Fellow creatives, I totally get it—there are SO many things on your to-do list. Personally, as a designer and strategist, I have a seemingly-never-ending list of custom things on my plate each and every day, from sending logo proofs to building out website wireframes and oh so much more. So the idea of recreating my client experience from scratch with each and every client that I onboard? Friend, it simply isn’t realistic. My time needs to be spent elsewhere in order to serve clients well as a designer! But that shouldn’t mean their experience has to be less overall. Fostering a meaningful and elevated experience should not be one of those things you need to recreate at the beginning of each new client project—and thanks to tools like HoneyBook, it doesn’t have to be!
By strategically using tools like HoneyBook, I’ve been able to automate certain points in my client experience and truly wow my clients every time. In turn, this has allowed me to spend more of my own time and active mental energy on the things that ONLY I can do, without compromising the experience for my clients in any way.
Curious just how I’ve put HoneyBook to use in my own biz? Keep on reading, my friend!
5 REASONS I USE HONEYBOOK FOR MY DESIGN BUSINESS
Friends, I’ve been using HoneyBook for years now, and I am constantly blown away by all the robust features and extensive capabilities of the platform, all while remaining incredibly user-friendly. As a creative entrepreneur, it’s extremely important to me that I’m able to tailor my Client Relationship Management (CRM) system in a way that serves my clients well, but also in a way that serves me well. And HoneyBook does just that!
Here are five of my top favorite ways the platform serves my design business and clients so well:
1. IT PROVIDES A COHESIVE HOME BASE FOR ALL CLIENT PROJECTS
Instead of spending unnecessary time bouncing between my inbox to send emails to clients, InDesign to whip up interactive PDFs for client homework, or a number of other third party programs to create customized timelines and perfectly polished invoices, I can now go to one simple app and access all of these things in one cohesive space.
Not only has this made my own life easier, but it’s also elevated and streamlined my client’s experience. Each client can access all the tools, files, and invoices in their own custom project within HoneyBook! Gone are the days of clients searching through their inbox and digging through our entire stream of messages just to finish the particular client homework they started days before. Now, they can log into their account and pick up right where they left off quickly and easily, especially because files are shown in a separate tab than messages, making it even simpler to find the exact thing they’re looking for.
BONUS POINT: When a client begins to fill out a file I’ve sent them (forms, questionnaires, worksheets, etc.), I’m immediately able to see their responses as they type in real-time. So even if they complete their homework over the course of several days, I’m able to pop in and see how they’re doing, give feedback, and answer any questions without having to send separate files back and forth.
From a user standpoint, HoneyBook provides an organized home for their project to live; as a designer, it allows me to streamline projects by creating a powerful home base for all my client work.
2. IT PRESENTS PROFESSIONALLY
Before I was on HoneyBook, I used a hodge podge of third party systems to send resources to clients. I handled invoices in one system, sent client homework in another… the list went on. Because I used such a wide variety of platforms, I never had true control over how things looked or how my clients were engaging with these resources. I had to piece together so many different tools to enable my clients to take all the necessary steps in my design process.
With HoneyBook, I’m able to have full control over the look and feel of every resource I send out. This ensures that all materials look like they’re coming from one cohesive brand (which, of course, they are!).
One huge advantage of HoneyBook is that I can preview all resources and communications before sending them to clients. Thus, I know exactly how it’ll look to the user, and I can adjust as needed to ensure it’s as user-friendly as possible. I can tweak the color palette, customize the header image, and upload any necessary logos. Having full control over design allows me to ensure that all materials sent to clients are cohesive, rather than each looking separate from the others.
As a brand designer especially, I’m able to rest knowing my proposals to potential clients are perfectly polished and positively reflect my brand. After all, how silly would it look if a brand designer didn’t have resources that matched her brand?! Plus, when I send proposals to potential clients, I’m asking for a true investment of their time and money. HoneyBook allows me to do this in a way that looks as polished and professional as my experience as a whole; it allows me to represent my work well straight from the start!
