dubsado-reviews

The Best CRM Software for Designers and Small Agencies

If you started out as a solo business owner/service provider, I’m pretty sure you’ve tried a handful of tools to help manage tasks, projects, and clients. If you’re anything like me, and I reckon you are, you have a lot of software systems duct taped together all under the “free” tier plans. I get it, and I applaud you for being resourceful.

But now I’ve reached a state where I’d much rather pay to have most things in one place. Call it old age. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still always looking for a deal as my personal threshold is under $30/month. And friends, I’ve found it for $0.83 cents a month for a team of 3.

I’m about to give you an inside review of what I think is the best CRM for designers and small agencies, how it works, and why it has been surpassing the popularity of goliaths like 17hats.

dubsado-reviews

Features Overview

Ever feel frustrated about how to manage clients? A Client Relation Management System (CRM) is intended to make business simple thru client organization and automation. Dubsado is a fairly young product but has already made its way to the hearts of its users and is dubbed as the new software for freelance. Coming from someone who has tried A LOT of tools and programs before, Dubsado definitely has impressive features that will have you shouting for joy.

dubsado-reviews

GETTING LEADS

Leads are the lifeblood of your business. If you are in the creative industry, Dubsado is a tool for designers, freelancers, bakers, and photographers that will help you collect and manage your leads, effectively turning clicks into customers. This has been a game-changer for me.

I’ve always had anxiety taking on new customers, and I tend to sabotage myself with procrastination. With Dubsado, once a lead comes in, they are automatically taken through an email series (as if I’m responding in real time) until they book an appointment. Once I see that an appointment has been booked, it forces me to follow-through.

  • Lead Capture Forms

Create a form and embed it on your website or share it across multiple social media channels via a link. Leads that fill out the form are automatically imported into Dubsado. Once a lead is filled out, you can have it auto-redirect to a landing page on your website…excellent for FB ad tracking pixels.

  • Automated Lead Capture Workflows

This is where you can put a conditional statement in your lead form, and depending on the answer your prospect provides, they can be directed to another workflow that might have a different series of emails and prompts. For example, if my clients need an NDA and select “YES,” then they get sent an NDA agreement before any other onboarding emails are delivered.

dubsado-reviews
  • Lead Management

Dubsado streamlines your lead process by using lead funnels to keep track of inquiries and information. You can use an automated workflow to designate what your clients should be called upon entry into your funnel.

For us, one form might capture prospects from a webinar and another form might capture prospects from a general inquiry. It’s crucial to segment these prospects out so we can tailor an email workflow series specifically to them.

dubsado-reviews

PAYMENTS

Cashflow is king! Dubsado has this entire process integrated into one program which makes it the ideal CRM software for small business. I love the ability to not only take credit but to save money by accepting electronic check ACH as well. As soon as contracts are signed, I have a workflow that automatically sends an invoice. So not only do clients accept the terms of our working arrangement, but they can pay immediately in that same mood of taking action.

  • Invoicing

Send recurring invoices and easily get paid online through Dubsado’s integrated payment collection tools. If you have services you offer routinely, set them up in “packages” and have all the line items that make up that package populate with one click. I particular like using packaging when I send automated receipts for paid invoices.

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  • Subscription Plan for Clients

Present your proposals to your clients and let them choose the payment plan they want by setting up payment schedules. Dubsado also conveniently allows them to subscribe to auto-deductions. This saves you the time of chasing clients down to make payments. With Dubsado’s proposal feature, it eliminates the need for proposal software.

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  • Payment Schedules

Clients wouldn’t want to miss on their payments. Set up your payment schedules and Dubsado will do the rest, including sending reminders to your clients. Payment schedule reminders are even available with auto-payments should you want to alert clients that a payment will be taken soon. Either way, you get paid on time 🙂

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  • Multiple Currency

Dubsado is a trusted business by customers from all over the world everywhere that Stripe and PayPal are accepted. Get paid through multiple currencies with Dubsado.

  • Fees Are Only for Credit Processing

The best thing about all these is that it’s free! From Dubsado’s part, at least. They charge no extra processing fees which allow you to save up to 3% of your total earnings. The standard fee for ACH still applies, which is never over $5.

  • Gratuity

Never leave money on the table, right? If you’re working with a repeat customer, Dubsado allows you to be tipped…perfect for wedding service providers.

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CONTRACTS

Contracts contain critical information that will help you with sales operations. If it’s in your CRM, you are able to track project start and end dates, launch dates, volumes, and automatic renewals that are important in managing client relationships. These features make Dubsado one of the best client management software for designers.

  • Contracts & Sub-Contracts

Create legally binding contracts with e-signatures using an easy drag-and-drop builder. Dubsado allows you to collect and store all of this information in your account. Dubsado also tracks when contracts are “seen,” so you know for certain if a client received it. I personally use Dubsado’s sub-contract feature for rounds of approval – that way we have a written signature that a client has signed off or has exceeded their allowed rounds of edits, calling for an additional charge through a change order.

  • E-signing

Create legally binding contracts with e-signatures using an easy drag-and-drop builder. Dubsado allows you to collect and store all of this information in your account. Dubsado allows one main contract only with multiple sub-contracts. This alone eliminates another subscription for a document signing service.

dubsado-reviews
dubsado-reviews
  • Questionnaires

The key to building client relationships is getting to know their business. Create and send questionnaires to your clients that will get you all the information you need. Add them to your workflow and automate. You can even upload a PDF as a questionnaire and send it that way with tracking.

  • Proposal and Quotes

Clients like it fast and easy. Proposals with quotes can be sent to your clients in one form and allow them to pay the invoice upon signing. Populate them easy with “packages.” If accepted, you can turn a proposal into an invoice.

dubsado-reviews
dubsado-reviews
  • Templates

If you’re clueless where to get started with form structure, contracts, questionnaires, or proofs, Dubsado has a template library to help you build the foundation. Simply download one of these, then customize for your own needs and terms.

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BOOKKEEPING

Small businesses need a reliable bookkeeping system that collects profit and loss statements. Dubsado integrates with QuickBooks for a speedy and accurate financial reporting complete with visual bar graphs and pie charts. It also allows you to view and sort your income and services through a chart of accounts – other integrations include time tracking with Xero and Wave Accounting down the pipeline.

However, let me be honest. Dubsado is NOT where it needs to be in regards to accounting and is NOT a full-fledged accounting system. Most users pair Dubsado with Quickbooks. Bookkeeping is the “saddest” part of Dubsado…I’m sure the development team with get there though!

dubsado-reviews
dubsado-reviews
  • Questionnaires

The key to building client relationships is getting to know their business. Create and send questionnaires to your clients that will get you all the information you need. Add them to your workflow and automate. You can even upload a PDF as a questionnaire and send it that way with tracking.

  • Proposal and Quotes

Clients like it fast and easy. Proposals with quotes can be sent to your clients in one form and allow them to pay the invoice upon signing. Populate them easy with “packages.” If accepted, you can turn a proposal into an invoice.

dubsado-reviews
dubsado-reviews

CLIENT AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Build and manage new relationships with Dubsado. You never know how far a simple tool can take you through your career. Using studio management software for photographers, freelancers, and designers are important to deliver jobs on time and maintain good working relationships with clients.

  • Workflows

Automate your processes and reduce downtime with Dubsado. Create client-specific workflows and update them easily for any changes throughout the engagement. The team recently released workflow “views” – now you can see where every client is at on the same page.

dubsado-reviews
dubsado-reviews
dubsado-reviews
  • Task Boards

A simple To-Do list helps keep you on track. Dubsado has designed To-Do boards that you can share with your clients. This is the kanban-style that popular platforms like Trello have adopted. Awesome!

dubsado-reviews
dubsado-reviews
  • Calendar Integration
  • Synchronize your calendar with Dubsado and keep track of your commitments via a good-looking and organized dashboard. You can schedule new appointments directly from your account, too. For those who use Acuity or Calendly, that “type” of feature is on Dubsado’s roadmap, but until then, you can do a seamless embed into any Dubsado form.
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  • Client Portal

Through the portal, clients have access to shared documents such as invoices or my calendar for them to book a meeting. We know that clients are always busy so Dubsado made this feature accessible across platforms. The client is completely customizable to you, including white-labeling to make Dubsado look like your own custom-built system.

dubsado-reviews
dubsado-reviews
dubsado-reviews
  • Branding
  • Your business is yours and Dubsado supports this through contracts, invoices, and emails that have your branding. Your clients will never see a Dubsado logo, email, or domain from any software communications or pages – that includes favicons and url meta data. KaBOOM Stix!
dubsado-reviews
dubsado-reviews
  • Integrations & Accessibility

Dubsado connects with your favorite business tools! With the Zapier integration, every time a client makes a payment, I get an SMS text reminder. I also have a zap that puts my collected leads into my email list. I use MailerLite at the moment.

