One of the ways I help entrepreneurs is to provide education about tools like HoneyBook, that help you stay on top of your business and your processes.
If you’ve never heard of, or you’re not familiar with HoneyBook, it is a business management tool that allows you to manage your projects from start to finish all in one place. So no matter what stage your business is in, you might find yourself staying up late, replying to emails, or scrambling between documents to find the info you need for a client.
With HoneyBook, you’re able to utilize templates. So you will no longer have to be staying up till midnight, writing out those emails and creating client proposals. And one of the great things is this will not only give you a little sanity back, but this kind of organization really sets you up to grow your business.
Whether that looks like hiring your first employee, changing the makeup of your clientele, or maybe even getting serious about your business’s finances, having a process will help you get there.
There are countless reasons why I believe HoneyBook is the best tool out there for freelancers to run their businesses. But today we’re going to take a deeper look at how you can use HoneyBook to manage inquiries follow-ups and your bookings all in one place. So you can get organized, get your time back, and ultimately grow your business.
I hope after today, you’ll think about these three components of your business and figure out the best way for you to optimize them in your business.
As a HoneyBook educator, I’m also able to share a really awesome discount. So if you think that HoneyBook would be helpful to you in your business, make sure you start a trial with the referral code that I offer at the end of the session.
1. Manage Inquiries
We mentioned the importance of everything being in one place. And in order to do that, you need to make sure you’re starting from the very beginning of your client interactions.
I hear all time about small business owners are getting inquiries coming from all over the place. They find themselves replying to emails and DMS and texts for people asking the same questions – and they are answering the same things over and over and over again.
This costs a lot of time.
You want to make sure that you’re getting the important information upfront and managing those conversations all in one place, no matter where they’re coming from.
HoneyBook allows you to do that with their contact form, which integrates with your website, a direct link and a Chrome extension.
The contact form is highly customizable. You’re able to ask the questions you need to be answered from new inquiries. There are a variety of question and answer types that you can pick and choose from to gather all your information.
You can customize the look and feel of the form. You can select custom thoughts, colors, and backgrounds, and add images to make sure that the form actually fits your website.
Once you feel like it is on brand and good to go, HoneyBook provides the code for you to copy into your website builder or wherever it needs to go for seamless integration.
Here is a great example of something that could be put together with HoneyBook. You can see it looks and feels just like the website that it’s on. This is very personal. It’s on-brand, and it looks like a very professional experience for your visitors.
Once you have the contact form added to your website and your new inquiries are automatically getting added to HoneyBook… that’s great, but it’s not everything you need.
Like we mentioned before, we’re getting inquiries from everywhere these days, and this is likely slowing you down or causing you to let people fall through the cracks, even though you don’t mean for them to.
In order to make sure that we’re capturing all of those inquiries coming in, you can also share a direct link to the contact form and that link can be added in a few different places to help kind of streamline your process. I recommend adding it to any link tree you have, like Instagram or Tik Tok bio. You can also hyperlink it to your email templates and your email signature. That way this one form is truly the only place that people are using to contact you. And this makes it really easy for your new inquiries to give you the information that you need upfront so you can move forward with a successful partnership.
Lastly, I want to talk about the Chrome extension. This extension allows you to add new inquiries to HoneyBook directly from your Gmail inbox. I often hear people say that they are losing track of emails and sometimes they forget to follow up. And if you’re like me, I haven’t reached inbox zero in years. I’m a heavy relier on just my email search function.
The HoneyBook extension has really been a game-changer for me to not lose those emails. While I try to keep a small number of starred emails that I need to get back to, they still quickly pile up and they’re easy to lose. This extension lets you add your inquiries to HoneyBook without skipping a beat so that all your leads are still organized – all in one spot.
Now, let’s take a look at how we can manage all those inquiries once they’re into HoneyBook. New inquiries are added to HoneyBook as a project, and you can see on the dashboard that is provided in your account, all of your projects are listed down the left-hand column. Each project is essentially a portal that holds everything you and your client need for their project.
You can see from this screenshot that you’ll be able to see all of your processes, and all of your projects in the pipeline It is a command center giving you a bird’s eye view of where you stand for each project. You’re able to customize the pipeline by adding your own stages as well, which is really great because then you can easily see where you’re at for every project and every client.
2. Follow Up
So now that your leads are in HoneyBook, and you know how to manage them, it’s time to follow up with our inquiries.
This is where you can really make your processes shine.
