How I Use Honeybook to Streamline My Creative Business
Quick Disclosure: The referral link on this page is an affiliate link which means when you click the link to purchase it, it won’t cost you more but I may receive a commission for sharing it with you. I would share this product with you whether I received an incentive or not because I truly believe it is that awesome!
What is Honeybook?
Honeybook is a cloud-based CRM (Client Relationship Management) tool that helps small business and freelancers manage various aspects of their business processes. This platform has it all! You can manage your projects, book your clients, send invoices, manage payments and even get your clients to sign your contracts online. That’s just some of the main features, but definitely not all that you can do.
Starting your own small business or trying to manage all of these aspects as a freelancer can be a huge task. If you aren’t naturally super organized all of this can get really out of hand quickly. While I would consider myself organized, having ONE program that could handle a lot of the aspects of my business and provide some efficiencies and shortcuts that help me save A LOT of time in my day.
Overview of Features
- Invoices (secure and easy digital payments, schedules and reminders, setup auto-payments)
- Proposals (invoice, contract and payment all in one, professional branding)
- Scheduling (share meeting links, customize your brand, confirmation and reminders)
- Contracts (legit online signatures, smart bar highlights for where to sign, instant notification)
- Automation (custom step-by-step sequences, automation for emails, tasks and more)
- Integrations (seamless integration with apps like Zoom, Quickbooks, Zapier, Gmail and Google Calendar)
- All-In-One (end-to-end client management, mobile app, booking, payments, reports and more)
How I use Honeybook in My Commission Business
Using Honeybook in my commission business makes the whole client experience a breeze from start to finish. Using the customizable contact form which is integrated directly into my website, my client can send me an initial request with all of the details on their project. From there, I can review their request and send them a customized brochure detailing all of the options for their project and allow them to make selections based on their preferences.
With Honeybook’s new Smart File Templates feature (currently in beta testing) you can add in a questionnaire, contract and payment page all in one brochure link. This makes the process easy and eliminates a lot of back and forth emails. You can set a time limit for your client to respond and save the entire thing as a template to use for another project later on. Everything in Honeybook, even their built-in templates, are customizable to your brand and your business.
While it’s not a replacement for consulting a lawyer, I love that Honeybook has included legit templated copy in their contracts. Based on the type of business you indicate you are running when you set up your account it will give you a great starting point to cover a lot of the typical legal language you need to include. I would highly recommend reading through them and editing as need though before you send it out the door.
I love being able to send my clients proofs through Honeybook using the brochure feature and add in questions for them to answer about their proof. The client is able to fill in the needed info and send the proof back in one click. All of our communication, files and various project activity can all be managed through the project panel. They will even have access to an online client portal that will allow them to view and upload any files exchanged between us.
The project timeline can be customized for various types of projects. You can also track your actual time in detail so that you know exactly how much time you are spending on every aspect of the project. I find this tool helpful because it helps me see if I have over or under estimated my time on a project. I can then adjust accordingly in the future for similar projects. It’s important to be able to track any overage costs on a project. An example would be revisions outside of the scope of the initial project that results in a fee or hourly rate. You can then create an invoice from those entries that you send to your client later on.
The payments feature allows your customer to pay you securely online using a credit card or bank transfer. There is even a feature you can turn on to allow your client to pay you a gratuity or set up auto payments so that they don’t have to worry about entering their payment information again during the process of the project. You can also send automated email reminders to your clients when payments are due.
Before using Honeybook, I use to try and manage all of these areas of my business myself and in different programs. Having my templates ready to go at the click of a button has saved me so much time and even with things like the contracts auto-populating my client’s information into the appropriate fields. Knowing that all of our conversations about the projects and any supporting files are all grouped together in one place has saved me so much time and makes me feel super organized.
The task feature is slowly replacing my Post-it notes as well. I can assign tasks to specific projects with due dates and even get reminder notifications when tasks are due. Honestly, I could go on and on about how much I love using this program. Like any good skeptic, I didn’t think I would love Honeybook as much as I do now, but after using it for a while I feel like it I don’t know how I was running my business without it.
The overall design and set up alone makes me feel like I have a much more professional presence dealing with my clients. I’m not just running some under the table side business and the secure payment feature alone gives my clients the confidence to pay with other methods they are comfortable with. The automation aspect saves SO much time. Most creatives running their own businesses want to spend more time on the actual creative and not the administration stuff. Honeybook has allowed me to do that.
What’s the Support Like?
Some comfortability with technology is an asset using this program, but I did find it very easy to use otherwise. Templates are based on drag and drop style editing as well as templated items. Honeybook’s Help Centre and resources are incredibly thorough and they have a a chat option as well. When you sign up for a plan there is even an account migration concierge to bring in your existing contract and project information. Nervous about doing some it yourself? You can Hire a Pro to set up some of your automations for you from their selection of experts in every area from design to finances and legal. You can even book their services based on the industry you are in so you know you are getting an expert in your field.
Are There Any Free Features I Can Test Out?
Yes! Honeybook has a section of free tools for you to choose from! There are some limitation in the features without a paid account but they are always free for you to use otherwise. You will need to set up a free account to access some of these features.
- Invoice Template and Generator
- Email Signature Generator
- Mission Statement Generator
- Business Personality Test
- Invoice Templates
- Contract Templates
You can also do a limited 7-day free trial of the program.
Ready to Give it a Go?
Honeybook offers a single tier monthly or yearly pricing option for $39 USD per month or $390 per year for a 17% savings. BUT, I have great news. With my special referral link you can sign up today for way less! The program is 100% worth the full price but listen, I get it. Why pay full price when you can try it out for much less?
If you sign up for a yearly subscription with my referral link you can get Honeybook for $1 for 6 months for your first year. When I first looked into Honeybook, I started with the free trial just to see if it was really right for me, but before the 7 days were even up I had already signed on. It’s up to you whether you decide to join or not but I think it’s the best thing I’ve invested in for my business this year. Artists and creatives should spend their time creating not bogged down with administration tasks.