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So you just got off a consult with the dreamiest of clients and you’re confident you totally nailed the call.

But don’t go popping the bubbly just yet! Because you haven’t officially locked down that sale and landed that client until you have a signed contract and payment in hand.

This is known as the client onboarding process, and how you handle it can mean the difference between being fully-booked out in your business and always getting ghosted at the last minute.

One thing I love about Honeybook is that everything from inquiry to launch day can be handled and stored all in one place, and my client doesn’t need to log into 50 different apps or softwares to work with me.

So in today’s video/post, I’ll be sharing the 4 Honeybook features I love for creating the ultimate client onboarding experience.

Some of the tips & tools I mention build off of what was shared in the first video in the Honeybook for web designers series, which was all about using Honeybook to streamline the inquiry process…

So if you have yet to watch that first video, I’ll link it here for you.

4 tools to use when onboarding web design clients in Honeybook

Tool #1

Honeybook Invoicing

Fun fact: I don’t actually send custom proposals…

I go through my exact reasons in this video, but basically it was creating extra work for me as the designer, and more red tape for the client when my prices and packages were already clearly listed for them to see on my website.

So instead, I skip straight to sending them their invoice to reserve their spot on my calendar.

So let’s look at how to do that right inside Honeybook.

How to create an invoice in honeybook

To save yourself time in the future, you’re actually going to start by creating an invoice template, rather than creating one for a specific client.

So head to tools > templates > invoices and hit create new.

If you offer more than one type of package, you’ll want to create a separate template for each.

So for this example, I’ll create my two week website package invoice.

Type the name of your template in the top left of the window. Your client won’t see this, it’s just for your purposes behind the scenes.

Then add in the name of your package as a line item. You can always edit the line item and add additional à la carte items when you go to send it to your client.

Include a short description of what’s included in the package, and the price.

Then, head down to the payment schedule section.


Setting up a payment schedule for your invoice in Honeybook

Click to add as many payments as you like. So for this example, say I’d like to receive payment in 3 installations. One being due the day the invoice is sent, one at the halfway mark, and one when I go to hand over their finished design.

I’ll just keep clicking add another payment until I have the correct number of payments.

Next, I need to tell Honeybook how to split up the payment amounts. Will they be divided into 3 equal payments, or do I want to be able to set a custom percentage or amount for each one?

Then, I will tell Honeybook when each payment is due.

You can use automatic dates like due upon receipt, or a certain number of days or week before the project day which in this case is launch day, select custom dates from a calendar, all of which can be edited when you go to send the invoice to a specific customer.

You can even save your payment schedule as it’s own template to be used with the invoices you create for your other packages.

You can customize the cover photo at the top of your invoice by clicking the little image icon, and uploading your own image or on-brand graphic.

To preview your template, you’ll want to hit the little eye icon at the top.

Your client will be able to view the invoice and when each payment is due, as well as decide whether or not they will allow future payments to be automatically charge to the card on file.


How to send an invoice in honeybook

Now that your template is created, you won’t have to go through all those steps again each time you want to land a new client.

You just head into your client’s project you created when they first inquired, and select new file > invoice, then select your invoice from the list of templates.

Make any tweaks you want, like adding extra line items for things they have requested that aren’t included in their package, or changing due dates and then hit next.

You can type up an email to send with your invoice, or select from your list of templates and tweak for that client as needed.

When you’re happy with how that looks, press send!


Accepting payment through Honeybook

Once payment is received, Honeybook will automatically send the funds to your bank account.

To set up or edit your banking details in Honeybook, just click your profile picture in the top right, and head under company settings and bank details.



TOOL # 2

Honeybook Contracts

At the same time you are sending your invoice, you’ll want to send over your web design client contract as well.

Setting up your first contract in Honeybook takes a bit of time, so again, we will want to create it as a template first so that it can be used for endless clients later on.

How to create a web design client contract template in Honeybook

To create your first contract template, head to tools > templates > contracts.

Name your contract, and add whatever photo or graphic you like to the cover photo area.

Honeybook has a handful of contract templates for creatives you can use when just getting started, but I really do recommend purchasing a contract that is specific to web design to make sure your business is properly protected in the event of anything unpleasant happening.

My favorite place to shop for custom contract templates is the Creative Law Shop.

Copy and paste your template text into the template builder, and then start adding in the appropriate fields.

So if my template indicates that this part of the contract needs to say my client’s name, I select the text I want to replace and click add custom field.

