In this blog I’m going to show you how I use notion to manage my client projects in a way that has boosted my productivity increased my income, and reduced the stress that comes from running your own business. Buy thesis online for you will be going over my client portal in detail so you can get an in-depth look at the systems I use to streamline my business and I’ll be going over three crucial things that you need to know to turn your business into a well-oiled machine.
Point No 1:
But first here’s a little backstory of how this client portal came to be this is me in September of 2021 at this time. I’m currently working with four clients a month I’m making around two thousand dollars per project and my business is growing nicely.
But I’m overworked unmotivated and stressed to the point that I’m having thoughts about the business and if it’s even worth continuing wait what why was I feeling like this well. Let’s ask younger me it was four clients a month too many no I don’t think so I know other designers that do it successfully. I want to earn some more money did you lose your passion for design no I love being a creative and building brands.
Point No 2:
I just hate the admin part of running a business where you eating too many brownies so what was it well. Now I stand here with hindsight on the whole situation the reason I was feeling so stressed and overwhelmed was because I didn’t have a process for managing my projects.
So what’s changed between now and then well now I have a system that organizes my business and streamlines the process of working with clients? as a result of this I become more productive as I now spend less time on admin which then frees up more time relieves stress all while allowing me to continue growing my income.
What’s this system then it’s a project tracker and client portal in one it allows you to manage all of your projects at the glance of the dashboard it creates a centralized information database for all of your projects so if there’s any information you need you know exactly where to find it.
And it acts as the main point of contact for all of your client communication needs yes that’s right say goodbye to endless email threads so let’s take a look at the template. And talk about the first thing having a system like this adds to your business Photoshop the template shown throughout.
This blog is actually available to buy from my shop. So if you’re interested or want to support the channel I’ll leave a link in the description so the first part of the system is the project tracker this is the home to all of the client projects and gives you a bird’s eye view of your business at a glance.
Point No 3:
You can see what projects are currently ongoing the package the start date for your next project and you can also access previous projects. You’ve worked on just in case a previous client comes to you needing something as designers we know this can happen quite a lot so it’s super handy to have everything in one place. And so you don’t have to go through all of your files on your computer to just resend a logo.
We’re going to add a new project so you can get a really good feel of how the system works. So we’re going to click the blue new button to add a new project and then we’re going to start filling out some of this information. I’m going to add the project name we’re going to change the package to brand identity change the start date to when the project is about to start which is the 1st of July as well as the end date of the project too.
So you’ll notice that a bunch of information has also popped up below but we will ignore that for now but it’s a little sneak peek into the client portal that we will get into shortly the project tracker also has multiple views. some are just for personal preference like i prefer the table view whereas jack my business partner prefers this board view some views you use filters to only show projects with a certain status which is really handy.
Point No 4:
When you’ve been using a system for a while and it can get full so for example by changing the view to just in progress you can get a focused look at all of the current ongoing projects. As you can start to see having a project tracker like this can help organize your business by centralizing all of your client project information in one place no emails no instagram dms no Google drive files all the information.
You need in one place which creates peace of mind and relieves stress that comes from running a business so this whole system consists of two components the first being the project tracker which we have just gone over, and the other being the client portal which acts as the main point of contact between you and the client throughout the whole project.
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So let’s take a closer look into this so if we click into the project we’ve just created you’ll see that all of this information auto-generated this is because it was created as a template this is our client portal. You would share this page with your client and then they get access to this and can see everything to do with their project can you start to see how this would be revolutionary for your business.
Because it was for mine if we take a closer look at the portal and while we go through I will fill out some of the details for this project. So at first glance you’ll see the project overview this is something that my clients have loved as it allows them to see the project as a whole and see how far we’ve come and what’s left to do.
Point No 5:
So I’m just changing the dates of the kickoff call and changing the status to in progress along with other dates as well within the project so the client can clearly see a time frame. And when to expect deliverables whilst we’re on the topic I just want to quickly jump in and say one of the main reasons for building the portal like this was to make my clients feel more involved within their branding process a lot of businesses that I work with are startups.
So getting their branding done is a massive thing so these clients are excited and want to enjoy the process and by adding things like the project overview checkboxes and to-do lists make them feel more involved within the project.
And they love it so we need to prepare the client pool tool before sharing it with the client so we’ve already filled out the project tracker. let’s now add a project contract for them to sign and an invoice for them to pay before starting the project so we’re clicking on contracts and invoices opening it as a page we’re going to go down to upload an embedded file choose a file which will be the contract open this and this will now upload the contract for the client to download.
We’re going to do exactly the same for the invoice upload that and they will now be able to access the invoice ready to be paid a little fyi I always take an upfront payment before starting any project. So now the portal is ready to be shared with the client where they have an introductory video to watch a contractor sign a questionnaire to fill out and a faqs to reference.
Point No 6:
If they have any questions or queries about the project now we can really start to see how this can save so much time and stop the endless back. and forth emails with clients everything’s in one place for them to do having a system like this that also generates for each new project has honestly made me so much more productive.
As a result of that has allowed me to have the capacity to take on more clients which then in tune increases the businesses income back to the portal. because we haven’t even got to the best part yet when going over the main project tracker we previously talked about how useful it was to have all of that information centralized and in one place and that’s exactly why within this portal.
We have a section where all the work and presentations are uploaded along with feedback and revisions I cannot begin to tell you how handy this has known that everything important for the project is in one place and can be easily referenced.
Let’s say we are ready to present the first strategy presentation for this project we would head to presentation uploads click on the first stage and then the first draft toggle and upload the presentation ready for feedback from the client. Let’s now pretend some time has passed and the client has given us feedback positive which is always a bonus and has ticked the box to confirm that they are happy to move on to the next stage of the project.
Point No 7:
We would then go back to the main hub and update the project tracker strategy stage to complete for the client and then move on to the next stage streamlined for the designer interactive for the client and an uncomplicated and straightforward process for both as a whole this client portal has increased my clients satisfaction.
I’ve had nothing but positive reviews about their experience using it and a high level of customer satisfaction means more referrals leading to business growth. Let’s now take a look at the off-boarding section within the portal so let’s say the project is now complete. We would first upload all brand files and logos along with the portal providing an explanation of each file format you would then upload the client goodbye packet followed by providing links.
So they can purchase font licensing and lastly just an area for them to leave some feedback to let us know how we’ve done with their project so there it is the system I use to manage my business and organize all of my client projects throughout this blog.
I’ve explained the three main benefits I get from using a system like this which are organization which has led to less stress streamlined which has made me more productive as a business owner allowing me to increase my income, and customer satisfaction which has made my business grow and essentially made the need for marketing my services non-existent. Because I get so many referrals i really can’t express how much having a system like this has helped my business.