What is Honeybook? At its core, Honeybook is a client management system, or CMS. Honeybook is also sometimes referred to as a CRM system or Client Relationship Manager. So you can tell that Honeybook is made for managing client relationships.
There are so many CMS platforms out there for creative entrepreneurs, but Honeybook’s focus is on wedding industry professionals like photographers, invitation designers, wedding planners, DJs, wedding venues, etc. If you’re thinking about using Honeybook for your wedding business, then you’re definitely on the right track!
Today I’ll dive into how to use Honeybook as a small business owner, but here’s a brief overview into the system in case you’re a visual person! Our YouTube channel also shows comparisons to Honeybook alternatives, including 17Hats, Hello Bonsai, and of course – Dubsado. Check those out if you want to compare and contrast all these Client Management Tools!
Let’s get the hard part out of the way first – how much is Honeybook? If you are a new business, it’s tough to invest in these monthly subscriptions. But if you asked me “Is Honeybook worth it?” my answer would be a resounding YES. The truth is, it doesn’t matter if you decide to go with Honeybook or one of the other CMS platforms mentioned above, but no matter which system you use – if you work with clients, you need a client management system.
Having a Client Management System for your small business will pay for itself many times over every month. Here are a few ways I make more money with Honeybook:
And the best thing is that you can get started with Honeybook for around $5 or less. At the time of writing this post – they’re offering $1/month for your first 8 months. You have to use a special link (here’s mine!), and this promotion doesn’t have an end date. If it’s not working for you, then never fear. You can still get started for only $4.50/month (here’s a different link for that).
Here are the Honeybook Pricing Plans. Keep in mind using my link will get you 50% off these prices!
Again, using my discount link (or code LANEY) will get you 50% off these prices.
Okay now that we know how much Honeybook costs, the question is, what is it doing for your business? What even is a CRM or CMS platform, and how can it help you?
A Client Relationship Management platform, at a base level, is going to keep track of all your client and project details in your business. Early CRMs were basically advanced phone book databases where you could keep notes and information for your clients. They’ve come a long way since then, and Honeybook is no exception.
Here are a few things that Honeybook can do for your business:
We’ll dive into a few of my favorite features.
Honeybook’s invoicing platform is one of the best out there. It’s simple to use, easy to template, and you can use pre-set packages or create new line items on the go. You can even add pictures of your items to your invoices.
Probably the best part about Honeybook invoicing is that you can combine them directly with a proposal. That is, you can send a client one file and it includes invoice, contract, and payment. Here’s a video about that:
Honeybook’s “Smart Files” are their newest beta feature, that should roll out to everyone by the end of 2022. If you want to get Smart Files a little faster than others – use my link to sign up and you’ll be on the short list.
Smart files are ways to combine lots of different things that already existed within Honeybook, with full brand customization too. Include invoices, proposals, contracts, brochures, all kinds of things, all in one “file” that your client can click right through.
Honeybook used to not have a great design proof capability, for invitation designers like me, but Smart Files changed that completely. I like to use Honeybook Smart Files for my client proofs, and here’s a look into that process:
Honeybook keeps it simple when it comes to payment processing. They process their own payments, so you don’t need to connect a separate account. Their fees are similar to all the other popular systems too, so it’s a pretty good deal!
What are Honeybook’s Processing Fees?
The Honeybook Chrome Extension deserves its own section because it’s game changing. Seriously. If you use Gmail for your business, you should test this out. It basically brings Honeybook into your inbox directly, so when you get an email from a client, you can tell which project it belongs to, and go to that project immediately straight from your inbox. It’s incredible – see it in action in this video:
Some other Honeybook features that you’ll love are:
Send contracts as templates for your clients. You can automate these within Smart Files, or include them with your proposals.
Your calendar can sync in Honeybook to keep track of all your appointments! You can even use the Scheduler feature to let clients schedule within your available hours.
Honeybook integrates with Quickbooks to make your accounting easier! I don’t believe any of the CRMs that I’ve seen can really replace Quickbooks or any other accounting-specific software, so it’s nice that these two integrate well.
One really unique thing about this system is their reporting! It’s not bookkeeping-IRS-level reporting, but it serves another purpose. Honeybook reporting is great for seeing where your leads and money are coming from, and providing data that will help drive your business. For instance, this chart will distribute your leads by source (which you can customize!), and you can chart them by Leads Value, Conversion Rate, and Time to Booked! This will help you figure out your best sources moving forward.
One of my other favorite features is the lead capture form. It’s basically a contact form you can embed on your website that will automatically bring your clients into Honeybook when they fill it out. It’s just one way that a Client Management System helps you skip steps in the whole client process.
Honeybook also includes a client portal you can use to help communicate with your clients. This portal, when activated, will house all of their documents, files, invoices, contracts, etc. and can be customized a bit to your branding. It’s a great way to avoid having to answer questions or re-send information to your clients as they can access it anytime in the portal.
Okay, I saved this part for last as it’s a little more advanced. Once you get your forms, contracts, templates, etc. built out in Honeybook, you can fully automate some of the processes! This means you do things like:
These automations are where the value of Honeybook will really kick in! Here are a few automations I use in my business as a stationery designer (and as a reminder – all of this happens without me making a single click! It’s automatic!):
These are just a few ways your automations can provide extra value to your clients. And the best part is, you don’t have to do anything once you set them up!
Now, if you’re outside of the US and Canada, or for some reason you’re not loving the interface, there are a few great Honeybook alternatives. The best alternatives to Honeybook are Dubsado, 17Hats, Hello Bonsai, and Clientjoy. I’ll explain more below, and this playlist on YouTube dives deeper into all of them!
Of course, Honeybook isn’t perfect. So what are some cons of Honeybook?
If you’re asking “What is Honeybook doing for me?” the answer is that it’s going to template-tize basically everything in your business. That’s the crux of it.
It’ll save you time, money, energy, and so much more, just keeping everything in one place. It’ll allow your business to expand. It’ll make your business look more professional to your clients. And my favorite part, which I’ve mentioned already, is that everything is in one freaking place! Once you create the template once, it’s there to use for all of your future orders forever.
Overall, I think Honeybook works well for service-based businesses in the US and Canada. They have a slight focus on the wedding industry (photographers in particular). They are great if you want a system that can process payments for you, and if you use Gmail for your business especially. Their automations could be more robust, but with Smart Files rolling out to all users soon, that will be greatly improved as well. If you want to be on the short list for Smart Files, use my link to sign up (for the record, my link also gets you 50% off so it’s a win-win).
Hi, I'm Laney!
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I make wedding invitations and I teach artists how to work smarter, make money, and run a business that works for you.
Helping stationery designers start, grow, and scale their businesses
Wedding invitations to tell your story, and business education to help you write your own.