I’ve never known business without the internet. Wild, right? I don’t know what it’s like to do all your organization & client management without internet resources + programs, and I’m grateful that I don’t, because I’m not sure I could run my business without all the amazing things the internet has provided me with?We all know that BUSINESS IS HARD AS HELL, especially when you can barely get your LIFE organized, let alone your BUSINESS (I can’t be the only one. . .)?BUT we as business owners have been blessed with SO. MANY. TOOLS. Like SO MANY. Tools that help us stay organized whether its with our schedule, communication, or finances, or tools that enable us to deliver the best possible experience to our clients—and isn’t that the whole freakin’ goal here?
And as business owners, we often learn that time is a currency that we end up prioritizing more than money. Not all the time, not for everyone. But often. And with countless clients, contracts, receipts, invoices, emails, dates to manage (the list goes on and on), it’s impossible to do it on our own and still have time for ourselves and to, uhhh, actually live our lives? When you love being creative, doing all the logistical stuff is a PAIN. That’s why you HAVE to invest in resources that are going to save you from spending all your time doing the little stuff.
WITH THAT SAID: I wanted to help you out a lil’. If you’re a new biz owner, you might have no idea where to start with organizing everything you’ve gotta organize. So today, I’m going to go through my favorite program that I have NO idea what I’d do without: HONEYBOOK! I’m going to give you a whole list of the amazing features it offers + why it keeps my business up & running and makes my client communication a BREEZE. Because we all know we can never get enough help with that. Oh. . . and did I mention I also have a MAJOR discount for you at the end??(come on. . . we all know we ALSO can never get enough discounts. . . )?So get readin’, invest in yourself + biz, & get your time (& life!) back!!
Okay. HONEYBOOK. You’ve probably heard of it a million times (or maybe not!) But for good reason. It’s a CRM, or a “customer relationship management” program, that LITERALLY DOES EVERYTHING YOU’LL EVER NEED. No matter what kind of business owner you are, if you work with clients in ANY way, you need this so badly. I’m going to go through the most important aspects that I’ve used since before I even made my business official!
Projects (see above):This is the main page with all of the projects you currently have going on – whether that’s photography sessions, weddings, graphic design projects, whatever. It keeps track of what “stage” each project is in, which you can customize to fit your workflow. For example, I’ve customized mine with stages like “Initial Email Sent,” “Questionnaire #1 Sent,” “Booking Proposal Sent,” “Retainer Paid,” “Editing Gallery,” etc. – all the stuff that helps me know where I’m at in the pre/post-booking process with each client.
Client Portal (see above): The client portal is where all the details, documents, & email chains are stored for each “project.”
Activity:Honeybook keeps a record of all the emails you & the client have sent back and forth, starting with their inquiry & all the details they filled out in your contact form (I’ll get to that!). It keeps track of emails no matter if you reply to your client through Gmail or whatever you use, OR you reply within the Honeybook portal itself! So you never lose any emails or have to dig in your inbox to find something?
Files:This is where all of the files that you’ve sent to your client are kept, from questionnaires to invoices to contracts and more. They’re all stored in one place and it makes it SO easy for both you + your client to find what you/they need!
Payments:This is where all the payment information about the project is stored. It shows any payment plan you’ve created (for example, if the client is paying 50% upfront and 50% on a certain date), and what payments have been fulfilled, are upcoming, or are late.
Details:When a client inquires through your contact form, Honeybook automatically inputs certain details in this section for you, such as the project date, time, location, etc. This is where the basic information about the project is stored! There are also spots right above these 4 sections where you can add whatever clients are participating in the project, along with all of their contact info.
On the right side of this page, you can create new files within the project, as well as change the stages as the project progresses!
Tools (see above):This is where SO MUCH GOOD STUFF LIES! Setting up all your templates does take time, because the most beneficial way to do it is to create custom templates for EVERY type of project you offer. It’ll save you from having to re-create everything for EVERY project you do and I can’t even explain how amazing it is to barely have to do ANYTHING as far as all the logistics of projects go! I’ll go through the ones I use most often in detail below + briefly explain the other ones as well!
Templates (see above):Literally the best thing in the world. Honeybook automatically comes with default templates that you can make use of, or you can create your own, which is what I’ve done!
Invoices:In your invoices, you can include packages (another template section) as well as payment plans for each type of project you offer! You can split payments into however many payments people make for different projects and set a schedule for each payment
Contract:Store all the different contracts you use here, and your clients will electronically sign every time so ya never have to print or mail anything!
Proposal:This is the winner right here in my book, because this is what you send when somebody is booking you for a service!! Proposals have three parts proposal, payment plan, & contract. The “proposal” section is where you add whatever packages + items the customer is purchasing (here, you can see I added my 8-Hour Wedding Package). You can set whatever amount the sales tax is in your state, and then in all your proposals/invoices you can just check the “Tax” box, and Honeybook will add the sales tax to the total cost! Next is the “payment” section, which shows the payment schedule that you’ve laid out for the client, as well as each payment’s status. Finally, the “contract” section is where you put. . . guess. . . YOUR CONTRACT!! Choose the appropriate contract template that you’ve already put in your “contracts” template section, and change any details that you need to for the specific project. Once you send the proposal, your client is able to pay you straight through Honeybook!
