In This Blog
- My HoneyBook Journey
- What features does HoneyBook have to offer?
- So, what makes HoneyBook unique?
- “Ok, so why should I use HoneyBook as a CRM for my business?”
- How you can get started with HoneyBook
Are you an online creative entrepreneur who likes to use and re-use word or excel files or copy and paste past sent emails for your client formalities (proposals, contracts, invoices, etc.)?
If yes, you are actually not alone.
One of the reasons why small business entrepreneurs like to handle their formalities by doing the tasks above is because they’ve just started their business and can handle the workload (for now).
Another reason, though I can’t speak for all, is because they want to know that the info is placed correctly and that their branding (logos, fonts, colours, etc.) is presented well.
This holds especially true for those that deal with visual assets, such as photographers, designers, and the like.
That said, I’d like to make clear that HoneyBook isn’t only for photographers and designers.
I use HoneyBook as a video editor, virtual assistant, and now as an online business manager and systems strategist.
The thing with handling those on your own is mistakes are more likely to happen.
You might miss changing a name somewhere in the proposal, the Scope of Services might not be updated on the contract, the payment schedule might be different from where you re-used the invoice or your email might be for a different service you offer.
But what happens when you start getting more clients?
Or you’re delivering more offers?
Or you start to grow your team?
How do you maintain the branding and language and streamline the process throughout?
You’ll want to upgrade your systems to include Client Relations Management aka CRMs.
Now, finding one that works for your business can be tricky because let’s face it, there are SEVERAL of them out there and more are popping up since the online workforce increased due to the pandemic back in 2020.
As the title mentions, the CRM I’ll talk about here is HoneyBook.
My HoneyBook Journey
I first heard about HoneyBook way back when I had an Event Management business (c. 2012).
I remember coming across HoneyBook and immediately falling in love with it because of its features and aesthetics.
Unfortunately, it didn’t cater to Canada-based businesses then.
Because of that, I had to use a very robust and complicated CRM whose features didn’t really match my business needs. I only used about 3 of that CRM’s features.
Fast forward to late 2020 when I have a new business and I’m on the lookout for CRMs that can handle current online entrepreneurs’ business needs.
Luckily, HoneyBook now caters to Canada-based businesses! YAY!
The rest is now history in the making.
What features does HoneyBook have to offer?
Here’s a quick list of HoneyBook features:
- Lead Forms and Questionnaires
- Proposals and Contracts
- Project Organization
- (Live) Email Templates
And that’s just the beginning.
So, what makes HoneyBook unique?
1. Mobile App
HoneyBook’s actually useful, user-friendly mobile app is the perfect way to keep your business organized on the go. In the app, you can track your projects, communicate with clients, and stay organized no matter where you are. The HoneyBook app is available for both iOS and Android devices.
2. Different Project Workspaces
What does a “Project Workspace” mean?
It’s where the business owner (or assigned Team Member like a Coach or Photographer) can communicate and share Invoices, Proposals, Brochures, Contracts, and the like with the client. But the HoneyBook Workspace doesn’t just stop there.
You can also create separate workspaces to communicate with your team, subcontractors, and suppliers/vendors, respectively.
I love this because you can lessen your software tech stack.
I’ll dive deeper into HoneyBook Workspaces in a separate blog.
3. Bulk and Batch Emails
First off, what’s the difference between HoneyBook’s Bulk Email and Batch Email?
Here’s how HoneyBook differentiates the two:
Bulk Emails from the Project Pipeline allow you to select who your email goes to by letting you choose up to 100 Projects at once; then, all participants in the selected Projects will receive the communication, and the emails will be tracked in the Activity Feeds of each selected Project.
Batch Emails allow you to select any recipients from your full list of contacts, whether or not they’re associated with Projects, but do not allow you to sort/filter potential recipients based on Projects or Project details. Sent batch emails will not track in any HoneyBook Project.
These do not replace your email marketing campaigns or your welcome sequences. You will still need a separate application for those for better reporting and such.
That said, it’s really nice to have these bulk and batch emails feature available for your use.
4. Multiple Signatures
Some clients have multiple contacts (either as a partnership, marriage, etc.).
Because of this, for legal reasons, it’s best for you to have their signatures on contracts, agreements, and the like.
HoneyBook thankfully allows more than one (1) signature.
Service providers for things like weddings, engagements and the like love this simple yet important feature.
Note: You’ll only be able to put additional signature lines in the contract ONCE the template is in a Project.
