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A love letter to Dubsado: my automation obsession

Dear Dubsado,

When my friend Sara told me about your impressive performance as her new onboarding solution, I was skeptical. But you have blown me away with your amazing functionality for a really amazing price, so I wanted to take this Valentine’s Day to share some public love & appreciation.

I’ve always been fixated with trying to make my life more productive. I blame it on my upbringing as an engineer’s daughter: as a kid, I was always prompted to remove any obstacles from my path. (This was especially relevant in my morning routine; with the school bus arriving at 6:38am, I learned quickly to remove anything that could slow me down.)

This practice has served me well as an entrepreneur. I get a thrill out of systematizing and automating. What else can I streamline? Where else can I find a solution that takes tedious tasks off my plate? What else can technology do for me?

Since I started my business 3 years ago, I’ve been trying to build a great client workflowto easily track leads & convert prospects into clients. I’ve gone through free trials of all the major software options — 17Hats felt too amateur in its branding (Jenna Sue font, really?), Tave was clearly for photographers and I couldn’t get it to work for my clients’ needs, Honeybook felt too limited in its functionality for the pricing.

To demonstrate how you’ve improved my flow (and my peace of mind), here’s what my onboarding process looked like before you came along:

  • A prospective client fills out the contact form on my website, and the form plug-in sends me an e-mail
  • I see the e-mail and send a reply e-mail that includes a link to my online scheduler, Acuity
  • Once we have our call, I write a proposal in Bidsketch
  • I customize a contract in Google Docs, and send it using HelloSign
  • I create & send an invoice using FreeAgent, my accounting software
  • Once everything is signed & paid, I send the client an e-mail with my welcome packet attached

But now Dubsado, with you in my life, the process is waaaaaay less stressful for me, because you take so many of the steps off my to-do list:

  • A prospective client fills out the Dubsado intake form
  • Automated: This triggers my workflow for leads: they are immediately sent a welcome e-mail with a link to my scheduler
  • After the call, I write a proposal & send it via Dubsado (and just like Bidsketch, I can see whether the client has viewed the proposal)
  • If the proposal is approved, I change the client status in Dubsado from “Lead” to “Job,” which triggers the next workflow …
  • Automated: My job workflow is triggered —  pre-formatted contract is sent to the client (Dubsado takes all the client info from my proposal, like the client name, business name, job title, etc., and inserts it into the contract automatically)
  • Automated: Once that’s signed, an invoice is sent (I customize this at the same time I change the person to “Job,” so it’s ready to go once the contract is signed)
  • Automated: Once the invoice is paid (Dubsado accepts Stripe & e-checks and will soon add Paypal), an e-mail is automatically sent that has a link to my welcome packet

In my pre-Dubsado plan, I had to take 5 separate steps using 5 different software systems. If I was on vacation or not monitoring my e-mail, or if any of those software systems was down, any step in that process could fall through the cracks — making me look unprofessional, if the ball got dropped, potentially losing the client.

But with you, Dubsado, I have 3 steps: talk to the client, write a proposal, and update the invoice amount. You literally take care of every other step in the process — and I can see exactly where the client is along the way to make sure there are no bottlenecks in my pipeline.

Want to see how it looks? Here’s my workflow for my Flash Review service:

Since this process is the same for every client & doesn’t require a custom proposal, the workflow collects all the information from the client, then alerts me when I’m ready to begin.

So without me even paying attention, Dubsado collects payment, gets the contract signed, obtains all the information I need about the business, and sends instructions to share access to Google Analytics. Once all that is done, the contact moves from “lead” to “job” and I can get started without worrying about tracking down any administrative details.

So thank you, Dubsado, for giving me back much needed time to work on working with existing clients & expanding my network, instead of getting bogged down in the administrative minutiae of contracts & proposals.


PS In case I haven’t gushed about Dubsado enough already, here’s some bonus info:

  • It is always being updated — the owners of the company, Jake & Becca, are great at responding to customer requests for new functionality and they’re constantly rolling out new features. (I’m not kidding when I say that the service gets better every week.)
  • Their customer service is awesome — one time I couldn’t get something to work (which was my mistake —I was uploading a broken PDF) so I called the 1-800 number … and Jake, the owner of the company, answered the phone & talked me through the issue.
  • It’s incredibly affordable — $35/mo (or $350/year), plus any credit card fees charged by Stripe (and no additional fees from Dubsado for processing). Many of the similar softwares I’ve tried out cost double that, and they charge you more for additional projects. (Why should you be penalized for being successful?)
  • It’s easy to try out — instead of the usual “try this free for 30 days,” Dubsado’s trial is for 3 clients, for as long as it takes to move those 3 leads through your pipeline. If you’re mostly booked up and just want to add a few clients over the next few months, you could try Dubsado for free indefinitely.

Then, when you DO want to sign up (and if you’re a services-based business & want your onboarding process more streamlined, you WILL want this service), you can use my last name (CASEBOLT) to save 20% on your first month:

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