I’m about to open up about something that was seriously LIFE-CHANGING for my photography business. If you’re in need of organization, clarity, and systems in your biz, (specifically through a client relationship manager (CRM) – you’re gonna wanna read this.
When I first started my business, I was honestly super disorganized. Cat’s outta the bag. 🙈
… I’d purchase pricing template after pricing template on Etsy, and would procrastinate responding to inquiries because I was self-conscious over the way I was presenting myself.
… I felt as if I couldn’t charge my worth because my client experience and workflow wasn’t streamlined or nailed down.
… Kinda felt like a poser running a “business,” because my business side of things was messy, to say the least. 😅
Sound like you? It’s okay, friend! I’ve been there. Keep reading, it gets GOOD. 😎
After about a year of spending hundreds on Etsy pricing guide templates, I decided I’d invest in a CRM (client relationship manager) software that would simplify things and get me organized. I’d heard a bit about them, but didn’t really know where to start.
I decided to try out a software called 17 hats, but long story short; I wasn’t crazy about it. It was super confusing and had a pretty messy interface, so I quit using it and was back at square one of not feeling “legit” for a while.
The turning point…
I had heard about two different softwares; one called Honeybook and one called Dubsado.
I tried a free trial for both, but because of how many people were raving about Dubsado and their customer service, I went with them. As time went on, I was frustrated with the interface and lack of user-friendliness in Dubsado – but felt like I was alone in that feeling because it seemed like EVERYONE was just loving it.
Then, I was on the client side of Honeybook with both my website designer and marketing strategist, and I realized I had made the wrong choice.
Honeybook was not only beautifully designed and simple to use, but it was just complex enough for what I needed.
Honestly, I wasn’t even using 3/4 of the features in Dubsado, just because there was so much that it became overwhelming, and I didn’t ever get everything set up because of it. So basically, I was wasting money on something I wasn’t even using to its fullest.
In short, because of how complex Dubsado was, I wasn’t using all of it. Kind of ironic for something that’s supposed to make your life simpler… right!?
I gave Honeybook a chance using their free trial (again,) but this time I actually followed the steps and fully set my account up.
Within just one hour of exploring the system, I was SOLD. 🙌🏼
Honeybook was WAY simpler, and had just the right amount of things I needed, (nothing less ya’ll.) I could get rockin’ and rollin’ within a few hours of setup.
(Little did I know, they’d email me after I officially signed up saying they could do it all for me for free,) buuut I’d already done it all in just a day or two because it was so easy! 😂🙌🏼)
Honeybook keeps all my biz info in one place, which keeps not only my biz, but my LIFE organized. 😩🙌🏼 But that’s not the only good news…
I’ve got a 50% off discount for you if you decide you want to try it, too!
And not only do I have the bomb discount code… I’m also giving away something super special with it, so keep readin’ till the end if ya want all the deets! 😎
Let’s dive into some of my fav Honeybook features, shall we? 🥂
1. Contact form
I seriously love how the back-end of Honeybook is set up, and the entire process starts with my contact form on my website.
(You don’t have to have a contact form, or even a website in order to have Honeybook, this is just how I do it!)
So here are my contact form options on my website, the one on the left is for photography inquiries and the right is for education, (like one-on-one mentorships with photographers — that’s you guys!) 😉
Here’s a look at the inside of one of them (excuse the fact I had to zoom out a ton to make it all fit,) and then the next image shows that exact contact form on the back-end of Honeybook!
Here’s the back end of that contact form above inside my Honeybook account! 👇🏼
Adjusting your contact forms and plugging them into your site is literally THAT easy! Your changes are immediate, so it’s like- heaven. 😍
So here’s the rundown on how the contact form starts the workflow process:
- Once a client fills out my contact form, that inquiry is immediately added into what’s called a “project” in my Honeybook account.
- I receive a notification from the Honeybook mobile app as well as an email that I received a new inquiry, and the project is created inside Honeybook; all in a matter of seconds.
I even have an auto-responder set up that lets my clients know I’m out of office, but that I received their inquiry. (Since they receive immediate communication, it increases my chances of booking! Workflow for the win!)
Pro tip: In order to keep my inbox super organized, I set up auto-responders on all of my social media accounts that direct all inquirers to my contact form; so I only have one direct stream of inquiries feeding my Honeybook.
Fun fact: I used to accept inquiries from 57,493 places… texts, email, facebook, Instagram dm’s, etc. – and I was dropping the ball on responses, like… all the time.
Setting up auto-responders that directed people to my contact form changed the game for me!
Projects are your individual inquiries, and you can categorize them by shoot type (i.e. wedding, couples, engagement, family, boudoir, newborn, senior, etc.)
Honeybook’s dashboard lists your projects in one beautiful, simple, organized spot; so you can easily navigate to the project you’re needing to hop into and check the status of it, send files, chat to your clients through it, or whatever you need to do.
Projects are so helpful because they eliminate the “all over the place” communication you’re probably used to! That way when you’re gearing up and getting ready for a shoot and need the details, you can find exactly where it’s at, what time, what details you sent their way and what they’re wearing instantly because all of that jazz is in one organized place. (No more fishing through texts and emails and FB messages trying to find it all!)
Here’s a screenshot of my projects on a desktop, (you can also just as easily view your projects on the mobile app!)
