Running a small business as a copywriter and calligrapher, I lean on templates, from my calligraphy contract template to a zillion email templates, like WHOA: Besides the German Shepherds curled up on the floor next to me, I have a really tiny team of 4 others (no one else is full-time but me right now!).
Also, if you’ve read in any of my productivity posts, I’m quite passionate about sticking to a normal work schedule.
To do that, I have to have more “pretend secretaries” than the small inbox and client support I have.
The easiest tool? Templates!
Today, I want to give you a rundown on the 4 types of templates to have in place as a calligrapher or stationer. You’ll learn
Let’s do this!
Oh—and before I dig in, a few things:
First, I use Honeybook as my platform for contracts and estimates, but before that I used a good old fashioned Excel spreadsheet as my client tracker. I had templates locked-and-loaded in Google Docs for copy/paste. I had more templates loaded in Gmail’s Canned Responses app.
Keeping up with all of that was as fun as it sounds.
Now? They’re all in HoneyBook, ready for me to hit “send” to a client.
I’d say it’s shaved about 4-5 hours off my workload each week.
Like Braid Creative said, defaulting to templates can feel a bit “icky” at first … then, like magic, you see the benefit. To give the best product to my sweet clients after taking calligraphy bridal orders since 2011, I’ve realized I’m okay personalizing a template for each bride. They’re guardrails, not a straight jacket. I’m supplying my clients with a gorgeous, not-a-detail-left-out communication—AND, I’m customizing it based on their needs. Here’s a post I wrote on how to brand your business well inside of HoneyBook.
Want to try HoneyBook? Grab the code here and try two weeks free.
The first templates you’ll need as a stationer or calligrapher are your packages and services.
For me, first, I send them the client magazine and we chat through a custom proposal for them.
Then, I send a client brochure of my packages based off a template in HoneyBook. This is how I clearly communicate to brides what they get, line-item style.
In HoneyBook, under “Package Templates,” I have loaded in everything that’s in my branded pricing guide PDF (the client mag I just mentioned).
Aka I copy/pasted the content in my pricing services guide. 😉 No shame. Love ‘dat copy/paste.
Like I said, this is how I then communicate the WHAT of the package in a line-item way for the bride to confirm on her proposal.
You saw this coming, right?
If you know me, you know I LOVE email templates for speeding up inbox time!
I have a lot of email templates pre-loaded into HoneyBook between calligraphy and copywriting, but I love them.
As a stationer or calligrapher, I’d recommend carving out templates for each step of the process for each of your services. For me, that’s (1) a set for our wedding suite clients and (2) a set of email templates for our rare-but-still-booked-if-we-have-time “I-just-need-envelopes” clients.
Here’s the list of templates I have for the wedding suite clients. I pretty much go in this order for all my automated emails (automated as in, they’re loaded, but I have to go in, type in their name, customize it, and click “send.” SO EASY I LOVE YOU HONEYBOOK!).
p.s. Want these done-for-you style? I have them for sale in The AW Shop!
So, now that those are all typed up …
… here’s what they look like loaded into HoneyBook:
Next, as wedding stationers and calligraphers, you have a slew of questions you need to have answered from your bride, right?
Bride-to-be’s name, sweetheart’s name, date of the wedding, location of reception, yada yada.
I keep this pretty basic for envelope calligraphy, but it’s we have two more robust ones for our wedding clients: one questionnaire for wedding or project overview aesthetics, and one for, like, “Location of Reception, Name of Maid of Honor” details for the program.
Again, if you’re feeling like you need to outsource this to a copywriter to pull together—or just someone who’s in year 6 of taking calligraphy orders—feel free to swipe my initial questionnaire in the AW Shop Wedding or Stationer Email Template Collection!
Finally, if I could suggest anything, it’s that you best better have a calligraphy contract template that you stick to.
USPS switch-ups, hurricane delays, mis-prints, oh-my: cover your bootie with a contract that protects both you AND your client.
I learned everything I ever needed to know about contracts from my friend and mastermind sister Christina Scalera. She’s the cutest little brunette fellow Atlantan and shark with small business, so when it came time to book a few trademarks for my business, I had her review my calligraphy contract template.
I’d REALLY recommend that you look at her contract template for calligraphers. It’s on sale in her shop, and I made sure she thought of everything when she reviewed mine!
If Christina taught me anything, it’s that even sugar-cookie-sweet people need a stationery or calligraphy contract template, and it’s so easy to load up in HoneyBook when I hit send on an agreement.
To note, I do have a separate one for just calligraphy art/envelopes and then full-fledged invitation suites (of which we do the most).
And that’s a wrap! Those are all the templates I have ready to go as my pretend secretary for my creative small business. They took a bit of copywriting, but then? I’m done.
Want a riff off of my own calligraphy contract template? Click below to grab it in The Contract Shop! 👇🏻
Freshly sharpened pencil bouquet ready, I'm here to make sure you stand out as a copywriter and calligraphy. I help women like you steward your story well, so you can work from a place of rest—not hustle.