How to Create Beautiful Online Invoices & Contracts With HoneyBook

How HoneyBook Can Streamline Your Invoice and Contract System

Are you still creating PDF invoices and contracts and storing them in a folder on your desktop, hoping you can keep track of it all? And also wondering if you’ll get that signature you need and be paid on time? Don’t worry, I’ve been there too.

But it’s time to say goodbye to PDF invoicing- there’s a better way! It’s called HoneyBook, and it’s an amazing client relationship management tool. Spoiler alert- your business is not too new or too small to use this amazing app. In my latest video, I share my favorite HoneyBook features, to help you streamline your business. So you can get back to doing what you do best!

Sign up for HoneyBook today and get 50% off your entire first year using my affiliate link here.

Transcription: The Simplest Way to Get Paid: HoneyBook for Creative Pros

If you are still manually creating invoices in a word, doc, we need to talk.

You are a professional designer and with all the technology available today, there’s no need for you to go around sending invoices, collecting payments, or chasing contract signatures.

Hi, I’m Galen. I’m a web designer. And today I’m going to share with you my favorite tool for signing on new clients and accepting credit cards so that I get paid on time. Every time.

If you are someone who’s still doing all of this manually, no judgment here because I was in your shoes at one point in my business, too.

Before I started using a CRM or a client relationship management tool, basically just an app that helps me manage all of my client communication. I too had a folder on my desktop for PDF invoices and signed contracts that I would just store there and hope that I wouldn’t lose them.

In the early days, I thought my business wasn’t legit enough to require fancy tools to run my business. But at the end of the day, when I finally implemented these tools, I realized they might’ve been the thing that was holding me back and really keeping me from scaling.

As soon as I started using a CRM, it felt like I had actually hired a mini assistant that was now taking all of these tasks that I hated doing off of my plate.

My CRM tracks all of my client projects, everything from lead all the way through to collecting a testimonial when the project is finished.

It tracks all the emails that go back and forth between me and my clients and any files that they send me.

I also love that I can see which leads I still need to respond to or who I need to follow up with again.

But my favorite thing of all is that I can send a proposal contract and invoice all in one file to the client virtually. They can review it all. They can sign the contract, the legally binding signature, and then they can fill out the invoice pay via credit card, which is super easy for them. And then I get paid without actually having to manually create an invoice.

I also set up automatic payments so that the client is automatically billed and charged at every stage of the project. So the money just shows up in my account.

So now you’re probably like Galen, tell us already, what is this tool that you speak of?

It’s called HoneyBook and I’ve been using them for over two years now. It’s really an amazing full service tool for creative service-based business owners who want a clean and tidy client process from start to finish.

Today, we’re really going to focus on the contract and invoice side of things, but they have a ton of other really awesome features, too. Like the ability to have your clients schedule appointments based on your calendar availability and automating emails that you send to your clients as well.

So, this is what a client project looks like in the backend of HoneyBook. I created a project for myself so I can become my own client. What you’re going to do when you want to create a new file is come to create new. And then I’m going to choose invoice for this situation. And I already have templates for this, but I’m going to create a new invoice using my template. And you can always use one of HoneyBook’s provided templates, or if you want my proposal contract and invoice template, you can sign up for HoneyBook at the link in the description below this video.

So we’re going to click on invoice here.

And again, it already pulls up my template. It pulls in my logo and every single invoice is going to have two parts to it. And up here with this little down arrow, you can see all the different parts to this particular smart file. So in this smart file, we have an invoice and then we have the payment page where somebody can actually pay for your invoice.

So on the invoice page, this is where we put in things like what that person’s going to be paying for, what the quantity is. And you can do it by item , hour, day, week, month, anything that you have there, you could also set this to none, if you want as well, and just have this be whatever it is that they’re buying from you and not have a particular limit to it or a unit to it. And then we’ll have the subtotal down here, which automatically gets added up based on this. You can add sub items if you want to. And it will save packages that you’ve used previously. So you can add your own items based on items that you’ve added to past invoices before. Down here in the payment schedule. This is where we’re able to set, is it a one-time payment? Is it a payment for different milestones or different dates from within the project? I can click add payment here. And it’s automatically going to segment them by equal payments. So if I add a second payment, it makes them 50 50. I can change the percentage that I want each payment to be, and it will adjust it based on that percentage.

We’re going to keep this one as one payment and you can see, I deleted the other payment and it automatically adjusted for me so that the total is always equal to the total of the invoice.

And then we’ll head over to the payment page here and on this page, they can choose whether they want to pay via credit card, bank transfer, enter their credit card number and pay the invoice, right from the link that you send them in their email.

