Over the decade that I’ve had the honor of working with tenacious, big hearted creatives to craft elevated visual brands, as well as coaching fellow graphic, brand, and web designers to grow intentional design businesses, I’ve seen just how intentional touchpoints can help you wow your clients every time! Weaving those thoughtful touch-points throughout every facet of your process adds up to a one-of-a-kind and unforgettable experience that your clients can’t wait to share with everyone they know. One of the easiest ways I’ve found to infuse personality into every client project, and wow your client along the way, is to onboard new clients with a beautifully designed and thoughtful welcome guide!
How to Wow Your Clients with a Branded Welcome Guide
Now, something I like to mention to my fellow designers, (and I even teach on this very subject inside my signature program, the Brand Strategy School!) is that your welcome guide serves a specific process in your workflow. Your welcome guide is different from a packages or pricing guide. While a package guide outlines your specific services and serves as a practical tool to help clients choose what level of service they want from you, a welcome guide should truly help set the tone for what your clients can expect when they choose to work with you.
From answering common questions to outlining an overview of your process, supercharge your client experience by incorporating an informative welcome guide into your workflow. Then, watch how this one simple element transforms the way your clients engage with you and your work! Keep reading to see the must-have components that every intentional welcome guide should have.
When to send it
First of all, let’s identify when you should be sending out welcome guides to your clients. Ideally, after they’ve signed your contract and paid a retainer, if applicable, a beautiful welcome guide should either pop up in their inbox or land in their actual mailbox in the days immediately after. Sending this thoughtful touchpoint soon after a client signs on with you maximizes their excitement as they prepare to work with you. This also helps set them up for success by clearly outlining expectations and what will happen next.
What to include in your welcome guide
In every welcome guide I design, I like to think about what goals I want this guide to accomplish. It’s a given that your welcome guide should help elevate your client experience. But, how can it help you onboard your new client with more intention? How can it help you set expectations, outline studio policies, and help your client feel incredibly exicted to work with you?
Personally, I like to start with a heartfelt welcome note that outlines the purpose of this guide. This lets clients know just how thrilled you are to be working with them! It also invites them to keep flipping through the guide to grab all the juicy details on how your project will play out. Including strategic calls to action at key points in the welcome guide is a great way to encourage clients to take action and engage with the content you’re sharing!
On top of that, I also include a more in-depth bio that outlines just who you are and shares some fun new info that they won’t find on the About page of your website. This is a great opportunity to inspire more personal connection and encourage your clients to engage with you on a relational level. By immediately sharing a few fun facts, what you love most about your work, and how thrilled you are to be working with them, you are setting the stage for a client/service provider relationship that goes deeper than the surface.
From there, I include a section that outlines the experience your clients can expect when they work with you. This is a powerful opportunity to remind them just how different your work is, exactly how it fits into their life, and what they can expect after working with you. This is a section of your welcome guide that can inspire confidence, build trust, and accurately prepare your clients for what lies ahead. When describing the experience your sweet clients can expect from you, don’t forget to let them know how they can expect to feel as a result, as well. After working together, will they feel less stressed? More confident? Joyful? Will they see an increase in sales? Tell them exactly what’s in store so they can excitedly look forward to the great things you will do together!
But, intentional welcome guides also require a strategic overview of your process. This will allow you to continue to prepare your clients for what’s ahead. It also allows you to proactively educate them along the way. Rather than sending a dozen emails answering questions or walking them through the step-by-step process of how your design services work, create a section in your welcome guide that provides a brief overview of the process. The purpose of this section is to outline all the details your clients need to know that will put their minds at ease, answer questions they might have about what’s next, and help them know how they can best prepare to work with you, too.
Spice your welcome guide up with social proof
At this point, you might think that creating a welcome guide involves a whole bunch of you throwing info at your new clients. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Welcome guides are an amazing way to let your past clients do the talking for you through testimonials. Weave in a handful of glowing reviews from past clients to pepper in more visual interest! Don’t be afraid to show your new clients just how your work has impacted past clients. Testimonials provide much-needed social proof that further inspire confidence and speak to your level of experience, professionalism, and all-around awesomeness!
I also recommend using your welcome guide as an educational resource that truly makes your job easier. Include all the details here that you wish clients knew. This will help set both you and your new client up for success from the get-go! Including a section for FAQs is a great way to make that happen. If you find yourself answering the same question from over and over again, pop it inside your welcome guide! That information is readily available and easy to access. But be sure to prioritize the questions and answers you share here. Only the most important questions make the cut as to not overwhelm your clients with a four page FAQ section.
Finally, include a call-to-action at the end of your welcome guide. Whether you want to direct new clients to an online client portal where they can find homework, or whether you want to let them know they can reach out with any questions they might have, end this thoughtful guide with a definitive action.
Creating a clear ending to this guide makes for a cohesive, professional-looking document. This also helps you send your clients right where you need for them to go. Several of my past clients have used this space to direct their own clients to online worksheets in a private Honeybook portal or Dubsado project. You can even direct them to a Dropbox folder where they can drop their content. Or, you can also link your email address so clients can contact you quickly! The options here are really endless! So, explore what would be the best way to invite your new client to move forward at this point in the process.
WOW YOUR NEW CLIENTS WITH A BRANDED WELCOME GUIDE
So, now that you have a better idea of how to onboard your new clients with intention, let’s talk about how to go out there and get new design clients!
If you’re ready to take your services to the next level and captivate your dream clients, I’ve created a totally free, Netflix-style, one-hour masterclass all about how to triple your income without taking on more branding clients!
After tuning into this training, you’ll be able to:
- Charge more for your services so you can experience consistent income without working crazy hours or taking on hundreds of clients
- Kick imposter syndrome to the curb and position yourself as the expert your branding clients are searching for
- Get out in front of your ideal clients without hustling to be seen online
- And so much more!
Click below to grab your free seat to this on-demand training, and I’ll see you there!