Congratulations!! You’ve signed a client! That’s amazing . Do you know what to do next? It might not be what you think. If you’ve got your shiz together you’re probably going to begin the onboarding process (you’ve got processes right?), and if you’re an absolute boss you’re going to send them a welcome email outlining what they can expect when working with you.
Right now you are in a crucial position to set expectations so that you and your client get the most out of working together. So take this moment to set them with a phenomenal welcome email.
Here’s why you want to do that:
- As I mentioned before you’re setting client expectations so your client feels confident about what’s to come. They understand their part in the process and what their responsibilities are in order to have a productive working relationship.
- You’ll save so much time
(and space in your inbox) because you won’t be fielding questions like: Where do I find this? When do I do that? Why haven’t you responded to my previous email? (Which was sent this morning at 3am, and it’s now 7am…the same day!) 🤦🏻♀️
- It builds trust.
You come off as super professional and you’ll seem like you’ve done this a million times before—even if you haven’t. Plus, your client will begin to trust your expertise and the process in general because they know you are super organized and on your game.
Here’s what’s included in a great welcome email:
- Outline the very next step you need your client to take: Is there anything they need to do, complete, or return to you ASAP? Tell them what that is, where to find it, when it’s due back, and how they should get it back to you.
- Onboard them onto any tools you have: If you are a wedding planner you may have Aisle Planner. If you’re a photographer you’ve probably got ShootQ. Or maybe you have a client management system like Honeybook, Basecamp, or Dubsado where you do most of your work. Include any login details, the site link itself, and some directions for how to use the platform.
Bonus Tip: Put your office hours in your email signature as well as any upcoming out of the office dates so clients know when you’ll be reachable.
- Set communication expectations: Tell them when you typically check your email and what your “office hours” are. Even if you don’t strictly keep to them, you are covering your butt when stuff gets crazy. Plus, you need to take a break from your inbox when you’re not working and now you don’t need to feel guilty doing it. Your client will know when you’re in your inbox, and when you’re not.
- Outline Preferred Communication Methods: You should also include your preferred methods of communication and if there’s something you don’t check (like DM’s or Facebook messages) say that. If you give out your cell number (which I don’t recommend unless it’s ABSOLUTELY necessary), outline when it would be appropriate for your client to contact you via this method.
Bonus Tip: You’re not being harsh for being upfront. But if you’re worried about how your clients might feel, position this in a way so that it serves your clients. Something like:
“In order to serve you best, I require that all phone calls be scheduled. This ensures that I can give you my full attention, and that I have all of the tools and resources at my fingertips to answer your questions and make note of anything important that comes up.”
- Provide an outline of the process. Maybe that looks like giving them a timeline of important meetings, or letting them know how and when to schedule certain things. The more info you can give them about the next steps, the less time you’ll spend prepping them throughout the process.
- Outline your policies in regards to cancellations, missed meetings, lateness, etc. Depending on what type of services you offer, you may want to provide a friendly reminder about how much notice you require for cancellations, rescheduling, or other things that may come up based on what you’re providing. Repeating these policies will help make sure that you AND your clients don’t get frustrated when things come up.
- Miscellaneous business specific stuff can also be spelled out here. Think about your client workflow and what things you need or want your client to do on their own. Add it here!
Don’t forget to thank your client for investing in working with you! Chances are they just pain you a good amount of money for your services so they want to know how grateful and excited you are to work with them–because they feel the same way.
Ok, wow. That was a lot. BUT it’s worth putting the time in to create it because it will pay off in the end with the time saved.
Thanks for reading,