October 21, 2020
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You’ve signed on a new client, congratulations! Do you have a client onboarding process and an onboarding packet ready for your new client? If not, keep reading this post to help you create an even more ‘wow’ client experience right off the start of your working relationship.
Basically, it’s a document, usually in PDF form, that outlines everything the client would need to know about your working relationship and their project. The onboarding packet, along with your contract or agreement, helps the client understand what is happening and when. It helps put your new client at ease and showcase how professional you are!
The welcome packet should essentially answer any additional questions the client might have at the start of your working relationship, or be something they can refer back to if questions arise in the future.
It does depend a bit on what services or work you are doing for the client, but in general, it should contain 7 key pieces of information:
Let your new client know how excited you are to work with them and help them! You can add in some more details here about you, so they feel comfortable working with you and trusting your expertise in their business.
You should re-outline the key policies and terms that were laid out in your agreement or contract here. You don’t need to copy the entire document, but it’s nice to have the most important things laid out again in the onboarding packet to ensure the client is aware.
Let’s face it, we’ve all signed a contract without reading every word, right?
Putting the key information out there again ensures that there won’t be any communication issues later on.
Describe how you work best and what that looks like for the client. What do you need from the client in order to do your job? How are any edits going to be done? What is the turnaround time for revisions?
Any tools you use to communicate or keep track of tasks – like ClickUp, Toggl, or Slack, can be outlined here for the client.
Add any terms or policies in terms of invoicing and payment so your client knows what to expect. If they are paying you hourly, how do you handle it if you are almost out of hours but it’s mid-month? These are the types of questions and things you would outline here for the client to refer back to if ever needed.
You can also add what payment methods you accept, when invoices are due, what happens if payments are late, etc.
Make sure you set clear boundaries here when it comes to client work and communication. Setting these boundaries right at the start of your client-contractor relationship will help avoid possible misunderstandings or issues in the future.
Keep your communication to 1 or 2 channels – for example, ClickUp and Slack, or Email and Slack. You could also add in something like Voxer for any urgent issues that come up and require a quicker turnaround time (make sure what that quick turnaround time is, is outlined here, too!)
Outline any set tasks, deliverables, or details of the total project or package you are working on for the client. This will be different depending on whether it’s a recurring package project or a one-time package, but you want to put anything here that pertains to the project and scope of work.
We want to avoid scope creep, so make sure you put this into detail. How many revisions are included? What is the turnaround time after the client submits edits or revisions? These are just a couple of questions you want to clear up in this section for the client’s project.
Do you have any general questions you’ve received from past clients or anything that is SUPER important to reiterate? Add it to a FAQ section at the end of your onboarding packet so it’s even more easily accessible for the client to find.
A couple of example questions if you are working with your first few clients and don’t have any past questions to pull from for your FAQ:
How much notice is needed to cancel or pause services?
What if I end up requiring more edits or revisions than what is included?
What hours are you generally available for questions?
How can I communicate urgent tasks that come up?
A client onboarding packet is a great element to incorporate into your onboarding process for new clients. It sets clear boundaries, terms, and helps to ensure you and your client are both on the same page when it comes to what to expect while working together.
Need an onboarding packet? I’ve designed a FREE onboarding packet Canva template that you can customize and use for your own business!
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