July 19, 2023

Client Onboarding: How to Bring Branding and Web Design Clients Into the Mix


In today’s video, I’m talking about client onboarding: trying to make a seamless process for your new clients and how to have them walk through this process so it’s simple and easy to get things done. Let’s go!

Just a quick recap, I’ve created a knowledge base for our agency–you can check out more on that video in the upper right corner. For now, I want to focus more so on client onboarding.

So if we’re bringing on a client, we have an email list of templates. Just think of it as, we’ve talked to the client, we’ve vetted them and they’re ready to sign on.

So since they’re ready to sign on and they’re about to make their payment, what we’ll do is we’ll send them an email collecting their initial deposit and the client agreement. We use PandaDoc for client agreements, and we use Freshbooks for our invoicing and deposits.

Onboarding Introduction

Just to skip ahead, since I want to focus on the client onboarding part, we basically started with, “Welcome to our agency. Hello [First Name], first and foremost, thank you for trusting us with your new project buildout.” So we start positive and we provide affirmation, “We’re excited to move forward with the project!”

Then we say, “Please check out our Project Launch Guide, this nifty doc will walk you through our process. Inside, you’ll also find a link to schedule your brand discovery.”

So you wanna do a couple of things here: as you’re onboarding a new client–doesn’t matter if you’re web design or branding, like myself, or another service-based business–you want to start with some type of guide for the user or prospect to view once they’re signed on. This will give them a general idea of your process, your idea, and the project–and I’ll dive into that, as well.

Now what you also wanna do is include a link to schedule their brand discovery session. In branding and web design, we usually do a brand discovery, where we talk about their values, we’ll do competitive analysis–and we usually do this in person or virtually with the prospect or client.

Now, we usually set aside 60 to 90 minutes for that session, so I wanna break this down one more time:

  1. Provide affirmation, start out excited, engaged.
  2. Provide them with a project launch guide (which I’ll get into in a few).
  3. Also include a link to some type of brand discovery.

You can also do a kick-off or whatever you prefer in your agency. We do a brand discovery because after that meeting, we’re able to have everything we need to make informed decisions on the project.

Project Launch Guide

Let’s talk about the project launch guide. This is what we send clients as an example. Now, we’ve migrated this fully to Notion, but this visual guide gives you more of an idea.

We start out with an intro doc, we thank them for their business, and then we talk about the process.

Now we’ve migrated this to Notion, so you can see this looks like more of a list. And here at the top, I have the date it was last updated, “Welcome to our agency!” and then more information.

Your Files

So we created a Google Drive folder for our clients, that will house their brand guidelines and any assets that we might need later on. We ask them to upload their assets to our drive folders–so that could be website images, logo and brand identity assets, headshots, testimonials, videos–basically anything that’s going to help us when we create this site.

Collecting Feedback

Then we talk about collecting feedback. We use a platform called Figma that we collaborate with clients on to collect feedback and updates, so I include a quick two minute video here talking about how to use Figma.

Now the reason I’m doing this is because I’m providing this client with all this upfront information so that way, as we walk through the project, I don’t have to explain all this through a call or a message or email. Everything is housed in this launch guide that can give them everything they need, so we can get started.

How We Connect

In regards to how we connect, once the site is in development, we use a platform called Markup–I’ve also included a quick training video here.


Lastly, we end it with requests. These are the items that we request from the client, and we include Google Analytics, Google Drive access, then the schedule of their brand discovery, then complete that discovery before our call.

So now, once we’re on that first call, this client already knows our process, they already know what to send us, they already know what information we need. It’s a really simplified way to get everything we need up front through one doc that’s basically templated–like, we just duplicate this every time we work with a client.


So just to reiterate and back it up, ‘cause I want to keep this video quick and concise:

  1. We provide them with this update doc.
  2. We collect their information–videos, images, all that good stuff.
  3. We talk about how we connect and how we collect feedback through Markup.
  4. We make requests for things that we need to start the project.

So by the time that we have that discovery session, we basically have everything that we need. That call is just validation and getting information from them in real time to get started.

Thank you all for checking out the video content. Again: Like, Comment, Subscribe. Every single engagement, every single video of you, we appreciate.

And I’ll see you all next week. Peace!

A web designer on laptop waving at computer

Ready to work together?

Let’s link up. Complete our quick form below to schedule a 30 minute consult with our team. We invite startups and businesses looking to collaborate to build their website with 5Four.  
Schedule A Consult