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Why Dubsado is the Best Client Management Program for Creative Freelancers

How awesome would it be if there was a client management system built specifically for creative freelancers that handled contracts, invoicing, questionnaires, and much more at an affordable price with stellar customer service?

No way. Sounds like a dream, right? Too good to be true.

It’s a real thing, and it’s called Dubsado.

Is there really a freelance process client management system that can do everything  you need, all in one place? Dubsado might just be it. Here's how to use it to streamline your freelance business.

Don’t believe me? You can try it today for free, and the trial is unlimited for up to three clients.

 

Basic Dubsado Feature Overview

Here’s a list of an ever-growing suite of features you get to enjoy when you use Dubsado. Below I’ll provide a short overview of each feature as well as a list of pros and cons to consider.

  • Lead capture forms
  • Workflows
  • Email integration
  • To-do lists
  • Contracts
  • Questionnaires
  • Invoicing
  • Calendar Sync
  • Payment Schedules
  • Email templates
  • Bookkeeping

Lead Capture

This time-saving feature allows you to embed a form on your website that collects information from clients and automatically populates your Dubsado dashboard. You can then take information received from lead capture forms and send questionnaires, invoices, contracts, or apply workflows.

Workflows

Are there things you do for every client, no matter the project type? Or certain types of files you send to specific clients? Maybe you just want an email to go out that thanks your clients after they pay an invoice. Remembering to do all of that stuff for each client is tiring.

Dubsado’s workflow feature takes the guessing and frustration out of your client process by allowing you to automatically send contracts, invoices, questionnaires, and more. Workflows can be time, status, event, or date triggered.

Email Integration

With Dubsado’s email integration, all emails sent to your clients from the system come from you@youremail.com and will display in the client portal. No more guessing as to when and if your clients receive your emails.

While you can’t see replies to these emails from within Dubsado, “conversation mode” is a feature they’ll be adding in May or June of 2017.

To-do Lists

Add simple to-do lists to jobs and workflows to keep you on task. An exciting planned feature coming in March or April of 2017 is “Trello like” to-do boards that will allow you to create templates and share lists with clients.

Contracts

This feature allows you to create and send service and client-specific contracts and agreements with Dubsado’s drag and drop form builder. Collect client signatures and counter-sign agreements with a few clicks.

Questionnaires

Create drag and drop service-specific and custom questionnaires to gather information from clients. Clients can update these forms as needed and they can be added to workflows. You can also create templates to use later.

Invoicing

Create and send attractive invoices that give clients two easy payment options: credit cards or e-checks. Credit card payments are automatically logged in the system and e-checks can be manually added in Dubsado’s bookkeeping module.

Calendar Sync

Sync your calendar with Dubsado and see all of your appointments and commitments in your dashboard. This feature will be expanded in May or June of 2017 to add an online scheduling system.

Payment Schedules

This new feature was released in winter of 2017 and allows you to set up payment schedules for projects. Automatic invoice reminders make it easy for clients to make payments on time.

Email Templates

Another time-saving feature that allows you to set templates and canned responses for invoices, contracts, client portals, and forms. Set up your signature and add a personal touch to emails by using client-specific variables such as client name, date, job, payment schedules, and more.

Bookkeeping

Phase 1 of this feature was rolled out in winter of 2017 and includes a chart of accounts, the ability to add and export transactions, and pull reports. Phase 2 is planned for February or March of 2017 and will include QuickBooks integration, mileage tracking, and receipt storage.

Dubsado Pros

Client Portal

This is the feature that got me to cancel my plan with the other service I was using and move to Dubsado.

The client portal keeps things organized for both you and your clients and allows you to track your client’s activities. Have they viewed the quote but left the invoice unopened? Have they seen the questionnaire? The portal cuts back on emailing back and forth and re-sending files.

Dubsado will automatically generate an email for you to send to your client with their portal login information, and, as of winter 2017, you can embed the client portal login screen on your website.

Form Builder

Dubsado’s simple drag and drop form builder makes creating client questionnaires a snap. Pre-built templates are included for inspiration. Add images, text boxes, check boxes, spacing, and much more to create branded, professional, and functional forms.

Affordable

If you’re ready to move up from the free trial, Dubsado won’t empty your bank account. At $15 a month or $175 a year, it’s affordable. They offer a $600 forever plan and will offer you up to $200 if you’ve purchased another system’s lifetime subscription.

You won’t pay anything extra to receive payments with Dubsado. Their platform interfaces with Stripe directly, so the only fees you pay are Stripe’s standard 2.9% + .30 cents per transaction.

Great Customer Service

Dubsado’s customer support is bonkers. Not only is their email response time spectacular, there’s also a helpful and friendly Facebook group if you want help or feedback from other Dubsado users.

I don’t think I’ve ever worked with a company where the actual creators of the service or program were providing one on one support for their users. And this is probably a silly thing to get excited about, but they send new customers a gift. I won’t spoil the surprise!

Transparency

Have you ever used a service and had to rely on a voting system for new features? Or, worse yet, new features were constantly promised to you but never seemed to happen? Not so with Dubsado. With their feature transparency promise, you will always know what’s coming and when.

Unlimited Trial

A 14-30 day trial isn’t long enough to decide if a client management tool will work in your business. No worries with Dubsado – the trial is unlimited. You can use it for free for up to 3 clients for as long as you want.

Your Branding Only

It’s all about your business with Dubsado. All files, communications, and buttons can be customized to fit your brand. Your clients will never see Dubsado-specific branding or logos.

Dubsado Cons

It’s difficult to list cons for the Dubsado platform, as many of the missing features are coming soon. Also, Dubsado creators Becca and Jake are open to any and all feedback when it comes to user needs. But in the interest of maintaining some shreds of objectivity, here’s a few cons to consider.

Lead Form Action Customization

In programs like 17Hats, you can customize what happens after a prospect fills out a lead capture form. The only option Dubsado currently offers is a thank you message.

No Integrations

Dubsado doesn’t currently integrate with bookkeeping programs, schedulers, or project management systems. These features are all planned for the future, but imagine what a powerhouse Dubsado would be if it worked with IFTTT or Zapier!

No PayPal Support

The only payment processor Dubsado currently supports is Stripe. Square and PayPal support is scheduled for March or April 2017.

No Mobile App

The Dubsado mobile app is still in the works. However, the web application is just as functional and beautiful on mobile devices as it is on larger screens.

No File Attachments on Forms

Dubsado’s lead capture forms and questionnaires are a great way to collect information from clients, but at this time there’s no option for file attachments.

Conclusion

If you’re a creative freelancer looking for a simple and affordable way to automate your client processes, Dubsado is a great option. This article touched on the major features, but there’s a lot more in the program to explore and many new features in the works. Sign up for your free Dubsado trial today and take it for a spin!

 

Nicole Peery Nicole is a purple-haired online business support specialist based in Indianapolis, IN, USA who specializes in Wordpress, email marketing, systems, and online course support. She owns Peery Creative, an online business dedicated to helping creative entrepreneurs create more, share more, say more, and make more. When she’s not helping others grow their online businesses, she spends her time drinking craft beer, playing video games, reading, fishing, and driving her bright green car.

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