Workflows and Automations: Perfecting Your Client Journey From Start to Finish

Learn the five steps to creating workflows in your HoneyBook account. Using as much or as little automation as you wish, you can perfect your entire client journey from first inquiry to project completion.

 

With HoneyBook Workflows, you can turn the processes you already use into automated steps. Whether you’re looking to save time or create a better client experience, workflows are the best way to make it happen. You can be as hands-on or as hands-off as you need to be, so you don’t have to give up control over any client communication. 

If you’ve been hesitant to get started with workflows before, we’ll walk you through all the steps you need to set them up in your HoneyBook account. When you’re done, you’ll have a system that works for you and your clients to make your booking experience that much easier.

Setting Up Your Project Types

Before diving directly into the workflows tool, there’s some prep work you’ll need to do inside your account. 

First, start in your account Company Settings and Preferences. There, you’ll have the ability to edit your Project Types. HoneyBook lets you establish up to 17 Project Types to help you stay organized. With Workflows and Automations, setting Project Types will ensure you’re delivering the right content to the right people. 

Project Types offer a way to categorize your work, and you have the ability to do so in a way that makes sense for your business. Perhaps you offer a variety of service packages along with digital products, like courses. You may also offer different services for different locations or types of clients. 

For example, a web designer could have four tiered packages with different services. They may also want to offer some of those services as add-ons for lower-tier packages or for ad-hoc requests. Say the designer also offers a completely different corporate package for enterprise organizations. Their Project Types may end up looking like this:

  • Bronze Package
  • Silver Package
  • Gold Package
  • Platinum Package
  • Logo Design
  • Style Guide
  • Branding
  • Corporate

Keep in mind that your Project Types may evolve, and you can always edit or change them. If you’re just starting to develop your services, consider what clients ask you for the most and build your list from there.

Connecting Project Types to Your Contact Form

After setting up your Project Types, the next step is to connect them with your HoneyBook Contact Form. This connection is one of the ways you can apply a workflow to a project automatically. Whenever someone inquires through your Contact Form, you’ll be able to set a workflow to trigger based on any number of actions in the product.  

There are two ways to sync your Project Types with the Contact Form:

  1. Using the “Project Type” Question
  • When you’re building a Contact Form, choose the “Project Type” question listed under Suggested Questions. 
  • This question will automatically offer a drop-down menu of all the Project Types you set up in Company Preferences for your clients to choose from when they inquire through this form. 
  • When you drop in the question, you can still re-word it so it makes the most sense for your projects or services. 
  1. Syncing Your Entire Contact Form
  • Instead of using one question to determine the type of client you’ll be communicating with, you can assign a Project Type to your entire contact form.
  • With this option, you won’t be able to add the “Project Type” question.
  • Within the Contact Form settings, you have the option to Assign Project Type, which shows a drop-down menu of all your Project Types. 
  • Syncing your entire contact form is most helpful if you’re using a contact form as a specific landing page for each product or service and would benefit from multiple contact forms.

Building Out Your Templates

Now comes the creative part! Once you have your Project Types and Contact Form synced, you still need to build out the content you’ll be delivering through your workflows. 

You’ll be able to create your workflows using four different action options:

  • Internal Tasks – Alerts for you and your team–your clients won’t see these, so they will simply prompt you to move something forward in the project. 
  • Emails – Standard email templates. You can send these automatically on their own to move communication forward, or simply que them up to be edited before sending. Plus, don’t forget, any files sent will require an email template as well. 
  • Questionnaires – Straight forward questionnaires to gain more information from your clients. 
  • Brochures – More robust, customizable files that you can use for a variety of reasons.

For all of the above except internal tasks, you’ll need to create the templates you want to use ahead of time so you can connect them in a workflow. 

We recommend using the Brochure file whenever you’d like to include a visual aid or a more customizable, branded file for your clients. With the Brochure, you can build digital products like worksheets and courses, showcase pricing and services, and collect information or feedback just like you would with Questionnaires. 

