Which CRM is better for my photography business?
You’re probably tired of using the old pen and paper method of keeping track of your business leads and client projects.
You may even wonder if your current client management system is the best choice for your business as a photographer.
There are two leading CRM’s I suggest considering for your photography business which is Honeybook or 17Hats.
Both platforms are very intuitive, user-friendly, simple, and easy to navigate and use daily.
Honeybook and 17hats are both client management systems that allow you to capture new leads, keep your client projects organized, create contracts, proposals, questionnaires.
As well as invoicing, track to-do lists, create workflows and automation sequences, email, financial reports, and online scheduling.
They both operate on the go with their personalized apps.
Each platform carries its pros and cons on specific features. Below is a quick comparison of some of the most used features within each platform.
Online scheduling within your CRM allows your clients to schedule any service, consultation, session, or appointment with you directly.
There are other third-party options you can use, like Acuity or Calendly but the goal is to keep each client within one platform.
You, as the business owner, can consolidate how many systems you use daily.
Logging into multiple systems can be overwhelming and unnecessary. My job is to show you how to manage the backend of your business with ease and simplicity.
The online scheduling platform in Honeybook is still relatively new. I predict that they may continue to add better features and options; it is very basic right now.
The one thing that Honeybook does allow that 17hats does not is the option to integrate with two video source options: Zoom or Google.
In comparison, 17hats can only connect with Zoom.
There has been a great debate between which video conference platform is better- Zoom or Google- check out my Reel on Instagram that breaks down the two.
The online scheduling tool has a few more features that make their Online Scheduling tool the better choice.
Online payments- Ex: You may charge a $25 consultation fee for your appointment; you can collect online payments at the time of booking.
Tags- Tag your it! I love the tagging feature.
Tags allow you to assign certain tags to new contacts or new projects so you can effortlessly search and filter when you need to find something.
This feature helps with organization and project management.
Approve Bookings- Your clients can book a session or service with you directly. However, you can add an extra layer of protection by turning on your APPROVE BOOKING notification.
We have all been there before where we double-booked something or forgot to block off time from our calendar for an unexpected appointment or outing; having this feature can help prevent that.
Workflow Options: Another unique feature within online scheduling is starting a workflow directly from the time they book with you. Maybe you have a questionnaire you would like for them to complete; you can trigger a workflow to send out the questionnaire upon completion of the booking—one less email you have to send and one less task you have to remember.
Every recurring task that you find yourself doing repeatedly and manually in your business needs to be automated. Automation saves you time, increases efficiency, and helps you implement a seamless process while eliminating any gaps.
Honeybook and 17Hats allow for automation within your business with a WORKFLOWS process and creating templates to create a step-by-step process that creates consistency and a better client experience.
Here is a peek into the Honeybook workflow template.
However, if you are genuinely looking for a more in-depth automation process that can indeed cut your admin time in half, 17Hats does just that.
17Hats is the only CRM that genuinely focuses on the Automation aspect of running a business as a solopreneur and removing the stress and chaos from your daily routine.
Pause a workflow– sometimes you need to make changes within your workflow, or you need to add another step; this feature will allow you to do so
Assign tasks– great for team members and providing the next steps.
Ex: Client pays an invoice, and maybe you have a process for your team member to send a personalized gift- you can assign that task to them
Notes section– great for creating quick notes to review
Next Step/ Completed When– this is where the automation process goes a little deeper.
You can create a To-Do item, and when you mark that item as completed, you can assign a “When Done” next step to trigger another action item.
In this example, we have an action item to send a questionnaire. Therefore, you can trigger the system to recognize when that item is completed in the COMPLETED field.
A questionnaire is a vital way to collect information and data from your clients regarding their event, project, feedback, and anything else you need to know that you want to have on record.
You have five questionnaire options to help you gather data, as well as a custom client project sheet, as seen below.
17Hats– You have ten questionnaire options.
They also added a beneficial feature within questionnaires to go deeper into the data gathering process, called IF/THEN LOGIC.
IF/THEN logic allows you to gather specific details and in-depth answers rather than basic surface-level answers.
See example below
REPORTING & FEES
As a business owner, it all comes down to the numbers. You want to know how much we made in sales, where the leads are coming from, how much we have to refund, and our overall monthly/ yearly insights, and I will say that this is the area where 17Hats falls a little short.
17Hats gives a tremendous in-depth Bookkeeping report to assess your profits/loss, sales tax reports, and other basic bookkeeping needs by connecting your bank account.
You can create a few workarounds to gather the monthly and yearly data using Zapier and using the tag features in 17hats.
However, it does not give more profound insights into project details, annual and monthly analytics, and lead insights, which I think are very important.
Honeybook Reporting Example
Money matters, and it’s also essential to understand how much your transaction fees are costing you when using these platforms. As with any business, you want to consider how much it costs to run your business and be sustainable, which should be a factor when determining your pricing.
They collect payments directly from the platform into your designated bank account and deduct those fees upfront before depositing money into your bank account.
They do not collect fees from the platform but instead allow you to integrate with third-party options such as Stripe, Square, or Paypal to collect payments.
I use Stripe but each processor charges about the same; it’s a matter of personal choice which processor you want to use.
So now that you have an inside look comparing the two platforms and doing some more additional research, you can decide which CRM is best for your photography business.
Here is a quick breakdown of the pricing and plan options.
7-day free trial
Honeybook Start Plan- $9/mo
All features included
You are limited to $10k in sales before you have to upgrade to the next plan automatically.
Unlimited monthly $30/mo or Unlimited Annual $390
They offer a Free Plan with Unlimited contacts/ projects and limited options. Still, it’s excellent for the business owner transitioning from hobby to business and needs to put some foundation and organization into place without a stressful financial commitment.
From there, you can choose three plan levels based on your business needs and projected growth.
Click the link below for a more in-depth plan comparison to see which option is best for you and your business.
So which is best, Honeybook or 17Hats?!- My answer is this: You need a client management system to operate your business better to help you focus and build a sustainable business.
If your team Honeybook you can grab my discount of 20% off
If your team 17Hats, you can grab my discount of 50% off
My mission is always to help you make the best and most informed decisions regarding your creative business as a photographer. Your business and your process will shape which platform is best for you.
Let me know in the comments which one you feel is right for you.