If you’ve read any of my past articles, you might know that I’m a fan of freelancer welcome packs. I think they're an invaluable resource for freelancers when they join a new startup. Not only do they provide freelancers with a better understanding of the client, their brand, values and the assets they'll need to do the job but they also save startups so much time onboarding new freelancers. 

From a freelancer’s perspective, joining a new team can be exciting but a little nerve wracking at times. On one hand, freelancers want to produce great work for their new clients from the get go. However, they need certain information about your startup’s culture, its mission and values, branding, tone of voice etc. to ensure that their work is well informed and consistently on brand from the outset. 

Think of welcome packs like a mini handbook. Instead of feeding new freelancers information about your startup in dribs and drabs over their first few weeks, take sufficient time to put together an informative welcome pack so that new freelancers can hit the ground running.  

Freelancers don’t like asking tons of questions. We know it can be annoying. However, if we’re not given the information we need from the get go to help us produce quality work, we’ll have to keep pestering you for more details. 

In this article, I’m going to highlight a few elements that you should consider including in your freelancer welcome pack. 


1.Your Startup’s Culture, Mission and Values

Does your startup encourage team members to get to know each other? If your team works remotely, how do you interact? Does everyone on the startup team work the same hours? Are there particular times of the day when I should avoid contacting other team members? What’s your mission statement and what company values do you expect your team to promote through their work?

When I start working with new clients, these are questions I need answered from the outset. Therefore, I’d advise you to address these questions in this section of your welcome pack. No need to give pages and pages of information, a short summary on each of these questions will do just fine.

If your startup uses business communication tools like Slack, this section is also a good place to explain best practice when it comes to team etiquette on these platforms. At Freelancer Club, for example, we use the acronym ‘A.P.I’ - something we picked up from Matt Mullenweg. API, in this case stands for Assume Positive Intent. Chat (like WhatsApp messages) can be misinterpreted or misunderstood leading to issues or rifts amongst teammates. By assuming positive intent, you’ll always strive to see the good in people and build a more harmonious culture. 

2. Your Startup Team 

Whether you're onboarding a freelancer to work in an office or remotely, it’s really important to use your welcome pack to help familiarise new freelancers with your wider team.

Freelancers don’t need to know the full resumes of each team member. A one liner on what their roles are and a contact email is more than enough. I’d also suggest including a picture of each team member, as a visual reference can be a handy way of remembering who’s who.

Welcome packs come in all shapes and sizes. A Google Doc, dedicated page on your website (hidden from the public), or a knowledge sharing tool such as Notion or Trello. 


Woman using laptop


3. A style guide

What should be included in this section of your welcome pack? Information that might seem obvious to you but not to new freelancers. 

Think font styles and sizes, heading types, a logo pack, colour palettes, tone of voice etc. If you're hiring freelance writers for example, you’ll also need to include information about where they should source images for articles, how images should be aligned in the text etc. Furthermore, if you expect freelance writers to upload articles to your website, consider including step by step instructions on how they can do this too. 

If you’re bringing any type of freelance designer onboard, it’s worth including brand guidelines in your onboarding pack. A freelance designer needs to know what colours, fonts, graphics, logos etc. they need to use in their designs, to ensure that the content they create is consistent with any previous content your startup has used. 

If this seems like a lot of work, don’t be discouraged. Include a detailed style guide in your welcome pack and new freelancers won’t have to interrupt your workflow with lots of small yet important queries.

Depending on your company you may want to add more sections to your welcome pack. Think about the questions that newcomers have asked you previously and include them too. It might be worth creating a miscellaneous section to address frequently asked questions. 

The purpose of a freelancer welcome pack is to make life easier for both yourself and the freelancer you're onboarding. Make the time to assemble a comprehensive pack and you’ll both reap the rewards.