5. Facebook and Instagram Leads Ads
Anyone can click on your ad on Facebook or Instagram and they will see a pre-populated (from their social media contact info) contact form.
Submitted forms will create a new Project making it easy for your client to contact you and for you to minimize new leads falling through the cracks.
6. Calendly Integration
HoneyBook has a native booking system but if you like using Calendly, then you’re in luck. You don’t need Zapier to automate this one as HoneyBook directly integrates with Calendly easily.
Which means less tech stack and more $$ saved from app subscriptions.
7. Chrome Extension
If you’re a (Google Chrome) Extension Warrior, you’ll like this one too.
It’s so easy to be on top of a client’s project without having to switch tabs.
You can also create a new project from a single email straight from your Google email.
One may ask, “How can I use Automations and still have the personalization for the correspondents?”. Everything is PERSONALIZED.
You can set up separate automations for each client touch point: 1 for leads. 1 for contract and invoice, and so on. You can also set up one (1) automation from a lead to client offboarding. You can also have multiple automations to cover all services you provide.
I like how you can have “require an approval before sending” for any step so you can look over, edit or skip a task.
At the moment, you can trigger sending of an email, questionnaire, or brochure and create a task with HoneyBook’s automation.
9. Processing Fees
I believe this is important to note because it’s about $$.
To accurately communicate this topic, I’ll quote HoneyBook’s processing fee info below:
At the moment, payments received through HoneyBook incur processing fees of 3% or 1.5% for credit card and ACH bank transfer payments respectively.
The processing fees are comparable to those you would see in PayPal, Square, and others, and are not in addition to what you would pay when using other systems.
Currently, though, there is not a built-in way to pass the processing fees along to your clients.
10. Smart Files
**Update** HoneyBook just very recently beta launched their Smart Files.
HoneyBook allows you to send a Proposal to your client with the Contract, Invoice, and Payment in one go.
So, what are Smart Files?
HoneyBook Smart Files allows you to do more steps than those.
Before a proposal, you can have a “brochure” type step with your services, an introduction of your company, or both in one step.
After payment is made, you can have a “What’s next?”, a more project detail questionnaire for your client, or both.
You have full control over what it looks like and what’s in it.
You can also add smart fields relating to the project, the client, or your company.
HoneyBook has made it easy to transition your current files (brochures, proposals, contracts, packages, etc.) to use with Smart Files.
Here are tutorials to convert and recreate your legacy file templates.
The best way to show smart files is through this video by HoneyBook:
“Ok, so why should I use HoneyBook as a CRM for my business?”
Because it can SAVE YOU SO MUCH TIME.
Yes, you need to put a fair bit of elbow grease, in the beginning, to set everything up but think of that time as you look over your business process.
You don’t have to completely set it and forget it too because you can update your automations as your business sees fit.
Situations may arise, something new may need to be a part of the process or you may want to completely overhaul your processes – don’t worry, HoneyBook’s got your back.
✓ No more spreadsheets to track your leads and where they’re at in your funnel.
✓ No more PowerPoint or Word docs to build your proposals, contracts, and invoices.
✓ No more composing or recycling an email every. single. time. for “routine” emails.
✓ Speaking of emails, no prospects are falling through the cracks.
✓ No copying and pasting of emails and forms with the wrong name or info.
✓ Scheduling is now a breeze because your work calendar is synced with your clients’ booking calendar.
I really like HoneyBook’s tagline on their site: “Give hands-on service, even when you’re off the clock” because it really tells you how much HoneyBook can help you with your client management.
Being a solopreneur or a small business owner, you definitely want more hours in your day or to hand off some things from your ever-growing tasks plate.
And while you can’t always just hire someone (and really you should be hiring smart anyways, more on this in another day), you’ll want to make sure that your tech stack is working FOR YOU and your business. Those subscription fees better be earning their keep, right?
HoneyBook is always looking for ways to better its product (and they really do step it up almost every month!), so it’s exciting to see where HoneyBook will take it next.
How you can get started with HoneyBook
I highly recommend HoneyBook for solopreneurs and businesses with small teams.
It’s creatively friendly and very easy to set up.
I’m a proud HoneyBook Educator, so you’ll hear more updates and product tutorials about HoneyBook from me.
If you’re ready to start your HoneyBook journey, HoneyBook frequently holds a promo for $1/month for a certain number of months.
Alternatively, if you’d like to secure your first year, click this link (code: christineobm) to start a new 7-day free trial AND get 50% off of your first year of HoneyBook automatically when you’re ready to upgrade to a paid plan.
What CRM have you tried so far?
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