  • G-Suite
  • Square
  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • iCloud
  • Zapier
  • Quickbooks
  • Cloudspot

Your new CRM program can also be accessed by both you and your clients (the client portal) anytime and anywhere without installing another application. Access Dubsado from any web browser – be it desktop, tablet, or mobile phone. The biggest integration has been with Cloudspot, a gallery system for photographers.

dubsado-reviews
dubsado-reviews

PRICING

Dubsado offers a no risk UNLIMITED FREE trial for up to 3 clients. Once you’ve decided to upgrade, Dubsado has a very affordable subscription plan considering all the features that you can unlock with unlimited clients and leads.

Full Disclosure: Back in the early days, Dubsado offered lifetime plans. I believed in the platform’s potential so much, that I dropped $700 to get Dubsado and all updated features for life. I was nervous as hell, but you know what happened? The investment paid itself off in a month due to the lead capture feature!

TYPE OF PLANFEATURESPRICING
TrialUnlimited trial.
All features for up to 3 clients.
FREE
MonthlyAll features.
Unlimited clients and leads.
$25/month
AnnualAll features.
Unlimited clients and leads.
$50 savings.
$250/year

WHY CHOOSE DUBSADO

So are you finally ready to stop the duct taping?! Dubsado can effectively replace: Proposify, DocuSign, Trello, Gravity Forms, FreshBooks, and Acuity (soon). If not for this alone, these other reasons may finally convince you that you have found a new client management software for your business.

  • One CRM to Manage Your Business

Dubsado simplifies the process and cuts off time significantly. Dubsado’s templates, workflows, and automation help create a win-win situation for both me and my clients.

  • Designed Specifically as a CRM for Small Business and Creative Entrepreneurs

Whether you are a working solo by selling your skills for services or a business owner who manages a small team of employees, Dubsado will help you optimize your business.

  • Unparalleled Customer Service

Customer service is the heart of every company and Dubsado definitely has it. It’s not only about solving problems but, more importantly, actually listening to your customers. Dubsado has a Facebook group that lets you connect with other users, CRM experts, and the Dubsado customer support group themselves. They have built an online presence through a thriving community of freelancers and business owners alike.

Upon signing up, not only will you get a beautiful notebook and pen, but occasionally they gift a Starbucks drink to their entire Facebook group community.

 

 

  • Unlimited Trial for First 3 Clients

Everybody wants to do a test run of a service before purchasing – that’s why trials are offered from 14 up to 30 days. You never really end up paying for it. I, for one, don’t think that a month-long trial is enough for me to decide the future of my business. Dubsado exceeds expectations by offering an unlimited trial period for up to 3 clients…all features unlocked! It’s an awesome way to start your business.

Why I Choose Dubsado

As a business owner for several years, I finally found the right partner to help me achieve more than what I have with my old management tools. Don’t get me wrong, though, I am not just “settling” for Dubsado. I’ve tried Tave – it was a complete clusterf*ck…beautiful software, but you couldn’t get started right away due to the complexity.

It’s also built for photographers with a dirty lie that they work for everyone. Dubsado is insanely intuitive that will have you immediately clicking around and getting set up. It’s also extremely customizable as they also released “custom mapped fields” allowing to make the system fit your business seamlessly.

I’ve seen creatives come in droves from 17hats to the Dubsado Facebook group proclaiming how they switched. I am choosing it as the best CRM software for freelancers, designers, photographers, bakers, accountants, and consultants like me.

With their unlimited trial and affordable pricing, try Dubsado today and see it for yourself! Take a trial through my link, and you’ll get my canned email for terminating problem clients, so you can fill Dubsado up with people you love – CLICK HERE TO TRY IT NOW!

dubsado-reviews

The Best CRM Software for Designers and Small Agencies

by Aisha Sequeira time to read: 14 min
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