How to Enhance your Client Experience with a Branded Welcome Guide
Over the years that I’ve had the honor of working with tenacious, big hearted creatives to craft elevated visual brands, I’ve seen just how intentional touchpoints can take your client experience from drab to delightful in no time at all!
And those thoughtful touch points that are woven throughout every facet of your process all add up to a one-of-a-kind and unforgettable experience that your sweet clients can’t wait to share with everyone they know. One of the easiest ways I’ve found to infuse heart and intention at the very start of your work with a new client is through a beautifully branded and well-designed welcome guide!
Now, a welcome guide serves a specific process in your workflow and 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 sweet 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 and 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.
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, and it helps set them up for success by clearly outlining expectations and what will happen next.
In every welcome guide I design, I start with a heartfelt welcome note that outlines the purpose of this guide, lets clients know just how thrilled you are to be working with them, and 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, so by immediately sharing a few fun facts, what you love most about your work, and how thrilled you are to be working with them sets 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 feelas a result, as well. After working together, will they feel less stressed? More confident? Joyful? 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 so you can continue to prepare your clients for what’s ahead, and also you can 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 services work, create a section in your welcome guide that provides a brief overview of the process. For my clients who are wedding photographers, we use this portion of the welcome guide to list out how many meetings a bride can expect, when she can expect a timeline of the wedding day coverage, the average turn time for editing galleries or delivering albums, and more. 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.
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, and 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!
Use your welcome guide as an educational resource that truly makes your job easier.
Include all those details here that you wish clients knew so you can 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 new clients over and over again, pop it inside your welcome guide so that information is readily available. 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 and 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, a Dropbox folder where they can drop their content, or they’ve simply linked their email address so clients can contact them 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.