If you’ve been looking into CRM’s (Customer Relationship Management software) you have most likely come across Dubsado in your quest for the perfect tool for your business.
**Disclaimer – This post may contain affiliate links, but I only recommend products that I know and love, and think you will love too!**
My Life before Dubsado looked liked just like this.
Sticky notes everywhere, dozens of reminders on my calendar, Excel sheets, Trello Boards, manually pulling leads from my website into another spreadsheet and into Trello, working across different tools for collecting info, invoicing, scheduling, managing my calendar, delivering onboarding packets.
It was A LOT to keep track of.
I discovered Dubsado when I was working with a client using 17hats. I was working on getting her business systematized and cleaning up years of information just piling up on itself, dead leads, and expired proposals, forms no longer in use. It was a mess, and it was going to take more time to clean it up than to start fresh, not to mention it was missing some functionality we really wanted implemented. I knew there had to be a better solution.
Dubsado is by far one of the most flexible and diverse CRM’s in the market and is at an affordable price point for small businesses and freelancers. And let me tell you, it saves sooo much time!
So I dove into researching Dubsado, devoured YouTube videos, read blog posts, falling down the rabbit hole of everything Dubsado can do. And brought it back to my client. And she was in LOVE! And so my love affair with Dubsado began as I dove in and started building out her processes and migrating everything from 17hats into Dubsado.
At this point, I realized that if I was going to continue to grow a successful freelance business that could someday support my family and allow me to show up and serve the way I wanted to, that I needed to jump into Dubsado as well.
After getting my client all set up, I started to plug away at building out my own account. During my time working at Nintendo I had the opportunity to work through a few really awesome Value Stream Mapping intensives for various journeys related to my work there. So when I went to set up my Dubsado account I relied heavily on what I learned in those experiences to map out the current state of my client journey to identify the (many) inefficiencies and chokepoints in the process and rewrite the journey in a way that would alleviate a lot of the manual work I was doing and create a more pleasant experience for my clients.
Utilizing the Forms, Workflows, Scheduler, Packages, and Canned emails I was able to build out a custom client journey that delivered a high-touch feel without having to re-create the wheel every time.
And that is the true beauty of Dubsado.
I take pride in providing my clients with personalized service and delivering at high level. It may seem counter-intuitive at first to use templatized forms, emails, and more.
But it’s not.
Just because you have a system in place, doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the personalization in your high-touch business. In fact, the templatized features in Dubsado allow you to create a system that saves you time, creates continuity in your service, and allows you to spend time where you really need to, Serving your clients rather than wrangling onboarding paperwork, managing your calendar, and all that jazz.
Now let’s take a look at how I use Dubsado in my Marketing and Web Development Business.
Lead captures are the bread and butter of your business. This allows potential clients to enter your world and start the conversation of working with you.
Dubsado’s Customizable lead capture forms are amazing because you can capture the information you need to start working with someone and have it automatically add it to a client profile in Dubsado.
I have my lead capture set up to email me to let me know someone has filled it out, so I can go review it right away. I also have workflows set up to start a new lead “project” and email the potential client thanking them for starting the inquiry process and letting them know what to expect next and invite them to enter my world in other ways like connecting on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn or to soak in some of my free content here on the blog or join my mailing list for more goodies!
Proposals & Dubsado’s Secret Sauce
I used to spend HOURS on proposals, mocking them up in Canva and saving them as PDF, adding them to a google drive with the client label, and then finally emailing it to the potential client. I mean, sure my proposals were pretty, but then once I heard back from the client I’d have to go to wave and create an invoice, send it off, go to my google drive and update my contract template to reflect the proposal options the client choose, download it, then upload it to Hello sign or another signature getting platform.
“It was a process” is the understatement of the year.
Dubsado has helped me streamline that. I’ve created packages that I am able to edit for each client, and proposal templates for my different services, plus using Dubsado’s Secret Sauce, I can customize my proposals to my heart’s content.
I’ve even created a sales page using a public proposal (you can see that here, if you are curious.)
That secret sauce is Dubsado’s Code block! With the code blocks, you can use embed things to your heart’s desire and use custom CSS to change the entire look and feel of your forms. The biggest limitation to the code block is that there isn’t a code block in the proposals (but there’s a workaround for that too!)
Email templates are like a gift from above. Especially if there are emails that you send that have basically the same content in them each time (think onboarding, offboarding, sending invoices, appointment reminders, things of that nature.
Having a library of pre-written emails at your disposal that you can just pop in and edit a little bit is such a time saver.
