tell me more
I'm Mara — I help creatives create and launch digital courses and profitable products. I love chatting about online marketing, design and goal setting!
Important Affiliate Disclaimer: I’m a Dubsado affiliate, and if you use my links to sign up, I’ll receive a commission on the sale – at no extra cost to you! This review reflects my own honest opinion based on my experience as a service-based business owner.
As entrepreneurs, we have to wear many different hats in our businesses. We’re not only responsible for doing the actual client work. We’re also responsible for maintaining client relationships, turning leads into clients, and handling ALL of the finances and paperwork. Taking care of all the details that come with being a business owner can take up a considerable chunk of your time!
A couple of years ago, I was looking for a way to manage all those details more efficiently and get back some of my time. After trying another CRM, I started using Dubsado to manage new client inquiries, share contracts, invoice existing clients, and keep projects on schedule. It’s been an absolute game-changer for my business!
If you’re reading this and thinking, “What is Dubsado?” this post is for you! Today, I’m sharing the ins and outs of Dubsado. I think it’s the best CRM out there for entrepreneurs, and it’s completely changed my business. I’ll talk about the main benefits and highlight the features I use the most to keep my clients and leads organized, save time, and generally make my life a LOT easier.
Dubsado is an online-based client relationship management (CRM) tool. Basically, it helps you organize and maintain all of your client relationships. Before I had a CRM, my head was constantly spinning with an endless to-do list of client communication, next steps on projects, and leads I needed to respond to. With Dubsado, I can get all of that information out of my head and put it on autopilot.
Instead of racking my brain to write the perfect proposal, I’ll write a Dubsado template once, then use it as a starting point each time. I don’t ever have to worry about losing client records in my inbox because it all lives in Dubsado! I’ve also been able to automate smaller tasks, like appointment scheduling, sending reminders, and processing payments. Plus, it’s really nice to add some polish to my clients’ experience.
You absolutely can! It will take up considerable amounts of your time and energy to keep up with everything as your business grows. It’s much more convenient to use Dubsado. I quickly went from “What is Dubsado?” to “I can’t live without Dubsado!” Seriously, it’s kind of amazing how much better I am at maintaining client relationships with a CRM.
Earlier this year, I was booked out way in advance and working with mostly retainer clients. I started feeling like I could handle things on my own, so I canceled my Dubsado subscription. Chaos ensued! I honestly thought it wouldn’t be a big deal to just email new inquiries back, but it got super confusing, super fast. I ended up missing out on several new leads that tried to message me about a project. Learn from my mistakes!
When you’re starting out, it’s not that much trouble to cobble together your own client management solution between Google Drive and other apps spread out over the internet. But if you’re planning to take on more than one or two clients, then I would highly recommend signing up for Dubsado!
Putting everything into a CRM takes so much off your plate, saves time, and makes it less likely that you’ll lose track of communication. For example, here are some of the ways people use Dubsado:
About that learning curve…
I love using Dubsado, and I’m at the point where I can’t imagine not using it in my business. That said, I feel like I have to warn people that there’s definitely a learning curve! That’s true about any new CRM you use for your business, but it’s more manageable if you work on one thing at a time.
When I first started using Dubsado, I found it confusing to figure out how to use the system and know where I could access the things I was looking for. So if you find yourself totally overwhelmed at first, you’re not alone!
Take things step by step, and check out Dubsado’s trainings and YouTube videos if you’re feeling lost. I promise, there IS a light at the end of the tunnel! You don’t have to have everything perfect immediately or set everything up in one day. Before you bring on actual clients, enlist your friends and family as pretend clients, so you can get a better idea of what’s working (and what’s not).
The more clients you add, the more you’ll learn about how to optimize everything to fit your needs. At this point, I’m about two years into using Dubsado, and it feels like second nature.
Dubsado is a really powerful program and does so many things incredibly well. However, these are the five main areas where Dubsado gives small business owners the most support.
Dusbado lets you set up templates for just about every kind of client communication, which is a HUGE time saver. When you first log in, the system is loaded with Dubsado’s canned templates to give you a starting point. Tweak the language to fit your brand voice, add your customized information, and drag and drop any additional elements into the template. Once you feel good about the final template, it’s on hand to grab and go whenever you need it. Some of my favorite ways to use templates:
I’m particular about how things look, so I love that you can change any part of Dubsado’s pages and templates. If I want to add or remove images, buttons, links, or smart fields, with Dubsado, I can. Not every CRM gives you that much control over layout and appearance.
