Okay, let me just start by saying that I live on systems. As I was starting my business, I knew that I wanted to get my systems in place early on. In some cases, before I even had my first client, because I knew it would be so much harder to find the right tool, and set it up, after I was neck-deep in client work.
When I was a newbie virtual assistant, I took tons of classes and read anything I could get my hands on, and in that process, Dubsado was one of the first tools that I learned about.
Dubsado came highly recommended as a Customer Relationship Management tool, often referred to as a “CRM”. A year later, it is still the one that I use and it has made my life so much easier. Here’s how…
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Why I Gladly Purchased Dubsado
There are dozens of tools out there, and I researched and tested three or four. But I kept coming back to Dubsado and here’s why:
· Unlimited Free Trial
Biggest pro…I didn’t have to purchase Dubsado to get started. They offer an unlimited, full access free trial for up to 3 clients.
This is awesome because you aren’t stuck with just 14-30 days to test the usability of the platform. You can set up your entire system and see it in action for FREE for as long as you need. So you can test it with three clients to start (especially if you’re a newbie) and keep using it until you grow past your three clients. Oh, and you can do all this without even entering your payment information.
You can completely customize all of your forms, contracts, and proposals. You can even create templates of your documents to use for future projects to make your life even easier. Plus, you can keep your branding consistent across platforms by customizing your client portal (more on this in a second) with your logo and brand colors.
· Client Portals
Going back and forth with clients and digging through emails to find the stuff you need can be so frustrating, but Dubsado makes it easy to set up a Client Portal for each client giving you one place for them to upload documents or images, whatever you need. Plus, it’ll keep the contract and invoices in there making them easy to find for your client and yourself.
I started by saying I love systems, but do you know what is even better than a system? An automation. An automation that takes things off my plate, without my even having to think about it.
You should know going in, that setting up the automations can be time-consuming but totally worth it! A perfect example is setting up an automation sequence for onboarding new clients – never forget an email or step again.
A favorite automation of Liz’s is the recurring invoice, she doesn’t actually have to send out invoices every month for her Pinterest clients, Dubsado does it automatically for her.
· Customer Service
Dubsado may have a small team but they are great at customer service and answering questions. The couple of times I had to reach out they were prompt and helpful. They also offer a robust help section, a library of videos to get you started, and weekly webinar trainings showing you how to get the most out of Dubsado.
· The Dubsado Facebook Community
I find the Dubsado Facebook Community to be a big pro. Dubsado has experts that monitor the community to answer your questions. The community is very engaging and you can learn a lot just by reading the questions and comments from other users. I’ve also seen community members share tips and templates to help each other.
· Project Management
I’ll be honest. I don’t use Dubsado’s time tracking and project management capabilities. Dubsado does have some decent project management capability, but they’re not as robust as some other programs that are available. I wanted and needed a little more customization so I use ClickUp as my project management tool for its flexibility.
· There’s a Learning Curve
As with any program, there is a learning curve when you get started and some people find it more difficult than others. Now, I’m usually pretty intuitive when it comes to technology but, as I got started, there were a few things that were tricky to figure out.
The help and set up videos they offer are very helpful and explain how to get started and, more importantly, what to tackle first. After I watched them, I was good to go, but I can see where it could trip some people up.
The Price of Dubsudo vs the Value of Dubsado
Once you are ready to upgrade after your free trial, Dubsado’s pricing starts at $35/month or $350/year. Which when you’ve been used to free can maybe feel expensive. Though they have in the past done temporary sales, where you can get it for $30/month.
But as I was researching CRM programs, this pricing seemed to be in the middle of the pack. And while the pricing was middle of the pack Dubsado’s features lined up with its higher-priced competitors. For me, the investment was absolutely worth it, I found the program to work best for my needs.
If the free trial of up to 3 clients isn’t quite enough for you, you can use this link to get 20% off your first payment, so if you do monthly it would be $28 the first month. So If you paid annually it would be just $280. (if the link doesn’t work just use code = stapleton)
How Does Dubsado Help You?
The biggest thing that Dubsado did for me, was save time! Our most valuable commodity, is time right? If you save even two hours a month on administrative tasks, lead generation and client onboarding, it’s worth it!
By loading all your business content (i.e. – emails, forms, and contracts) into Dubsado upfront and creating automations, you save yourself loads of time on the backend. I love that you don’t have to worry about remembering to send a client a specific reminder or email, Dubsado does it for you. They can even send payment reminders for late invoices. Cha-Ching!
Plus, creating the automations forces you to think through your processes.
- What emails do I want to send, when?
- What should my packages and hours look like?
- How did I want my branding to come across in my paperwork?
This forced me to work out my business systems and find my blind spots and I know it will help you do the same. Helping you to feel more confident in your business and look more legitimate to your clients.
Overall, Dubsado has saved me insane amounts of time and stress over the last year. What more could I ask for?
Why You Should Give Dubsado a Try
No CRM is going to be perfect for everyone, however, Dubsado’s features make it flexible enough to work for almost any niche. The platform has all the features that a freelancer needs in a CRM.
Dubsado’s free trial allows you to build your systems and get things rolling before spending money to subscribe. That’s kinda perfect in my book because who doesn’t want to save money?
Plus, their customer service and the Dubsado community are there to support you as you get started.
Looking back, I am so grateful that I found Dubsado early in my freelancer journey and I hope that this review has shown how you might find it helpful in your business, too.
Remember, with their free trial, you have nothing to lose by trying Dubsado and you might just find the perfect tool for your business! Check out Dubsado today! (use code = stapleton to get 20% off your first payment)
Have a question I didn’t answer? Let me know in the comments!