Dubsado Review for Marketing Service Providers, Freelancers and Small Agencies.

This blog post may contain affiliate links. This means I will share links to products and services that I have used, loved and happy to recommend. It also means I may get a little thank you (a tiny bit of dosh) and you might get an additional discount for the recommendation.

What is Dubsado used for?

Dubsado is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Sexy!

Honestly keep reading as it could change your business life (and give you more time and a bit more sanity)

In broad terms Dubsado allows you to:

  1. Manage how the leads you want (and don’t) enter your marketing business
  2. Propose your marketing services and packages and get paid on time
  3. Gather important information required to onboard your clients
  4. Keep in touch with regular communications to provide a great service and upsell to make more money
  5. Say goodbye in a really nice way when your time working together comes to an end

In summary, Dubsado can help you streamline your processes, automate routine tasks, and manage client relationships more efficiently. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what Dubsado is used for and how it can help you grow your marketing business.

What are the benefits of using Dubsado?

Are you a marketing freelancer, social media manager, digital specialist or small marketing agency?

Do you have a pipeline of leads that need care and attention, but perhaps not the time or the systems to look after them in the way you would like to?

Put your hands up if this is you….

🙋‍♀️ You spend all your time providing an amazing service for your clients.

🙋‍♀️ You put your systems and processes on the back-burner

🙋‍♀️ You want to look Slick AF but haven’t come across anything that can replace your usual PDF proposals that take time to amend for each client

🙋‍♀️ You find yourself using different forms and systems to gather information from your clients.

Dubsado allows you track leads, generate proposals, manage contracts, and handle invoicing and payments all in one place.

Dubsado also makes it really, really easy to communicate with clients and a holistic view of your retainers, marketing projects and their deadlines.

With its user-friendly interface, customisable fields, and integration with payment processors and other systems such as project management tools (It pops information in my ClickUp client management board and Google Drive!), Dubsado can help you grow your marketing business, save time, and improve your bottom line.

Reasons you might need Dubsado in your marketing business

1) You provide a 1:1 marketing service

Whether that’s a one-off project like providing a marketing audit or strategy, a retainer services such as social media management or additional revenue streams like power hours or nurture packages, Dubsado allows you to manage these services efficiently, ensuring your clients get a sleek onboarding process from initial interest to the project end date.

2) Manage your leads

Ever in that position where you want more leads, but then haven’t got the time to do ‘the admin’? Dubsado’s lead capture form will 100% save you time to filter out the work you don’t want and help you funnel your dream clients right into your lap (and really impress them further down the process)

3) You will look amazing

I get comments ALL THE TIME about how great looking my proposals are and how easy it is to get started working with me. There’s no drama or fuss. I get paid, I gather their brand assets and information needed to crack on and off we go!

4) You can ditch loads of other systems and a whole load of copying and pasting

Goodbye PDF proposals, forms (google forms, type forms) for questionnaires, digital signing software for contracts (hello sign), other invoicing systems (though you can integrate if you need for accounting services) and schedulers like Calendly. You can integrate with your project management tools (trello, asana or ClickUp) to move information and customer details across

5) You are scaling

You might need to outsource management of your clients to a team member or Virtual Assistant. Dubsado allows your clients to receive the same personable experience that is totally on brand.

Sounds good, right? Read on to hear about the great Dubsado features that can support your growing business.

Dubsado features

Lead Management

One of the key functions of Dubsado is lead management. You can use Dubsado to track leads, store contact information, and manage communication with potential clients. With Dubsado, you can easily categorise leads based on their source, type, and status. You can also set up custom fields to capture information that’s relevant to your business and use those fields to integrate with other systems like ClickUp to manage your marketing projects.

Want to see my Dubsado lead capture form?

I have the Dubsado lead capture link in my Instagram link in bio, I send it to anyone that drops in my DMs asking about my social media content creation service for marketers and its embedded on my website.

I can qualify any lead before I have to use any head space – Are they the right kind of customer for me, what do they need and have they got the budget to work together?

