This post contains affiliate links to tools I love and actually use in my own business and I might get a kickback at no additional cost to you!
Running an online business is hard. Running a creative online business is even harder.
Why? Well, we are kinda not made with systems built into our brain. And a good OBM will help you setup the right systems for you, and those will typically use a good CRM.
My top choice? Honeybook ✨
I run a branding and web design studio, and it’s no joke when you have to keep track of every project and make sure all the forms are organized while the leads are getting in the system. So I rely on Honeybook to help me keep all me project flowing in a smooth and organized manner. You can grab Honeybook for $1/mo for 8 months with code “penguin”! (Seriously, only $1 a month for 8 months…no risk testing at it’s finest!)
But this starts before clients are booked actually, Honeybook has lead capture forms that you can embed into your website (you can see mine on my Contact page). Now, if you’ve used other lead capture forms from other CRMs in the past you know it can be a pain to make them look good and might even need some code (I know my old one took A LOT of code) to make it truly feel part of your website.
Well: Honeybook lead capture forms can be customized right inside their platform! For real! Fonts, colors, types questions… a lot of good stuff. So when I moved to Honeybook that was one of the first sighs of relief I did lol. And really everything will feel like your brand with your logo and even custom images:
But I think that most importantly, I’m with Honeybook because of two main reasons: Automations + Customer Service.
Why automations? Because running your businesses should be a repeatable action that ensures excellent customer service on every touch point. Honeybook allows me to give a great experience to my leads, while making it functional to me by asking all the right questions, sending me alerts (they even have a mobile app! More on that later), and sending my clients and leads emails automatically to keep the ball rolling.
For example, as soon as a lead comes through I have a workflow set to greet them with an autoresponder to let them know I got their inquiry (instant acknowledgment), and by checking a box (either from my desktop or my phone) after I read their inquiry info, if it’s a good fit, it sends them my scheduler to helps us connect further.
Just by checking that off. That simple.
And they have a lot of features to make your business life easier, not just Worflows:
One I use all the time is the Scheduler, which is actually new. But this is so good because it integrates with my Google calendar and keeps things super organized so there is never an overlap with a previews meeting!
And as with everything, it’s customizable! So you can make it fit your typical structure, but here’s an example of my real pipeline, from inquiry to completion.
I’m not joking when I say stellar. That is actually what pushed me off from my past CRM, when you are just another number and their platform keeps glitching on your clients and it’s costing you money, you expect some kind of damage control or at the very least kindness… But I didn’t get that with my last CRM, so I was hunting for a good platform that actually cared: Honeybook freaking cares.
Every customer service interaction, even with silly questions, or with helping with a verification code that was just not arriving to my phone, they were always so kind and actually helpful!
And there’s one more thing that you will immediately experience with customer service, even if you don’t have a chat with direct support:
Can you imagine moving all your contracts, sub-contracts, and forms to a new platform after 3 years of using a different system? Yeah, I was preparing for a nightmare.
But oh, little did I know, upon signing up with Honeybook I got a nice email all about their Concierge service. You send them your forms and contracts in any format and they will input them into the system for you so they are waiting ready to be used as you setup your account. 🤯 Mind blown.
I can attest to the fact that any format works because my old CRM did not allow me to export a simple PDF without jumping through hoops, so I exported a PNG. I’m not joking, a PNG. How awful of me, but Honeybook delivered! They added my contracts and subcontracts and my most used forms, all free of charge!
This was such a life saver because I literally hit the ground running, as soon as I switch to my lead capture form, I was setting up my workflows and when I had to send over a proposal to a client, the contract and info was already there *cue the happy tears*.
Also: Contracts show you custom field populate on real time, as in, if you ever wonder how XYZ will look: you always see exactly what your client sees. (With my old CRM you had to always send test projects because it did not populate while you worked on it…it was a pain).
There’s so many things that make Honeybook perfect for creatives like me who run their business online:
And more awesome things like community and opportunities (I’m telling you, they genuinely care about their clients).
You’ve seen all the things I use to run my business with Honeybook but I think my two most used features are the Chrome extension and their Workflows to make it hands off to really focus on my client interaction.
The chrome extension is amazing. Do you even get an email from a lead who is a referral or they found you through a different source, or they just simply did not fill out your contact form? It’s usually a pain to get them in your CRM system manually…. but Honeybook has a Chrome extension to help you get them into your Honeybook pipeline with a click of a button. For real. I use that so much because I truly believe I can serve my clients better when I can give them the full experience, so I get them in the Pipeline so I can serve them better. Thanks Honeybook 💜.
The other feature I use a ton is…you guessed it: Workflows. I like to be able to have Workflows ready to trigger so I am not wondering “ok so now I need to send…”, nope, I set my workflows with all my canned emails and I don’t have to think about it and I just let them run automatically and pay attention for when the system tells me I have a task like reviewing a form or email before sending.
Yes, you will sit and create those workflows in the beginning, and I highly recommend you even make them on a notebook first just to run through them with a birds eye view, and then you implement in Honeybook.
It’s going to be one of your best tools to always deliver top-notch customer experience to your clients. This is like setting up a safety net to never let anything slip through the cracks! 😉
Honeybook is a powerful client relationship management software (CRM) that helps you run your business in a smooth streamlined way so you can book clients with ease and get paid faster. Like I’ve mentioned above with my own business, it will help you manage your clients and business from the moment they inquire, to booking, and following up till completion.
I’m now a Honeybook educator, and I am so proud to say so, because let me be super honest here: sometimes when we’re going over strategy on a client brand strategy session, and we are talking systems to achieve certain goals if they need to have a CRM, I can fully recommend Honeybook to them and know they will be taken care of.
I was so scared to recommend my old CRM because I wasn’t sure if they would get a good customer rep that day, or not… I want the best for my own clients, and I needed a tool I use and could wholeheartedly recommend.
I’m really glad I switched to Honeybook.
You can grab Honeybook for only $1/mo for 8 months with code “penguin”!
I'm Ingrid, welcome! I'm a branding designer + Showit Design Partner, doggy mamma, and tea drinker.
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I’m a designer with a magic touch for monetizing websites. I’m also a tea-lover, dog momma, Ravenclaw, INFP and 2w3 (for all you personality-test nerds like me).
I’ve also been called a Showit website expert (been with them since 2013), and a sucker for understanding customer journeys, brand psychology, and consumer and sales psychology. My clients have some pretty cool results after working together, things like doubled shop conversions, booked-out services in weeks, and increased monthly revenue, among other cheer-worthy celebrations.
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