Today, we are talking about something that makes us feel a little crazy… how many clients we have at once and how the heck we manage it without dropping all the balls. 😅 In this episode we are getting real and sharing some of our favorite client management tips. While, of course, maintaining our sanity and growing our bottom line.
We just counted, and right now, we have 15 clients (plus about three more on hold for various reasons). This is on top of building a course, running a coaching program, managing a podcast, and, ya know, all the other personal life stuff going on.
It feels a little insane but also totally manageable at the same time.
How is this possible to manage this many clients at one time?! Keep scrollin’ to find out!
Simplify Your Offerings
First, we knew we had to simplify our offerings. We have two brand packages and two SEO packages with a few add-ons. We barely ever do custom proposals anymore because we know that the packages we have almost always address what our clients need. They are value-packed!
Because we simplified our offerings, we could very easily simplify our processes or SOPs (standard operating procedures). Tune into episode 61 where we break this down with Taryn, the systems and automation expert. Basically, it’s writing out every single step of your process, even the ones that seem silly, like “sending an email” or “making a new Google Drive folder”. Mapping it out ensures you don’t skip steps and can identify areas you could outsource!
Leverage & Create Templates For Everything
We loooove a good template. We always say if we have to create something twice, we’re making it into a template. It’s helped our processes so much to at least have a starting point and, of course, customize it as needed. These are a few things we have templatized:
- Email templates
- Canva templates for my SEO audits
- Asana and project management templates for each package
Invest In A Good Client and Project Management System
We use Asana for all our project management needs. This is how we manage where our client is in the process. Each client gets their own board. There is a task for everything from sending the creatives and reviewing the research to sending a Starbucks gift card. Each task has a date and an assignee, so we know who is responsible for what.
We also have weekly priority boards where we can just look at our responsibilities for the week. This format is the best because looking at the whole timeline of multiple projects can be overwhelming!
Finally we export our client boards and timelines into our Google Calendars to make sure we aren’t missing deadlines. It helps us plan our weeks, too.
Consider Where You Can Hire Help
We’ve talked about our awesome team before, but we can’t stress enough how much of an impact they make on our business. This is one of the biggest client management tips we have. We wouldn’t be able to juggle 15 clients if it weren’t for them!
Hiring a project manager was a game changer. Heidi imports all our client timelines into Asana and provides resources for other members of our team. We found the two of us were bottlenecking a lot of tasks we outsourced (oops), but Heidi helps keep projects moving smoothly.
We also hired an SEO specialist. Kelli helps open up Abbey’s calendar and allows more meetings with limited childcare. She is a huge help!
Set “Timeline” Rules & Boundaries
This is more of a boundary we set for ourselves. We don’t want to both be bogged down with huge projects in case something comes up.
We only schedule one big project per week. If Court is doing brand boards, we will complement that with a smaller project like round 2 changes or, at most, a mood board round. But we would never do two brand boards in one week. The creative juice would be running low.
The same goes for SEO. Abbey will only do two keyword research reviews at most in a week. She usually only likes to do one a week. Optimization projects are the same idea. Abbey might be doing keyword research for one client and then optimizing another, and that is her week’s max.
New for us… We’re going to start taking one week a month without client work. We need some time to focus on Duo! And, like, take a freakin’ break.
A Few Things to Remember
If you are feeling bad about yourself, stop it right now. We are sharing these tips to help you identify areas where you could drive more efficiencies in your process, not to play a game about who can do more.
- There are two of us! Imagine having two of you (we wish this a lot of days) – you could get so much more done in your business.
- We’ve also been doing this for yearssss. Almost 15 years if you count our agency life before this. We’ve done the whole trial and error, testing and testing again… We know what works for us and what doesn’t. And we’re still testing new things!
- Our clients are all at various stages. Some are at the kick-off, and others at the end. These client management tips help us balance our time.
- Blocking off time and vacations early is a new priority for us, especially when we are booking 3-4 months out. We are trying to be more cognizant of burnout and are learning to take well-earned time off.
A quick check in and moment for transparency on the future of Duo
Do we want to keep growing as an agency and taking clients? We don’t know. Do we want to phase things out into courses and coaching? We think maybe. But honestly, we don’t know.
But you can rest assured that we will share it with you here. Until then, we are going to keep juggling our clients and delivering the best work we can.
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More From The Duo
Abbey Oslin and Courtney Petersen are Minnesota-based marketing experts, educators, and co-founders of boutique marketing agency Duo Collective, which specializes in SEO, social media strategy, and branding for small business owners and creative entrepreneurs. To learn more about Duo Collective, or to inquire about working with our team, head over to www.duocollective.com.
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And to submit a topic or a question for next week’s episode, send us a DM on Instagram! See you on Monday!