2 Systems Freelance Writers Need For Excellent Client Delivery


So you got yourself out there, booked a discovery call, and landed a client. Congratulations! You are well on your way to building a business as a freelance writer.  Except … where are your systems?

In the past few articles, I’ve been talking about the five foundations of a freelance writing business. This article breaks down foundation number four.


The thing people don’t tell you is that landing a client is just the beginning. You may think that now that you’ve proven your ability to make a sale, everything will be smooth sailing from here on out. The truth is, you’re just beginning. If you can’t deliver on what you’ve sold, you won’t be able to keep making sales for long.

The Truth About Delivery

Most people think delivery only refers to handing over the finished product. 

“Here you go, client. Here’s your sales page.”

That’s not quite accurate. Delivery actually refers to the entire process from the time that they sign on the dotted line and pay their deposit to the time that you send over the finished work. Delivery equals customer service, and customer service starts on day one.

In order for you to provide your client with the best experience possible, you need to have the right systems and processes in place in order to serve them well throughout the entire project. Let’s talk about what those are.


The first system you want to have in place as you serve clients is an onboarding system.  Having an onboarding system doesn’t just benefit the client. It benefits you too.  Having a set, repeatable system – the things you do for every client when you onboard them – not only saves you time, but it allows you to streamline things. If you always do the same things when you onboard a new client, you can easily train a VA or assistant to take over some of those responsibilities.

Welcome Email

So what’s included in a good onboarding system? Let’s break it down. First, you’re going to need a welcome email. This email lets the client know you’re excited to work with them and sets the expectation for what your communication will look like going forward.

In the welcome email, you will give them instructions on what their next steps are. They’re not going to automatically know what information you need in order to get started, so it’s up to you to make that clear to them. That leads us to the next thing you’re going to need.

Info Forms

The second thing you need in your onboarding system is some basic info gathering forms. In order to make communication as smooth as possible, it’s important for you to start off with some baseline information from the client. You could gather all this information on a call, but I prefer to get the basics from them by using some forms I created in Google Docs.

Now there’s nothing fancy about these forms. It’s simply a list of questions with a space for their answers. I’m gathering information like how they like to be contacted, who their target audience is, and what their social media platforms and content links are. These onboarding forms save both parties a lot of time on the onboarding call, which is the third piece of a good onboarding system. 

Onboarding Call

The final piece of your onboarding system is the onboarding call. I prefer to do this call after the client has had a chance to fill out the info forms. This gives me a chance to review the information they’ve given me so that I don’t have to cover things twice. It also lets me know where there might be gaps or holes in the information that will need to be taken care of right away.

I usually have the client set aside an hour for the onboarding call. On the call, we go over the specifics of the project. I’m able to give them an idea of the timeline, and I’m also going to ask them any additional questions I have based on the information from the info forms. 

Once onboarding is complete and you have the information you need, you can move on to the second system of delivery.

Project Management

Now that you have the information you need from the client, you can begin your research and writing. You will most likely be working with multiple client projects at a time.  

I usually have four or five active projects going on in any given week. That means my brain is stretched in four or five different directions. And when my brain gets stretched, it’s much more likely that I will forget something or drop one of the balls I’m juggling. Thankfully, I’ve learned that a good project management system can help me keep track of everything.

There are a good number of project management systems out there, and most of them have a free level of service. Do you have to use a software-based project management system? No. You could use a planner and a calendar. I highly recommend an online project management system, however. 

Most of your communication with your clients will take place online. Why shouldn’t your project management system be there too? This gives you access to everything you need from any device, anytime, from anywhere in the world. So if you’re sitting in the dentist’s office with your kid and creativity strikes, you can just pop open the app and make a note.

A good project management system will help you timeline your projects, assign and check off tasks, provide a place for you to store information and links, and so much more. Many project management software programs can even be linked to your scheduler or calendar and can automatically send notifications. 

My project management system is literally my brain on the screen, and it saves my life every single day, and I use it for more than just client projects. I use it for team trainings, time blocking, asset storage, internal business projects and more.

 Some examples of popular project management programs include:

  • Asana
  • Trello
  • Clickup
  • Monday
  • Dubsado
  • And the list goes on and on …

They all have their pros and cons, so you might have to try a couple on before you find one that fits you and your working style. I promise though, once you get it set up oh, it saves you so much time and energy in the long run.

Benefits of Having Systems

I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Having systems in your freelance writing business will save your sanity. Not only will good onboarding and project management systems hope you give your clients the white-glove service that makes them feel completely at ease with turning their projects over to you. They are absolutely vital to the inner workings of your business.

Systems help you deliver a consistent experience to every single client, no matter who your client is or what the project entails.

Systems help you keep things on target so that you meet your deadlines every time.

Systems help you store the information you need in one place so you’re not having to spend time hunting down that rogue PDF or having to ask the client to send it again.

Systems are a beautiful, beautiful thing. They make things faster, smoother, and easier. 

If you want to grow and scale your business, systems are especially important because they make it easy for you to get help. If you have a system, you can train someone else to operate the system. It doesn’t always have to be you. The great thing about a system is it doesn’t care who operates it as long as they follow the steps.

More From Christa Nichols

Want to steal my best systems? In Write for Revenue Bootcamp, my live two-day event, I hand you my discovery call and onboarding systems on a silver platter as I walk you step-by-step through how to build a portfolio, conquer sales calls, and onboard clients. Click here to learn more about Write for Revenue Bootcamp.

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