2 years ago, I was printing out contracts & making folders for all my clients. I didn’t have any PDF files for all the different packages I offered. It was a Plain Jane sheet that I put together in photoshop. I didn’t go into much detail about any session & I never sent out “how to prepare emails”. Nor did I take any credit card payments. Everything was in a million different places & wasn’t organized. Let’s just put it this way, my life was a mess.
During a Tuesday Together’s, meeting someone mentioned HoneyBook, how it had everything in one place. I honestly thought it was to good to be true. In today’s, blog I going to share why I chose HoneyBook to manage my small creative business.
Reason #1: Their Incredible Workflow Tool
Yall, this new tool keeps me on task with each and every session. I’ve created step by step what I do for each type of session. Honeybook is always rolling out new tools & ways to help us creatives.
Inside this “tool” you can create custom workflows for all your different project types. I have 4 right now:
Within the workflow, I have broken it down step by step what needs to happen for every client and when. The way it works is you create templates, and create your tasks based on a trigger. (Think: 2 days after workflow is activated, or 5 days after previous step is complete, or 3 days before or after the project date, etc.)
There are 4 main types of tasks you can create:
- Task only (just something you need to do and check off)
- Send Questionnaire (Wedding Day Questionnaire, Vendor, Relationship, Engagement Session, etc.)
- Send Brochure (with your packages and pricing)
- Send Email (you can keep all your email templates in here and choose which one to send during certain times in your workflow)
*Note, you can have your workflow automatically started when an inquiry comes in, but if you’re moving over from a different system, make sure your workflow is just the way you want it before you apply it, because it does not automatically update yet.
Once your workflow is checked, double checked, and in the order you want (and need) you can apply it to all your clients. And this is where things get REALLY GOOD (Read the next section!)
Reason #2 The Beautiful, Simple Contact Form
The contact form can be embedded on your website and is completely customizable with questions, font color, font, etc. It looks super clean and tidy on your website which I really appreciate! Other softwares had ugly looking contact forms to embed and they really didn’t go with my brand, so this one is great that you can customize the look of it!
I’m always updating or changing things up on my contact form. To make it easier on my clients. HoneyBook has made it easy to update & load onto my website.
Reason #3: My Custom Library
The “Library” tool is where you can store files and images to use on your branding materials! I uploaded a handful of wedding pictures, engagement pictures and brand images to use for my different materials such as brochures, invoices, contracts, etc.
The really awesome part is that you can also customize every file you send! So for me, when I send a travel invoice to a client after their event or session, or if they add on an extra hour, I customize the document with an image header from their session before sending! It really adds that extra touch and up-levels the entire experience!
Reason #4 Templates
Templates is where everything is kept:
- Email templates
- Contract templates
- Questionnaire templates
This is important to get set up before you set up your workflows so that you can reference all the correct templates before you create it. Having everything built into the system will save you so much time it’s INSANE. Just having my emails all in here helps me save hours every week. I also go in and change up the emails per client.
I recommend outlining all your email templates that you’d need in a google doc, and then just start writing them out, or go through emails you’ve sent your clients over and over and make them into a template.
Once everything you think you need is in there, then you can start putting your workflow in for your different projects types and then you’ll be able to use the task tool!
The templates have saved me so much time. Also, when you sign you can send HoneyBook all your files and they will put everything in for you. I then went back and made a few changes for myself.
Reason #5 Questionnaires
I’m pretty sure when I first started out I was sending clients questionnaires in a word document, which was then upgraded to a google doc and then a google form. Honeybook allows me to keep the questionnaires for every client within their project and once I create the templates, I can automatically add “Send Questionnaire” to my workflow to gather any information I need from my clients! I love getting to read through their wedding day and relationship questionnaires!
Questionnaires are my jam. I won’t lie, I’ve started using them with all my clients. It helps me get to know my clients before we meet. Or with brands, I know where they are wanting to take their business and how I can help them chase their dreams.