Questionnaires:Create questionnaires to send to your clients!
Brochure:Here, you can create brochures with the types of packages you offer (an investment guide), or you could create wedding guides and any other brochure-type documents! Clients are also able to select a certain package if you send them an investment guide and you can create a proposal from there.
Contact Form:(see more below)
Email Templates:This is where you can write out tons of email templates for every kind of email you send to customers: initial emails, sending booking information, gallery deliveries, etc.! That way, you don’t have to re-type EVERYTHING for each session and just personalize it for each customer!
Email Signature:Create a clean email signature to include at the bottom of emails (include a photo, logo, contact info, testimonial, etc.)!
Bookkeeping (see above):Bookkeeping is where you can keep track of all your finances! If you have a QuickBooks account, you can link it to Honeybook, and the two will communicate with each other & connect everything! You can record your expenses, track payments, and see profit & loss reports that are SUPER helpful!
Calendar (see above):Your Honeybook calendar shows dates you’ve booked projects or meetings, as well as payment due dates and tentative projects! You can also integrate your Google Calendar & have it link to Honeybook!
Reports (see above):GUYS Honeybook’s reports are crazy awesome. You can get all sorts of reports, from rate/amount of project bookings to “success rate” with bookings/sent proposals, value of booked projects, and so on. There’s graphs and all.
Workflows (see above):WORKFLOWSSSS are a huge benefit of Honeybook, lemme tell ya! Once you’ve taken the time to set up all your templates, SET. UP. WORKFLOWS. For each type of service you offer. Workflows are how you can automate the steps in your process with each customer for the same type of project, OR not automate the tasks and just set up the process so you never forget anything. For example, in my wedding workflow, I have Honeybook get me to approve any emails/questionnaires/etc. before they are sent, so I can make customizations. Once the workflow is triggered to begin by somebody inquiring & choosing “wedding” as the project type on my contact form, I have Honeybook get my “Initial Email” template ready to go, be approved by me, & sent. If the customer books, the next step in the workflow is to send the proposal, then later send a questionnaire 6 weeks before the project date, etc. You can have Honeybook move on to the next workflow step either once the previous step is completed, a # of days before/after the project, or once the workflow is triggered.
Contact Form: This is where you create contact forms for your website! You’re able to totally customize them & easily embed them into your website, and when you get an inquiry, Honeybook notifies ya with all the information!
Mobile App:Oh yeah, and Honeybook also has an AMAZING mobile app so you can get things done on the go! And aren’t we always “on the go?”?The app also makes a little “cha-ching” sound when you receive a payment, and notifies you of whatever you tell it to notify you (contracts signed, emails opened, etc.). It’s pretty great.
Library:This is where you can store all the images, logos, any type of media you use often in your projects!
Time Tracker:If you want to record the amount of hours you spend on a project, this is where you do it!
My Referrals:Honeybook rewards you after you’ve booked a certain amount of projects and refer others!
Batch Emails:Send out one email to a bunch of people at once!
Opportunities:This is an awesome community aspect of Honeybook, where people in your area or in your industry, post opportunities that may interest you! For example, sometimes photographers will post in need of a second photographer.
Creatives:This is where you can connect with + easily refer customers to other creatives on Honeybook!
PHEW OKAY that was so much information. But isn’t it all SO. DAMN. GOOD?! I honestly have no idea how I would be running my business if I didn’t invest in Honeybook before I even GOT my business license last year!!
NOWWW let’s get to what the investment looks like, since I know you’ve probably been wondering that this whole time!:
Annual Billing: $400/year (equivalent to $36/year)
Monthly Billing:$40/month (equivalent to $480/year)
I know that if you’re a new business owner, that might seem like a lot. It’s HARD to invest in yourself, and I 1000% get that. But Honeybook is something that will literally give you your life back. And if you’re like me, I usually exchange my money for TIME. Honeybook is the best investment I’ve made in my business and the only way I can keep it going.
OH BUT WAAAAIT!! Remember that discount I mentioned earlier?! Investing in yourself can be tough. Luckily for you, though, I can get ya 50% OFF your first year 😉 THAT IS LITERALLY $200. You could buy MULTIPLE SD cards with that.?Here’s the link for you to get those savings. You deserve it!! GIVE ME THAT $200 OFF!!
And lastly, I know that Honeybook can be suuuper overwhelming at first. So if you use my discount code to get yo first year of Honeybook and don’t know where to start, I’ll hop on a Facetime call with ya to help you through it! Deal? 😉 Now, go get yo life back!!?