It drops all their details into a Dubsado lead project for me to review and get back to them. If you were really fancy and you didn’t need screening, let’s say you offer a social media power hour service then you can set up some automated magic.

If someone enquires about this particular service you could set up a workflow to a) automatically send a calendar scheduling link b) send terms of business to be signed c) collect payment there and then. More on this later but no backwards and forwards on emails and different systems. SLICK AF!

Proposal Generation and Contract Management

You can use Dubsado to create custom proposals for your clients, which can include services, pricing, and payment terms.

Once your client accepts your brilliant proposal, Dubsado can automatically generates a contract that you can both sign electronically.

This makes the whole process of securing new business much faster and more efficient.

I LOVE my proposal form. Its web-based, and pretty much mirrors my website and branding. I have different proposal forms for my services

1) Content creation for marketers

2) Social Media Strategy and Audit for marketing agencies (we all need some outside eyes sometimes!)

3) Retainer business support for marketing freelancers and micro agencies

4) ClickUp builds for small businesses

This means when I get a lead for one of my marketing services that I really want, I can send a beautifully designed proposal in Dubsado and hopefully demonstrate my professionalism, and my commitment (and love) to branding and design and the customer journey.

I can detail my services with packages to select, pricing, terms and lead them to the next steps for us to work together.

I can include testimonials, more about me as a service provider to hopefully bring them over the line to becoming my client

My success rate is pretty good when it comes to sending these proposals!

If they accept the proposal, they can review a contract upfront and sign which can then notify me to send an invoice manually if I need a pause before taking payment or it can be integrated into a Dubsado workflow to send request the payment automatically with a templated email.

You can literally get paid whilst you sleep!

Onboarding and Customer Communications

Do you have the same onboarding process and repeat tasks each time you start working with a new client such as:

  • Request for branding assets, Canva templates or professional branding photography?
  • A questionnaire to get to know each other better and send information about the business or project?
  • Setting up a project management board to outline the scope of the work and to keep every thing together?
  • A check-in after work has commenced to gather feedback or additional information?

This is the really cool part of Dubsado (for me anyway as saves me hours on admin literally)

Once you have received payment or agreed a start date, Dubsado can do the work for you to collect information from your clients.

Send a templated Dubsado questionnaire form with lots of questions to collect text-based answers about their marketing strategy or tone of voice, request for files or links to a Google Drive or Canva template so you can obtain graphics or gather information in a questionnaire format with multiple options, drop downs and tick boxes to have a clear understanding of the work that needs to be done.

If you wanted to get a bit more advanced, you can set up a zapier integration with a project management tool like ClickUp to create a load of tasks that you (or a team member) might need to complete in your onboarding process such as organising a meeting (or you could get Dubsado to send an automated calendar email to schedule a virtual meeting!)

Some really clever stuff once you open the hood and see what the possibilities are in Dubsado!

Once you have started work, if it feels right you could set up a Dubsado workflow to check in with your client – a templated email with Dubsado smart field to add personalisation but standardising your service could set your business a part from your competitors in terms of customer service.

Examples of Dubsado canned email templates for marketing businesses:

  • Welcome email detailing the next steps with a link to the Dubsado Customer Portal where all their contract, forms and invoices are held (see below example)
  • 1 month check-in to see how things are going in the initial marketing work retainer
  • Ask for a testimonial to help you obtain social proof after a certain period of time working together
  • Invite your clients to join your referral scheme, detailing what kickback they will get if they help you find more clients like them
  • Delivery of work showcasing different design options that they can select in a form
  • Payment reminders (hopefully not!) but having Dubsado on your side can help you get paid on time.
  • Meeting follow ups to acknowledge next or send further information
  • Upsell to existing customers with powers hours, coaching or additional marketing services.

Example of a templated (canned) email in Dubsado

Dubsado canned email example

Invoicing and payment plans

Invoicing and payments is an area where Dubsado excels. You can create and send invoices directly from the platform, and clients can pay you online.

Dubsado integrates with Stripe, so you don’t have to worry about setting up a separate payment system. This feature makes it easy to manage your finances and ensures you get paid on time.

