How To Professionally Onboard New Clients
This article will show you how to professionally onboard new clients.
Welcoming a new client to your practice is an exhilarating time for both of you. And like just about everything else in business, it’s an opportunity; An opportunity to create a stellar first impression and convince them the investment they just made in themselves with you is the right one. That kind of rationale lays the groundwork for a flawless, comfortable project. In this article, I’m going to share how you can create and develop your own professional, customized, branded Welcome Kit in just a few hours for under $25.
I’ll cover the basics of an expert client on-boarding experience including:
I. What is a Welcome Packet?
II. What’s included in a professional Welcome Packet
III. Why a Welcome Packet is an essential on-boarding tool
IV. How to create your own custom professional, branded Welcome Packet
I. What is a Welcome Packet?
There’s a pretty good chance that your competitors are using a professionally branded client Welcome Packet. Here’s why you should be, too.
A well-appointed Welcome Packet gives your new client everything they need to know in a single, organized place without overwhelming them. Later, as the project progresses, they can reference the packet instead of emailing you with questions, which saves you valuable time. It also serves as something of an agreement. By delivering the packet with everything laid out, it eliminates any questions later on about what is or isn’t included, what the process looks like, or what the client can expect. It’s a beautiful and professional way to welcome new clients into your professional realm and thank them for choosing you.
I’m often asked, ‘When do you provide your clients with a Welcome Packet?” and the answer to that is, “it depends”. Service providers most often offer the packet to their clients as soon as their project payment has been remitted. However, they may also share it with a select handful of potential clients who are struggling to make the commitment. (I’ll talk more about that later on.)
02. What’s included in a professional Welcome Packet
A professional Welcome Packet includes the following elements and pages:
- An enticing, yet simple, cover design
- An introduction to the project (to recap what’s included and involved)
- About Me page (to introduce yourself)
- Meet the Team page (if applicable)
- Client Expectations page (what you’ll need from the to complete the work)
- The Process page (to detail your proprietary process)
- Your Timeline (a mini schedule of events)
- FAQ page (to limit any initial doubts or concerns)
- Communication + Office Hours (to share when you can be expected to be available)
- Quotes (to inspire them and to showcase your personality and ethos)
- Bonuses (to provide any extras you may be sharing)
- Upgrades (introduce them to any potential add ons like consulting hours, etc.)
- Upsells (introduce them to any of your other relevant companion offerings)
- Resources page (a place to drop links to helpful resources)
- Terms & Conditions (expectations and rules of the road)
- Let’s Get Started page (to usher them into the work with excitement)
03. Why a Welcome Packet is an essential on-boarding tool
All service providers need a professional client Welcome Packet. It makes life simpler, and it makes you look more professional and polished. You can use it to:
1. Introduce new clients to your business
First impressions are so important in business and beyond. Making a memorable one is always in your best interest. Instead of rehashing everything by memory each time you onboard a new client, let the Welcome Packet do the work for you. It shows professionalism, consistency in delivery, and you’ll never have to worry that you accidentally forgot to mention something.
It also sets clear expectations and is the ideal way to usher a new client into your world. This portion includes a Welcome Message. This is where you thank them for choosing you. It’s natural to feel skeptical about purchasing services online. The sooner you can set your clients’ minds at ease and let them know they made the right choice with you, the better the entire project will go. Here, you don’t have to prove your worth to them, but rather, simply show them your gratitude. There’s no doubt they spent a good deal of time researching your competitors and they ultimately decided to go with you. Acknowledging that at the onset of the project endears them to you and deepens the relationship through mutual respect from the very first step. Use this area wisely and you’ll create a satisfied, loyal client from day one.
2. Convince unsure prospects to make that commitment
Your Welcome Packet isn’t just for committed clients. It’s also a tool you can use to convince prospective clients to make the leap into working with you. There will always be a few people who need that extra push to make a decision. Sending your Welcome Packet to them prior to your working arrangement will help to answer any and all questions they may have before pulling the trigger on the project. Not only does it give them all the information they need and more, it shows you’re a true professional who took the time to put together a packet to explain everything. The fact that it’s branded and beautiful doesn’t hurt, either. It helps the potential client see you as someone who is very likely to help them get to the next level.
3. Introduce yourself and your team
The more a client feels they know you, the more they feel they can trust you. The more they trust you, the more open and the more honest they’ll be. The more open and honest they are, the higher quality outcomes they’ll get. So while at first blush this section seems to be an ‘about you’ page, it’s far more than that. It’s also where you’ll introduce your team members if you have any. This would include a virtual assistant or concierge so the client can get comfortable with not hearing from you directly in some instances.
