As a customer, there is nothing I love more than having access to a client portal. A place to access all my information online without having to talk to someone.
I wanted to give that to my clients too.
I’d been using FreshBooks which allows a client to access a portal after their first invoice. I wanted more, and when my business outgrew FreshBooks, I saw an opportunity to make it happen.
First I started researching and testing all the bookkeeping/CRM programs out there. Finally, I settled on QuickBooks Online. I still needed a way to make portals and track my time.
After trying out several time trackers, I landed on Ebillity. It integrates with QuickBooks and offers an online customer portal function. I tested it out. The client portal has some tech issues, but I love the time tracking and reporting options, so I stuck with it.
I still didn’t have a way to create the robust client portals I had in mind. Enter Trello. If you’ve been around a while you know, I LOVE and use Trello religiously for my business.
Each client has a board. Since I am a Trello Gold member, I created on brand backgrounds for each of my clients. I’ve enabled the custom fields and Google Drive power-ups. Each board has the same naming format, Client Name – Client Business name.
- Contact Info – This list has one card on it. This card is the card on which I use the custom fields power-up. I created a field for all the contact information I gather for my client. Then I set each field so the field information is visible on the front of the card. That means I can see all the contact info without having to open the card.
- Client Information – The first card on this list is the contract card. I’ve attached the client’s contract to this card for easy reference. The second card on this list is a link to my digital welcome packet. Other cards on this list are customer specific general information my clients may find useful. Examples include social media content themes and a brand style guide.
- Invoice Information – In this section, I have a card for each invoice I’ve created for the client in 2017. I’ve attached a copy of the invoice which can be saved or printed as needed.
- Time Usage Reports – My clients currently pay for blocks of time or by the hour. I provide detailed reports showing what I spent those hours doing each month. These reports are saved by month on an individual card for easy reference.
- Website/SM Links – This list is as much for me as it is for my clients. I like to make sure I always have them most update to date links for each client in an easy to access place.
In The Future
As I migrate clients to the Trello portal and add new clients to my business, I can see using my client portals as a way to communicate and track to-do items. The great thing about Trello is the ability to make it what you need it to be.