Reason #6 Bookkeeping
I’ll be honest, I don’t use this part of it too much because in my area we do a lot with cash & checks. So I do most of mine in a separate but Honeybook integrates with Quickbooks and you can create seriously awesome reports in Honeybook! You can create profit and loss reports, success rate reports, lead reports of where your leads are coming from so you know where to dedicate the bulk of your marketing budget and more.
It’s really awesome to see at a glance what payments you have upcoming, and what you’ve made every month! It’s way more powerful than that but I don’t use this part of the software fully (mostly because I don’t do my bookkeeping!)
Reason #7 Mobile
Well, this is just awesome. Honeybook has a great iOs app for mobile that lets you do everything you can on a desktop with your fingertips. If I can get 3G, I can work from anywhere, and with me always on the go traveling. It helps me get back with clients faster & keep up with my tasks.
Reason #8 Simple Calendar that Integrates with Google
Can I get an AMEN! Seriously, best thing ever. No more keeping a book on me at all times.
When you click on the “calendar” tool in Honeybook, you’ll get a view of all your upcoming payments, your booked projects, your tentative projects and your meetings. All color coded and beautiful. It’s awesome if you’re planning a vacation and trying to budget for it because you can see all your upcoming payments and when they’ll be due at a glance.
Reason #9 Project Stages
I love the pipeline on the homepage of Honeybook. At any given time, I can see where all my projects are in their life cycle. I can see who and how many inquiries need to be followed up with, who has to sign contracts, who just paid their retainer and needs to go to the next step, who’s in planning phase and more. It’s so awesome to be able to grasp that information in seconds to do a quick sweep of follow ups to inquiries or contracts sent.
Reason #10 Their BADASS Concierge Service
Honestly, this should probably be at the very top. There’s no rhyme or reason in the numbering system. One reason I never jumped into a service like this before, is all the hours of leg work to get it up and going. On top of learning the system in the trail period.
Well- Honeybook eliminates that problem completely, and does it all for you. If you just send them the info to login to your existing software (or if you’ve yet to have one, you can figure out a way to get them your project information) they will go in and input all your projects for you, complete with the invoices, your questionnaires, your contract template and your email templates to get you up and running almost instantly. Seriously. NO EXCUSES.
The team over at HoneyBook makes it an easy for you & they understand you don’t have hours to spend to input everything.
Reason #11 Organized and Professional
As a whole, Honeybook makes your business and your brand look (and be!) really dang organized and look (and be!) really professional. From your side as the account holder, to the vendor side, to the client facing side, Honeybook elevates your client experience and your brand on all levels, making your business run like a well oiled machine, while looking pretty doing it. Which for every creative is a huge win!
Reason #12 Booking alerts and payment reminders
If I had a dollar for every time I used to forget to send clients a payment reminder, I’d- well… have a lot of dollars! And it’s SO AWKWARD. Honeybook automatically sends (very friendly) payment reminders to your clients when something is upcoming or overdue so you don’t have to, WIN.
And- when you get inquiries, Honeybook will tell you if you have a conflict that day with another inquiry or booking. So you can’t double book & you can have a list of recommendations to send to the client.
Reason #13 Payments and Invoices
Their payments and invoices make client transactions and communication SO EASY. As I said, not only can you customize the image header on your invoices, but you can collect credit card payments from your clients so you can get paid instantly and never have to worry about a check being lost in the mail again. When I made the switch, the biggest thing my clients loved was being able to pay & have everything in one spot. Also, loved that I was taking credit cards too.
You can customize their payment plans with custom dates, amounts, discounts, tax or no tax, a la carte add ons, etc. as needed and then they can login to their invoice and see when their payments are due and automatically get reminders when they’re coming up! My clients love it!!
For the longesttttt time, I tried to avoid online payments to avoid the fees, but collecting checks added a level of stress I got tired of dealing with. I KNOW it was kind of a pain for my clients too, so implementing online payments was a big step for me. (Plus, if they don’t want to do it online, they’re still welcome to send a check!)
Reason #14 Collaborating with Others
As a creative, we love to meet and work with others. HoneyBook has made it easier for us to connect and find each other in different cities.
Okay, it’s probably time I stopped rambling. This company has helped me to continue to grow my small business. I’d highly recommend it for any small entrepreneur.