Running a small business 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 employees and contractors, but in the early days (slash side-hustle days), it was just me.
Also, if you’ve read in any of my productivity posts, I’m ~quite~ passionate (k fine, I’m obsessive) 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, duh.
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
- How to get started with a packages template in HoneyBook
- A list of all the templates I have on the calligraphy side of my business
- 3 types of questionnaires you may need to have on hand as a stationer
- How to install a calligraphy contract template
I’ll get you the skinny on rolling with a custom calligraphy contract, but the BEST thing you can do is start with a lawyer-approved contract template. The legal brains behind my business, Christina Scalera of The Contract Shop, reviewed my calligraphy template back in the day before she was famous. 😉
You can download the template here. It’s 40% off through Thursday for Memorial Day. WHOOP!
Let’s do this!
1. A Packages Template
The first template I’d recommend as a stationer or calligrapher is a buttoned-up brochure of your packages and services. Yeah, you could cost out services as they come in. Yeah, you could just post your packages on your website and call them a day.
But I wanted to charge more. I wanted to give a high-end experience. And I wanted to guide my calligraphy clients through the experience a bit more than that.
So, first, I’d send them a PDF client magazine folded into HoneyBook, the client relationship management tool we use in my business.
Even if we’d be chatting through a custom proposal for them, this helped answer the “about what would XYZ cost” question couples had.
How it Works
Like I said, I use Honeybook as my platform for contracts and estimates in my business. 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.
Defaulting to templates can feel a bit “icky” at first when you’re taking your side-hustle full-time … 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.
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.
Seriously, HoneyBook shaves HOURS off my workload. Plus, it holds my pricing packages brochures in tidy fashion that Marie Kondo would cheers to.
We’ve put multiple six-figures worth of client projects through HoneyBook, and I LOVE it!
2. Email Templates
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!).
Here are the ones we have:
- A Post-Free Consult Call Email Template
- The Proposal Template
- The Welcome Packet Email Template
- Post-Design Meeting Email Templates
- First Round of Design Proofs Template
- The Final Proof for Signature to Print Template
- A template for when I need that name list for calligraphy or printing
- The Calligraphy Envelope Addressing Proof Template
- Envelopes Sent, Need Your Corrections Template
- Final Corrections are in the Mail Template
- The Goodbye Packet Template
- Our Client Questionnaire
Want these done-for-you style? I have them all for sale in The AW Shop!
So, now that those are all typed up …
… here’s what they look like loaded into HoneyBook:
3. Questionnaire Templates
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.
4. Stationery or Calligraphy Contract Template
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, my lawyer, and shark with small business: when it came time to book a few trademarks for my business, I had her review my calligraphy contract template, too.
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 as I created custom wedding suites for couples.
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 for FORTY PERCENT OFF, Y’ALL! ????????
Reading Time: 6 Minutes
I lean on templates like WHOA: I’m a one-woman show. I don’t say “we” in my marketing. Because, well, my German Shepherds don’t count. It’s honestly just me, and I’m quite passionate about sticking to a normal work schedule.
To do that, I have to have “pretend secretaries.”
The easiest? Templates.