The 5 Step Client Onboarding Checklist For Ghostwriters

Nicolas Cole
2 min readJan 18, 2024

What To Do the Second A Client Says “Yes.” (Time Kills Deals)

I am going to give you a quick checklist, so you know exactly what to do when a client says they’re in!

The Client said, “Yes.”


  • You sent 50+ cold DMs/emails to target clients
  • 5 responded
  • You followed up with a Loom “free work” pitch
  • And 2 said, “Sure. Let’s do it.”

Here’s your 5 point Client Onboarding Checklist to lock everything in before “time” kills the deal:

1. Let them know how excited you are.

Give them a recap of everything you are going to do via:

  • DM
  • Email
  • Phone call

Tell them you’re sending an invoice.

Ask if they’d like you to also include their assistant and/or anyone from their finance team. Subtly mention “as soon as the invoice is paid, I’ll get rocking & rolling!”

And again, tell them how excited you are.

2. Send them an invoice via Stripe.

Even if you aren’t sure which they prefer, doing this immediately:

  • Encourages quicker payment
  • Sends the signal you’re on top of things

You can always send a different invoice afterwards if they need it in a different format.

3. Sign any necessary client agreements.

Ask the client what you need to sign.

  • A Non-Disclosure Agreement
  • A Statement Of Work
  • An Independent Contractor Agreement
  • Etc.

The client will let you know what they prefer (or need).

Just get your signature on something ASAP.

4. Send your W-9 to accounting.

You can either wait for them to ask you for it, or just take it upon yourself to send it in…



Nicolas Cole

100M+ Views | 5x Author | Co-founder of Ship 30 for 30 | Want to start writing online? Get the Ultimate Guide: