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dubsado for creatives

Feb 28, 2020

So if you have heard of Dubsado, you know its an uber friendly CRM software for creatives and the like.

Oh what is a CRM? 

A CRM – customer relationship management for the uninitiated – is simply a program or piece of software that does pretty much what it says on the tin; helps manage your relationships with your customers.

If you have a goldfish memory, then a CRM is for you. That’s because a CRM stores all of your customers’ details in an organised, user-friendly database. But a CRM is a lot more than just a glorified diary.

What does it do?

CRMs can perform a wide array of tasks; if it appears anywhere in a customer’s lifecycle, a CRM will have a function for it. It can even include automation features, which take care of certain tasks and free your team up to focus on bigger things. Actions such as sending emails and creating leads when certain actions are taken by customers can help ensure those customers keep moving through the sales funnel.

Do i need a CRM?

Having all of your customer and business data in one place will undoubtedly make your life easier, and your business more efficient. So in a nutshell, if you sell a product, provide a service, or deal with customers or clients in any way, you probably do need a CRM – especially if you want your business to grow.

 

Ok so how does Dubsado fit in?

As a stationery business I found it super annoying trying to send quotes and trying to find details over emails only to find I probably deleted it by accident, ugh kill me. So as I was on the hunt for a quoting software (and boy did I sign up and pay for a few, I moved around more than a nomad) I came across Dubsado that could offer a CRM as well as a basic finance software.

So I went on my way, reading all the help tutorials and joining the facebook group to get any tips and tricks that would aid my new adventure. I was pleasantly surprised to find the trial gave you 3 clients to play with and wasn’t set to a timeframe as I knew I would need a major sit down and no distractions moment to tackle this. 

So how did dubsado help me with clients?

Because I live off being super organised (trust me it’s actually sick) I felt it mainstreamed my offerings and feeded out some of the time wasters. 

All my contact forms on my website are embedded lead forms I created in Dubsado. That means that when a lead comes in, it automatically creates a profile and project for that email address so all the important info is kept in one savvy lil spot. I get an email notification that says at the top View Lead and I can easily get to that project.

If you choose to converse through Dubsado’s platform, you can check if they have read it, I know stalkerish behaviour but hey the feature is there. You can also link it to your email supplier so it’s synced in your sent items.

So how did it help? Well it made all my transactions a hell of a lot faster and smoother. I didn’t feel like I was repeating myself or second guessing “had I sent that back yet?”.

Dubsado’s Proposals was a major playing in swinging me across. I can outline what the project entails, they can choose to go ahead or not, but if they do, the contract is right there for them to sign and they can’t move past it until it’s signed. Before using Dubsado, I found I was chasing alot to get a contract signed and I felt like a lawyer but we all know we need it in place. So this way, I didn’t have to send those anxious emails.

 

Is it just for creatives?

Hell no! The good thing about Dubsado, is that you can make it work for your business. If your goal is to streamline and add some structure then Dubsado helps you create this. You can mould it to work best for you or your clients.

How does it help my business?

I once wrote down all the steps I took with a client and quickly realised so many of these steps could be automated. I saw it as an opportunity to free up time and energy and focus that on my first love which is designing.

I’ve even got it to the point that 3 days before their event, it sends an email wishing them all the best and please share any pictures with me (an opportunity to get some pics for the gram) and basically just let them know I was thinking of them! I originally had this set up in mailchimp and it was just another step I had to manually create myself. Then 90 days later it archives the project and by this stage I’ve already moved on too.

That’s what is so great about Dubsado, I can create steps I would normally take in my sleep, like literally not having to worry about it as it’s on cruise control.

 

What’s so great about it?

  • All my client history in 1 location.
  • Automated responses and reminders.
  • Creating forms that you can then embed on your website.
  • I can create packages (templates) for commonly asked pieces.
  • It hooks up to xero (in a round about way) but this keeps my book keepers happy.
  • I can create different workflows for different work ie, invitations, on the day stationery and corporate design. Within that, I can send them specific forms to fill out.
  • It’s user friendly and aesthetically clean.
  • I can customise forms to suit and include imagery to make them even prettier. There are even some super savvy geeks who can help you customise the css to make it more on brand. Hit up the facebook group to find them.
  • Dubsado will help you set up your forms and workflows, for free! 
  • You can have a client portal to manage your clients work.

 

Where does it fall short?

As part of my business I always try to be transparent and this is totally my opinion, and may not even be issues for others. Overall, it’s a great piece of software that I actually don’t think I could live without. Coming from a Studio Manager background, my expectations were I could remove a quoting software and replace it with an all in one Dubsado CRM. I’ve soon been told it is not a finance management program though I believe Dubsado are always working on new features all the time, so I’m hoping in due time these issues will be a thing of the past.

So where does it lack and what are my workarounds:

  • Dubsado only uses invoices and not quotes.

This can get confusing as it shows your potential income as some ridiculous 6 figure but in hindsight, these are 80% quotes that didn’t go ahead. Dubsado’s work around here is to create invoices and send as proposals, this way they can sign the contract and if you automated it it will release the invoice for payment.

  • Dubsado doesn’t use job numbers.

Ok might not be a biggy for some but for me yes, this is major. Do you know this year I have to Jessica + Aaron’s getting married? If I named their folders the same it would get really confusing. Job numbers take me back to my agency days, every job correlated to a job number, time spent was calculated to that job number and all invoices paid and received related to that job number. A job number to me is of high importance as it files my folders in consecutive orders and is referenced along the whole journey. My workaround here is an excel spreadsheet that I manually add another job number to the list.

  • Dubsado doesn’t let you dupe invoices.

They clearly haven’t had a bride change her mind 500 times and want a revised quote lol. But it would be really handy if this could be a feature. They currently work around this by creating it as a package and then importing it back in. 

So where should I start?

Give it a whirl! You can use code “dubrebel” and get 20% off your first month or year if you decide that Dubsado is the perfect tool for you as it is for me!

 

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