work doesn't have to be so, well, drudgery.)

Build a welcome guide and set expectations

A new client is like a new relationship: both parties are excited for the future but also wary about where things might go. With this in mind, it's essential to get the experience started off on the right foot by creating a welcome guide so the client knows what to expect. This can include how your organization works, a bit about the principals, and perhaps an icebreaker or two. Send it securely, then walk them through the guide. Don't forget to include checklists so the client understands the path forward.

Request and receive files (and get them in the correct location)

When you onboard a client, it's likely that you need files from them. Maybe that means some of their existing assets or perhaps it's just a data dump of information for your team to examine. With file requests, your team can request specific files and the client can upload them into your account even if they don't have Dropbox themselves. Simply create a new request, enter a few details, pick the folder where the files will be uploaded, set a deadline, and send the request on its way. Requests are editable after the fact in case you need to change the information. All you need to do is wait for the files to arrive, then close the request once they do.

Don't forget about data security

By its very nature, onboarding a new client will include some level of proprietary data shared between parties, then stored in a few locations. No one wants to see that data leak into the world, so maintaining security is important. Dropbox keeps information secure in a number of different ways. It encrypts files with 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard to protect data in transit between Dropbox apps and its servers while constantly testing for security vulnerabilities. With Dropbox password protection, only people with the password can access the file or folder, while setting expiration dates on a link makes it so the link only works for a specific amount of time.

Onboarding a new client can—and should—be painless. With a little bit of thought and preparation, the process can almost take care of itself. By following the steps laid out above, an agency can quickly move through the onboarding process and get into the meat and potatoes of doing the actual creative work. That, after all, is the fun part.

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