In this guide, I show you how to choose who to pitch, how to find the right contact information, and how to craft a winning pitch.
I am a food + product photographer & educator specializing in eco-friendly and sustainable brands. When I am not working with clients, I empower creatives to start their journey by sharing my knowledge on the business of food + product photography.
I know talking about Client Relationship Management systems (CRMs) and automation and organization in general is not very sexy for a lot of people — although it is for me, because I am a bit of a geek — but how does having more time to drink Maï Thaïs on the beach sound? A lot more sexy, right? Well, this might just be what you get if you start using a CRM like Dubsado.
Okay, maybe the beach and the drink is pushing it, but I promise that this will save you A LOT of time.
It is a software that keeps all your contracts, invoices, client information, and projects in one place. Did I get your attention yet? No more scouring your inbox searching for details of a project you agreed to do a couple of months ago. No more creating your contracts or invoices from scratch again. And so much more.
If you search the web, you will find a lot of different platforms that offer this type of service. I’ve tried a few myself and finally chose Dubsado. It has the features that I need and then some, and I talk about it frequently on my blog because I’ve been so happy with it.
So let’s get to how exactly Dubsado can help grow your business, cause that’s the whole point, right?
This is one of my favorite features. You can create templates for the emails you use regularly, for your invoices, your contracts, your proposals and pretty much anything else you can think of that goes out to your clients. This is going to save you so much time! But that’s not even all. With Dubsado, you can set up workflows that replicate all the steps of your process when working with a client. I won’t lie, it takes a little time to set it up, but once they are in place, they will save you hours. Not kidding.
I use Dubsado to generate contracts and invoices for my clients based on the information I entered in the client portal. It also reminds me to send the mood boards and the shot lists, and it notifies my clients when I have received their product, etc. All these actions are steps in the workflows I created in Dubsado.
You can set it up so they run automatically, or you can have Dubsado ask for review and approval before sending anything (my favorite method).
This feature is insanely cool. You can actually generate a contact form in Dubsado then embed it into your website, so that anybody who contacts you through the lead capture will be added to Dubsado’s backend with all their contact information and the details about the inquiry. Then Dubsado keeps it in a neat projects page where you can see all the projects by status. (Leads, current, archived – you can customize them.)
What’s even better is that you can create a workflow to follow up with those leads after a while to see if they are now ready to work with you! I mean, before I used a CRM I dropped so many leads because I just never reached back out!
Dubsado is a great way to keep all your clients’ information, contracts, and invoices in one place. It also processes payment so you can keep track of which invoices have been paid and which ones have not. You can even create repeating invoices for your clients on a monthly retainer for example.
Because it keeps track of your invoices and your payment, the dashboard gives you a great overview of the money coming in and of your monthly revenue. You can also enter your expenses manually to get a better view of your financials and generate P&L reports, for example.
Each client can also access all the documents and email conversations in Dubsado through the client portal if you decide to use that feature. It’s pretty neat and prevents clients from having to send you 5 emails asking you to resend the contract 😉
I touched on it before, but for me the most time-saving feature of Dubsado is the ability to create what they call “canned emails” and workflows: you can set up email templates for all those emails that you send to every. single. client. If you’re thinking, “…but this is so impersonal! Wouldn’t answering every email personally be a better client experience?” I will have to say no.
How many times were you so busy that you didn’t get back to your client for a day or two, and then you were so short on time that you answered with a couple of lines where a whole paragraph would have been better? By preparing templates of your emails, you can make sure that your clients get ALL the information they need and then some, answering all the questions they didn’t know they had, in under 2 minutes.
To be even more efficient, you can set up workflows in Dubsado so that an action from your client will trigger an action in Dubsado. For example, say you send a proposal in Dubsado to a potential client. They select the package which triggers Dubsado to create a contract and an invoice without you having to lift a finger. I mean, really.
One thing that absolutely changed my business is the use of beautifully designed, professional-looking proposals. Since I started using those, I have closed a lot more deals, and at a much higher price point. You can create your proposals directly in Dubsado and allow your customers to choose their packages directly in the app which, as we just saw, can trigger the creation of the client contract and invoice.
I actually create my proposals in Canva and then upload them to Dubsado just because I like to keep all my graphic design in Canva so that it’s easy to share with my team.
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