If you are finding that it is getting difficult to keep your clients, projects, invoices, and emails in your business organized, it might be time for you to invest in a CRM.
“Wait… CRM… what is that?”
A CRM is a Client Relationship Manager — basically it’s a software that allows you to streamline your clients, processes, and workflows while allowing you to remain on-track for your projects and in good communication with your clients.
Not every CRM is built the same, but if you are a creative then you have definitely heard of Honeybook and Dubsado. These are two awesome CRMs that can change the game for you as a business owner and, if you set them up correctly, save you literally hours of time. And we know time is money!
I’ll start off by saying that both Honeybook and Dubsado are INCREDIBLE. I know, because I’ve used them both! I started off with Honeybook when I needed something that would allow me to send invoices and contracts to my clients. This was when they first came out and I invested in a lifetime subscription as a founding member.
As my business grew and expanded to photography and brand/website design, I needed something a bit more robust that would allow me to have multiple brands under one account and a bit more creative freedom when it came to proposal design. Enter: Dubsado. I also found them in the early stages and invested (again) into a lifetime subscription as a founding member. (Honeybook now has multiple companies feature as well!)
Dubsado offers Scheduler Groups, which allow you to send (or embed) multiple types of schedulers in one link.
For example if you are hosting Mini Sessions at two locations, you could create two different schedulers with the different details and add them to a group. When you send the Scheduler Group link, they can choose which mini session they would like to book and it will take them to the corresponding calendar. You can even collect a deposit at the time of booking and include custom forms – it won’t let them book that slot without the forms being filled out and the invoice paid. (This is really helpful for those who ‘want to book’ but don’t commit — you don’t have to go back and forth with them)
Public Company Roadmap
Dubsado is constantly making improvements and dropping new features. You can submit a feature request and see upcoming launches in real time. They even have a beta tester program that you can sign up for to get first dibs on new features.
Robust Customization & Automations
If you want to control every single design pixel, Dubsado is for you hands down. You can make an entire landing page or sales page by creating a custom proposal and embedding it onto your website.
The workflow and automations are like no other. If you don’t have anything automated in your business then this is literally life-changing.
From white-labeling links to incorporating your brand fonts and colors into all of your templates, Dubsado was designed for your brand and business to shine.
No Additional Processing Fees
Dubsado does not add any additional fees to the standard transaction fees: 2.9% + . 30 cents per card transaction; 0.8% for ACH with a max $5 fee.
Flexible Payment Plans for Invoicing
This was the decider for me. Every project has a payment plan in both CRMs, however in Dubsado, the client can type in the amount they want to pay in the transaction.
For example, say your project total is $1,500 split into 3 payments of $500.
Honeybook will only allow the client to pay in those increments. If they decide that they want to pay the last two payments in advance, they will still need to do it in two transactions.
Dubsado will show the client the payment plan and allow them to pay the increments, or input a custom amount.
Community & Opportunities
Honeybook coined “Community Over Competition” and “The Rising Tide Society” which have been incredible for making connections in the creative community and collaborating on projects.
With the Community feature you can find and connect with other vendors. You can even mark them as preferred so you can easily contact those you work with frequently.
With the Opportunity feature, you can post and look for jobs right inside Honeybook and even get notifications delivered to your inbox!
This should not be used for marketing emails, I want to say that right out. There are laws against sending people marketing emails who did not specifically ask you to send them marketing emails. If you are looking for an email marketing platform I highly recommend Flodesk!
But, if you want to send a quick email to select group of people (clients or creatives) then this feature could come in handy!
Honeybook as a dedicated mobile app in addition to the desktop website. Easily respond to new Inquiries, create projects, communicate with your clients, receive instant payment notifications, and more.
Ok obviously… you want to know what they cost right? Let me first say that both are worth every penny, no matter which CRM and plan you choose. I recommend trying one out for a year because it takes a while to get a flow of a software anyway, and you will only get better and more efficient with time. Plus, it’s a money saver.
Your first 2 clients are free, and you can use the software as long as you need. This is great because you can test all of the features (even with a sample client or two!) before investing.
$9/month until you hit $10k revenue
If you need more control over how the CRM works and want your brand to be the focus, I would recommend trying Dubsado.
If you are wanting to have a CRM that is powerful but also allows you to connect with others, the Honeybook may be the best route.
Either way both of these companies are really incredible and have amazing features that will save you time and money while you work your biz.