If I had to choose ONE thing that is a gamechanger with regard to running my business, it's HoneyBook. I can honestly say HoneyBook is a large part of why I have been able to grow my business and see success as a Los Angeles wedding photographer. I get asked questions about this ALL the time and I always tell people, "I could write a novel on this topic!"
Well, today is that day.
I'm spilling all my thoughts and personally explaining why I truly believe HoneyBook is the best choice for a platform to handle things like contracts, invoices, scheduling and payment collection. HoneyBook of course does the job I need it to (and in my option, does it best), but they're so much more than just that. I'll try to be succinct, but my goal here is to really outline my full story and help you understand why I'm so passionate about HoneyBook. This passion has transpired into me becoming a HoneyBook Business Coach, which means I get to help other creative entrepreneurs take advantage of HoneyBook and learn how to make the most of it to further the success of their business. I'm able to offer 20% off, and I'd love to hear from you to help answer any questions you have and put you in touch with the wonderful folks over at HoneyBook.
Before I dive into the specifics about what I think makes HoneyBook great, I want to give you some background on why I have somewhat of a unique perspective: before stepping behind the lens full time, I was a Senior Account Manager working with some of the largest brands in the world at various software startups. Why is this relevant? Well, because of this experience, I knew the first thing I absolutely needed when I launched my business full-time, was a platform to organize and conduct my business. My background was in using the ultimate CRM (Salesforce), so I was a super tough critic. It also means I have experience working in a fun startup environment like HoneyBook and I understand the unique challenges in building a software platform. As in... how it actually works (things like -- 'that seems like it would be SO easy to change' but actually, it's not that simple and there's so many other considerations to be made). Essentially, I see it as a user, but I also see it from a corporate perspective.
To be fully honest -- I haven't always used HoneyBook. I signed up with a different platform similar to HoneyBook and when HoneyBook contacted me about doing a demo of their platform, I saw so much potential, but I didn't fully think the functionality was there like I needed it to be. I told them to stay in touch with me, because I told myself "I'll be able to know if they're in this for the long haul and have something worthwhile to offer if they're able to build this out the way they say they're going to." Again though, because of how entrenched I was in this world previously, I knew it wasn't going to be easy.
Fast forward to a year later, HoneyBook made good on their promise and wanted to showcase all they had done and I was in absolute AWE of what they had built out in a year's time. More importantly though, I saw what they were doing with The Rising Tide Society. That spoke absolute VOLUMES to me, because it demonstrated the heart behind what they're doing and in that moment I saw how set apart they are from other platforms that can ultimately accomplish similar things for your business.
So, let's get into it -- here are the 8 reasons I believe HoneyBook is amazing and a worthwhile investment for your business:
1. LOCATION AND TOP TALENT
Did you know HoneyBook is located in San Francisco -- the heart of tech startups and the world's top talent?! This is a big deal, and here's why: HoneyBook is able to bring on top tier talent in every area of their business; from the engineers who code and fix bugs to the people we hear from and see on the support lines or signing you up.
Fun fact: HoneyBook raised $22 million in venture capital funding back in 2015 and I believe successfully went through another round recently. First of all, this is NOT easy to do, especially when there's so many different people vying for that VC money and second, it means that HoneyBook is not going anywhere and has an incredible amount of support and backing to do the things they have set out to do and to continuously move forward.
2. RISING TIDE SOCIETY PARTNERSHIP
HoneyBook funds everything that is the Rising Tide Society (#communityovercompetition) and supports creative entrepreneurs wholeheartedly. This means so much to me personally, because I really appreciate that HoneyBook exists to not just be a tool for us to all benefit from, but to really encourage, elevate and help facilitate an incredible movement that supports community. If you're a Rising Tide Society member like myself -- a lot of the free educational resources and wonderful things RTS offers are a direct result of HoneyBook. Something to keep in mind :)
3. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR: SERVICE AND SECURITY
HoneyBook is definitely not the cheapest option out there compared to similar platforms, but I can tell you why: the quality (read: security) of their product and service is without question, FAR superior. When you're dealing with the ability to collect payments online from clients, security is NOT something you want to mess around with. Period. Your business ultimately deserves the best. This alone is one thing I'm personally not willing to sacrifice for $10-$20 per month. Why? Because you stand to lose so much more in an instant with poor security than you would save. It's kind of like this quote we've all seen out there:
"If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."
