The Mention Blog

5 Steps to Improve Client Onboarding for Your Agency

You’ve just been assigned your very first client at your agency. You’re excited, nervous, and ready to roll your sleeves up. What now?

Managing social on behalf of a brand can be nerve wracking, especially if you’re new in the game. Your client could be in a completely unfamiliar industry and you may not have yet grasped their brand’s tone, target audience – or even what they do.

It can all seem very overwhelming at first – *insert nervous smile emoji* – but it doesn’t have to be.

The key to a smooth client onboarding is planning and asking a lot of questions. Before you launch any campaigns or start posting on their accounts, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve fully understood their brand, needs and expectations, and have created a plan that you can follow through on.

Establishing a solid onboarding process involves gathering the bulk of information beforehand. This will save you time down the road by not having to track people down for content approval or having to figure out what KPIs you should be using to measure your success. It will also minimize the chances for errors and make you come across as very prepared.

At the end of this process, both you and your client should have a clear picture of how you plan to achieve the social media objectives that have been set.

Sounds simple, right? It is. Here are 5 steps to help you ensure a smooth client onboarding:

Note: We’re focusing on social media clients, but the same steps will apply in any field.

1. Ask questions and set expectations

First, you need to learn all about your client. Whether you conduct the first meeting in person, on a call or via email, be sure to gather the following key pieces of information:

Chances are, you’ve already done some research so you may already have this information. Even if it’s the case, this session will help you confirm and clarify what you already know or are unsure of. Being too prepared is never a bad thing.

2. Conduct a social media and brand audit

One of the most important steps of planning a social media strategy is to audit the client’s existing activities. This will not only help you understand what has worked in the past, what needs to be improved, but it will also help you answer questions. For instance, “does an investment bank really need to be on Snapchat?” (The answer is, if that’s where their target audience is engaging with them – then yes!)

Once you have access to all of their social media profiles:

The ultimate goal of the audit is show where the holes in their current strategy are. You should then base your strategy around the potential opportunities for improvement.

3. Research the industry and competition

Researching their industry involves looking at everything that affects them externally, from trends and competitors, to identifying influencers. By doing so, you’ll get a good sense of where your client stands in the industry, as well as identify which key trends and opportunities they can take advantage of.

In your research, you’ll want to:

Mention’s Influencer Dashboard

Once you’ve compiled all of the key insights, you can start building out your strategy. Next, assemble people from different teams in your agency that you want to collaborate with.

4. Assemble your team

Source: Fanart

The great thing about working at agencies is that you often have access to resources that companies on the client side may not. This might include a video production team, an analytics specialist or a PR strategist. Get to know these different team members if you’ve never worked with them before, and learn how they can help you with your strategy.

5. Build your toolkit

Now that you’ve created your social media strategy it’s time to think about how you’ll implement it.

You may already have a good selection of monitoring, publishing and analytic tools at your disposal. And if you don’t, do some research on which tools would be the best fit for your client and for your project. You may also want to create templates for publishing and reporting which can help you shave minutes off your day-to-day activities.


The onboarding process can seem long and complicated at first, we get it. But keep in mind that it’ll help you stay organized, focused on your goals, and save you time in the long run.

At the end of the day, it’s all about providing the best service to your clients. For more resources on managing agency/client relationships , check out our latest ebook.