It also has a really nice financial dashboard so you can keep check of who has paid and who hasn’t and you can also set up payment reminders to save you from the pain but also work in the same way as a bigger business that needs to be paid on time for work completed.

Invoicing and payment plans

Workflows, automations and integrations

The inner geek in me led me to Dubsado. I love how systems can make my working life better but also make me LOOK BETTER for prospective and current customers. As a freelancer, I want my efforts to be rewarded by converting the leads I get and retaining my current clients. Time does literally mean money to me!

Dubsado Workflows

A workflow is a sequence of events that you have pre-planned. Here’s a simple example:

Lead > Discovery call > Proposal > Follow up > Contract signed > Payment made > Onboard client > Work begins > Work ends

In Dubsado you can create workflows to manually list your steps so you can manually send each communication or you can get Dubsado to do it for you. For example:

  • When someone wants to book a discovery call, you can send a templated email with the video conferencing details and send a follow up email afterwards.
  • You could also trigger an invoice to be sent on a specific date after a contract has been signed.
  • When onboarding, as soon as the invoice has been paid you can send a questionnaire, give login details to the customer portal or simply send a ‘welcome’ email to request a kick off call.

Here’s an example of one of my workflows:

Dubsado workflow

Integrations with other systems

This might be another blog for another day, but using Zapier you could connect Dubsado up with other systems. Here are some examples

Store data – When you get a lead in Dubsado, you could create a new row in a google sheet or pass opver to something like airtable

Create spaces to manage projects – Automatically create a new google drive to keep assets and share information or create a board in your project management tool to manage tasks.

When you get a lead through your email system like Mailerlite, Flodesk or Active Campaign, you could capture that lead. For example you may have a sign up form for a specific service where you might want to send a general proposal rather than an email

With Zapier you get 5 free zaps to connect your systems so its worth seeing where you can make additional time saves with repetitive tasks.

See which systems can be hooked up to Dubsado here >

What else is out there?

As well as marketing agencies and freelancers, Dubsado is very popular for other service based businesses such as for accountants, photographers, coaches, interior designers and creative businesses.

If you google Dubsado alternatives, Honeybook is the alternative that tends to comes up. But if you are a part of a Dubsado community group on Facebook, you will see that many people move over from Honeybook to Dubsado as it has more features and you can create a more bespoke solution for business.

I have recently engaged with a web designer that uses a tool called Bonsai which was a really nice and simple contract and invoicing system as the end user.

Dubsado Pricing

Is it free? Kind of….

You can create a forever free account which is not time-limited but gives you 3 leads or customers before you need to need to upgrade to the Dubsado Starter or Premier plans.

I’m making an assumption that you will be dealing with more than 3 contacts in your pipeline so lets explore the difference in the paid plans in terms of price and features

But before we do – good news I can help you with the cost of Dubsado! Its not mega expensive (in my opinion) especially if you invest in your business and processes but if you click here and use my Dubsado Affiliate Link or use the code lucyhayre at the payment page you will get an extra 20% off!

If I’m completely honest as someone who runs a marketing business or provides social media management services, you are best to go with the Premier Plan. Simply because you will want more than one lead capture form at some point, integrate with a video scheduler like Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet and you might want to explore Zapier integration to streamline your business further.

Starter – $200 OR with my 20% off code $160 annually

Premier $400 OR with my 20% off code $320 annually

I will leave you to do the maths with the currency conversion into pounds with the latest forex rates (but its around £133/267 at time of writing with my discount code) but thats not a massive investment for your business especially with the time saving benefits and an increased conversion and retention rate by using a professional system to manage your customers.

Dubsado features comparison

Dubsado pricing option example

Is Dubsado worth it?

In a nutshell… yes!

Streamlining your systems will give you the obvious benefit of time saving after some upfront work but as a marketing business the main benefits are that you want to look good and show prospective customers the type of service they will get from you – on brand, professional and efficient which is priceless when converting leads.

I can’t see me ditching Dubsado anytime soon to manage my clients or lead pipeline!

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