With regard to service... they offer white glove concierge service!! This means they will do the heavy lifting of getting your account set up and will even transfer information you have sitting in a different system (or maybe you have it all over the place), and will get it all in HoneyBook for you. That is likely a huge barrier for several people, and it just doesn't have to be because they're willing to do it for you!
This is one of the biggest differentiators, without question. Within the platform, HoneyBook makes it easy to send my clients recommendations for other vendors, which is so helpful. They've also recently built out a social platform for creatives to connect, share their work and communicate referrals or future projects to collaborate on.
5. All - IN - ONE PLATFORM
The full functionality is there. Within HoneyBook, I can track leads, send brochures to prospective clients, send contracts, manage payment schedules and handle messaging directly within the platform. I can set up automated messages to gather info via a questionnaire, follow up on payments that are due and create timelines. Something I really love about HoneyBook is how on point the branding is. It's designed beautifully and it lends itself to be complimentary with my brand. I'm able to make several personal customizations within the system that allows J. Lee Photos to be showcased in a professional light with a clean aesthetic. My clients deserve and should expect nothing less!
6. CULTURE AND GIVING BACK
I've personally spent time at the HoneyBook offices and met so many of the faces who make HoneyBook what it is. Such a BRILLIANT and kind group of people -- wow! They are dedicated to making a difference in the world by giving back every day with what they do for creative entrepreneurs, but also with their desire for charitable giving. In fact, there's going to be a large initiative rolling out soon with the specific goal to raise money to give back and make a major impact on people who need it. They've also been recognized for their wonderful corporate culture and it's not difficult to see why when you visit in person. They were kind enough for me to just hang out and work from their office while I was in the city one day and they gladly welcome any member with open arms to do the same. Simply put -- they feel like family!
7. LESS WORK, MORE LIFE
Using HoneyBook allows me to efficiently run my business in a way that helps me feel so much freedom from the administrative and organizational tasks. It's such a relief to know everything is contained in one place and that I'm able to manage it effortlessly. That right there is worth it's weight in gold because I can say that my time is one of the most precious things to me. #lessworkmorelife
8. THE MOBILE APP
HoneyBook has done a great job of prioritizing a mobile app for members to use the platform on the go on their mobile device. It's such a lifesaver when I'm traveling and can't fully access a computer. Responding to leads is a breeze and getting important details over quickly couldn't be easier. This has had a huge impact on my ability to book prospective clients faster!
I hope you'll take some time to find out the incredible offerings and benefits of HoneyBook for yourself! Sign up for a free 14 day trial and please take advantage of the 20% off discount I'm able to extend. I can't wait for others to experience and enjoy the amazing benefits of HoneyBook! You've got this!
Inspired by the beautiful and lush emerald green color, this session highlights the beauty of simplicity -- less is more. We're honored and excited to see images from this gorgeous NYC emerald green inspired wedding editorial over on Grey Likes Weddings this month! We had a fantastic team of vendors involved with this collaboration and hope you enjoy!
Photography // Jessica Rieke of J. Lee Photos • Creative Styling // Brita Olsen Creative • Florals // Days of May Florals • Paper Goods // Chavelli Tsui • Ring // Trumpet and Horn • MUAH // Jessa Blades • Bridal Accessories // Hushed Commotion + Linsdsay Marie Design • Dress // Loulette Bride • Model // Laura Tully • Shoes // Manolo Blahnik + Gianvito Rossi • Silk Ribbon // Tono + Co • Ring Box // The Mrs. Box