A lot of freelancers and small business owners I speak to like to send custom thank-you emails to new inquiries. Maybe you like to schedule a consultation or send a brochure that introduces yourself and your services. But no matter how you like to follow up, HoneyBook gives you the ability to really customize this experience and you can make sure that each client gets the best experience with workflows.
Workflows in HoneyBook are a great way to automate some of your processes and get them off your plate. I’m sure that you likely have steps that you take for each client that comes through your funnel. So workflows allow you to map out each step in advance and go ahead and set them up. Using the example above. If you’d like to reply immediately with a thank you to new inquiries, you can use workflows to automatically send out an email when someone fills out your form. Then you can have follow-up steps to check in with that within a couple of days, and then send out a brochure with more information about your services afterward. The reason this is important is that it keeps you from having to manually send an email, or set reminders for yourself.
Every time you have a new inquiry coming in this not only gives you time back, but it also ensures that your client receives the right information and you’re completing tasks on time.
Just because the process is automated doesn’t mean it has to sound or feel robotic. Because you’re the one setting up the templates in advance, they actually feel super personal and then they can get excited about working with you.
3. Getting Booked
So we talked about getting client communications, all organized in one place.
We covered how to use the workflows to reply.
But everybody’s favorite step? Getting booked!
We want to make it really easy once clients find us for them to sign our contracts, and then pay us, right? So here’s a great example of how HoneyBook makes this process so seamless and beautiful for clients.
Within HoneyBook, you pop in a template and it will auto-fill with your services and your pricing so that your clients can review it. They can then sign a contract and make their payment – all in one file.
I found that by combining these components, rather than trying to send out a separate invoice and a contract for them to sign (then trying to explain how to e-sign a document, if they are unfamiliar with that) I actually get booked and paid much faster now that I’m using HoneyBook.
So let’s focus on the payment because we all know how important that is. Your first payment with HoneyBook gets completed along with the contract. You can set the schedule for your payment plans in advance so that you’re not having to send out additional invoices each time your payments are coming due for your clients.
HoneyBook sends automated reminders and clients can even set up auto payments so that they don’t miss a payment with you.
My favorite part about this is it takes you personally out of the equation of having to ask somebody for money because the system is asking. It makes it way less awkward, and then you can continue to focus your energy on building a relationship with that client.
To me, I feel like HoneyBook has made my payment processes look much more consistent, which in turn makes me look more professional. And it also helps your clients better predict when and how they need to pay you.
Bottom line ➡️ That means that you end up with a more predictable cash flow.
We covered how you can create an efficient process by managing your inquiries, sending your follow-ups, and getting booked all through HoneyBook. This platform is truly so powerful and to make things even better, we can still do everything from the mobile app. So I use my app to get notifications. I send follow-ups and files, I check off tasks and I can view my calendar, all while on the go. How’s that for efficiency?
The last point that I’d like to talk about is in connection with the Rising Tide Society. HoneyBook fosters a very strong sense of community for members and creative, small business owners. As we continue to build our businesses, their community is an incredible space with educational resources, meaningful conversations, and an opportunity to learn from one another.
If you’ve never heard of the Rising Tide Society, I highly encourage you to check them out and find your local chapter. I am a local chapter leader here in my area, and I love the community that has been built with the idea that we don’t need to compete and run each other over. There is enough out there for all of us. And so the Rising Tide Society is built on the belief that #communityovercompetition is the way to go. And I also believe that we should all be helping each other, because our creator economy especially, works so much better when we are helping each other instead of tearing each other down.
I want to thank you so much for listening today. I hope you’re feeling more prepared to grow in your business.
If you’re interested in getting started with HoneyBook, you can start a free seven-day trial by using this link. Once you’re ready to join, my discount is automatically applied to the account.
Right now, HoneyBook is offering an incredible deal. So typically it costs $468 per year with the monthly plan at $39 a month, or you can pay annually for a cost of $390. But right now, if you use my link, you can get started for a dollar a month for the first eight months with the monthly plan or just $96 for the full year if you pay upfront.
If you’ve been on the fence about HoneyBook, or you just weren’t sure if you really needed to pay for a CRM this is a great opportunity to give it a try. I highly recommend trying it out for three or six months and seeing if it is an efficient process for you to help manage your business.
All right, guys. Well, if you have any questions, please, don’t hesitate to ask and I will see you later.
I share about Lifestyle Design, Knowledge Management, and Kick-Ass Systems that can help solopreneurs and small business owners find a better balance between their businesses and lives.