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Honeybook is the hands-down the Queen of CRMs (client relations management software) for creative service-based business…making it hella-easy for you as a web designer to create a super-sexy, on-brand, high-end-feeling client-experience!
But when you are first getting started, the pressure to not totally mess things up and embarrass yourself in front of your clients is REAL!
So today I’m sharing my quick list of settings to double-check so that you can make sure your start > finish client process goes off without a hitch!
But before you start trying to automate all the things, I strongly suggest you take the time to outline your entire client process on paper first so you don’t miss any important steps when setting up your new project workflows in Honeybook.
Action step: Use my Free Client Process Template For Web Designers to outline your rock-solid, repeatable process you’ll use the same way with every client.
Then use the checklist below to make sure your process is properly set up in Honeybook and ready to start using with your next client!
I’ll be sharing my complete list of settings to look for below… but if you want to download an actual checklist that will allow you to tick off the boxes as you go, let me know by popping in your contact deets below, and my team will be happy to send you a copy!
This is a list of general set-up to-do’s before you start using Honeybook to communicate with clients.
Add your profile photo (Profile icon top right > my account > change photo)
Add your branding elements (Profile icon top right > company settings > company brand)
Main button color
Default header image: to assign a default branded banner/header image to documents you create inside Honeybook. (You can edit these individually later if you want something other than the default)
Additional branding images: any other images you’d like to have access to when creating client documents inside Honeybook.
Any additional photos, or files, graphics or brand collateral you’ve created outside of Honeybook can be uploaded to your library at anytime by clicking tools > library.
Custom email signature
Set your business preferences (Profile icon top right > company settings > preferences)
Lead sources: so clients can choose from a dropdown list to let you know how they heard about you.
Don’t skip this step! Honeybook uses this info to automatically generate behind the scenes reports for you so you know how to improve your business and marketing down the road!
(These reports can be found under tools > reports btw!)
Project details: so you choose which details Honeybook will prompt you to fill out when creating a new project (or will automatically populate for you when a project is created via an automation!)
Project types: so you can easily assign entire workflows and automations to a new project just by telling Honeybook what type of project it is. (ie. Web Design, Branding, Consulting)
Notification settings: how and when would you like Honeybook to alert you of project updates?
This can also be edited by clicking the notification bell top right and clicking the little filter icon in the notification dropdown window.
Actions: create automatic rules about what should happen inside projects based on certain triggers.
These are just general Honeybook-wide rules you want to apply to all projects no matter the project type.
If you’d rather design custom automation workflows for each specific type of project, you can leave these toggled ‘off’ for now.
Payment reminders: customize the reminders your clients will receive for upcoming or past due payments.
Customize the appearance of your client portal (Profile icon top right > company settings > domain & client portal)
Sync your email account (Profile icon top right > company settings > integrations)
Sync your other preferred integrations (Profile icon top right > company settings > integrations)
Other integrations include Quickbooks, Social accounts, Zoom, and Calendly.
Invite your team (Profile icon top right > company settings > team)
Only add people here if you want them to have access to your Honeybook account and all files and projects. Individual collaborators can be added inside specific projects later if needed.
Connect your bank account (Profile icon top right > company settings > bank details)
Sync your bank account so that Honeybook can process client payments and place them in your account for you!
Before you can set up your Honeybook automations and project workflows, you will need to create templates for Honeybook to use when completing each step.
This is a general list of templates to consider creating in advance to make managing new client inquiries and the design process a breeze!
(But you only have to create templates for the client documents you will actually use!)
Set up your service package templates (Tools > my templates > packages)
Create a new package, then list each deliverable in that package as their own line item (ie. Custom Website Design, Custom Branding, SEO services, Website hand-off training call, etc.)
Package and service details can then be easily added to invoices and proposals with one click instead of having to type them out manually for each new client!
Set up your contact/client inquiry form(s) (Tools > my templates > contact forms)
Honebyook will use the info gathered in your forms to automatically populate each new client project.
Edit the clients details you want to capture (ie. name, email etc.)
Edit your form’s design (options > design)
Edit your form’s redirect settings (options > settings)
After they press “submit” will they receive a thank you message? Or be redirected to a custom URL on your website?
