How Dubsado Works For Your Business: Web Design
A few weeks ago, we started a series highlighting how Dubsado works for all the amazing industries that make up our Dubsado family! From Photographers to Lawyers; Calligraphers to Doulas, Dubsado is the CRM for all creative entrepreneurs. This week, we got to hear from some amazing Dubsado Web Designers.
We asked them a little about themselves, the future of their industry and what makes Dubsado the perfect Client Management System for them! Let's meet them:
Anastasia: Hey! I’m Anastasia! I founded The Identité Collective to provide female entrepreneurs with impeccable style, the digital strategy and beautiful design they need to elevate their brands amongst the competition. With 10 years of design + marketing experience, I bring a comprehensive Branding + Web Design process to my clients. Having moved up and down the west coast, I now reside in Austin with my husband. Travel and adventure is my primary source for inspiration, and I try to soak in as much as I can. Recent trips include Cape Town, Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Granada, + Cordoba. Next year’s adventures will include Majorca, Dublin, Rome + the Almalfi Coast!
Hunter: I’m Hunter! You can find me at Hunter Laurel Creative Co serving entrepreneurs, small business owners, freelancers and side hustlers by helping them to make their message sharp, well-designed and intentional. The first time I ever helped someone else with their brand and their website, my eyes were opened to a world that had all the skills I had and wanted to use in my day dream. It was like a deep breath of fresh air to serve someone with something that can be so difficult to nail down. It sounds silly to tell people that I ultimately help others look and sound like themselves, but the reality is that it’s really difficult! So now that’s how I get to serve people every day.
Liz: Hey y'all, I'm Liz, the owner + designer over at Lux + Vita. Lux + Vita is a full-service graphic design studio serving nonprofits and creative entrepreneurs through branding, websites and more. I've been serving others in any way I can through design since 2010. I love helping other solve problems, whether it's design or business related - if you hop on a call with me, you'll probably end up with a page full of tips and sites to check out. When I'm not working you can find me, my hubby and our rescue pup, Delta, exploring our new home state of Texas.
1) How did you learn your craft?
Anastasia: I went to college for advertising and graphic design. When I got my first big job as a Director of Marketing, people just kept coming to me for freelance marketing work, and designing websites became something I taught myself. I took what I learned in school and stayed up super late after hours filling in the blanks. Definitely a trial and error process! Eventually, I started getting better at it and people started paying me more for it. I learn so much with each and every project - I'm constantly improving and my clients push me to new levels.
Hunter: I majored in Journalism at Azusa Pacific University, but also studied design and marketing, which gave me my first taste of doing web design, mostly from a blogging standpoint. I designed my first site while attending APU, and fell in love with the web design process. There is something really magical when logistics, systems, and design work together for good. However, the design and function of having a beautiful site that impacted people felt like something a lot of people – entrepreneurs and small businesses especially – needed help with! I continued my design education after college using online programs like Lynda and Treehouse.
Liz: I’m completely self-taught, I started doing web design when I was an intern at a regional church office in New England. They had no idea how to do updates to their website and I figured since I’m a fast learner, I could watch the tutorials for using the site and do it for them. From there I learned how to move their site over to Wordpress by reading blogs, watching videos and asking others I knew who used the platform. At one point a few years ago I took a few classes through Lynda.com, but other than that I’ve never actually taken a course or gone to school for anything that I currently do.
2) As a Web Designer, how has Dubsado been most impactful to your business?
Anastasia: Without Dubsado, I don't know if I'd still be in business. It's been most impactful by much it legitimizes my business from a client perspective. The professional, seamless on boarding process immediately justifies my pricing, and clients book with me more confidentially. It takes me from "solopreneur" to full service design studio instantly. I joke with my husband at least once a week that I'm getting a #dubsadoforlife tattoo.
Hunter: Dubsado first and foremost polishes my business presentation to clients and makes all my communication 1000% more professional than it would be if I were just sending emails from my inbox. Secondly, Dubsado streamlines my communication, making it simpler and easier for both my clients and me since everything from my basic emails to my invoicing and billing to my proofing process can be run through Dubsado. I save time because my systems are all in place to make everything move quickly all with just one login.
Liz: Dubsado has been a huge lifesaver in my business. For the web design aspect of my business I’d have to say that the most impactful feature has been the forms. With Dubsado I’m able to create forms that are not only mobile-friendly but I am able to take screenshots of different sections of a website, add them to the form then write my comments, add a feedback box and make it a more interactive (and organized!!) experience for both me and the client. It’s been huge for me to be able to go scroll through the form as I’m editing the site to see exactly which section they’re talking about rather than searching for the email(s) they sent.
3) Where do you see the future of Web Design?
Anastasia: Technology is changing, and so is web design. Back end developers are less necessary for small business needs, so web design projects are more accessible and more affordable. People are DIYing their own websites. I think the key thing web designers need to prioritize is adaptability. Don't be afraid of the technologies that are simplifying our craft. Accept them and leverage them to book more clients. Position yourself as an expert and people will come to you for it.
As far as trends moving toward, I am loving more textural elements, adding depth to web design to add a tactile feel. It won't always be so two dimensional. People spend more time in front of a screen than anywhere else these days, so a website should feel warm and welcoming.
Hunter: I absolutely love that we are seeing more and more female web designers out there! There are so many entrepreneurs and small businesses run by women that need a female designer behind them who sees and gets their vision. However, even more impactful is the fact that the majority of consumers online are women. I'd love to see more web designers and web developers building sites like Target, Amazon, etc where women are the main purchasers. I think there would be so many positives, both with function and design, if we can get more female voices behind those sites. With more and more young girls learning to code from an early age, I think we can get there as an industry.
Liz: I think a stronger emphasis of storytelling and being more interactive is where we’re heading in web design. Lately I’ve been seeing a huge push in web design circles for hiring strong copywriters who can tell stories, and designers who can visually direct people to where they want them to go rather than just letting visitors clicking around. Your site isn’t something you just toss information on to and hope people bite: it’s a place to voice their needs, hit those pain points and walk them from being in pain not knowing what to do, to seeing you as the solution and hiring you.
4) What is the most important thing you would tell other Web Designers about Dubsado?
Anastasia: Invest the time in the beginning and set up your contracts, proposals, packages and questionnaires. These items are just as much marketing as they are necessary for the process. Those inquiries will become clients with the help of Dubsado. Don't skip the a step. It's so much easier to implement everything and learn the program at once, then trying to learn piece by piece over time.
If it feels overwhelming - hire someone! I've worked with Dubsado experts that have set up my workflows and it's saved me hundreds of hours.
Hunter: One of the biggest challenges Web Designers deal with in their business on a daily base is the communication piece with their clients. You will only benefit from using a system that aids you with that part of your business! Your clients will like working with you more. It'll be easier for you to make money. There are only wins when making the move to Dubsado.
Liz: Dubsado is an absolute necessity. As a web designer (or any creative) you’ve got way too much going on to have to have a different system for everything. Even if you think it’s working great, my question for you is why not downsize your bulky system and use one system that can do just about everything? Using Dubsado really made me take a hard look at the systems I had in place, it made me look at it more from the client’s perspective and it’s been instrumental in helping me give clients an unforgettable experience.