Basically, projects are all-encompassing folders with your client’s name on them. Once you click inside of a project, you’ve got a ton of options. Here’s just a short list of what you can do inside of a project:
- Reply in the chat area (which is sent through as emails as well, so no worries about them not seeing)
- Send a brochure
- Send a proposal (these are the invoice & contract all in one, packaged up perfectly. LOVE these! They’re so nice because your clients can view their package, sign the contract, and pay the invoice all at the same time, so there’s no more back and forth emails or awkward pricing convo’s 😏 )
- Send an invoice
- Shoot over a timeline for the wedding day
- Send a contract
- Send any attachments
- And many more!
At the top you’ll also see a pipeline, which is completely customizable; this is just how I have mine set up. You can move your client through your process manually, and some stages automatically adjust as you go along! That way, you can see exactly which clients are in which stage, and which need attention first! (Seriously LOVE the pipeline!! 🙌🏼)
In case you guys wanted an inside peek at my pipeline, here are the stages I have set up; so you can swipe my workflow & plug ’em in when you’re setting up your account! 👇🏼
1. Inquiry received (automatically adjusts)
2. Responded to inquiry (automatically adjusts)
3. Follow up (if I haven’t heard back from the lead)
4. Proposal sent (this one automatically adjusts when you send a proposal)
5. Proposal signed (this one automatically adjusts when they sign the proposal/contract)
6. Retainer paid (this one automatically adjusts when they pay the retainer)
7. Planning (this is when we’re planning all the shoot details)
8. Editing (this is after I’ve shot their session and I’m in the editing phase)
9. Upload gallery (this is after their gallery has been edited & needs to be uploaded to Pic-time)
10. Send gallery (this is after I’ve sent their gallery to them & am waiting to receive their picks)
11. Finalize edits (this is when I’m finalizing their favorite images from the session)
12. Deliver finals (when the finals are ready to be sent off)
13. Blog session (when I need to blog their images)
14. Completed (when their workflow is complete)
15. Testimonial request (an email requesting a testimonial about 3 weeks after their session)
16. Archived – after they’re through the complete workflow, they’re sent to the archives
3. Honeybook App
One of the MAJOR pro’s to Honeybook vs. other CRM’s is that they have a mobile app.
And not only do they have an app; it’s beautiful and super easy to use. (I use it all the time to manage my biz when I’m traveling, which is like- all the time!) ✈️
Once you get your HB account setup, you’ll have all of your pricing info and packages saved as templates, so in order to send all of your info over, it’s literally just a few clicks, and then BAM- your info is headed straight to your potential clients without you having to skip a beat, (or stress over responding. 😉 Yeah, I know you’ve done it, too!)
Here’s a look into three different screenshots of inside the app & what it has to offer: 👇🏼
Honeybook’s templates are seriously life-savers. You can create a template for pretty much everything in HB.
Need some canned email responses? Done and done. You can easily create a template (I have one for each type of email I’m regularly sending,) and then just allot for a few paragraphs that you can customize for each specific client. Doing this saves me a TON of time. (No more chillin’ in inbox city half the day!)
(Yes. I’m embarrassed to say I used to write literally every single email from start to finish from scratch… so responding to inquiries took me literally forever. 🙈)
There’s the option for templates in more than just emails. Need a contract template you can easily plop into each project, plug a name and date into and send off? Done! Invoice templates? Got those, too! Questionnaires? Yep! You name it, it’s in there- and there’s a template for it. #winning 😎
Here’s a few different screenshots of some options for templates, and an inside look at how you customize them:
In this example, I’ll be showing you a proposal template and how easy it is to send one of those off!
So I hit the “New File” button in the top right, and select “Proposal,” and then this window pops up:
Here’s a look inside an actual proposal! You’ll see three buttons on the left: 1) the proposal 2) the invoice and 3) the contract! It’s all viewed in a three-part document, so after they view they can sign and pay at the same time! 🙌🏼
5. Workflows & Tasks
Inside each project, you can designate a workflow; which is essentially a pre-set list of tasks that will automatically be completed if/when you say so.
Think of it like this: if A happens… then B.
You can completely customize this, as well as pause your workflow whenever you need to. Most people have them set up for specific shoot types, i.e. weddings, couples, seniors, etc.
Here’s a look inside the options for setting up a workflow:
Think about it, how much time could you really be saving with an automated workflow, that actually worked? 😅
I could honestly go on and on about how incredible Honeybook is and how much it’s changed my business and life- but you can totally see for yourself!
If you use the link below, you can sign up for a free trial; and at the end, if you decide you’re as obsessed as I am… you can sign up, and get 30% off! 😎
This is the exact system that simplified my life, organized my biz, and doubled my inquiries and bookings in ONE month! 💃🏽
Take some time and organize the back-end of your business. Your future clients will thank you.
This is what I do EVERY year in order to take on the busy season by storm, and it’s my top tip for being as productive as possible all year long. 😎
Got any q’s for me? Drop ’em below in the comments, and I’ll be sure to pop in and answer ’em best I can! 🥂
*Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links, and I’d so appreciate it if you used ’em! Affiliate links help me continue to show up and serve you guys for free each week; so you really win in the end! 😉
If you need help building, growing, and/or systemizing your photography business, totally reach out and book a free strategy call with me. Helping you flourish is what I do best. 😉
If ya liked this little gem, you’ll LOVE this guide on how to create a photography business with zero competition. (Cause that’s what we all want, right!?)
Wanna stick around and stay learnin’? I knew I liked ya. 😉
Feel free to binge on these blog posts, or pin ’em on Pinterest for later! 👇🏼
If you’re short on time, follow me on Pinterest – and you’ll get these kinda tips delivered straight to your feed! You know… when you’re scrollin’ through Pinterest with coffee in hand, ready to take on the day… or, procrastinate.
Whatevs. Pinterest biz sesh, anybody!? 😎🥂