If I click on the payment window here, this little side panel pops up where I can choose whether I want my clients to be able to pay with a credit card, pay with bank transfer or pay with both options. I usually have this set to both, but almost all my clients choose credit card. It’s just so easy for them.

You can also let clients leave you a tip if you want. And then if I have a project that is going to have multiple payments, I usually will turn on auto pay. So that way the client doesn’t have to remember to pay me by that date, their credit card just automatically gets charged.

Now you’re probably wondering how long does it actually take to get paid and what are the fees involved?

I have tested a lot of other CRMs prior to using HoneyBook. And it’s all pretty much industry standard, but for credit cards, it typically takes about two to three days from the time the client pays me in HoneyBook, until that money actually ends up in my account.

For ACH bank transfers. The process is a little bit longer. It takes about a week for the money to go into your account. But typically it’s because it has to clear the client’s account before it can get deposited into yours.

For transaction fees, because I know this is the question you’re all going to be asking. HoneyBook does have, in my opinion, a little bit higher than average transaction fees, but they’re still pretty reasonable considering everything you’re getting to complete that transaction. At the time that I’m making this video, the transaction fees are 2.9% plus 25 cents per credit card entered transaction. Meaning when the client goes to pay their invoice and manually enters their credit card, which is pretty standard across the industry, but for second payments, or if you save that client’s credit card to charge them again on an automatic payment schedule, the fee goes up to 3.4% plus 9 cents per transaction. So, for example, you’re working with a client that is going to be on a three pay plan, meaning they’re going to pay in three separate installments. The first time they enter their credit card, you are going to be charged that 2.9% and then on every additional charge that that client gets charged, that’s going to be at the 3.4% because HoneyBook is saving their credit card for you to create those automatic payments.

Bank transfers on the other hand are much lower and they are consistently across the board charged at 1.5%.

If you still decide to take cash or check, there’s obviously no fees there. Although for me personally, the fees are worth it for the convenience of having that money automatically deposited into my account.

Back when I first started accepting payments from clients online, I was wondering if I could pass those fees onto my clients. And it’s really going to depend on what state you live in. It’s very state by state. So it’s important to check your state regulations before you just add that onto your invoice as an additional cost to your client.

A lot of web designers are really scared off by these fees when they’re thinking of switching from accepting checks to accepting credit cards online. But at the end of the day, for me personally, it has saved me countless time and brain power, trying to figure out who’s paid me, who hasn’t paid me yet, whose check is late, whose check is on the way.

And then you have to go to the bank to actually deposit it.

If you were somebody who was stuck feeling like this two or 3% transaction fee is really going to cut into your profit as a designer, I highly recommend that you raise your prices and reevaluate how much you are charging for your time.

Just because you might not necessarily be able to pass that transaction fee along to your client and have them cover the cost. Doesn’t mean you can’t charge more for your services.

Also having all of your client payments stored and captured online means you have a really clear picture of how much you’re actually making and bringing in month over month. Plus with automatic payments, you know your clients are much less likely to be late on their payments because their credit card is getting charged automatically.

And at the end of the year, when you’re ready to do your taxes, you can export all of that financial information from HoneyBook. And you can even write off the transaction fees.

It’s just another cost of doing business.

Now let’s look at contracts. This is what my contract template looks like inside of HoneyBook. You can also get this when you sign up with my affiliate link in the description below. And inside of this contract, we have a nice header with your logo at the top, a brief introduction to your client. They can input their information and it will automatically pull in your information or certain fields that you have on the project, which is really helpful.

Like your start date, for example, and then all the way. Down at the bottom here, we have a spot for your clients to sign.

HoneyBook makes this so easy for your clients. You just send them an email through HoneyBook with a button to view their proposal, contract, invoice, whatever it is. And for contracts like this one where you actually need their signature to hold up in case anything were to go wrong on your project. They verify that client’s identity by sending them an email with a special link that they need to click to verify that it’s them.

Back when I first started my business, I was doing a lot more ongoing work and I had a client reach out to me a few years after we’d been working together and asked to see the original signed contract and I panicked.

I had to go back through all my files until I eventually found it on an old, external hard drive that thankfully still worked. And I was able to send it to them for their reference. But if I was using HoneyBook back then everything would have been saved in one spot and I could have found it with just a few clicks.

Whether you decide to use HoneyBook or not, I highly recommend that you start implementing some sort of client management system sooner rather than later.

It’s something I really wish I had when I first started my business, because it would have helped me stay so much more organized. And then I would have had this wonderful foundation to build my business off of.

Like I said it was like having a virtual assistant in my business without actually having to pay anyone by the hour.

