Are you looking to streamline (or outright improve) your client onboarding process? If so, one of the first things you should look into is creating a welcome packet for new clients.
In the modern era, conducting business face-to-face is no longer the norm. Instead, we spend much of our time speaking to clients over the phone, through email, and even in texts.
But while these avenues of communication are incredibly convenient, they’re also quite scattered.
For example, how many times have you gone searching through your inbox for a client’s message detailing a particular aspect of their project? Or, how many times have you needed to resend important information to a client who didn’t remember what you said over the phone?
You could continue to put up with this disorganized way of onboarding clients. Or, you could tie everything together, all neat and tidy, with a client welcome packet.
What Is a Client Welcome Packet?
You might think that a client welcome packet is something entirely new and original you need to put together. But, in reality, your welcome packet for new clients will be made up almost entirely of information you already have.
You see, a welcome packet is a curated collection of all of your policies, expectations, work experience, and more. In other words, everything you communicate to new clients through phone, email, or in person.
The main benefit of a welcome packet is that everything is clearly organized in one place. Rather than expecting your client to remember your business hours from an email received weeks ago, they have access to everything they need within this packet.
However, it also means that you only need to write down this information once for all of your clients. While creating a welcome packet might seem like a major task, it has the benefit of being one-and-done (at least until you change your policies).
Plus, a client welcome packet offers the unmatched opportunity to establish your brand.
Much like a client-facing website, your packet can also double as a portfolio in many ways (graphic designers, take note!).
Who Should Consider Creating a Welcome Packet for New Clients?
Honestly, almost all client-based businesses can benefit from a welcome packet.
Whether you’re an independent freelancer or own a small brick-and-mortar business, taking the time to craft a welcome packet for new clients can take a load off your shoulders for future projects.
A welcome packet is especially useful for those who work one-on-one with consumers. In these cases, your clients might not be accustomed to regularly checking and saving their emails for key information.
For example, photographers who work with clients like engaged couples or expecting mothers will benefit from a welcome packet that outlines their pricing structure, policies, photoshoot schedule, and what the clients should bring on the day of their appointment.
With this info all in one place, it’s much easier for the client to stay informed and know what to expect.
Of course, a welcome packet is also an extremely useful tool for business-to-business services. This is especially true for repeat clients, who will ideally keep your packet on hand for future projects down the road!
5 Items Every Great Client Welcome Packet Needs
Now, crafting your welcome packet will be an extremely individualized process. What works great for, say, a web designer probably won’t be the best first for a caterer.
Still, there are a few things that every freelancer or small business owner should seriously consider including in their client welcome packet.
Take a look:
1. Welcome letter
This is one of the most important, and, for many, one of the most daunting, parts of creating a high-quality welcome packet.
Above all else, the purpose of a new client welcome packet is to introduce clients to who you are and what you do. While they probably already have an idea (otherwise they wouldn’t be working with you), this is your chance to lay it all out there.
Your welcome letter should, of course, offer a warm welcome to your new client. But it should also focus on you.
This is a great place to go through your professional experience, education, and other facts about yourself. For a personal touch, you can also go into small details about your hobbies, passion projects, or family.
You can also include a small, handwritten note along with your ready-made welcome letter.
Finally, reassure your client that they’ve made the right choice by hiring you. Your welcome letter is the perfect place to include results other clients have seen from your services or highlight glowing testimonials.
2. Overview of services
Next, put together a brief menu of your services and general rates. While a client may not be interested in additional services at the start, they’ll now have your entire list of offerings within reach for the future.
If you offer small add-on services, like a photographer offering extra touch-ups, this is the place to mention them.
Remember, you’re not necessarily advertising your services here (after all, you already landed the client). Instead, you’re just letting them know what else you can potentially do for them.
Now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty part of your welcome packet. While you should have all of your policies clearly stated in your contract, and your client should have a copy of this contract, here’s your chance to both repeat them and put them in layman's terms.
Here are just a few pieces of information you should think about including:
Place all of your relevant contact information in a prominent spot in your welcome packet. Even if your clients generally contact you by email, this is the place to include things like your business phone number.
If you run a small business with one or more other people, you should also include their business contact information in case your client needs to get in touch but can’t reach you directly.
Everyone needs a break sometimes. Right next to your contact information, make sure to include the days and times when you will be readily available to your client.
If you hold yourself to certain turnaround times for responding to voicemails or email, include these as well.
Deliverables (if applicable)
If you are delivering a final product to your clients, such as a logo design or physical product, explain how these items will be delivered.
For digital items, it’s a good idea to include things like the file type(s) you use for final products.
For physical goods, you can detail things like the delivery method your client can expect or pickup instructions.
Revision requests (if applicable)
For freelancers and small businesses that deal with revisions, it’s very important that you outline your revision policies in your welcome packet.
List details like the number of allowed revisions, turnaround time for revisions, and additional costs for revisions outside of the agreed terms.
Again, all of this information should, first and foremost, be in your contract. But including it in your welcome packet is a great way to make it more accessible to your client.
Client deadlines and penalties
Do your services rely on the client delivering something to you or granting approval by a certain time? If so, include your required turnaround time and any penalties that your client will incur by missing these deadlines.
Don’t skimp on the details, such as differing deadlines for weekdays vs. weekends and holidays.
Also, consider including payment information in your policies. This will help ensure that both you and your client are on the same page and can even help encourage immediate payment upon invoicing.
You can include details about how your client will receive their invoice, when they can expect it after their project is complete, your standard payment terms, and any discounts for early payment you might offer. If you accept multiple forms of payment, list them here as well.
4. Expectations for the client
Your welcome packet is designed to make your clients’ lives just a little bit easier. But it should also help you.
Along with your welcome letter, policies, and services, think about including your own expectations for your clients.
This can include anything from the software they’ll need to view deliverables to the items you need from them (like website login credentials, an existing document, or specific references) to move forward with the project.
Not only will this help you stay on task, but having these expectations clearly laid out can be a relief for your clients!
Delivering Your Completed New Client Welcome Packet
Now that you have everything put together for your new client welcome packet, how are you going to get it to your clients?
Physical welcome packets are certainly impressive, especially when they include professional design elements and high-quality paper. But if you don’t work with your clients face-to-face, this isn’t a very realistic option.
Also, paper is far less sustainable and is more easily lost by your clients. Part of your reason for crafting a welcome packet is to maintain an ongoing relationship with your clients, so the last thing you want is for your hard work to end up in the trash.
Thanks to services like invoicely, digital invoicing and estimates have taken over the world of business. And it’s easy to see why, since they’re far more convenient than traditional paperwork.
If you want to streamline your client onboarding process, consider turning your welcome packet into a formatted PDF. This way, you get the attractive design of paper without the added waste or hassle!
Want to ditch paper completely and take your bookkeeping online too? Learn how invoicely can help track your expenses, handle invoices, and even manage your payments — all with a click of a button.