The Onboarding Process - What you need to know
Finding and signing new clients consistently is nearly impossible without the right systems and processes. Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself before you’re ready to onboarding a new client:
- What services and packages do you offer at what price point?
- How do you generate new leads (Instagram, referrals, content marketing, blog, Facebook Ads, a combination of strategies, etc.)?
- How can potential clients get in touch with you?
- Do you have a Services and Pricing Guide you can share with them?
- How do you structure your discovery call?
So you just signed a new client...
You’re thrilled! Your dream client has agreed to work with you and you both can’t wait to get started! But what happens next? Do you have a streamlined process?
Or do you send dozens of emails to your client trying to figure out scheduling, expectations, timelines, payments, and questions? It’s time you create a client welcome package!
Keep reading to find out what to include in your Client Welcome Package so you can finally set CLEAR expectations and give them EVERYTHING they need from the start. Show your new clients how professional you are.
By streamlining your client onboarding process you will also save tons of time and get peace of mind that your client will be taken care of.
What to include
Send an onboarding email that includes your contract, invoice, and welcome packet.
Your welcome packet should set clear expectations and include information like communication guidelines, project details, turnaround times, etc. Depending on how your business works (e.g. if you don’t have a team, you can skip the “Meet the Team” page), consider adding the following pages.
Welcome Message/ Meet the Team
Include a quick welcome message welcoming your client. Explain the purpose of the welcome packet and share how excited you are to start working them. Emphasize things like your values and why they made the right choice working with you. You can also add your social media handles.
If your client will be working with any of your team members you can quickly introduce them and explain their roles if applicable.
Use a handwritten font to sign this welcome page and include a headshot to give it a personal touch.
What to expect
Now that they decided to work with you, what can they expect from you within the next few days or weeks ? Another call, a tutorial video, a team member reaching out to them, etc.? List it all right here.
Outline important details about the package your client selected and the services that you will be providing as part of your agreement here. List the investment, milestones and summarize the desired outcome.
Project Details and Outcome
Share all the resources your client might find helpful – articles, videos, passwords, folders you created for them, links to invoices or contracts, etc. Do you use a specific project management tool such as Trello or Asana? Explain the purpose of the tool and include a link for them to sign up.
Are there any other resources that you have used in the past or that you discussed with your client on the phone that can make their life easier? Include it all in the resource sections so your client has a central hub they can refer back to.
Do you have a signature process (e.g. for website design or social media management)? List your step-by-step process e.g. Sign Contract, Complete Client Homework, Book your Kickoff Call, etc.
This includes an itemized list of your services. Break down all your packages, hours, services, etc. List the total price of your services so your client knows how much exactly they have to pay. You can include a link in your package so your client can pay the invoice right away.
Your Business Guidelines
These guidelines are very important to set boundaries and clarify expectations with your client. Get clear on your business hours aka when you are available to respond to emails, calls, or urgent requests. The last thing you want is a client to expect you to be available 24/7.
List your contact information and your preferred method of contact (e.g. email, message, chat, phone, Facebook, etc.). If you use an online booking platform such as Calendly or Acuity to schedule your calls, include a link here.
Some questions to answer:
- How do you track time for projects?
- Do you charge extra for last minute or weekend projects?
- What is your average response time?
- If you plan on having frequent phone calls what’s your call cancellation timeframe and rescheduling policy?
- If your client is on a payment plan when are their next payments due? How much are your late fees?
This is your chance to set boundaries and help your client get adjusted to your policies and processes.
If this is an on-off project or you have certain milestone to hit (e.g. web design) you can create a timeline that outlines your most important deadlines and milestones. You can also list the dates when you need any homework or content from your client.
Frequently Asked Questions
Save time by compiling a list of common questions people have asked about your specific services and guidelines. You can add to this list as you get more questions from your clients.
Call to Action
Include a detailed call to action to seal the deal and start your project asap such as “Sign your Contract” or “Secure Your Spot.”
If you’re creating this packet in Canva you can insert links easily. Select the element you want to link (in this example I want to link the “Start Here” button). Select the “Link” symbol, insert the URL of your choice and hit “Apply.” When you save your design as PDF File your buttons are now clickable.
Phew, and you’re done. Although, this might seem like a lot of work at first, think about all the time you will save once you create this packet and can just plug and play with the text, tweak it a little bit and send out your package again and again.
Sounds amazing doesn’t it? Need help creating your packet? Check out this editable 21 page CLIENT WELCOME TEMPLATE HERE.
How it works
I already did the hard work for you by designing and putting it together. All pages are editable! All you need to do is customize the template to match your branding – change the text, adjust your brand colors and add your own pictures. Save and send it to your client. The template can be reused as many times as you’d like (just make small tweaks for each new client).
If you’re not sure how to do all of that, no worries! The template includes a Canva tutorial walking you through customizing your template.