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Client Welcome Guide 101: What to Include and What Mistakes to Avoid

A comprehensive welcome guide is key to starting new client relaionships off right. Here is everything you need to know to create your own!



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A high-quality onboarding experience is the start of a smooth relationship with new clients, lasting throughout your project and beyond. Creating a comprehensive welcome guide is part of that and an important key to providing an elevated client experience. We believe all service-based businesses should have a welcome guide handy that gives a warm hello to new clients, while also communicating the important details they’ll need to know. 

Not sure where to start? No worries! Here’s our go-to guide on creating your welcome guide including its benefits, what your welcome guide absolutely needs to include, and the top mistakes to avoid while crafting your guide.

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Please note that some links in this blog post are affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you purchase using our link. Honestly, we just love sharing what we’ve been loving lately, and if that means you can get in on the sweet deals as well, then great!

The Benefits of Creating a Welcome Guide

First, what even is a welcome guide?! Well, a welcome guide is a collection of essential information that educates and excites your new clients! It’s a tool that every service-based business needs if they’re looking to stand out in their field. In fact, there are limitless benefits to creating a welcome guide, such as cutting down on endless emails, emphasizing the value of your services, and making a lasting first impression. You know you’re a pro in your field, so now it’s time to tell your clients too! Creating your welcome guide (packed with heaps of knowledge and tips) will result in happier clients who feel super supported.

Happy clients lead to successful projects (and glowing referrals!). As such, it’s essential that your new clients receive your welcome guide at the right time. By streamlining your client onboarding process (with templates and automation), your clients will receive their client welcome guide at the perfect time. While your custom onboarding process might vary depending on your services, it’s generally better to get your welcome guide to your client’s inbox as soon as possible. After your clients pay their first invoice, your welcome guide will provide reassurance that they’ve invested in the right business.

Pro Tip: Depending on your industry, you can even mail your welcome guide! This would be great for photographers to add an extra special touch!

What Your Welcome Guide Should Include

The content of your welcome guide enhances your client experience by providing further clarification on your project and answering any questions. Each section below will include all of the information a client needs before onboarding starts.

Welcome Letter

A welcome letter (or welcome page) is the start of it all! First impressions matter and the welcome letter is the first impression that solidifies your client relationship. The language you use in your welcome letter should be warm and inviting, while also highlighting your unique brand voice. (Let your personality shine!) Be sure to let your client know the purpose of the welcome guide and get them excited to begin your new journey together.

Introduce Your Team

If you work with a team (such as copywriters, operation managers, or social media managers), let your clients know! Not only is it nice to put a face to the names they’ll be seeing in Slack or ClickUp, but you can showcase your team’s personality! Fun details such as your team’s favourite coffee order or their enneagram type make the onboarding experience all the more exciting.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have a team yet, no sweat! Use this section as a mini introduction to YOU!

Communication and Holidays

Now, let’s talk about boundaries. Your clients don’t want to walk all over you (nor do you want them to!), but if clear expectations aren’t set, there will be the occasional misstep. To avoid this decrease in productivity, be sure to note your working hours, response times, and the communication tools you use.

Also, holidays are meant to be enjoyed, so don’t be afraid to take them! If you work with international clients (or with an international team), highlight what days you’ll have off from the get-go. Remember, not everyone celebrates the same holidays.


Meetings are when the fun starts to happen. So, you want to make sure your clients are aware of two things: why they need the meeting and what you’ll accomplish in your time together. Some meeting examples are kickoff calls, check-in calls, and growth calls. 

This section may look a little different depending on your industry (and whether you provide in-person services).

Recommended Tools

The tools you use in your business help you increase productivity and get better results. That’s why we always suggest including a section on tools you personally love and will be using (especially as it relates to your clients). 

Have you heard about our favourites? Dubsado, ClickUp, and Slack are top of the list!

Payments and Invoicing

Don’t forget that you’re running a business with the goal of generating revenue. So, be upfront about your payment policies and set strong boundaries around late payments.

Not only is it annoying to have to chase down payments, but it can seriously affect your project timeline.

Terms of Service

In this section, one important point to include is your turnaround time. With project-based work, you’ll most likely have pre-assigned project deadlines. However, if you work in an industry that has the potential for spur-of-the-moment tasks, be sure to outline just how quickly you can get something done.

You can also use this section to highlight confidentiality and how you maintain confidentiality when it comes to sharing passwords and important business information.

Client Portal Guide

The client portal is essential for keeping track of upcoming payments, forms to be completed, and any email correspondence. This is the home of everything relating to a client project and is a gem for saving time. We like to give an overview of our Client Portal to all new clients, so they can better understand where to find any admin related to our work together.

Next Steps

To finish off your welcome guide, provide your client with actionable steps to begin right away. Typically, this would include filling out an onboarding questionnaire or booking a kick-off call.


Every industry is different. So, feel free to include extra details that are relevant to the work that you do. 

For all you wedding photographers out there, along with some basic details mentioned above, you can include pages such as a breakdown of the wedding day timeline, tips for achieving the perfect photos, and even reminders for couples for the important moments of the day (portraits, ceremony, and reception)!

Pro Tip: Design your guide in Canva so you can share the direct link with your clients and also easily make changes in your guide without having to resend updated files! Your changes will automatically reflect everywhere else (and for everyone!).

Mistakes to Avoid in Your Welcome Guide

Now that you know what your welcome guide should include, let’s talk about the mistakes to avoid while creating your welcome guide. 

Mistake number one is overloading your welcome guide with text. Even the best guide will probably only be skimmed through rather than read fully. So, don’t take offence. Instead, plan ahead! Including shorter text, white space, and bolding important information will help your clients retain what they’re reading.

Second, is talking too much about YOU. Your welcome guide is for your clients so make it about your clients! Use the above sections to present knowledge about your business in a way that will benefit your client. 

Finally, mistake number three is creating a welcome guide based solely on what others are doing. Instead, personalize your welcome guide and let the real you shine! This sentiment should also echo across any other onboarding material such as welcome gifts or welcome videos (perfect for embedding in ClickUp). Canva can help you create the perfect welcome guide to wow your clients in a way that matches your personality and brand. Plus, you’ll be able to easily make changes to your guide without needing to send out new links or update any automations.

Creating the perfect welcome guide is only the first step in crafting a stellar client onboarding experience. Want to know how to wow your clients right from the start? Check out the 3 tools you’ll definitely want to have in your client onboarding tool belt. Then, once your client’s project is all said and done and it’s time to say your farewells, you’ll want to have a stellar goodbye guide ready to go. 


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