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How to use a client welcome packet to successfully onboard new clients 

Learn how to create a client welcome packet that introduces your business, informs your new clients, and adds delight to your client experience.

Three people meeting to discuss client onboarding

Critical files for independent businesses often include invoices, contracts, sales brochures, and more. But, there’s one tool you might not be using that can play a big role in creating a great client experience. That tool is a client welcome packet

When you start any project or working relationship, it’s important to get the information that you might not have captured during the booking process. You will also want to set expectations with your clients about how you should be working together and communicating. Lastly, you want to make a great impression, and that starts with your client onboarding

Here’s everything to know about using a client welcome packet and best practices to make sure yours is effective. 

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What should your client welcome packet include?

Your client welcome packet communicates all the important details that you would like to share with a new client. This includes essential details and information that can help build your relationship, like their birthday and communication preferences, as well as detailed information about the project. 

You can include information like a bio, your client onboarding process, your communication preferences, the project timeline, how the client can track statuses, business hours, helpful resources, more. 

Keep in mind that your specific client welcome packet may vary depending on your client onboarding checklist. For most independent businesses and service providers, your client welcome package should include the following.

1. Welcome message and introduction

First, take the time to thank your new client for booking with you. You can include a brief note on the first page of your welcome packet, or save it for the introduction email or client welcome letter you send with your packet. Either way, mention something specific from when you were first talking to them as a lead, and make sure they know how excited you are. 

Even though they probably already know some things about your business from their own research, give your new clients a refresher about who you are, and your mission statement behind your business. This is also a great opportunity to introduce them to your team and any other collaborators they’ll be working with.

2. Policies

Next, get the serious stuff out of the way. Take the time to remind your clients about some of your policies, which should also be in your online contract. You don’t have to copy and paste your contract clauses, but it’s a good time to reiterate late payment fees, payment methods, confidentiality agreements, your cancellation policy, and more. 

3. Communication preferences and information

Be sure to give your clients instructions on how they can communicate with you moving forward. This helps set client expectations while also clarifying how best to be in touch. You should also include your office hours so they know when you’ll be able to respond and when you’re offline.

Include your contact information, best communication channels, typical response times, and a link to your scheduling tool so they’ll always be able to get a hold of you. 

4. Login details and tech overview

Different businesses use different tech, so this section will vary, but it’s important to get your clients up to speed with anything they’ll need to use as part of their onboarding. 

If you’re a photographer, for example, you may have a client portal and invoicing software. Your clients will need to know how to log in to get their photos and pay their invoices. For consultants, there may be shared tools like project management software, so you’ll need to include specific instructions for how to log in and use that system. You might also want to leverage part of your onboarding packet as an intake form to ask your clients questions or have them share specific documents.

5. FAQs

Are there common questions that you get throughout your projects? This is a great place to address them upfront and give your clients a set place to refer to them throughout the project. These might include how to use your client portal, your process overview, how to adjust their payment schedule, where to find project updates, and more.

6. Timeline and scope of work

Once you’ve briefed your clients on all the general information about your business and working with you, it’s time to get into the specifics of their project. Lay out the timeline and scope of work that you’ve already agreed on in your contract. 

For a high-level overview, it can be great to call out important milestones and key dates that you’ve already set together. 

7. Payment information

One of the most important parts of running your business is getting paid. Don’t forget to reiterate everything your clients need to know to pay you. You can include their specific payment plan and payment terms along with a reminder of how you accept payment (credit card, ACH transfer, if you’re using online payment software, etc.) 

8. Next steps

Lastly, you want to include the next steps for each client. Will you be working on their project for a few weeks until the next check-in? Will there be a while until they hear from you next? Or, is there anything you need from them? Remind them to send over any important documents and files or send information you might need to get the project started. 

Download our guide to great first impressions.

Best practices for your welcome packets

As you’re designing your client welcome packet, keep in mind these best practices to ensure you’re providing a great onboarding experience for your clients.

Make sure your client welcome packet is branded

Your welcome packet should be a completely branded package. This means it has to involve more than just shoving your logo into a client welcome packet template, adding text, and calling it “ready to send.”

Your client welcome packet is like holding the front door to your studio wide open to invite potential clients in. It sets the tone for your business. When it’s not cohesively branded with your design elements or doesn’t fully jive with your website or social media profiles, potential clients notice and can feel the disconnect.

Keep your welcome packet concise and easy to navigate

Though there’s a ton of information to include in your client welcome guide, try to keep it as simple as possible. Each section should have its own page that’s easy to navigate through a table of contents. Be sure you’re only providing the necessary information–there’s no need to add paragraphs of text on each page if it’s not needed. Provide plenty of white space on the page so your reader can focus on the facts.

Make your client welcome packet an interactive experience

Want to upgrade your client welcome packet even more? Use a system like HoneyBook to make it interactive. Instead of a stale, static PDF, you can build fully branded, digital files that incorporate your visual brand along with video, photos, and interactive elements like questionnaires. You can provide your information while also giving your clients a professional, immersive onboarding workflow from the start for an amazing client experience.

Use the right tool to build branded, effective client welcome packets

You can build your client welcome packets with a variety of tools, including docs, PDFs, and slideshows. However, you want your packet to be a living, breathing document that your clients can return to over and over again and use to refer back to different parts of your client process. 

That’s why it’s best to use a clientflow platform to build your client welcome packet. With a clientflow platform like HoneyBook, you can build your welcome packet as an interactive template that syncs with other parts of your process. Clients can immediately schedule inside the welcome packet, view an online invoice, refer back to their contract, and more. 

Ensure consistent communication

Use HoneyBook to manage all of your client communication in one place. 

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