Assign a project type (options > settings)
When someone fills out this specific form, which one of your project types do you want Honeybook to automatically create for you? (ie. Web Design, Branding, Consulting)
Grab your contact form sharing link (bottom of options bar)
This link gets added to your “contact” or “inquire now” button on your site so that when a visitor clicks it, they are automatically taken to your form for that service.
Set up your email templates (tools > my templates > emails)
Create a template for each type of email you would normally send in your client handling process so that they can later be added to your automation workflows and sent with just a few clicks.
Attach relevant files
Use the paper clip icon inside the email template builder to attach any files you would would like to automatically sent to every client that receives that email (ie. a client welcome package attached to “thank you for booking” email)
Include personalized fields to automatically populate client’s name, etc.
Set up invoice templates (tools > my templates > invoices)
Edit icon and header image appearing at top of invoice if you want something other than the default appearing
Add your custom payment schedules and save them as templates
Once saved, you can easily add them to other documents like contracts and proposals in the future so you don’t have to recreate the payment plans inside Honeybook every time.
Add your service packages
Use the service package templates you created earlier to create your ready-to-send invoice templates. (ie. you create one type of invoice template you’ll use for web design clients and another you’ll use for branding & web design clients)
Set up your client contract templates (tools > my templates > contracts)
Do this before creating your proposals as you will use your contract and invoice templates to build out your proposal
Copy and paste your client contract agreement into the contract template builder
Use the auto-fill field features found in your contract template building toolbar to save you or your client having to enter those details manually each time.
Add custom fields, or fields that will auto-populate such as name, address, payment schedules, service package lists, and a company letterhead-style header.
Set up proposal templates (tools > my templates > proposals)
Now that you’ve created your invoice & contract templates, proposals allow you to send both at the same time, rather than sending two separate emails to your client the same day.
Edit icon and header image appearing at top of invoice.
Add custom payment plans (make use of payment plan templates you already created when you set up your invoice templates)
Add contract to proposal (make use of the contract templates you already created above)
Set up questionnaire templates (tools > my templates > questionnaires)
Build any questionnaires you will regularly use in your client process (ie. pre-design questionnaires, client testimonial questionnaires, design revision requests, etc.)
Edit icon and header image at the top of each questionnaire
Customize questionnaire questions & sections
Set up brochure templates (tools > my templates > brochures)
The brochure templates can be used to create welcome packages, pricing guides, project hand-off training manuals, moodboard presentations, etc.
Build out your brochure sections (Use images you’ve already uploaded to your file library, and make use of templates you’ve already created for sections that mention pricing, service packages, etc.)
Set up automatic scheduling and calendar syncing to cut down on back and forth emails with clients when scheduling things like consultation calls and to avoid accidentally double-booking!
Sync your Google Calendar (Tools > calendar > calendar tab)
Set up appointment types (Tools > calendar > scheduling tab)
If you offer different types of calls (ie. discovery calls, pre-design consultation calls, site audits, launch day hand-off calls, etc.) add each one as their own appointment type here.
Set appointment availability (Tools > calendar > scheduling tab)
Add in the days and times you’d like clients to be able to schedule each specific type of appointment.
Events that are already scheduled in your calendar, whether manually or via Honeybook scheduling, will automatically override the default availability you set here so your client won’t be able to book a time you aren’t available.
Now that you’ve created all the templates you’ll be using in your business, it’s time to use them to build out some sexy automated workflows!
Add and name your new automation (Tools > automations)
Name it according to the type of project you’ll be adding this workflow to. (ie. Web Design Client Workflow, VIP day rate client workflow.)
Add actions to your automations
Tell Honeybook what you’d like to have happen as soon as that automation is triggered, and what to do after each previous action has been completed.
When setting up your actions, select from the list of templates you’ve already created, where applicable. (ie. If your action is to send a questionnaire, select from the list of questionnaire templates you’ve already created, AND which pre-built email template you’d like to use to deliver the questionnaire to your client.)
Add delays or conditions to your actions
Once an action has been created, Honeybook gives you the option to choose when to send it (ie. ‘3 days before project start date’, ‘0 minutes after contract is signed’ if you want it to send instantly, etc.)
Edit action approval settings
Some actions can be fully automated, meaning Honeybook can send them to your client as soon as that action is triggered, without you need to lift a finger.
If you’d rather approve all actions, of you need to further personalize your templates prior to sending, toggle the approval requirement settings ‘on’ and Honeybook will notifty you that your approval is needed.
