For the past three years that I've been in business, I've tried countless different online tools and software for running my business. And while I've changed and found the things that I truly love and that serve my business needs best, one thing that hadn't changed was my client management software.
When I started working with clients, I eventually graduated from using Harvest (for time tracking + invoicing) and DocuSign (for contracts) to using 17Hats (for invoicing, contracts, and proposals) and Toggl (for time tracking).
And I've been using 17Hats ever since. But I've also been supplementing it with Streak, which is a CRM for your Gmail inbox. Essentially, it gives you the pipeline view of all your clients and their project status inside of your inbox, which is something I really enjoy seeing.
Now, I had known about HoneyBook for awhile, but I always assumed it was too geared towards photographers to use as a non-photographer. And while there is a trend of client management software being first built for photographers and catered to the rest of us creative business owners, HoneyBook has done an amazing job of making sure that everything works -- no matter what industry you're in.
Because of my fondness (and familiarity) with 17Hats, it was going to take a lot for me to want to switch. But HoneyBook exceeded all of my expectations! Today I'm going to share the four things that made switching to HoneyBook a no-brainer for me.
When I login to my HoneyBook account, I can see all of my projects in the pipeline and immediately know where each client is in the process:
Then, when I click on any client's name I am immediately taken to their project's workspace and can view all of our correspondence, files, and tasks. Having everything in one place makes things SO much simpler!
It also means that my inbox is more simplified as well, which is fantastic. Instead of having Streak installed, and taking up a lot of space visually, I am able to focus on just my emails when I'm inside of my inbox.
I am also in love with the simplified process for sending documents inside of HoneyBook! Where it used to take me 10-15 minutes to create and send a proposal with the corresponding invoice and agreement, it now takes me less than five minutes inside of HoneyBook.
INTUITIVE USER INTERFACE
Everything you could possibly need is easily accessible under the Tools tab. This means you aren't clicking around trying to find anything, because it's all at your fingertips.
All of the categories are also incredibly easy to figure out, and things are exactly where you'd expect them to be, whereas 17Hats' were a bit less logical.
Inside of the client workspace, it is also super easy to figure out what is where, and how to access everything. I love how HoneyBook has everything laid out, because it just makes sense.
The first tab you have inside of the client workspace is the activity -- all the emails you and the client have sent. I love that you are able to send emails straight through HoneyBook (again, spending less time in your inbox!) and everything will sync with Gmail.
You can also easily see the stage of the client project, if the client has read your emails or not, see all the participants, and any tasks you have that are specific to that client project.
Again, everything is very intuitively laid out so you don't have to waste time wondering where anything is. This means that you are super organized AND spending less time in the admin side of your business. It's a win-win!
If you've ever talked to me about systems (or read any of my other blog posts), then you probably know that workflows are my favorite thing in the world. Especially if they're automated! And while 17Hats does have a workflows feature, it was never robust enough or easy enough to use for me to really bother with it.
I'm able to map out the ENTIRE process from when I receive an inquiry to following up after a migration is completed.
I love that you can choose whether or not an email needs to be approved before sending, because it allows you to customize the emails if necessary and delay sending if the project timeline shifts at all.
This keeps me on track for every single thing I need to do.
And because every email and file template already lives inside of HoneyBook, it takes me hardly any time at all to actually complete any of these tasks.
I also never have to worry about if I'm missing a step, or if anything hasn't been sent to the client.
Because workflows can change and evolve as you offer your service, I love that HoneyBook makes it super easy to add steps and rearrange your workflow steps.
This allows your workflows to be living things -- not something that is completely set in stone.
AMAZING REFERRAL PROGRAM
So this technically isn't part of the software, but I am honestly just blown away by HoneyBook's referral program. When you join HoneyBook, you're automatically able to give a 20% savings to anyone who joins through your unique link, which is amazing!
BUT after you transact $2000 through the platform, which is really easy to do if you're active on it, you can share a 50% savings to anyone who joins through your unique link. This seriously blows my mind, because I've hardly seen a referral program this generous.
So, if you're curious about HoneyBook and want to give it a shot, go ahead and click the button below to start your free 14-day trial! If you upgrade to a paid membership, you'll save 50% off of your subscription ;)
AND if you join through my link, and move to a paid membership, I'll hop on a 60-minute complimentary call with you to answer any questions you have about using and setting up HoneyBook!
DISCLAIMER: This blog post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. I only recommend products that I use and love. Thank you for your support!