There’s an entire list of custom fields to choose from, most of which will auto-populate based on the information you entered when setting up their project space in Honeybook.

You can choose whether or not you will allow that auto-populated field to be edited by the client, or even leave it open for the client to fill themselves by selecting the must fill setting.

Once you have added in all the relevant fields your contract calls for, go ahead and preview what it will look like from the client’s end.

By the way, you don’t actually have to add a line or space for the client to sign, since Honeybook automatically generates that for you at the bottom of any contract you create.



How to use Honeybook to send & sign contracts

To use your new contract template, click use this template and type in the name of the client you wish to send it to.

Or just head to their project, click new file > contract and select your template from the list.

It will open an email composer for you to include a note with the contract, or you can select from your list of email templates to tweak and send instead.

Honeybook will notify you when the client has signed so you can sign it as well.

Once the contract is signed, the next step is to send your client their welcome package!


Tool #3

Using Honeybook workflows to send a client welcome package

You can choose to build your welcome package right inside Honeybook buy using that brochure builder I mention in the first video of this series, or you can choose to create it in something like Adobe illustrator or Canva first, before uploading it as a file to Honeybook.

To automate the sending of your welcome package, you’ll want to build a new workflow.

Head to tools > automation > new automation.

how to Send your welcome package using honeybook brochures

If your welcome package was created as a brochure inside Honeybook, then you will want your first action to be send a brochure.

Select the name of the brochure you want to send, which of your email templates you’d like to send along with it, and when you’d like to send it.

So in this case, I want my welcome package to be delivered the minute that first payment is made. So I will select 0 days after first payment is made.

Then I tell Honeybook whether to send it automatically or allow me to approve before sending.


how to Send your welcome package using an uploaded file

Now let’s look at how to send a welcome package created outside Honeybook.

I’ll still create a new workflow, but this time I’ll select send an email instead.

I can use the drop downs to choose which email template to send and when to send it, but you’ll notice there’s no place for me to attach a file.

This is because the file gets attached to the email template itself.

So I will navigate back to a page that shows my main menu and select tools < templates > emails.

Once my email is drafted, I hit the little paper clip icon to attach my file. Now, every time I select that template to use with a client, the file will automatically be included.

So that is how you would automate the sending of a welcome package on autopilot.

But what about collection client homework, and all the information I need to get started with their site build?


Tool #4

Honeybook Questionnaires

My next favorite tool for ensuring a smooth, professional client onboarding process is Honeybook’s built-in Questionnaire feature.

I love to use questionnaires to learn more about what the client is envisioning when they dream about their new website.

You would have already heard the basics during the consult call, but now it’s time to ask some in depth questions to help inform your design decisions as your build their site.

How to create a client questionnaire in Honeybook

So let’s pop back into our templates (by going to tools > templates > questionnaires) and hit create new.

To add in your first question, just start typing in the question box.

To edit a question, just click on it, and change the placeholder text and whether or not this will be a required field.

I love to use questionnaires to learn more about what the client is envisioning when they dream about their new website.

If you want something other than an open ended text response, then click add question or section and select from the question formats they provide.

So you can add in a short or long text answer field, multiple choice, boxes to check, a list to select from, or even add prebuilt sections which you then customize.

If you’re unsure of what sort of questions to be including in your client questionnaire, you’ll want to check out this video on what to ask your client before you start designing.


How to automatically send questionnaires after you land a client

Just like we automated the sending of the welcome packet, we can also automate the delivery of our questionnaire.

So open up the workflow you already created for your welcome package by going to tools > workflows.

Then click the plus sign to add a new action to your workflow.

In this case, you want the action to be send a questionnaire.

Then, just like you did with the welcome package, you select which template to send, which email will accompany it, when you want it send, and whether or not it will require approval before sending.


So why automate any of this? 

Say you sent your contract and invoice to your client on a Monday, immediately after hopping off the consult call.

Your client lets you know they need a few days to run it by their team.

It’s now Thursday at 4:45 PM and your client finally has a moment to sit down and review and sign your contract and get that first payment made.

But you already made plans to take a long weekend, and won’t see that notification until the following Tuesday.

You don’t want your client waiting all that time, wondering what happens next now that they’ve parted with their hard earned investment.

You want to be able to thank that client, and send them those next steps right away, giving them the confidence that they made the right decision in hiring you.

So automating means that no matter where you are or what you’re doing, your client will always be getting the prompt, professional responses they deserve!


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Honeybook for web designers: 4 tools for better client onboarding