As a certified specialist, I’ve been using Dubsado for my personal wedding photography business since 2017. When I was first beginning, I used to write every email from scratch, never mastered the follow up, and didn’t have any way to track all my inquiries. Does this sound like you?
Think about your process for a minute. What happens when you get an inquiry? Do you have a system in place to track each step that inquiry takes in order to convert them into a booking? Are you writing your emails by hand every time or copy/pasting from your gmail? Wouldn’t it be easier if you had a system in place to save you hours every single day?
Since I began working as a certified specialist, I’ve seen how dozens of other wedding creatives utilize Dubsado and I can tell you, 99% of you aren’t using this wonderful program to its full potential.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to not have to manage your clients and have Dubsado do it for you? How many hours would this save you? If you are writing emails from scratch and manually sending every reminder, you are doing it wrong!
What I love most about Dubsado is the ability to completely customize it to fit your brand and way of doing business. Not any other CRM can say the same thing. Even if the following steps don’t all apply to your business, you have the ability to make Dubsado into anything you want it to be. Even if you just use it for the basics, you are off to a better start than the majority of other wedding professionals!
Let’s start from the very beginning. You get an inquiry. Hopefully, you have the Dubsado lead capture form automatically embedded on your website to capture some important details.
Each one of your fields should be mapped to the client to help automate your future workflows. That way, you never have to type your client’s name or email address ever again. Your workflow will also be based off of their project date (wedding date in this case), which will be crucial later on.
So, after they fill out the contact form, what happens? You respond to them, sometimes they respond, but sometimes they don’t, right? Do you have a system in place in order to make sure you follow up?
With my contact form, it’s automatically linked to a workflow I call “Inquiry response.” After the form is submitted, this workflow will start automatically.
In order to begin the workflow, the first step needs to be approved. This is important in case they do respond and you don’t want the workflow to send unnecessary emails.
If they don’t respond, you simply approve the first step and they will automatically receive three different follow up emails. I also have a reminder email sent to me so I don’t forget to edit some important information before the emails are sent.
This workflow will walk your prospective clients through several different steps, so you will automatically know where they are in the process. If they still haven’t responded by the end of the workflow, they will be archived. This will make your system look so much cleaner, so you don’t have 1000 different clients stuck in your system who never had the intention of booking.
By creating various lead categories, you can also keep track of clients who respond saying they aren’t interested at the moment, but might in the future. In this case, I put them in the follow up later category with a reminder to follow up on a certain date.
My entire follow up workflow is automated with the exception of the first step, that is customized to mention specific times I’m available for a call. That way, if a client decides to ghost, I don’t have to remember when to follow up.
Now, your inquiry decides to book. Yay! What’s your next step? You probably want to get paid, right? Dubsado makes it super easy to walk your clients through the on-boarding process by linking proposals, contracts, and invoices.
If you run your business like I do, you have several different packages to choose from. I don’t give this information to clients until after the discovery call, so I custom create a proposal to send them after we talk. Even though the proposal is completely custom to them, the template I use stays the same every time.
With my proposals, the only information I need to edit are the specific packages I send their way. These are all saved in the package section, so it’s a matter of selecting what works from the drop down and sending it their way.
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After they select their package, an invoice will be automatically generated and they will receive the contract to sign. It’s as easy as that to get all your on-boarding complete with one easy step.
Even if you have yet to establish solid workflows, chances are you send the same email over and over again. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to save these emails as canned emails with a few smart fields attached?
I have an email for literally everything, from initial inquiry to gallery delivery. Very few of these emails require any customization, so they are ready to send whenever you need them!
As you can see, each email starts with a smart field of client name so it will automatically be personalized for the client.
My inquiry template is the one that requires a bit of customization, but as you can see, it’s still fairly automated. I write the information I need to edit in red in order to make it easy to change immediately after an inquiry comes in.
