One of the hardest parts about working in this field is the constant need to bring in new freelance clients. More importantly, you have to make a great first impression if you want to woo them into hiring you again in the future.
Naturally, the quality of your work should speak for itself. Regardless, it’s important to start off every client relationship by putting your best foot forward. One powerful way to do this is by offering a welcome packet full of all the information your clients need to know. Welcome packets save both of you time, frees you up to focus on the unique details of your new client’s assignments.
In this article, I’ll explain why it’s so important to make an excellent first impression. Then, I’ll teach you how to nail your introductions by creating a welcome packet. Let’s dig in!
Introducing Welcome Packets for New Freelance Clients
A welcome packet includes all the information your clients need to know about you and the way you do business. By the time you sign a contract, chances are your new freelance clients already knows a bit about who you are. Welcome packets simplifies everything into an easily-digestible format and makes the client feel confident they’re in good hands.
Before I started using welcome packets, I wasted a lot of time going back and forth in emails discussing small details. This was inefficient and dragged out the amount of time it took before the work could begin. It wasn’t until I told a friend about how much time this took that I learned about welcome packets. They’re a relatively common concept in established industries but, sadly, I haven’t run into many freelancers that use them.
The key is to create a template you can re-use for each new client, including all the critical information you need to get out of the way. Best of all, your welcome packet can be as simple as an email or a PDF. The format doesn’t matter as long as it’s concise.
3 Essential Elements for Your Freelance Client Welcome Packet
Before we get into specifics, I want to remind you it’s essential to include some level of personalization for each package. It can be as simple as a few details you’ve discussed in your previous messages. That way, each packet will feel unique.
1. How (And When) Clients Can Reach You
A lot of us work from home, so the concept of working hours can get fuzzy. However, it’s essential that you make yourself available to clients during regular hours, at least to answer emails. My policy is I try to answer any work email I get within the day. If someone tries to reach me over the weekend, I’ll notice, but I won’t answer until Monday (unless it’s urgent).
With that in mind, your welcome packet should include information about timezones, days off, and such. If you’re sending a simple email welcome packet, here’s what that might look like:
I look forward to working together on your blog, so I thought I’d send you a quick email with some additional information about myself.
First off, I’m available during weekdays if you want to ask me any questions or discuss changes to the project. I’ll keep you up to date as things move along, but you can send me an email anytime, and I’ll answer within the day (unless it’s the weekend!). If you want to have a Skype call, I’ll need a day’s notice to set time aside.
That’s a simple, yet personal email. It doesn’t read like a template, and it gives your clients all the info they need about how and when to reach you. That way, there won’t be any surprises down the line.
2. Details About Any Additional Fees for Your Work
In most cases, this is the kind of information you’ll want to include in your contract. Sadly, a lot of people tend to skim the details, so it doesn’t hurt to include this information in your welcome packet. For example, if you charge extra for rush jobs (which you should!), restate it in your welcome packet. Let’s pick off from where we left our previous example:
… If you want to have a Skype call, I’ll need a day’s notice to set time aside.
We’ve already talked about deadlines. However, if you ever need me to deliver an article with a shorter turnaround (like a day or two), I charge a bit extra for those types of jobs ($X.XX per word instead of my usual rate). That’s included in our contract, of course, but just a heads up!
Extra fees can be tricky to deal with because you don’t want customers to think you’re taking advantage of them. Being upfront about this information sets the tone for your relationship, and it can protect you from jobs with unreasonable turnaround times.
3. Which Payment Methods You Accept
Contracts usually include details about deadlines, your rates, and any additional charges. However, in my experience, they often don’t get into the details about how you’ll receive payment. That’s usually something you arrange with clients in advance, particularly if you require project deposits. Just to be thorough, you’ll want to include that information in your welcome packet. Here’s an example:
… I charge a bit extra for those types of jobs ($X.XX per word instead of my usual rate. That’s included in our contract, of course, but just a heads up!
Concerning payments, I accept PayPal, wire transfers, and also TransferWise. Please let me know which method works best for you so I can send you my details in advance.
Personally, I like to provide multiple payment options for my clients. That way, they’re free to use whichever approach is most accessible for them. By providing this information in advance, you can save yourself some back and forth later.
Keep in mind, this is only a simple welcome packet example for new freelance clients. You can (and should) add as much detail as you want to yours. The next time you land a gig from the Paid to Blog Jobs board, feel free to borrow my welcome packet and adjust it to your needs!
As freelancers, we need to juggle a lot of things to keep our business moving forward. You have to find new clients, convince them you’re worth hiring, discuss their projects, and only then can you sit down and start working. By streamlining these steps, you’ll be able to spend less time talking and more time doing, which is a dream come true (at least for me!).
Using a welcome packet is a great way to bring in new freelance clients up to speed on the way you do things. Here’s what you need to include in yours:
- How and when clients can reach you.
- Details about any additional fees for your work.
- Which payment methods you accept.
Do you have any questions about how to create a welcome packet for your new freelance clients? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!
Image credit: Pixabay.