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Onboarding Into Your New Role

Congratulations on landing a new client!

Unlike a traditional internship, a freelancing engagement requires a bit more responsibility on your part to get onboarded.
Taking the initiative to get the ball rolling on your new role will help support a productive engagement for both you and your client.
We recommend approaching the onboarding process over a 3-week period.

Day 1: Schedule an Onboarding Call

When you accept a role, you will receive an email from Pangea that connects you and your client. This helps get the conversation started and makes it easy to connect with your client directly through email.
One of the best ways to start the onboarding process is by scheduling an onboarding call with your client to go over some standard introductory questions.
A great way to easily book time with one another is by using . Calendly is a free online program that syncs with your digital calendar, allowing your client to book time with you based on your availability.
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When you reach out to schedule the call, give the client a preview of the questions you’ll want to go over together. That way, if there are any questions the client needs to run by another team member or materials the client needs to prepare for you, they have time to do so.
If you’re unsure of what to say when you reach out to schedule the onboarding call, here’s a template:
Hey [client name]!
I’m excited to get started with [company name] in the coming week. I think it would be useful for us to schedule a 30-minute onboarding call to get aligned on the project goals and process.
I’ve updated my calendar to reflect my availability so it’s easy for us to schedule time together. Feel free to book a time that works for you here on my Calendly. [link] If none of the times available work, please let me know so we can schedule a different time.
On my end, these are the questions I’m hoping to go over during our call. Let me know if anything else comes to mind on your end!
[list of questions or Google Doc with your questions (A Google Doc may be helpful to take notes on during your call!)]
I look forward to meeting with you and getting started!
[your name]

Week 1: Have the Onboarding Call

During the onboarding call, you’ll want to go over quite a few things to make sure you and the client are on the same page. The most important questions to ask your client typically fall into one of two categories: project specifics and communication and feedback.

Project Specifics:

When would you like me to begin working on the project?
What are the team’s/company's goals for the next 3/6/12 months? How does this project fit into that?
What are the goals of this specific project?
How will we track progress on the project? How would you like me to track the completion of tasks?
How will you assign me new tasks?
What tools/resources do I need access to, such as Google Drive folders or company information?
Are there weekly meetings I need to attend/can attend to learn more? Should I bill you for attending these meetings?

Communication and Feedback:

Who should I report to?
Is there anyone I should be communicating with outside of who I report to?
Would you like to schedule a recurring check-in to touch base on the work?
How do you prefer to communicate? (Slack, Teams, email, etc?)
How do you prefer to give me feedback?
How often would you prefer I bill you?
If you’re a more experienced freelancer and have tools or processes you prefer to use, feel free to recommend them to the client.
Note: Sometimes clients hire freelancers to handle specific tasks they’re unfamiliar with. For example, a client may have experience with front end development but may hire you to solve a back end development issue that’s outside of their expertise. This might make assigning you tasks and tracking progress challenging as they don’t understand the full scope of the work going into the project. This is a great time to exhibit self-leadership and make suggestions for how you can keep the client in the loop while making progress.
While it’s important to address a variety of questions during the onboarding process, it can be a lot to remember. During the call, take notes, then send a follow-up email to the client after the call ends. Provide a brief summary of the call as well as the action items each of you need to do to move forward.
This can look like:
Hey [client name]!
Thanks for a productive call today. I’m eager to get started on [start date you discussed].
To summarize our call:
[summarize main point]
[summarize main point]
[summarize main point]
Our action items:
For me:
[action item]
[action item]
[action item]
For you:
[action item]
[action item]
[action item]
Let me know if there’s anything I missed!
[Your name]

Week 2: Confirm Tasks & Get Started

Now that you’re onboarded, it’s time to get started.
Before you begin working, make sure you’re clear on the tasks the client wants you to complete. If you need to follow up with them to clarify any information, you should. It’s important to be clear on the tasks before completing work or billing the client for work they may not want you to do.
If you are clear on the tasks, begin working. Make sure to keep track of the time you spend working if it’s an hourly engagement, or the number of deliverables you complete if you’re getting paid by deliverable.
Once you’ve completed the work, make sure to submit it to your client. Typically, delivering work via email is sufficient. Depending on the nature of the role, you may need to follow up with your client more frequently or just periodically. If you’re unsure of how often your client would like to view your work, reach out and ask.

Week 3 and Beyond: Check In, Ask for Feedback, & Invoice Client

Check In

After completing your first week of work, it’s important to check in with both yourself and the client.
To make sure you’re on the right track, complete Pangea’s onboarding questionnaire that was sent to you via email. If you’re having trouble finding it, please search your inbox for the subject line “ “ to find the email.
The onboarding survey is not only a way for the Pangea Team to make sure you’re getting the support you need, but a way for you to check in with yourself and make sure you’re on the right track.
This is also a good time to touch base with the client to make sure they feel the engagement is off to a good start.

Ask for Feedback

Asking for feedback is something you will do throughout the entire time you’re working with a client. Asking for feedback early on will help you make necessary adjustments and help the client feel more confident in working with you moving forward.
Asking for feedback can sometimes feel uncomfortable. If you’re not sure how to ask, here’s one way to go about it:
Hey [client name]!
After completing a full week of working on the [project], I wanted to touch base with you to ask for feedback. Could you please provide some honest feedback on my work so far so I can make any changes that may be needed moving forward?
Thank you!
[your name]

Invoice Client

Depending on how often you and your client decided to invoice, it may be time to send your first one. For more on this, please see the guide titled

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