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June 6, 2024

What is a Clientflow?

What is a Clientflow?

Authored by
Creative Director & Founder

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Your process matters

As an independent business owner, delivering an exceptional client experience is the gold standard. It’s what separates us from others in our industry and it’s what inspires our reputation—for better, or worse!

And for most small business owners out there, whether you're a coach, consultant, photographer, or anyone who provides a service, your goal is to deliver an experience that serves our clients for the better. So, how do you make sure your system matches your level of service? 

The answer? Your clientflow!

The Clientflow concept

Before you ever create a branded proposal or invoice for a client, you need to take a step back and map out your client journey, or Clientflow.

A Clientflow is how you uniquely sell and deliver your services. And it’s essential to workshop the concept of a clientflow to assess where you’re at in your business and where you may be able to improve or streamline your operations. 

Especially if your goal is to streamline your business and elevate your brand experience using a CRM or business management platform like HoneyBook.

Understanding the strategy behind creating a process that’s simple for your clients to inquire about your sercohesive brand experience is vital, whether you choose to use HoneyBook or not.

Your clientflow is made up of two key components:

  • The front-end actions your client takes
  • The back-end internal workflow you use to make it all happen

You likely already have a clientflow in place; you just may not have formally mapped it out or optimized it. By mapping out your process, you can analyze what’s working, identify areas to improve, and boost your confidence knowing there’s a method to your magic.

But before you do that, it’s important to get clear on the phases of a clientflow and what happens within each.

Phases of a clientflow

Depending on your business, your clientflow may have anywhere between four to five phases. Here’s a typical structure of each phase and what usually happens inside.

1. Capture New Business

This is where you're attract new leads, gathering client or project information, and then choosing how to respond to new inquiries.

2. Qualify Leads

The second phase is all about ensuring compatibility with potential clients. This usually involves reviewing their contact form submissions and then inviting leads into a discovery or sales call for further scope out their project.

3. Book Clients

Once you both agree that you're the right fit, it's time to seal the deal with contracts, invoices, proposals, and payments.

4. Manage Projects

Now the work really begins! This phase is where you deliver your service, keep clients engaged through onboarding, ongoing communication, and internal task tracking.

5. Maintain Relationships

Last, but certainly not least, this final phase is where independents offboard clients, gather testimonials, seek referrals, or pave the way for repeat business and future collaborations.

Sometimes folks will combine phases one and two in order to streamline steps on their client’s end, or that of their own internal workflow.

So now that you’re clear on the overall structure of a Clientflow, let’s learn how you can go about mapping out your own process!

Sample Clientflow map

Here at Good Brand Partners, one of our core services is an optimziation call. This strategy-based session is where I help HoneyBook users map out their clietnflow from start to finsih. While that transformation is the promise of this service, the process looks a little something like this:


Notice how when we map out our clientflow for each service, we get crystal clear on each pahse and step of the process. That way we can identify the files or tools we need to utulize onteh backend in order to bring our workflow to life. For example, in looking at the above clietnflow map, I know I need to:

  • Create a Lead Form where folks can input their info and book a discovery call via the Scheduer
  • Send meeting reminders before the consultation
  • First Smart File outlining the scope of work + Invoice, Contract, and Payment
  • Second Smart File to welcome the client and help them prep for the session
  • Plus a final Thank You email which includes a link for them to write a review of my service

Mapping out your Clientflow

Here's a helpful step-by-step guide to mapping out your clientflow:

Step 1: Choose a service to map out

  • Focus on the easiest service to deliver if you’re just starting.
  • For experienced businesses, pick your top seller for now. You can always craft a clientflow for each service later.

Step 2: Identify each step involved in both selling and delivering the service

  • Map out each step from initial inquiry to final follow-up.
  • Consider both front-end client interactions and back-end tasks required to bring it to life.

Questions to consider if you're stuck:

  • Where do most of your leads come from? (Contact form, DM, email)
  • What’s the first thing you do when a lead contacts you? (Reply, ask them to schedule a call, call them directly?)
  • How do you qualify this lead? (Review intake, schedule discovery)
  • How do you seal the deal?
  • Is there anything you do before you provide your service?
  • Does your service require scheduled time with clients in person and/or remotely?
  • Do you provide any final deliverables?
  • What is your offboarding process like?

Step 3: Analyze your Clientflow to see what can be optimized

  • Could anything be removed or consolidated?
  • Are we missing any files or email communications?
  • Circle or star anything that needs to be created.

Your next steps

Map out a clientflow for one of your services—whether it's your best-seller or the one that needs the most system improvements. Remember, this isn't about reinventing the wheel. You likely already have a clientflow in place, but identifying and fine-tuning it can significantly enhance your efficiency.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one software that can bring your clientflow to life—with on-brand proposals, an easy-to-use scheduler, and powerful automations that get you booked fast—you should check out HoneyBook!

Whether you implement your clientflow on your own or use a solution like HoneyBook, I encourage you to embrace the power of a well-mapped clientflow. You might be surprised at the positive impact it can have!