March 10, 2023
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We are always wanting to help designers implement strategies to encourage well-behaved clients.
Often problems that arise during the project management process are a direct result from a lack of understanding.
It is important to be their guide throughout your process so they always feel seen and heard.
Often we forget it might be a client’s very first time using a designer—or at the very least it’s their first time working with you. They won’t know what to expect or how to behave.
Your welcome guide is the perfect tool for gently, yet clearly setting up all important boundaries and expectations—it is so much more than saying welcome aboard! It’s one of the most powerful tools in your client management tool kit.
A welcome guide is a key foundation in your client management process.
This multifaceted tool goes to work for you in many different ways…
Before you get started, remember this piece of collateral is all about YOUR brand. It may be one of the last pieces of your brand puzzle—so make it a good piece. Moving forward your client’s brand will be the focus and centre of attention.
12 essential inclusions are:
01 // Welcome
This is where you reinforce the know, love and trust.
Using your brand language, kick off your Welcome Guide with an inspiring and warm welcome. Don’t forget to include a beautiful photo of yourself.
Clients love a peek behind the curtain, so there could even be beautiful photos of your studio included.
02 // Pre-work required from your client
This is where you outline any pre-work required before you can get started.
Share an explanation about what your client will need to provide and by when.
03 // Outline how you’ll communicate with your client
Outline your preferred way of communicating. Whether it be via a project management portal such as Trello, emails or another project management tool.
It’s a great idea to include a link to video instructions to ensure your client is confident with your process—especially if you are introducing your client to brand new technology.
This page is also the perfect place to reiterate when you’re available—your hours of business and what your client can expect with regard to timely responses.
04 // Your Process
This is your opportunity to educate your client on your process.
How do you work?
Tell your client about it here. Use bullet points for clear, succinct communication.
05 // Essential tools and resources your client will require for seamless project management
Outline the essential tools you will be using with your client. Reiterate these are the tools you will be using to ensure your process is seamless—such as Trello. Include hyperlinks.
You may also like to include a small description of why these tools are essential.
06 // Timeframes
Include a clear timeline with due dates for each milestone and clearly highlight who is responsible for each task and when.
07 // How you’ll work together
The perfect boundary setting page!
This is where you pre-empt possible issues or problems that may hinder your flow or the delivery of the final project.
A little like ‘Terms and Conditions’, but friendlier and conversational. You may need more than one page. Include boundaries like rush work, changes and confidentiality. Be as thorough as possible. Refer to your contract and your proposal—you can have your biggest pain points on repeat here. Again, use bullet points for clear, succinct communication.
08 // What are your client’s FAQs?
List your frequently asked questions here.
This section could also be used for boundary setting.
We also like to use FAQs as a place to address potential pain points your client might have.
09 // Additional Services
Your clients may not know the full extent of what you offer.
This is the perfect marketing tool for tooting your trumpet—an opportunity to highlight other services that you could offer your client.
10 // Next Steps
Map out the client journey. Clients LOVE to know what’s going to happen next, it makes them feel safe and secure knowing what is expected of them and what they can expect from you.
11 // Say Thank you
Share some love with your client and express your appreciation for them. They chose YOU, they are investing in themselves by investing in your business.
12 // Testimonials
Sprinkle client love throughout guide. Hearing from other happy clients reinforces their great decision to work with you.
To wrap up, your Welcome Guide should be all about your business, your brand and most importantly your processes.
Take advantage of this being the last piece of collateral for you to showcase who you are. From here on it’s all about your client and their brand and what you are creating for them.
Have fun with it.
For full transcript click here
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