If you want something sent automatically, toggle approval ‘off.’
Pro-tip! Make sure your business notification settings you set up earlier allow for this. (Profile icon top right > company settings > preferences)
Set up automation trigger
Now that you’ve created your list of actions inside your new automation, save it and return to the automation screen to select from the dropdown which of your contact forms will trigger this automation when submitted.
Your project pipeline is where you’ll go to get an overview of all your current clients at once so you can see what stage each project is in, and make sure things stay on track and on time!
Edit the names your project pipeline stages to suit your business (main home page navigation > projects > customize icon top right)
Pro-tip! You’ve already created your super detailed workflow and automations that will live inside each individual type of project, so think of this pipeline as more like general stages that apply to any client, no matter the project type (ie. Inquiry, Follow Up, Discovery, Booking, Booked, Designing, Revision, Completed etc.)
Note: Some stages of the pipeline cannot be edited as Honeybook will automatically move your projects to the next stage for you when a specific action has happened inside your project workflows (ie. when a contract is signed, or payment is received)
Download the Honeybook chrome extension (tools > chrome extension)
Download the Honeybook mobile app (Open your Apple or Android app store on your phone > search “Honeybook” > download.)
If prompted, be sure to allow Honeybook access to your calendar, and to send push notifications.
Sync or import your contacts (main home page navigation > contacts)
Add new contacts either by syncing your Google Contacts list, importing a CSV of your contact list, or by adding them manually.
These contacts can be past clients you might hope to work with again, inquiries you received before setting up Honeybook, or other creatives you often collab with or love to refer clients to!
Importing your contacts in advance will make it easier for you to refer clients to other vendors, or add clients or collaborators to new projects.
Don’t leave it to your actual clients to be your Honeybook workflow beta testers!
Test every single process you have set up from start to finish by inquiring as if you were a client yourself using your personal email.
Here’s an example of some of the questions to be asking yourself as you test everything works the way it should!
Fill in your own inquiry/contact form
Was it easy for the client to submit your form?
Did everything look and feel on-brand so far?
Were you redirected to the right URL or thank you message so that your client will have a clear idea of what to expect now that they’ve inquired?
Was a new project automatically created when you submitted the form?
Was it the correct project type based on the form they submitted? (ie. Custom Web Design, VIP day)
Remember: you edit which project type is created for each form inside your ‘contact form’ template settings.
Was the correct automation/workflow automatically added to that project?
Remember: you edit this from your ‘automations’ page by assigning each automation to a specific type of contact form you select from the dropdown list of your form templates)
Respond to each email/file sent as if you were a client to see what happens next
Was the correct email or document sent and in the correct time frame?
Remember: this is edited in your ‘automations.’
Did the email contain all relevant attachments?
Remember: these get added directly to your ‘email templates.’ You can also require approval before sending an email so that you can manually attach documents that are only specific to that person’s project
Has all your branding in each email and file been on point?
Have all your emails made it super clear what the client is supposed to do/click next?
Have you received all the Honeybook notifications you thought you had opted into up to this point so that you never miss an important step?
Test the entire booking process
Did the client contract fields and invoices auto populate correctly based on the client’s information and packages chosen?
Did you miss creating any email or document templates that would have made this process easier on you as the designer?
Was the booking process seamless from the client’s perspective?
Was making payment easy on the client?
(Don’t worry, you can refund this through Honeybook after testing. You can also adjust the payment amount to something small like $1)
Did you receive the correct email and document immediately after making payment so your client doesn’t have to email you to ask what happens next?
Watch how the project moves through your pipeline stages
Did it automatically move through the stages?
Note: Some of your custom stages may require you dragging and dropping projects into the next stage of the pipeline automatically.
Do your stages need tweaking to make your project overview easier to monitor once you have more than one project on the go?
Basically, if there’s something your client will have to do in order to work with you, be sure to test every aspect of it first !
Or better yet, have a super non-techy friend or family member test it with you!
P.S. This is where having your client process mapped out on paper first will help, because as you’re testing things from the client’s perspective, you can verify every step you had written down happened exactly the way it should!
So don’t forget to grab a copy of my Client Process Template For Web Designers to help you map it out first!
P.S. Need a bit more ‘hands-on’ help in the Honeybook department? Check out recent “Honeybook for web designers” video series in the blog!