Presentation Designer's Toolkit

Client onboarding checklist

What is it?

A client onboarding checklist is a list of tasks that you need to complete when you start working with a new client. It helps projects run more smoothly and let's your client know they're working with a professional who knows what's they're doing.

The checklist might include things like gathering necessary client information, setting up accounts and access, introducing the client to your design and feedback processes, and providing any training or orientation materials that the client might need.

The onboarding process can begin at different stages, either at the first contact with a potential client or after a contract has been signed. There's no right or wrong answer here; it's a matter of determining what works best for your business.

Remember, the beginning of a new client relationship is critical to setting yourself up for a long-term partnership. By following a standardized onboarding process and using a checklist to track progress and ensure completion of all necessary tasks, you can improve the client experience, reduce the risk of miscommunication or misunderstandings, and increase the likelihood of long-term client satisfaction and retention.

When to use one

Whenever you start working with a new client or project.

Remember to:

1. Tailor your process to fit the size and scope of each project. While a thorough on-boarding process is essential, it's important to avoid overkill for simple projects.

2. Review and edit regularly as you gain experience and learn from each project.

7-step onboarding process


Establish billing and payment details

First things first, ensure that billing and payment details are established. The payment schedule should have been defined in your contract, but if not, establish it during this step. Set up the client in your invoicing system, and clarifying any billing-related questions or concerns.


Project set-up

The next step is to set up the project management and file-sharing systems. This typically includes setting up a shared drive and folders for project-related documents, establishing communication channels, and setting up any necessary project management tools.


Internal kick-off meeting

Meet with your team to review the project details, discuss the client's goals and expectations, and assign tasks to team members.


Welcome guide

Send your welcome guide (typically a PDF) via email alongside a screencast, walking them through the on-boarding process. This personalized experience ensures that the client understands each step and doesn't miss anything.


Kick-off call

Schedule a kick-off call with your client to review project details, answer questions, and ensure everyone is on the same page. During the call, introduce your team, review the project scope and timeline, discuss client goals and expectations, clarify any outstanding issues, and confirm logistics such as communication channels and reporting procedures. Be sure to set expectations for updates and check-ins.


Client questionnaire and checklists

Assign client homework to gather necessary information and assets from the client before proceeding with the project.


Post-kickoff internal meeting

Hold a follow-up meeting with your team to review any notes or information gathered during the client kick-off call and make sure everyone is on the same page. This meeting is also an opportunity to identify any potential issues or roadblocks and develop strategies to address them.