4. Set communication preferences
In other words, boundaries. If you’ve worked with clients in any capacity, you already know this section is a must-have. Laying the ground rules up front eliminates a lot of uncomfortable conversations later on. This section shares your office hours and lets the client know the acceptable methods of contacting you. For me, as a service provider, it’s one of the most important parts.
5. Lay out the project timeline
This one is big. If you’re a service provider, you’re working on a time-for-money basis. That means every moment you spend on a project rate project is a moment you can’t spend on the next one. Being efficient with your time and your clients’ time is essential. By laying out the project timeline and your process, you’re letting the client know how you work and what you expect from them in order to complete the work in a timely fashion. Without this necessary information, you risk a client who tries to drag out your professional relationship by keeping you ‘on payroll’ for an extended period of time. These are clients who pay a project rate and then don’t sign off because they may fear of going it alone. It happens, and it happens a lot. This section helps extinguish that problem.
6. Manage expectations
This leads us to expectations. Lay out the roles of the participants clearly. In other words, what should the client be doing in order to make things run smoothly and efficiently? As your project wraps, you’ll provide your client with their deliverables. This includes any files, imagery, and downloads of any sort. Letting them know ahead of time what to expect in the way of deliverables will eliminate a lot of confusion later on. All that goes here.
7. Outline the project scope
In this portion of the Welcome Packet, you’re detailing what is included in the project rate and what isn’t. It nixes any future confusion or disappointments. The client will understand going into the work what they can expect to walk away with. It also acts as a checklist of sorts, to ensure you’ve covered all your bases as the project commences.
8. Answer questions and upsell
Inevitably some questions will crop up, especially at the onset. Those questions take time to answer. This section is the perfect place to drop some of your most frequently asked questions and their answers. This part does double duty. It saves you time of answering the same inquiries over and over again, of course. But it also helps position you as a seasoned professional who can anticipate their concerns before they even ask them. It also gives you the ideal opportunity to upsell them on other offerings you think may be of interest to them. If you don’t offer anything of your own, you can still use this section to place an affiliate link.
9. A cohesive, consistent brand presence
Paired with the coordinating Goodbye Packet, your client Welcome Packet provides a powerful, complete, and supremely professional client experience. (I’ll share how you can save money with the bundle down below.)
As you can see, a professional Welcome Packet isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. You’ll make a stellar first impression, instill confidence that your new client made the right choice in hiring you, and save you valuable time and energy. You’ll free up more time to create new offerings and work in and on your own business. It positions you as an expert and a true professional. It also shows you care about your brand. It makes it a lot easier for a client to trust you with their brand when they see the care and attention you’ve invested into your own. Plus, it provides you with brand recognition and if you replicate your design throughout your client communication, it will give you that much-needed consistency that all professional brands have.
04. How to create your own branded, professional Welcome Packet
Right about now, you may be thinking, “that all this sounds great, but it’s sure to be expensive.“
If you’ve got $25, you’ve can get your hands on a professional Goodbye Packet right now. Best of all, it’s one you can customize to match your unique brand.
All you have to do is:
1. Sign up for a free Canva account
2. Choose one of the Welcome Packets I designed for you
3. Download the Goodbye Packet and it’ll open automatically in your Canva account
4. Start customizing it with your words and imagery (Here’s a quick tutorial on how to customize in Canva)
5. Download as a PDF
6. Share with all your new clients
Here’s a quick visual of what you can do with the exact same page layout in Canva by simply swapping out colors, fonts, and images:
I designed all my kits using free Canva fonts and elements. While the imagery isn’t included because of licensing restrictions, you can drag and drop your own images into the placeholders or use one of the thousands of free stock images Canva provides. Upload your logo and any images you’d like to use. The free version of Canva offers a ton of free stock images, design elements and fonts to choose from. If you want to take things to the next level and open the door to millions of options, consider Canva Pro.
Visit the shop to select one that best suits your brand personality and start creating your new Welcome Packet today.
Creating a positive, memorable client experience can make all the difference in your business. An expert Welcome Packet helps welcome your new clients in the door, while the coordinating Goodbye Packet sends them confidently on their way. I created these Client Experience Bundles to help onboard and off-board your clients with all the proficiency and class of a true professional. Shop the discounted bundles while they last.
I’m a Brand Therapist® providing psychology-based branding, copywriting, and consulting to individuals and micro-businesses in the creative arena. My signature services will help you discover and articulate your most authentic self so you can tell better stories, make more meaningful connections, and do more profound work.