One of the biggest tips I have for running a successful creative virtual assistant business is to have a CRM! This is a client management system that is going to make running your business 10x easier. No more trying to find the right info to send, or hoping they sign your contract. A CRM will allow you to not just make the client process easier, but allow you to automate most of it!
The secret? Dubsado! Dubsado is hands down my favorite program. It allows you to not only send invoices, receive money, and create proposals, but it also allows you to create contracts and contact forms. You can easily send contracts and invoices to have clients sign digitally. It also has a scheduler so you can schedule appointments with clients with ease. It also has time-tracking that allows you to track tasks minute by minute, and assign them to a client’s invoice.
The best part? Dubsado is FREE for your first three projects! So you can use it at the very beginning of your business – without an extra expense! It is only $35 per month, and trust me, it is worth every single penny. Today, I’m sharing the top six ways to use Dubsado in my digital marketing business, Ava And The Bee!
One of the first steps in working with a potential client comes through your contact form. This will be on your website, where inquiries can reach out. We use Dubsado’s Lead Capture form, which is embedded on our website! This allows us to not just gather more information, like their name, phone, email, website, and services they are looking for, but it also auto adds their info into Dubsado. So when a lead turns into a client, their information will already be in Dubsado. No need to add it in a second time!
A few items I ask on my lead capture forms:
Another bonus? Having inquiries go through this form lets you track where a lead is at in your intake process and easily upgrade a potential client from a lead to a job. The lead capture form can also trigger automated workflows, including new projects, and can trigger workflows to start. Learn more about the Lead Capture form, here!
I hate emails. And while they are necessary to run a business, the fewer I can have, the better! That is why I love the scheduler tool inside of Dubsado. This easy to use tool allows you to send a link with your available times – perfect for calls and meetings! It can also sync to your calendar (we use Google Calendar) so that you don’t double book, and don’t forget the call.
I have multiple schedulers set up. One is for discovery calls. When I get an inquiry through my contact form, if they are a good fit, I send them a link to set up a discovery call. This way there are no emails back and forth – they pick a time that works for them. A second scheduler I use is for client kickoff meetings. They can pick at time that works for them, and schedule it in just a few clicks.
The proposal is an incredible feature inside of Dubsado. This feature lets you send package information, and lets the client select which ones they want to book with you. Once they select, it will automatically create an invoice for them to pay. Even better? You have the ability to add on a contract. Once the contract is signed, it will automatically generate an invoice. All in ONE form! This means you can send a proposal, get a contract signed, AND an invoice, all in one step. This might not be the right workflow for every client, but it can be a great option for some businesses.
Contracts are hands down one of the most important parts of running a creative virtual assistant business. Remember to never start any work without a contract! Even if they say they will get around to it next week, but you are supposed to start first thing Monday – Do not start until the contract is signed.
Not only does Dubsado have some contracts built-in (including one for virtual assistants!) but you can also add in your own contracts. I personally purchased mine from The Legal Paige. One of the best – and most important – things you should invest in is a contract.
In Dubsado, you can edit your contracts to include branding. It also has smart fields that auto-populate the client’s information. Once you have your templates, you can continue to customize them once you apply them to a particular project without editing the original template. This means that you can add a contract to a client’s account, and edit it as needed, without messing up the master template. Once the contract is made, you can send it to your client through Dubsado for a signature. This is all digital, so they don’t need to print anything out, or scan anything in. They sign in just seconds! And then Dubsado will let you know it’s ready for you to countersign – and bam, a client is booked! It doesn’t get much easier than that.
Dubsado also makes invoicing easy, and quick. You can add all your packages in the backend, so you just click and add them to invoices, without retyping anything. You can also add payment schedules, perfect for projects that might be broken up into multiple payments. While Dubsado integrates with Stripe, PayPal and Square, you can also manually enter in payments if the client pays another way. If you use Stripe (which we recommend!) You can set up auto-pay, which means the client can have a card on file and automatically collect payment.
You can also set up recurring invoices, so it automatically sends out invoices on the date you choose. No need to remember setting them up – it’s done for you every month!
Workflows are an automated part of Dubsado, that can save you a ton of time. You can string all the steps together into an automated sequence that clients move through. For example, you can send your proposal, contract, and invoice in one step. You can also set up a series of emails once a client pays. This can be a great way to automatically send a welcome questionnaire or email! You can tie in a variety of items into a workflow. This includes canned emails, schedules, contracts, invoices, and projects!
Looking to try out Dubsado? It is FREE for your first 3 clients! Yes, you heard that right: you don’t even have to pay for it right away. If you sign up with my affiliate link, you’ll get 20% off your first paid month. Pretty awesome, right?!
*Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. That means I get a small commission if you purchase through this link. However, I make it a point to only share tools and resources I truly love and use.