5 TIPS ON HOW I KEEP MY BUSINESS ORGANIZED WITH A CRM // MY FAV: DUBSADO
Within the first few months of my business, I knew there had to be a better way to store, sort, send and receive invoices, contracts, questionnaires, leads and forms than creating folders upon folders on my computer, printing out PDFs and storing them in an ugly filing cabinet by my desk. There had to be an online service or software (before I even knew about the term CRM – Client Relation Management System – that’s what I needed) that could do all that for me!
I searched and I searched, let me tell you. Hours and hours spent trying formulate the perfect wording in the Google search bar to find exactly what I had in mind. But I still couldn’t find it. What was I looking for? I was looking for a client management system. Seems fairly simple because there are lots of options out there, but after testing trial version after trial version I was never content with any of the options. I think I might have been difficult to please, but I had such a clear idea in my mind of what I wanted, that I wasn’t willing to spend my hard earned money on something that I wasn’t 150% satisfied about. I tried Honeybook, 17Hats and Tave to name a few.
And then came Dubsado. *Insert a choir of angels here*. I first saw a post on Instagram about their launch and to be honest I wasn’t much enthused about the prospect of being disappointed after 30 days again. However, Dubsado sure proved me wrong! As I dove deeper into discovering this new CRM, I was happily surprised that it did in fact have everything I had pictured myself using – and more! The catch? Luckily for me, there isn’t one!
Let’s look at how a CRM has changed the way I operate my business
Now that you know all about my Disney-like, happy-ending love story with Dubsado, let me tell you a little more about how I use and implement this kind of system within my business. This is for all you solopreneurs (and/or entrepreneurs, #bossladies, basically anyone who loves to save time!) out there who wear a million and one hats; know that a CRM (be it Dubsado or not) will be the key to saving your sanity!
1 | Everything in one place
Think of how your organize your kitchen (hear me out here… ;) ). You probably don’t keep one plate here and another plate there and one spice jar here and another spice jar there. You keep all the plates neatly stacked in one place and your spice jars are also all standing in a row somewhere. Why do we do this? Because it makes it easier to find those items later! Aha! That’s also my reasoning behind using a CRM. It helps me keep all my client documents, invoices, questionnaires, forms, contracts and emails in one place. This is killer. Whenever I need to find something about a certain client, I don’t need to remember if I stored that in a file on my desktop, on my laptop, on some app on my iPad, or even in my filling cabinet (yes they still make those!). On top of storing all your important information pertaining to one couple in one single place, this system also allows me have access to those documents anywhere I go! For instance, when I’m about to meet with a bride and groom – before getting our of my car – I am able to review their wedding date, names and story right on my phone. :) Magical isn’t it?!
Here’s what my system looks like on the back end. Every one of my couples has a space like this one where I can easily access and view their information.
2 | Consistency and Branding
Being consistent is ultra important in order to keep your branding and client experience on point!
A | Consistency:
Setting up workflows and canned emails may be a bit tedious at first, but once you’re all set up, they will save you so much time! They take the guess work out of what needs to be done and when, in turn making you more productive. If you find canned emails (canned emails are email templates that you write out ahead of time because you find yourself sending the same email over and over) to be too cold and unpersonable (as I do), don’t dismiss them right away!
Here’s what I do. I write out what I tend to generally say, but then I leave myself some room to make tweaks and adjustments for every client- because not one client is the exact same as the other! This way, I don’t waste any time trying to word out the same email over and over, but my client still feels like they are speaking to a person and not a robot.
B | Branding:
Your branding does not end with your logo and your website colours. It’s everything from those design elements, all the way down to the experience you provide for your clients. And in providing a consistent experience, your clients will feel loved on and when they refer you to their friends, you can be sure that those friends will also receive the same great treatment that was first described to them!
As mentioned above, branding is also about the overall physical look of your brand. So when choosing a CRM, make sure that you have the option of adding your own logo and adding your brand font and colours. As much as we love using these tools, we don’t want to show them off to our clients – we want our clients to see our own branding and that’s it! With Dubsado, no one will ever know that I am using their software…well, until now ;).
Here is what one of my canned emails look like on my end. I have all the general information and copy lined up, but when I am ready to send the email, I see that I’ve left myself some notes – those notes are what will add that personal touch. Another great feature…see those tags in turquoise? Those tags will auto populate when I add who I am sending the email to. Again, magical!
3 | Keep your clients organized
I don’t mean going to their house and organizing their kitchen cupboards…that would be creepy right? Instead, I have password-protected portails that they can easily access themselves (at any time) to view all the documents and email I have sent them. This is priceless, because it all ties in together with the brand experience! Oh, and did I mention it’s all branded to my style? No Dubsado-anything anywhere (Dubsado, I love ya, but this is just not your space ;) ).
Does your bride need to review something in the contract she signed 7 months ago? No need to ask you to send it over by email again, she would simply need to log into her very own private password-protected portal, and voilà! Everything is in one place!
4 | Better communication
This point ties in with the whole consistency discussion above. Because I am able to have a clear view of what’s coming (with workflows) and canned emails remind me exactly how and what to communicate to my clients, dialogue becomes simpler and nothing get’s forgotten! Additionally, collecting information like wedding-day timelines and album design options is super simple! I can build my very own custom questionnaires and send them to my clients. They fill out the questionnaire and when it’s complete, I receive a notification! As you can probably guess, this form is now available for me to view at any time on that client’s page or they can even review it on their portal too!
Here’s a preview what one of my questionnaires look like. It’s the one I send a month prior to the wedding!
5 | No more lost snail mail
Last but not least, there’s no need to rely on the postman to deliver your contracts anymore! With e-signatures, I can send a contract by email and have my clients sign it electronically. It’s great because you don’t have to worry about letters getting lost in the mail or even having to spend a few dollars for the postage stamp if you’re working with clients on another continent! After the couple signs the contract, I receive a notification to counter sign and then we are set to go!
Don’t get me wrong, I love sending and receiving packages and letter in the mail! There’s something so fun about receiving a tactile letter (besides phones bills!), but for contracts, those days have past.
So there you have it! My top 5 favourite features of using a CRM in my business. If you have any questions about Dubsado or about how to implement these things within your business, leave me your questions and comment bellow. I’d love to help out and answer your questions as best I can!
I’d also love to hear what kind of software or tools you use to stay organized and on top of thing in your business. Again, comment bellow! :)
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