How to Manage Expectations and Set Boundaries
I’ve learned so many lessons as a new freelancer. One of the biggest lessons comes from the challenges I’ve faced in setting boundaries and expectations with clients. I’ve been so focused on the grind and hustle that I had no idea I needed to think about these things early in my business. I can tell you now that was a big mistake…HUGE. What I needed was a welcome packet. A welcome packet helps to gather information, manage expectations and set boundaries with clients.
In a former job, I used to manage employees and I recall my supervisor telling me, “to be unclear is to be unkind”. And it’s so true. Of course, he was referring to my employees at the time but this is true of any relationship. You can’t fault a person for abusing boundaries and expectations they didn’t know existed. A welcome packet is a great way to do this. The most successful entrepreneurs do it this way.
I look at misunderstandings as a lesson. Several experienced members of a freelance group suggested that I create a welcome packet. This is why it’s imperative to have a tribe of people around you. They clue you in on these things. It never even crossed my mind. I was too busy frolicking in the entrepreneurial land of butterflies and rainbows. The miscommunication with a client brought me back down to earth quickly. I’m a freelancer but I’m still working with people with different personality traits similar to coworkers.
Why You Need A Welcome Packet
There are many reasons why you need to create a welcome packet if you don’t already have one.
A welcome packet helps to:
- Create concrete (written) information the client can refer to throughout the process
- Define the scope of work (questionnaire)
- Let the client know your work hours, contact information and preferred method of contact
- Give the client an idea of your workflow process
- Invite the client to work with you (welcome letter)
- State preferred payment methods and arrangements (terms can be explained in further detail in contract)
- Include FAQ’s that you feel a client may have
- Be a predecessor to a contract
“Attract the Right Clients for Your Business” Welcome Packet Templates! Everything you need in one place to get your onboarding process started on the right foot.
You can send this packet before they sign the contract for a sneak peek or you can send it with the contract. It’s really up to you and you’ll know what’s best at that moment.
This due diligence has a number of benefits. It helps clients to drill down on their scope of work and gives me an idea of what to expect when working with them. The client may even find when completing the questionnaire that his/her needs aren’t what they thought they were.The information may also prove that the client is not a good fit for how you like to work and vice versa.
I’ve created some templates to give you an idea of the kinds of information I like to request and the questions I ask before beginning work. You will also find a list of the “FAQ’s” that I like to include with my welcome packet. You can list whichever you’d like but I find those are the main ones I’m asked.
I left out some personal information that I give to my clients but I also watermark my documents to personalize them. The areas highlighted in yellow are what you will need to modify.
I hope you found this information helpful. As you can see a good welcome packet helps is the most important part of the process. You’ll able to find the right clients for your business and save time from dealing with the wrong ones.