Dubsado also lets you white-label everything. You can brand all customer-facing materials with your brand colors, fonts, and logos. When you send documents, forms, and pages, they look like they came from a custom program and can link to a URL on your own website.
Before Dubsado, if I was signing a contract with a new client, I had to pull up a Google doc with my contract, make a copy, change everything to reflect the client’s information and the unique terms of our contract, import it into Docusign, then write a message to my client and send it.
It was up to me to remind clients to sign and keep track of the contract once I got it back. Now, all I do is pull up my Dubsado contract and email templates, make a few adjustments, and press send. Dubsado keeps track of the status, reminders, and filing away signed contracts for my records.
All those little detail-oriented tasks you do yourself – like sending reminders about a recurring invoice, remembering to schedule a quarterly check-in, or sending a thank you note after a meeting – can be automated. In Dubsado, these are called workflows, and you can use them to automate any step in the client journey.
You can even define a workflow for each unique project you offer. It takes a little bit of work on the front end, but in the long run, it saves time and gets rid of that panicky feeling that you’ve missed a detail with a client or lead.
This is one of the biggest ways Dubsado has helped my business! I felt like I couldn’t always keep up with Facebook and Instagram DMs, referrals from past clients, and people who emailed me directly. It was overwhelming, and sometimes I missed out on responding to everyone in time (or at all!) Dubsado lets me make a centralized form to gather information from leads and keeps track of them.
After you’ve created a lead capture form, you can embed it into your site and send the link directly to potential clients when they’re ready to book a discovery call. Dubsado automatically collects information from each form and kicks off any new lead workflows you’ve set up. That way, you won’t drop the ball and miss out on a new client.
Just like you can build templates for email and contracts, you can make templates for one-time or recurring invoices. After you’ve set up a client’s bill, Dubsado sends everything along on the date you’ve chosen. You also have the option to break up payments over time or into percentages.
For example, if clients pay 50% up front and pay additional portions throughout the project, Dubsado can keep track of those payments. Clients receive invoices via email and can click through to input payment details and approve recurring charges. If clients need reminders, that’s totally off your plate – Dubsado automatically sends reminders!
Everything I’ve mentioned so far makes your life as a small business owner much easier, but it also benefits anyone who does business with you. Adding a CRM is a small shift that gives clients the feeling they’re working with a serious business. Instead of getting PDF attachments and plain-text documents, everything clients receive has one seamless look.
On a practical level, it’s more convenient for clients to sign contracts, pay invoices, and view documents by clicking on an email link. Clients can also access the documents and invoices they’ve received and communicate with you in a customized client portal, which gives the entire experience a higher-end feel. It’s also just plain easier for clients to do business with you, so they have an amazing experience.
Dubsado also helps me give clients a great experience because it keeps me in line! I’m not dropping the ball on client communication, and I know exactly where we are in the process at any given moment.
You can try Dubsado for free for up to three clients, with no time limit. I love that it’s unlimited because you can get to know the program without worrying about a ticking clock.
Subscription plans start at $20 per month or $200 per year. If you don’t need automation or scheduling, you can save a little money by going that route. But those are some of the best features you can get from Dubsado, and I wouldn’t skip out on them unless you truly wouldn’t use them!
I recommend the $40 per month, or $400 per year, plan with access to Dubsado’s full features. It’s pricey, but with my affiliate link, you’ll get 20% off your first year, bringing the price down to $320.
Between gaining back your time and offering clients a better experience, it doesn’t take long to see a return on investment. Ultimately, it will help you bring on more clients and offer them better service, adding to more income for your business! By making Dubsado a part of your process, you’re probably already adding enough value to your overall client experience to justify raising rates.
I hope I’ve helped you figure out “What is Dusado?” with this post. It has saved me tons of time and trouble by managing pretty much every aspect of client relationships better than I could on my own. Plus, it makes everything I send to my clients look great and work smoothly.
If you’re interested in a CRM but are unsure if Dubsado is the one for you, check out Honeybook! I’ve used their CRM in the past, and they’re still my second choice CRM for small businesses. I’ve written a whole post on the similarities and differences between Honeybook vs. Dubsado to help you figure out which one is right for your business!
I’m so excited for you! Start a free trial and grab 20% off your first year with my link.
*This post may contain affiliate links.