Being in the season of planning my own wedding has given me a WHOLE new window of insight into what it’s like from my clients’ perspectives as they plan their big day! Keeping track of emails, contracts, paperwork, etc. gets super overwhelming really quickly. There are a million decisions to make and details to consider…it’s a lot.
As a wedding photographer, part of the experience that I create for my couples involves making the photography part of wedding planning, (working with me), stress-free, easy, fun, and enjoyable! I really believe that the wedding photography experience should be something that ultimately impacts my couples’ lives and their relationship with each other in a positive way!
I could literally talk for hours about all the different things I do to cultivate a high-level client experience, (it’s kind of my jam), but today I want to focus on one of the big pieces of the back end that plays a huge role in this: HoneyBook!
I’ve used HoneyBook for nearly five years now and it has been one of the biggest assets to my business! If you haven’t heard of HoneyBook before, it’s is a client management platform for creative small businesses, that allows you to keep track of clients & leads, create workflows, send contracts, accept payments, collaborate with other vendors, and SO many more things all in one place!
There are TONS of different features that make HoneyBook an amazing tool for small business owners, but for this post I’m going to focus on the top three ways that I use HoneyBook to level up my client experience!
I cannot stress enough how huge it is to have a streamlined process for signing contracts and accepting payments. Whenever I would tell clients that they could sign the contract digitally and submit payments online in the same portal through bank transfer or credit card, I can’t tell you how many times, I’d hear things like, “Oh that’s amazing!”, or “That’s so EASY that’s great!”. Until I’ve started experiencing the other side of things being a bride myself, I thought it was really typical for contracts and payments to be a simple online process. But I’ve found out that’s not the case! Having a simple contract signing process and payment options is a big deal. That’s something that can separate you from the pack and give you a competitive edge, all while making your clients’ lives SO much easier! As a bride, it gets tedious having several PDF contracts emailed to you that you need to print out and sign and then email (or snail mail) back! It can be tedious to have to write and mail checks to pay for things. Making it as simple as possible for your clients by providing an all in one portal to sign contracts, and choose payment options is awesome, and a simple way to enhance their experience with you!
To make things EVEN easier for your clients, HoneyBook will send reminders when payment due dates are approaching, and even gives your clients the option to set up automatic payments! Being a bride, I’ve learned that every vendor you book has different payment structures and timing, and to be honest it is a LOT to keep track of! Taking one more burden off your clients’ plate – remembering when payments are due – is the icing on the cake!
Not only do my clients love and appreciate the simplicity of it, but it also makes MY life easier as a business owner! I don’t need to worry about reminding clients when payments are due, or going to the bank to deposit checks, etc. It’s honestly a win-win all around.
This short video will walk you through what the proposal, contract, and payment screens look like from the client view! 🙂
Getting to know my clients and their relationship on a personal level and building genuine connections is one of the most critical parts of my client experience. Your wedding day is one of the biggest, most important days of your life. Not only is it super important to get great photos of your day and all the memories from it, but I personally believe that it’s just as important to have a connection with your photographer. Your wedding photographer should not feel like a stranger following you around with a camera. Your photographer should feel like a close friend who’s there alongside you on your big day to capture your memories.
When you think about it, that’s kind of a big undertaking – to build a meaningful connection while only meeting in person probably less than a handful of times between consultation and the wedding day. While the initial coffee date, engagement session, timeline chat, client gifting, being friends on social media, etc. all play big roles in building that relationship, I have another favorite tool that helps me do this: Questionnaires!!
With HoneyBook you can create questionnaires, that your clients can easily fill out, and will all be kept within your event work space for quick future reference. I use HoneyBook questionnaires for everything – from a timeline questionnaire to get the info to start building their wedding day timeline, to an engagement session questionnaire, family formal questionnaire, vendor questionnaire…but my all time favorite is my “Getting to Know You” questionnaire! Shortly after a couple books me for their wedding, I send them a getting to know you questionnaire! In this questionnaire I ask all sorts of questions about my clients and their relationship! From fun questions like, “What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?”, and “What song is your JAM?” to relationship questions like, “What’s one thing you love about each other?” and “Tell me the story of your first date!”, this questionnaire helps me really get to know my couples on a deeper level!
I also design this questionnaire in a way that I also share my responses to the questions so that my couples get to know me too! A relationship is a two way street, and I think that helps build an even more authentic connection!
From the client perspective, my videographers (ToneMedia – they are amazing!!) sent me a similar kind of questionnaire to fill out after we booked them! I LOVED taking the time to sit with my fiance Ryan, and fill in this questionnaire all about us and our story! Not only did it show me that they care about us and our story, but it also was a sweet little wedding planning memory we have now. Wedding planning can be so hectic and crazy that little things like a relationship questionnaire can be so refreshing and centering to get re-focused on what really matters most in this season! As a vendor, being able to provide an experience like that is INVALUABLE!
You can see a screen shot of part of my “Getting to Know You” questionnaire below!
You may be thinking, “All these questionnaires and things sound great but how the heck do you know when to send them? How do you remember all these little things? And how do you know when to expect answers back or follow up, etc?” Enter: HoneyBook Workflows.
This is one of my favorite features, and something that makes HoneyBook stand out in my opinion! In HoneyBook, you can create workflow templates that you can apply to each project to help you create a client experience that’s consistent across the board! Working with 30 couples a year is a lot to keep to track of. Knowing when to send out questionnaires, or when to send certain emails, etc. could easily get lost in the shuffle if I didn’t have workflows set up for each client.
I have different workflows for wedding clients, engagement sessions (with & without weddings attached to it), and wedding albums! So once I have one of those projects enter my HoneyBook pipeline, I apply the relevant workflow to the project. I’ll be able to see in my HoneyBook tasks when it’s time for me to send the next questionnaire, or when I need to send an email about prepping for the engagement session, or when I need to send out a welcome gift, etc. I spent a lot of time crafting a client experience for my couples, and having it all outlined in a HoneyBook workflow keeps me on track to provide that experience consistently across the board to all of my clients! If I had to remember when to do all of these things without a workflow system keeping me on target, it would be so easy for things to slip through the cracks. And if client experience is something you truly value, keeping that consistency is key!!
Photog friends, I know that investing in a client management system is a really big deal, and so does HoneyBook. They help you set up your contracts, questionnaires, pricing/packages, and bring over projects you’re working on. Plus, the team gives you 60 days to make sure you love it!
When it comes to client management systems, you’ve got to find the one that works best for you, fills your needs as a business, and makes the most sense for you. For me, that system is HoneyBook. Hands down! I’ve tried several client management systems, and none have resonated with me the way HoneyBook has. I’m super passionate about creating an impactful client experience, and I’m also passionate about HoneyBook because it helps me do that. That is why I am a HoneyBook Educator! If you want to give HoneyBook a try, or if you have any questions about HoneyBook that I can answer for you, I am always happy to help!
Did you find this post helpful!? You might also like this post all about groom details, and why they’re important!