Alright All, I’ve been
using playing with researching Dubsado for almost a year now. This year, I’m finally gonna do it and pony up for what I like to call “administrative helper” software (otherwise known as a CRM).
Why Did I Take So Long?
Why did it take me so long to make the switch? Oh man, do you have a free 30 minutes and a comfy couch? (no? Skip to What It Can Do).
A Matter of Trust
I haven’t been quite ready to share it with my clients. I guess I wasn’t ready to trust them with you. You, my clients are the reason I’m in this business!
So like any good [recovering] perfectionist, I did my homework. (Granted, a year might seem like a wee bit more time than most, but I wanted to WOW each and every person who works with me.)
Guess what? A year of testing and demo-ing paid off.
I believe Dubsado has the chops -and staying power- to help me manage my business. And do it in a way that gives a personal touch that is so crucial in maintaining a relationship. Plus, with lightening-fast automation, I can be even more responsive to you!
If you know anything about me, it’s that I love to squeeze every last cent out of something. If there’s a free version, AND it makes sense, I will try to make it work [for you too] instead of shelling out $$.
But, there comes a time when you have to have that hard conversation with yourself and assess whether all those “FREE” workarounds are making you money or costing you money.
Right now, I do all the things. Design, Code, annnd the Admin. Sure, I use some tools to help streamline the process (❤️s to you, Freedcamp and GSuite); yet I felt like I wasn’t getting any traction on some key parts of my process; specifically lead weeding, onboarding, contracts, + invoicing.
So I looked at the situation with my “just the facts, ma’am” lenses. Here’s the thing. I was spending just as much time* doing admin (sending forgotten passwords, onboarding, emails, figuring out invoice software) as I was in actual coding or design! (*Actual numbers: 1.10 hours of design + coding to every 1 hour of admin. YIKES!)
Right now, I only take on a small number clients every year. I do this to be sure I never under deliver. By creating a more streamlined, automated approach, I’ll be able to take on more clients. By using Dubsado, more nonprofits and small businesses will be furthering their missions every year!
Sooo… Why Dubsado?
Why, I’m so glad you asked! As many of my clients know, I have a very specific process we follow. If I was going to pay for something, it had to check all my “must-haves”. (because buying stuff for the business = using YOUR money to do it.) I also wanted to be able to truly try out any system before committing; let’s face it, an always-too-short 14-day trial or “reduced features trial” just isn’t gonna cut it!.
Let’s make believe… Client End
A lot of these “why I use this great product” articles approach it from the agency’s end and why it helps their business. I like to think I’m a rebel, so let’s rock this from the other side – why it will benefit you, my clients.
So you’re a potential client, sitting on the beach, cruising the web while waiting for your cabana dude/tte to bring you a refreshing something, looking for a sharply dressed, savvy website developer to make you a killer website for your nonprofit.*1In reality, my client is probably locked in the only bathroom of their organization, crying after a board meeting where the president says “my pastor/bff/wife told me we need a website. Now I know you have a PhD in some specific yet obscure branch of [insert art/history period here] so it shouldn’t be that hard to figure out. Besides, you have a smartphone so you must know how to do this, right?”.
You come to this website, see the awesome homepage, and click through until you get enough info to make your decision.
You fill out the contact form. Annnd, cue DUBSADO!
Instantly, you receive a personalized email with a request for ‘more details, please’. You click the button and it takes you to a FREE planning guide – with some of your organization’s contact info already filled out! As you look further, you aren’t required to click submit – you’re even encouraged to use it and take to another developer for a second quote!
You’re starting to feel like a real person again and fill it out. !Ding! Another email from Terri – success! You’re in! And you get another document called an “Intro Packet” that you can add to your arsenal of why you aren’t the best person to make your organization’s website, this Terri person is (cue tears of relief!).
As you scan it, you see something that catches your eye; an offer to call for a FREE discovery call. You click on a time that works for you and get a reminder instantly in your inbox, offering to add it to your calendar.
You sit down, harried with yet another inane question from your volunteer, and sit down with Terri. She (digitally) holds your hand and offers you a box of tissues -the good kind, with lotion- while you pour out your woes.
She listens, asks some detailed questions, and then reassuringly says “I’ll be back with some solutions for you.”
24 hours later, a beautifully crafted proposal appears in your inbox. Gasp! It highlights your problems (some you didn’t even realize could be fixed with a website) and gives you options (btw, options were always my best friend when it came to getting the Board to decide on well, anything).
You take the printable / forward-able proposal to the next Board meeting. They grumble a bit, but see that you’ve picked some good places to get quotes from. One stands out, in terms of plain language and strategy.
You digitally sign and approve the proposal, remarking how easy this whole process has been so far and how responsive this Terri person has been. She really seems to have it together (unlike the Board President’s nephew, who did your last website and after a year, still hasn’t gotten your name on the site…)
Contract + Invoice
!Ding! What?! Another auto-magical email with a contract ready to fill out? And an invoice with not only options of payment terms, but also choices of how to pay? (credit card, ACH, PayPal – even automatic withdrawal so you don’t forget!)
You read and [digitally] sign the [plain English] contract, choose your payment plan with a click of the button, and make your first payment (online!) within minutes.
You think, “I wonder what happens ne…”
!Ding! Again?! How does she *do* that?! A “Next Steps” email with a tailored Welcome Packet, In-Depth Questionnaire, and a heads up of some other emails that you’ll be getting. (Email Invites to the Project Management system and Client Portal, which also magically appear, thanks to Dubsado.)
Sooo Much More!
As you can see, we’ve only gotten through the very first steps of working with me. There is sooo much more that this little fella can do, giving me more time to work with you. Like integrations with accounting software, project management, task lists…
In 2020 and beyond, I’ll be there with you, for every step, and so will Dubsado.
☝️ This code should net you 20% off your first month…or year. ☝️
*In reality, my client is probably locked in the only bathroom of their organization, crying after a board meeting where the president drops the “my pastor/bff/wife told me we need a website. Now I know you have a PhD in some specific yet obscure branch of [insert art/history period here] so it shouldn’t be that hard to figure out. Besides, you have a smartphone so you must know how to do this, right?”.
Affiliate Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click a link and then make a purchase, I’ll get a commission at no additional cost to you. I try to mark them all with a (^), but sometimes miss them in final publication. Like all products I write about, I absolutely love + use this one in my personal + / or work day-to-day (I write about non-affiliated and FREE products too!).
Reminder to Future Self: This article was written in order to potentially win a free subscription to Dubsado. I was going to write one anyway, but the lottery was a ‘kick in the pants’ to get it done.