I use my canned emails for lead qualification, lead follow up, and all those I mentioned above. Plus with Dubsado’s projects you can easily keep all your client emails related to each project nice and tidy in one place for easy reference. <3
Contracts & Questionnaires
I already mentioned above in proposals about how I used to do all of these things manually. For contracts I’d jump through hoops of editing in google drive, Saving to PDF, uploading to an external software and finally sending over to the client for signatures, then getting that back and storing it in google drive again.
Seriously could take 30 minutes to an hour depending on the edits, or if the client sent the contract back asking to revise sections.
Now life is easy breezy, I have contract templates set up with smart fields that refer to the invoice, which are connected to the proposal, and edits/revisions to contract can be made right in the client’s project. Plus the contract is then always attached directly to the project I am working on. Serious time saver!!
And then there’s questionnaires. That’s another one that was a time suck. Before Dubsado I also had another google drive, copy-paste based manual system. I had my questions, I’d email them to the client, and once got them back, add them to a google doc in their google folder.
No more! now i just email the questionnaire form to them from the project and it just lives there! I can even set up a workflow to send out automatic reminders to the client to complete their questionnaire if they haven’t finished it in a certain amount of time!!
I’m sure you are starting to see why I use this tool and how much time it saves.
(And there’s still more!!)
Calendar Integration & Schedulers
Are you having a hard time keeping track of your calendars, maybe even using multiple calendars programs, Acuity, Calendly, Google Calendar, ical… I’ve been there. And because I didn’t want to pay yet another subscription fee, I was using the limited free versions.
But Dubsado has allowed me to really take control of my calendar. This is awesome because I also have ADHD, which is basically a superpower when I’m in my zone of genius, but not so much when it comes to appointments. I use Dubsado schedulers to send out the right type of appointment to clients and potential clients, allowing them to conveniently schedule for times that work best for them and even have these schedulers tied into workflows to make it super easy for me as well!
But the best part is that I can control how I want my calendars to display. You see I have multiple google accounts, a personal one, a business one, one for the non-profit that I serve on the board of directors for… and they all determine my availability. But I have them integrated with Dubsado. I love that the Calendars allow me to pick and choose what shows up where too. Because I don’t really want to have 3 or 4 instances of the same appointment cluttering up my google calendar just because of some lackluster integration. Dubsado allows you to control what is inbound and outbound, so if you don’t want your business appointments to show up on your personal calendar but you still want your personal calendar to be taken into account when people book you for a meeting, Dubsado does that! (and without overwhelm, so that’s pretty rad I think.)
Workflows are really what makes Dubsado shine!
Workflows are also where I save the most time. While they do take a bit of work on the front end to get them set up and working, once they are there they are a dream. No more do I need to manually create reminders to follow up with leads and clients.
I have workflows set up for each of my services, and each of the steps in the customer journey. And even though I set them up with templates, where needed I can just go in and check off a box to make a step need approval first to ensure that everything fits just right for my clients.
And my clients appreciate my system to because it is reliable and they never need to wonder about pieces of their project and they appreciate the timeliness and smooth flow of my process (which wouldn’t be possible without Dubsado)
Invoices, Reoccuring Invoices, & Payment Schedules
We all want to get paid for doing what we do, right?!
And Dubsado makes that easier too! I used to send invoices out through Waveapps and Paypal manually, as I explained above up in proposals. But with Dubsado, every piece of my client’s journey from the moment they come into my world is interconnected and flows almost as if by magic. It’s a wonderful thing!
Dubsado allows you to auto-create invoices through workflows (or attached directly to proposals) as well as manually. You can also set up due dates, reminders, and payment plans (called payment schedules) AND you can choose to have one-off contracts, or if you work on retainer you can create reoccurring invoices.
I have my DUbsado account set up to accept payment from Stripe or Paypal and most, if not all my invoices are triggered by proposals and workflows (though I do have a few outliers for one-off projects that don’t really fit into my normal day-to-day.
Plus you can then see your financials tracked at a glance on your dashboard, or further in-depth in the reports.
And last but not least, branding. You can customize your Dubsado set up to perfectly match your brand, from using your logo and picking colors to fully branding your client portals (I didn’t go over these because I don’t currently take advantage of client portals to their fullest in my own business, but I’ve seen some amazing setups out there in the Dubsado communities of Facebook)
The best part is, that all this customization comes with your base account! It’s like white-labeling without the extra white-labeling cost that most platforms attach.
So that’s it! A not so quick look at the tool that is literally the powerhouse behind my business.
And you can use is too! They have a free forever trial of up to three clients.
So what are you waiting for? Start for FREE Today!