A weekly podcast where one-woman-shows come to ask for advice, vent when needed, and celebrate the little (and big) victories.
Let's ride this rollercoaster together.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST
Thanks for visiting the blog! I hope you learn something!
Feel free to explore the site and book a virtual coffee with me, I'd love to meet you!
If you’re familiar with me in just about any capacity, you’d know that I’m always finding new ways to make life easier for myself and my clients. I mean, who likes spending time sifting through folders, jumping around from program to program, or writing the same email for the billionth time for things that commonly happen in the business day-to-day?
The Answer: no one! But we all start somewhere. And some stay in a place of back-office chaos for a lot longer than they need to, simply because they’re unaware of the solutions that a CRM program could solve for them. I remember when I first started my business as a VA years ago, whenever I onboarded a new client, they would hand me a LONG list of usernames and passwords for the different programs they used to move their clients through a process – something like HelloSign for contracts, Paypal or Stripe for invoicing, Google Forms for questionnaires and feedback, some sort of time tracking system, messy spreadsheets for keeping track of client info, and that’s all before we even start the actual project or service!
Now a lot of these are free/cheap to use, and a business can 100% be run on a shoestring software budget. But once you start experiencing some success and get busier, investing in a great CRM program can make your life a heck of a lot easier, and will definitely save you money in the long run. Because what could you do with all the time you save by not jumping from program to program or leaving room for things to slip through the cracks? Serve more clients and bring in more money!
A CRM system, or Customer Relationship Management System is a tool that takes some of the things on that laundry list I described above and gives you a place to collect and store all of your client information.
There are TONS of options out there, and I’ve used them all! 17Hats, Honeybook, Zendesk, Pipedrive… I could keep going and have spent tons of time pointing entrepreneurs in the direction of the one I think is right for them. But, if you are a service-based business that operates primarily online – Dubsado is the clear winner for sooo many reasons!
Here are some of the things Dubsado can handle for you under ONE virtual roof:
I could (and sometimes to) take a few hours to write out my love letter for Dubsado and explain each and every capability it has, but here I’ll just give you a quick rundown of the major benefits of using Dubsado, and how I personally use it to deliver the best possible experience for my clients on autopilot.
One thing about me – I LOVE a solid brand, and Dubsado lets you customize absolutely everything. While many CRM programs have little wiggle room for adding a personal touch or visual branding, every single thing that my clients touch is branded.
Typically, the first thing a client will see when they decide to reach out to me is a form of some kind, or my appointment scheduler – all of which are hosted in Dubsado and can actually work together in some cases. The Forms area of Dubsado allows you to create a variety of form types: Lead Captures (that can be embedded on your website), Questionnaires, Contracts, Sub-Agreements, but perhaps most importantly – Proposals!
Whenever a new client fills out a public form, like a Lead Capture, for example, Dubsado will then add them as a new client in the system and literally EVERYTHING you do from then on will be beautifully organized in their project area. But like I said, the proposals are, in my opinion, the most important part of the system because this is the point where the prospect becomes a paying client – so the experience needs to be spot-on.
Dubsado allows the client to pick and choose what packages/services/products they want, which will then automatically populate into the contract they see after clicking Submit, and then populates into the invoice, which they pay right then and there. Imagine being able to shoot off a beautiful interactive proposal and automatically have the contract and invoice attached for exactly what they choose?! It’s seriously magic.
The proposal, contract, and invoice are taken care of in one go, and all of those documents are stored in their client portal, where both of you can access them at any time.
Another fabulous client-facing feature is their scheduling area, where you can make unlimited appointment types that can be public or private, and it seems like they took all of the best features from other scheduling platforms (like Calendly and Acuity) and popped all of them in there for us to use: buffer times between appointments, limited number of times the appointment type can be used, ability to attach an accompanying form or questionnaire, and even take payment in order to book the appointment, just to name a few!
Now that I’ve touched on a few of my favorite parts that my clients get to experience, I wanted to touch on what that looks like for me, the business owner. And most days, it’s nothing at all!
I’m not going to lie and tell you that the setup is a breeze – it’s absolutely not. Since this system is incredibly robust and offers an insane amount of features that are buildable and function off one another, there is a steep learning curve if you’re wanting to set it up yourself. But once it’s done, it’s done until you’re ready to implement something new, and by then you’ll be familiar with the program and how it all works. Every year, Dubsado opens the doors to their specialist certification and puts their specialists through a very challenging exam to make sure they know their stuff – I would know because I took it and am a Certified Dubsado Specialist myself! Us experts end up in a directory where people can hire help to get set up, which is totally the way to go (If you’re interested, check out my setup services here!).
The magic really does come after the setup, where you can let go of the paper shuffling and let the system take the admin reigns. The heaviest parts of the system are things that appear to happen completely naturally to the client, but save an insane amount of time on the back-end.
The Canned Emails area is a goldmine, and in my own system, I have over 50 emails written beautifully and ready to go for basically any part in the process that I’m in with a client. I always say if you’ve written the same email more than three times (to ask for something, say thank you, ask for a testimonial, literally anything), it can and should be automated. By writing your best email once inside of Dubsado, you have it at your fingertips whenever you need it again.
The best way to fully utilize all of these features is to set up Workflows! Workflows are basically a set of actions that can be either automated or lined up and manually pushed through. There are tons of actions you can have Dubsado do – like send certain emails, forms, appointment schedulers, or anything else really – that are triggered by something else happening – like when a form gets completed, a contract gets signed, or an appointment ends.
There are infinite possibilities when it comes to fitting these puzzle pieces together, but I can tell you one thing for sure – the amount of time I have saved by utilizing Dubsado to its fullest capacity has allowed me to more than triple my income since I’ve started using it. The goal is to systematize an incredible client experience so that each and every person who interacts with my business gets treated like royalty – even on my busiest days! It truly is a pleasure to be able to set other entrepreneurs up with a stellar client experience, while also saving them hours upon hours of admin work!
If you’ve heard enough and are ready to give it a try, click this link to take advantage of the 30% discount I get to share by being a Certified Dubsado Specialist, you won’t pay anything upon signup – they allow you to play for as long as you want and only require you to pay once you’ve added three clients into the system.
If you want a major fast-track to getting set up or be totally certain you are using the program to its fullest capacity – click here to check out my services and get in touch with me with any questions at all!
PS: If you want to read a bit more about the fun ways I like to personalize the accounts I set up – check out another blog post I wrote on Personalizing and Branding Your Automated Processes!
I'm an online business strategist and digital marketing expert who is passionate about helping entrepreneurs streamline their operational practices, gain visibility, and make their biggest impact in the online space.
After spending years running the back-end of 15+ businesses, both online and in-person, and in tons of different industries, I have really seen it all and now provide tailored solutions and resources for entrepreneurs who are ready to level-up their business and implement systems, strategies, and content that save time, energy, and money all while seriously impressing their ideal clients.
Kick creative constipation to the curb with this bank of ideas I've been racking up for years! These will give your audience exactly what they want - a bit of you, your business, your offers, and your tribe!
Alina Scarcella is a multi-passionate service provider who focuses on making life easier for female entrepreneurs through implementing systems and processes that deliver luxury client experiences, creating and managing high-converting marketing content, and designing bespoke websites.