3. THERE ARE SO MANY BUILT-IN FUNCTIONS THAT CAN HELP YOU SERVE YOUR BUSINESS BETTER
Plenty of people use HoneyBook for the bare-bone functions like invoicing, contracts, client communications, and maybe some questionnaires. But if you take some extra time to really acquaint yourself with the platform, you’ll discover so many other built-in functions that can help you serve your business even better!
For example, did you know that you can access things like timeline templates directly in HoneyBook? If you’re sending custom timelines to every client you work with, you can save a whole lot of time by creating a timeline template with the basic outline you always follow. From there, you then can easily customize the template for each project! It’s truly shocking how much time templates like that can save you in the long run.
Another great (but little-known) function of HoneyBook is their time tracking tool. Let’s say you have a retainer-based client you work with on a monthly basis, and your service offers X number of hours each month. For a project like that, you’re able to track your time directly in HoneyBook, and create an invoice based on the hours you tracked. Having all those tools in one space is key to streamlining your business!
HoneyBook has so many powerful tools, even beyond the basic features like sending contracts and invoices. If you take a bit of time to scratch more than just the surface, you’ll find some truly incredible ways to get the most out your subscription.
4. IT’S EASY TO ACCESS
Of course HoneyBook is accessible through your internet browser, but it also has an incredibly well-designed and functional mobile app for use (and notifications) on the go. Because let’s be real—no one can be tied to their computer all day, every day! Through the app, I can create and send proposals or invoices, help clients with their homework or answer their questions, and communicate absolutely seamlessly at all times.
Not only is it accessible for me on the backend, but HoneyBook is also incredibly easy for clients to access and use! They’ll receive an email any time you send something over, and the email will contain a link to their client portal. From there, they can easily sign off on contracts, fill out questionnaires, and more—no matter where they are.
5. THE HONEYBOOK SUPPORT TEAM IS AMAZING
When I first started using HoneyBook, they didn’t have a time tracking tool. I had used other CRM systems in the past that did have time trackers, so I knew just how useful it could be and how often I used it in my design projects. I believed my CRM should allow me to track my time, instead of having to use yet another resource for that. HoneyBook had consolidated almost everything into one system—it was just missing that time tracker.
So I sent the team over at HoneyBook an email, letting them know I had an idea for an integration that I believed a lot of their customers would find useful.
They emailed me back almost instantly, letting me know my suggestion was received and that they would pass it along to their development team.
Now, I know I’m not the only person who emailed HoneyBook about adding a time tracking feature. But sure enough, just a few months later, they rolled out an easy-to-use time tracking tool.
And the incredible customer service didn’t stop there! After a few months, the HoneyBook team reached back out to me and asked if I could give my feedback on this new tool. Since I had requested this feature months before, and it was something I had been actively using since it launched, they wanted to know how it was honestly working within my business.
I loved being part of the conversation as they worked on rolling out and improving this new tool; it made me feel incredibly valued and seen as a customer. The HoneyBook staff truly shows how much they value their customers through the level of care and consideration they put into things like this, as well as their commitment to constantly improving their product.
HOW HONEYBOOK CAN HELP BUILD YOUR DREAM DESIGN BIZ
Friend, I can very confidently say that HoneyBook is, hands down, my favorite CRM system. It truly does cover all the needs I have in my design business, and I’m so grateful to be able to use it.
Now, I know how important it is to be able to customize your CRM so that it serves you and your clients’ unique needs as well as possible. And that’s exactly why I created a totally free guide to walk you through 5 easy ways to use HoneyBook to elevate your design business. In this guide, I’m sharing the exact steps I took to set up HoneyBook to work smarter (not harder) for me, so I can wow my clients at every turn without spending tons of hours to make it happen.
If you want to get your hands on this fun, free guide and start immediately elevating your design business using HoneyBook, click here!
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RELATED: I had the pleasure of being a Member Spotlight on the HoneyBook blog, where I share how I got my start as a designer (with just $200 in the bank!) and how I build strategic brand designs with the help of HoneyBook!
P.S. If you’re curious about what HoneyBook could do for you and your business, I have an exclusive offer for you! You can snag a 7-day free trial of HoneyBook using this link. And if you fall in love with HoneyBook like I have, you can sign up using this link to receive 50% off your annual subscription—which is BIG savings, y’all!