If you enjoyed this video, make sure to like and subscribe and let me know in the comments, if you have any more questions about HoneyBook, because I would love to create a tutorial for you.

And if you want to learn more about HoneyBook smart files, be sure to check out this video here.

Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time.

The Benefits of a CRM (Client Relationship Management) System

Back in the day, I felt like my business wasn’t far enough along to use any sort of fancy tools (hence my chaotic folder of PDF invoices on my desktop). But as soon as I started using a client management tool, or CRM, I felt like I hired a mini assistant who took care of the things that I did not enjoy doing. It saved me so much time that I could finally focus on scaling my business.

My CRM helps me every step of the client process- from lead all the way to collecting a testimonial after the project is complete. It keeps track of emails back and forth, files sent, and which leads I need to follow up with. Running a business has a lot of moving parts, so I love that HoneyBook is a full service app for creative service-based business owners like me.

My Favorite HoneyBook Features

I’ve been using HoneyBook for over two years now, and there are so many features I love. Clients can schedule appointments from your calendar, and you can automate emails that you send to your clients as well. And of course, the ability to create beautiful contract and invoices is the star of HoneyBook for me. It truly streamlines the client process, and ensures I get paid on time, every time.

Sending Digital Contracts & Invoices with Smart Files

One of the best parts of sending contracts with HoneyBook is that everything is done virtually. The client can even sign online with a legally binding signature. Then, they pay with their preferred method- all without having to create a separate invoice.

sample of a HoneyBook contract with E-Sign

There will be two parts sent to the client. The invoice page, where you’ll put what the person is paying for, the quantity, and any sub items. HoneyBook also makes it super easy to create templates with Smart Files so you can speed up your workflow and re-use elements from files you’ve sent past clients on future projects.

sample of HoneyBook invoice

The second part is the payment page. You can specify how many payments the client will have, or if it is a one time payment. And on the payment page, you can choose if they can pay by bank transfer or credit card, or both. This is where you can also turn on autopay for remaining payments.

sample of Honeybook payment page

If you want to learn more, HoneyBook has an amazing guide about how to streamline your processes so your client experience is as smooth as possible.

I’m an affiliate for HoneyBook, because it’s a tool that I use and love myself everyday, and you can become an affiliate too once you sign up. This is a great way to earn a bit of extra income for referring your friends.

Does HoneyBook Have Transaction Fees?

The fees that HoneyBook charges for transactions is a little higher than some payment processors. For me, the little added expense is well worth it for the convenience of getting your money straight to your bank account, without having to physically deposit a check at the bank. And, you never have to wonder what check is late, or whose payment you’re waiting on- saving you lots of brain power and time.

The fees for credit card payments are 2.9% plus 25 cents per credit card entered. Every payment after from the same credit card is 3.4% plus 9 cents per transaction. Your payment should be in your account between 2-3 business days. Bank transfers are much lower, and pretty much always 1.5%. It takes about a week to get the money into your account.

For the most up to date information on pricing and fees, check out their website here.

Whether you can have your client take on the transaction fees depends on your state, so make sure you understand your state’s law. But, it’s always a good idea to use HoneyBook to see how much money you’re actually bringing in. And then raise your rates to account for these extra fees. I also set my clients up with autopay, which makes it easier for them and ensures I get paid on time.

Another great feature is that you can export all of your financial information for your taxes straight from HoneyBook to Quickbooks or just export it all into a spreadsheet for more granular reporting.

Can you customize your HoneyBook Templates?

HoneyBook has a really great new feature called HoneyBook Smart Files, which replaced its legacy files system. Smart Files allows you to combine any elements of your process. This really helps you cut down on the back and forth with clients, so you and your client can have a smooth experience. HoneyBook also verifies your client’s identity, which gives everyone involved peace of mind.

And bonus- it’s really simple to create templates with Smart Files. Then, you just send them an email through HoneyBook with a button for them to view their proposal, contract, and invoice. All of your templates are stored in one place, so you never have to worry about tracking down a PDF from an old client (been there, done that).

Try HoneyBook for 50% Off

Having a CRM like HoneyBook is such a great foundation to building your business. It’s really like having a virtual assistant that helps you stay organized, so you’re not having to track down PDF files on your computer or some external hard drive around your house. Signing up for HoneyBook is the perfect first step before you’re ready to hire, and when you do, you can even add team members to your HoneyBook account to help you manage your client projects.

I highly recommend implementing a client relationship management app for your business. And you can get HoneyBook for 50% off for a whole year. You also get my contract template when you sign up through my link. Let me know in the comments what else you want to know about HoneyBook, so I can make more videos to complete this series.

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