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Welcome to Season 1 Episode 6 of the Creative Business Success Podcast! In today’s episode, I talked to Anni, a creative consultant for ethical and sustainable businesses. She has a mish-mash of tools cobbled together to form a makeshift client onboarding procedure, but it isn’t her dream system. Anni would like to move her client onboarding to a single program (i.e. a client relationship management system like Dubsado) as much as possible, but she first wants to have a concrete plan in place for how to set it up. That’s what we’re talking about on Sparking Growth today!

Here is a cheat sheet of some of the episode highlights:

Anni’s intro, 00:55
Anni’s current client onboarding system, 1:40
Dubsado: Anni’s new CRM,  3:43
How workflows will help Anni’s client onboarding, 4:40
Reducing your email inbox overload within Dubsado, 7:12
Setting up a new client onboarding system within Dubsado, 8:24
Budgeting and why a CRM like Dubsado is worth the cost, 10:41
The importance of a CRM’s customer service, 12:43
Back to the client onboarding workflow! 14:05
Invoicing and accounting in Dubsado, 15:36
-If you’re looking for an accountant, here’s the link I mentioned for my accountant Shaneh!- (Don’t forget to tell her I sent you. ?)
Dubsado’s 3-client trial, 17:50
-Here’s the link we mentioned for Dubsado’s Facebook group-
Dubsado’s canned emails and free template library, 20:33
-Here’s the link I mentioned for Dubsado’s list of upcoming features-
Where to find Anni! 22:42

Let’s dive a little deeper into a few solutions to help you improve your client onboarding system, though!

1 | Utilizing workflows in a CRM system like Dubsado

Whether or not you have a system in place already, moving to a CRM like Dubsado can drastically improve your client experience and reduce the administration time you have to spend on each project. Dubsado works for SO many types of businesses – photographers, consultants, coaches, even retail locations! By setting up workflows within a CRM, you can streamline your system and make it seamless for your clients.

For example, Anni could set her workflows up like this:

A lead fills out the inquiry form on her website → Dubsado sends them an emailing thanking them for their inquiry along with a questionnaire based on which service they selected on the inquiry form → Once the questionnaire is filled out, they receive an email with Anni’s scheduling link

As of the time of this writing, Dubsado’s upcoming built-in scheduling tool isn’t available yet, but once it is, these two workflows would merge. For now, after Anni meets with the lead, she could trigger a second workflow that could look something like this:

After the meeting, Dubsado sends the client Anni’s proposal → If the client accepts, they just have to sign and initial as indicated → Dubsado automatically signs the contract AND invoice and fills in the client’s details for Anni → The client initials and signs the contract and pays their 50% deposit, all from the same window as the proposal!

That’s it. Literally all Anni has had to do is meet with the client and make sure that the proposal meets their needs, then trigger the second workflow. Dubsado is like entrepreneurial magic!

Don’t let yourself get pulled into a time suck. Just because your current system mostly-kinda-sorta-works-usually doesn’t mean you should keep using it!

2 | Why a CRM like Dubsado is worth the cost

There’s more that goes into a decision like whether or not to purchase a CRM system than just the money. Anni estimated that she spends about an HOUR per client to go through the same process that Dubsado could do almost completely automatically. That’s an hour that Anni could spend with her son, take a break, or make connections with even more new clients! That one hour of Anni’s time is worth SO much more than the $25 she would spend each month on Dubsado. (Of course, she could also get a yearly subscription and save $4+ each month, plus get 30% off her first month or year of Dubsado through this referral link.)

If you think that you can’t afford a CRM, take a look at how much time you’re spending on administration tasks. Grab a trial of Dubsado or another CRM and see what tasks you could automate. If you realize you’re spending more than an hour on each client’s administration, it’s worth it to subscribe to a CRM. (Because I hope you’re charging at least $25 per hour!)

The time you’ll save through a CRM is time you can spend on other income-generating activities like networking or building new programs or services, or even just letting yourself relax so that you don’t burn out.

3 | You have nothing to lose on a CRM like Dubsado

Trials are free! Seriously, you have nothing to lose. That is all.

You can get your free trial of Dubsado (and save 30% off your first month or year if you end up subscribing) by clicking this sentence and signing up!

Want to connect with Anni?

You cand now find her on Instagram and Twitter @heyannejeanette. Don’t forget to subscribe to the Creative Business Success Podcast for more episodes and share your biggest takeaways from this episode in the comments.

S1E6: Anni - Creating a Client Onboarding System
The Creative Entrepreneurs L.A.B.