To build out a Brochure, you can add images, text, questions and service options. You’ll be able to hyperlink your text to lead your clients to other content as well, which is perfect if you want to lead them to your HoneyBook Scheduling Tool, social media accounts or other resources. 

One of the most powerful features of the Brochure tool is the ability for clients to select what services they’re interested in. When they do so through the Brochure, HoneyBook will automatically place their selections into a Proposal draft, so you can easily edit it if need be before sending and moving the clients forward to signature and payment. 

Using workflows to deliver your content is a great way to take more time back, especially if you’ve been manually sending information to inquiries. By syncing with your contact form, for example, anyone who inquires could get a branded welcome packet built through Brochures. The brochure can also include a link to schedule their consultation call with you. No more back and forth!

At this step, your workflows and processes can inform the content you need to develop, so you may need to go back and forth between tools to make sure you have everything you need. Whenever you build out a file to send via your workflow, remember to create a corresponding email template to introduce the content and provide more information. Also, be sure to give your templates very specific names so they’ll be easy to pull into your workflows.

Building Your Workflow/Automation

Once all your prep work is done, now it’s time to build your Workflow. 

To get started, name your workflow and choose from the four actions we mentioned above to build each step: internal tasks, sending questionnaires, sending emails or sending brochures. This is why it’s so important to give your templates easy to recognize names–you won’t be able to see the content you’re pulling in, just the title. 

Once you’ve selected your action, you can set the cadence. You’ll notice the first option is always “after activating workflow,” which happens when someone fills out your contact form (after it’s synced), or when you apply the workflow manually to a project. You can set your cadence as minutes, hours, days or weeks. 

For example, “0 days after activating workflow” means that step will trigger immediately. This is a typical cadence that you could use for the first step in your workflow, such as sending a thank you email immediately after someone fills out the contact form. 

If you’re worried about setting so many actions to send automatically, you can always build in more oversight. Each step has an Approval section that you can set to “Approve before sending.” By doing so, you’ll get a notification when the step is queued up, so you’ll be able to edit the content of the email in the step, skip the step or remove the workflow completely. 

For beginners, building in approvals is a great process to vet your workflows and make sure they’re set up exactly as you want them before moving towards more automation. If you end up editing a lot of your steps, it can be a good sign that you may need to update your templates, triggers or timing of steps.

Connecting Your Workflow to a Project

Your last step is connecting your workflow to a project. There are a couple of ways to do this, but if you’re looking to truly automate your process, you’ll want to connect a workflow through the Contact Form and those Project Types. In your Workflow tab, select your Project Type or the default for contact form option under the Automate Via Contact Form column and dropdown menu. 

This step syncs your workflow with the Contact Form to make sure it triggers properly. If breaking your work into Project Types doesn’t make sense for your business, you can still use workflows and choose to make one default for all your contact forms. 

With this last step, everything is set up to send the right information, at the right time, to the specific Project Types indicated by your client when they submit a Contact Form. You can also keep your workflows unassigned and manually apply them to different projects in your pipeline. 

To manually apply a workflow to a project at a time when you see fit, you’ll click into the project and scroll to the bottom of the right-hand menu until you see the Workflow button. This option is usually best for folks who would like their workflow to begin based on a trigger that’s not available through HoneyBook currently. 

For example, if you want your workflow to start when a client schedules through your scheduling link, you’ll want to consider manually applying a workflow. OR, you can have your first task set to “Approve Before Sending”, with a different/related trigger, and automatically apply the workflow so that you simply approve the first step upon your meeting being scheduled. 

How you use workflows isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, but that’s what makes it more powerful to cater to you and your clients!

Optimizing Your Processes With HoneyBook

After you’ve initially set up your workflows, continue evaluating them until they’re at the point you want them to be. You might even find that by using HoneyBook Workflows for different projects and clients you’ll discover areas of your process that you didn’t even know you could improve upon. Over time, your entire process will become more streamlined.  

For more support with your HoneyBook account, be sure to visit our additional webinar recordings. We pair expert business tips with the tools you need to succeed inside HoneyBook.

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