Canned emails do require a bit of work in order to get started, so as my gift to you, you can download my most used templates for free here! These emails are already fitted with smart fields to get you going!
As a wedding professional, there is a lot of information you need to keep together in order to do your job properly. Emailing back and forth to gather all the details takes so much time and energy, so wouldn’t you prefer to have your clients fill out a questionnaire?
I actually have three questionnaires I use throughout the process.
1. CONSULTATION QUESTIONNAIRE
2. ENGAGEMENT QUESTIONNAIRE
3. WEDDING QUESTIONNAIRE
The first one is during their consultation. I have a secret questionnaire called “consultation notes” that I fill out with them during the call. This includes all the basic information including an initial timeline. After the consultation, I add this to their portal so they can reference it at any point. My clients love having access to this information gathered before they even book.
I also use every question as a way to explain my process. For example, by asking if they have big families, I use this as an opportunity to explain my process during family formals. By noting the sunset time, I explain when I will take them out for sunset photos. I don’t show them my questions until we discuss the timeline, so the beginning questions feel very conversational while still having an outline to keep my consultations on track.
In order to fill this questionnaire out with them, I apply the link to their project and open it in an incognito tab. When we get to the timeline portion, I will share my screen with them so they have a visual while I explain how my day is typically laid out.
The next questionnaire is their engagement questionnaire. This is sent as part of their workflow two weeks before their engagement session. Instead of an engagement questionnaire, some of the other vendors I work with use this as an opportunity to gather different information. For example, my hair and makeup artist clients might use this to gather information about their trial. My planner clients create a mood board through gathering information via a questionnaire. Another awesome perk of Dubsado is you can have clients upload images directly to the questionnaire. This could help if you need inspiration images to compile a mood board.
Personally, I use the engagement questionnaire as a way to get to know the couple better. As a photographer who blogs every session, I use these answers to write their posts. This way you have an easy copy/paste when you are wondering what to write about. If you don’t blog, this is still an awesome way to gather information for social media without worrying about all the details to include.
The final questionnaire I send is their wedding questionnaire. This is the longest questionnaire I ask for and provides me with literally everything I could ever want to know about their day. Gathering this information allows me to put together their timeline, oversee their family formal list, and gather information for my blog posts.
If you need help with your questionnaire, I actually sell mine in my shop. You’ll easily be able to add this questionnaire to your Dubsado account and customize it to fit your clients. There are more than 100 questions linked to your smart fields, taking you through everything from where to show up in the morning to their full vendor list. No need to search for information ever again. This questionnaire has it all.
If you want to create your own, Dubsado does have some wonderful free templates to pull from as well.
Another wonderful feature for wedding pros is the ability to schedule meetings directly through Dubsado. Why pay for another program when it’s already included in your subscription?
I use the scheduler to schedule my engagement sessions, but I work with other pros who use it to schedule all of their sessions. For example, I work with a headshot photographer who has their scheduler directly on their website in order to book appointments and send contracts and invoices without even needing to talk to the client. If you are a high volume photographer, this could save you so many hours.
The scheduler is also amazing if you are a mini session photographer. Whenever I book mini sessions, I embed the scheduler on my website, triggering a workflow to send out all the important information plus get paid without needing to email back and forth with the client.
The best part about the scheduler is it will link to your personal calendar. For example, if you are available for sessions every Tuesday from 9 am-5 pm, but you have a doctor's appointment at 2, it will automatically block out that time so you won’t be double booked.
Take a look at my Dubsado calendar, for example. I accept Dubsado consultations every Monday-Thursday from 10-2. On Monday, I have a personal appointment in the morning, so it shows that time is not available to book.
The ways to use the scheduler are endless. Here are a few ideas that can easily be automated through the scheduler.
There you have the 5 best ways I use Dubsado to automate my business. I know it can seem super overwhelming at first, but once it’s set up, you’ll get hours of your life back.
Book a free consult with me (yes, through my Dubsado scheduler) and I’ll help you hit the ground running!
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