Updated: Oct 28, 2020
First impressions mean something right? Especially when it’s your clients. You want your client to feel calm, cool, and collected with you from the very moment they book their work with you, to their final thank you email.
SO, how do we make sure this ‘first impression’ is a wonderful one that makes them say YES to working with you over and over again? Great question….Introducing The Client Welcome Guide! What is a ‘Client Welcome Guide’ Kiah? I’m so so so so glad you asked.
While we may have an in-depth contract that lets our clients know all the nitty-gritty details (pricing, policies, terms, etc.) of what it means to work with us….just having a contract can be BORINGGGG!! In my opinion, making things aesthetically pleasing and accessible for clients to refer back to is a much better client experience than just a contract. It also allows you to expand further on your process so there’s no confusion.
So, what makes up a great welcome guide AND how do we make it feel like we’re their Wine Down Wednesday Wingwoman (or man), and less like we’re an instruction manual in a foreign language?
Let’s dive in on how to craft a killer Client Welcome Guide:
1. WELCOME, WELCOME, WELCOME
First things first, welcome your new client with a sweet little note that thanks them for choosing your services! Remember, we want this to make them feel comfortable. Here’s your chance to really make that first impression.
Make it sound like you. You’re going to be conversing with this client on a regular basis. You want to make sure you solidify a greeting that comes off as personable, yet professional. Don’t make it too complicated for yourself. Talk to them as you would on IG Stories, an industry friend or another potential client.
I like to add in a little mission statement here + the services I offer. I want them to know what my intentions are with helping them grow their business, as well as share what else I can help them with. Remember, they may be coming to you for help on one aspect of their business, but if they know ALL you’re able to accomplish for them….. $$$$ that means upsells are in your future.
Next, add in a page about you and your experience in business. Let them get to see the fun side of you, yet also how you’ve been able to get to where you are now!
2. WHAT CAN THEY EXPECT + BOUNDARIES
As I like to say, with any good relationship, let’s grow roots deep into solid communication.
Now, ask yourself these questions:
How can they get in touch with me?
What are my office hours?
How should they provide me with details about their project needs?
What is my pricing + process like?
Will I have a cancellation policy?
These are the sort of questions that your client will want answers to from the very start of your partnership. Let’s make it clear for them ok!
Setting boundaries is VERY IMPORTANT in this industry. Make sure you are:
Communication: Communicating clearly how quickly they can expect to hear from you. Let them know the best way to communicate with you. If there are specific tools you use for communicating with your clients, list them here. For example, Dubsado, Voxer, Slack, Email, Asana, etc. Remember, this is YOUR business. Don’t just choose what works for your client if you won’t be able to accommodate for them. Choose what is going to keep the best boundaries between you and your client. My personal fave is email.
Office Hours: Providing clear office hours to your client and sticking with them is ESSENTIAL in your business. List here when you can commit to answering emails, calls, texts, etc. and working on their designated projects. Include your weekly office hours, weekends (if applicable), out of office dates that take place during their project dates, etc.
There may be times where you might work a little later than you’d hope….or have to finalize a project for a client on a weekend because your workload demands it. That’s ok! HOWEVER, that does not mean you have to converse with your clients at those times. You can still stay true to the client-facing hours that you’ve clearly established within your Client Welcome Guide.
My favorite tool is scheduling emails for a future date and time. I often am writing emails back to my clients late at night, but obviously don’t want them to think I’m up late when working on their stuff. So I reply, set them to send during my normal business hours and now I feel productive AF!
Sending you their project: Be specific here. Whatever you need to complete their project, let them know! I like to give detailed examples of Good and Bad ways to send their project to me. I also share with them here how they can go about sharing their projects with me: i.e. Google Drive, Login information to certain apps they need me to access, etc.
Pricing + Process: After you discuss their project needs, what happens? Will you provide them with a proposal, quote, contract, etc? How will you be paid? Can they set up auto-pay? What are your payment terms and where can they go to pay?
Cancellation: What happens if they want to cancel or terminate your services on their project? I think it’s fair within the VA industry to provide a refund within 24 hours of them scheduling work with you. After that, I make it known within my Client Welcome Guide that refunds are not provided due to the nature of the services provided.
Something to note, if there are tools that you suggest your client uses while working with you, I highly recommend that you provide them with a tutorial of how to use that tool. For example, the tools I use are Dubsado, Trello, Asana, Voxer, Tailwind, etc. Anytime my client doesn’t know a particular platform I’m setting them up with, I use my favorite screen share tools: Loom or Screencast-O-Matic to provide them with a thorough tutorial.
And voila! You’re ready to create your Client Welcome Guide!! Woo!! So excited for you.
But Kiah, once I have everything I want for each section of my welcome guide, how do I make it aesthetically pleasing? GREAT QUESTION! My personal favorite tools for setting your Client Welcome Guide up for success are Photoshop or Canva (a free design platform). You honestly can’t go wrong with Canva though, especially if you are design handicapped lol. It’s a drag and drop tool that allows you to really brand your business assets. So take what you’ve written in google doc, word, one-note, or wherever you jot down those amazing thoughts of yours and start crafting your EYE-CATCHING welcome guide.
Or, if you’re still unsure of where to start, feel free to grab my fully customizable drag and drop Client Welcome Guide Canva Template ‘Hello There’. I’ve created this to help you design the perfect first impression. Your success is my success 😉!
Click here to connect with me and talk more about your business goals and to see if working together would be a fit to help you achieve those business dreams.