Honeybook | The Game Changer For My Office Organization

February 10, 2016

Yarmouth Maine Maternity and Newborn Photographer Tiffany Farley, http://tiffanyfarley.com

I have a confession to make. For the past two years, I manually tracked and cared for all contracts, invoicing, payment plans, and workflow for my business. I still did everything online for my clients, but because I had never found a system that worked for me, I did it all myself. I used Machform for contracts, iCal for my own payment reminders (that I had to create each time), and PayPal for manual invoicing. It was a little system I created myself- it wasn’t perfect, but it worked for me as my business grew, and kept my monthly costs low. However as my business grew more and more in 2015 I saw that there was just one problem…

It was a ton of work to keep up with, especially in the busier seasons of traveling. 

I looked into, and tried nearly all the systems that were available out there. But for me, each system always came up seriously short. And if I am going to invest in something, if another expense is going to be added to my business budget, then it HAS to be worth it for me. It truly has to add value to my business, in addition to saving me time. It has to make me more productive, effective, and move my brand and business forward. 

I am a huge believer in making what you have work as long as you are able. I learned the hard way when I first started my business that you don’t always have to have what the “rockstars” have to be “successful”. We all start somewhere, and more and more I am learning that if you want to see more profit in your business, it’s not always just about raising prices, but it has a lot to do with cutting your costs, and evaluating what is a needless expense that could maybe be cut. So not having a monthly fee for a studio system, that I could manually handle on my own, was a way for me to save some expense in my business. But there also does come a time when your business outgrows things, even if they worked well for a long time.

This past year I became extremely BUSY. I was traveling so much that I felt like I was living in my car and the airport, and that’s when I started to see that my business had officially outgrown my own little manual system I had created. I needed a way to offer payment plans that could be automatic. I needed the assurance that my clients received a copy of their contract to review any studio policy questions whenever needed. I needed a step forward in how professional and branded the experience of booking my services, and making client payments felt. I needed a way to quickly auto respond to the inquiry emails coming in from my website, in a way that protected my work life balance, and personal time away from my office.

But a system that took more time and stress to USE, than it SAVED, was NOT the answer for me. And that was all I had ever found to be available. 

Until, my absolute new favorite business addition, HONEYBOOK came on to the scene. Honeybook review by Yarmouth Maine Newborn Photographer Tiffany Farley, http://tiffanyfarley.com

I began to hear about Honeybook through my involvement in The Rising Tide Society. At first, I didn’t give it much thought because I wasn’t exactly sure what it was, or if it would work for my portrait business. After all, there are many justifiable costs for wedding photographers, but not often do I find something that also works for me, someone who only specializes in photographing motherhood.  But the raving reviews started to circulate about Honeybook on social media, so I found myself interested in finding out more. It was then that the game changed. 

As a portrait photographer, here are the top features that I currently use through my Honeybook account:

  • The contact form on my website is a Honeybook widget. Any inquiry that comes in through my website automatically gets added to my “Pipeline” in my Honeybook. But I also still get this message in my gmail, so I can respond in either place. Using this widget as a contact form, allows me to send an automated customized email response to all of my inquiries. Where I use Squarespace as a website, I was coming up short for answers on how to have an auto responder for my inquiries- the most important email I receive! This way, I know that my inquiries have been sent specific information regarding my office hours, and how soon they can expect a response. This gives me such peace of mind when I am traveling, or taking weekends off to spend with my family, to still know that my inquiries feel acknowledged. This automated email response sets the expectations at the beginning for how I value my time, so I can better serve them and keep my creativity fueled!
  • I send my clients their Online Contract that reviews their Session Package for online signature. All of my contracts for different types of sessions I offer are all saved in my Honeybook account. When a client and I decide that we are a good fit, I send them one email from Honeybook that includes a link to view and read their contract, exactly what they are choosing to book, payment due dates, etc. I love that the entire booking process is completed with ONE email! (Not to mention my clients love it too!) We both are able to sign the contract quickly and conveniently online, and because I require a payment at the time of booking, it also collects that first retainer payment! When I set up their contract to send them (which is so fast and easy, it takes just minutes!) I can set up a payment plan, so all other payments from here on out after their signature will be emailed to them on their due date automatically- I don’t have to think about it at all! Ahh, love it! I also appreciate that the contracts and invoices include my logo and images of choice, so my brand presentation stays on point!

Other things I love about Honeybook:

  • It has a clean, brand friendly interface. Something I really didn’t enjoy about other studio systems was the interface. Bright colors and weird fonts are just not my jam. I want clean, white, and professional. Honeybook delivers that, and gives me the space to make sure my clients see MY brand, and not just theirs.
  • The Concierge Service. Anyone who knows me, knows that I value customer service and experience almost more than anything else when it comes to working with another business. If I have a bad experience with a company’s customer service, I remember it forever. And likewise if I have a good one! When I set up my Honeybook account- the best part was…they did it for me! All I had to do was send them my contracts, and my package details and pricing, and they did the rest. They set it ALL up for me! The only thing I had to customize myself, was giving the automated emails my own brand voice. Their help staff was so incredibly kind and patient as I navigated the new system and learned where things were, and answered all my questions quickly. There was no emailing and waiting for days, or having to go find a Facebook group to find simple answers. Their incredible customer service, and willingness to patiently help me understand how things worked, is one of their BEST features- it’s something that is very important to me!
  • It’s Mobile Responsive. I saved the home page where I login right as an app on my iPhone, so I can easily login and use Honeybook on the go whenever I need. Their website doesn’t get glitchy or hard to use when I pull it up on a mobile device, something that’s also really important to me as someone who travels often.
  • Online Payments are deposited into my bank account quickly. Honeybook ensures a 1-3 day bank account deposit wait time for my online payments and they have been true to their word. No long waits on getting paid!

Honeybook offers so many additional features that I have yet to even tap into. They offer automated questionnaires, the ability to easily connect with other vendors and referral sources right through the platform, and more! This is not a sponsored post, nor am I receiving affiliate credits by sharing any of this with you. I truly just adore this platform so much, and the experience I have had with their service team has simply been unmatched- so much so that I find it to be worth sharing with you!

If you are entering 2016 with the goal of being more professional and organized in your workflow and booking process this year, then you should definitely check Honeybook out, and start a free trial to see if they are a good fit for you and your business! Honeybook isn’t just for photographers either! Honeybook is designed to be used by all sorts of different entrepreneurs- graphic designers, event or wedding planners, and more. Seriously, head on over and see what all they raves are about!

I am SO glad that I did! 

 

UPDATE!! YOU CAN NOW SAVE 20% OFF YOUR MEMBERSHIP BY USING MY REFERRAL LINK .

  1. Dennis Bullock

    February 10th, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Sounds amazing Tiffany! Thanks for the tip and the fantastic info. When you described your previous process I was thinking…”Hey thats me!”. My growth is pushing for a change and this just may be it. Thanks again!!

  2. Natalie

    February 10th, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    Yes! This post is spot on!

  3. casey

    December 11th, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I would love to use your referral link! I am logged into the honeybook trial right now, but I don’t see your referral link having a promo code to enter for checkout. Is there one!? Loved reading your blog!

  4. Tiffanylfarley

    January 25th, 2017 at 9:45 am

    Hi Casey! Yes you can get a free month of Honeybook when you use my referral link! http://share.honeybook.com/fQSTn

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