Blog written by: Certified Dubsado Specialist Kelly McCraken
Learning to use Project Statuses and Project Tags effectively in Dubsado can be an organizational game changer!
These two features can be easily confused and not utilized to their fullest potential. This blog is to help you understand each feature more fully and get ideas for how to use them with your clients and most importantly - save you time!
First, let’s break it down and define each one. I work exclusively with wedding pros, so my examples are focused on weddings, but these tips and tricks apply to all business owners using Dubsado!
Project statuses help you organize each phase or milestone when working with your clients. There are two big status categories: leads and jobs. Your client should be either a lead or a job and there are steps during each phase that each client can reach as they are working with you. I find project statuses should be very unique to your business. Clients should move through each phase until their time working with you has been completed.
Project tags are meant to categorize your clients by type, similar to a hashtag. Tags can be created by service type, client demographic, or any other identifiable feature about a project. They are meant to be used as a one-time tag, vs. a continuous update like Project Statuses.
Project statuses can be found at the very top of the projects page. Think about them as steps from the very first inquiry to the last. You will see at the very top a category for leads, jobs, combined, and archived.
• Leads: Clients who have inquired with you, but have not paid yet
• Jobs: I consider clients a job when they have paid and signed a contract with you
• Combined: All clients (both inquiries and jobs)
• Archived (not pictured): Clients who are no longer a lead or a job. Archive their project when you are not working with them, but never delete the project! You can always unarchive it.
To create project tags you will go to the projects page and click on the “customize” button as well. At the very bottom, there is a section for tags that you can create and add color to each tag.
Once your tags are created you can add one (or more) to each project. Once a project is “tagged” you will see a dot next to the name of the project. Tags can be added manually, or automatically with a workflow.
Tags should be used to categorize your clients into groups. Remember these are searchable, so tag your projects in ways you want to be able to find everyone in a similar group. Think of this as a one-time tag, it is not changing frequently.
• By Year
• By Service Type (wedding, engagement, portrait session)
I don’t recommend using them to track where a client came from or their referral source. Instead, be sure to use the project source tags. These are a little different. I also don’t recommend using tags to say “deposit paid” or “paid in full.”
Think of tags as being able to see all of your clients at once for a specific reason. From the project page, you can click on filter and search by tag so you can find similar projects easily. Tags are very personal to your business but can be used as a data tool to use to understand your business better.
Project Statues are great to track client progress through their journey when working with you! They are super customizable and specific to your process, which is why they are great. You can easily change statuses manually from the projects page or inside of a client project, but workflows can also update them automatically - so you don’t even have to think about it!
Keeping all of your current and active clients in your Project Statues and archiving cold leads or finished projects will keep things organized.
So now that you understand what they are, here are some examples of how this can work in your business. Instead of thinking of every possibility that may happen when working with a client, think about the process you want most clients to take.
I do not recommend using project statuses to track payments unless your project works around payment milestones. The invoice tracker can be seen on the project page, so I don’t find it useful to also have a status for a deposit paid. I want to identify categories that help me do my job!
The characters are limited in these spaces - so keep it short and to the point.
If you are a wedding photographer here is one way you may choose to use them:
• New Inquiry
• Invited to book a call
• Call Booked
• Send Proposal
• Proposal Sent
• Welcome email sent
• Wedding Day Questionnaire Sent
• Wedding Day Questionnaire Received
• Wedding Week
Using the example above, I want to know if I need to follow up with a lead if they did not book a call with me - so I have the status “Invited to Book a Call.” I also want to know to who I need to send a proposal and who has received it.
Therefore, These are specifically broken down to help me track who I may need to follow up with and let me know when a client is waiting on something for me.
If I know I need to schedule a meeting when a questionnaire is complete, then I need that as a project status.
For wedding photographers, I suggest keeping a post-wedding/editing status after the wedding so you can see all the weddings that you currently need to be editing. Even though you won’t be editing in Dubsado, it gives me a quick way to see who is in your editing queue all in one place.
If you want to send an anniversary email one year after the wedding, you may have a project status for “post-wedding” clients. This can be a holding place for clients who are finished working with you, but your workflow is sending an email one year later. If you archive the project, the workflow will pause, and not be able to send this email. This is a good way to get them out of your main project statuses without archiving them.
Depending on your process, it may make the most sense to have larger categories for each type of client. The best practice is to use tags to categorize your clients by type as much as possible and use project statuses to track milestones. However, this may not always be possible.
I would do this only if each of your milestones is very different for each type of service you offer. Most often, this happens with wedding planners or if you have recurring clients.
For a wedding planner, you may choose to use the statuses by service type, with some milestones that apply to all clients. For example:
• Full Wedding Planning
• Event Management
• Day of Coordination
• Month of Wedding
• Post-Wedding/Waiting on Images
If you are a photographer that offers multiple types of sessions, you may break down your job statuses a bit differently by service type only. For example:
• Mini Session
• Post Session/Editing
Before creating Project Statuses in Dubsado, you want to map out your ideal client process and use them as places where you need to take action. It may take some trial and error, but we want to use them to see how clients are progressing through their journey when working with you.
Here is a FREE WORKSHEET to help you map out your client process and to create project statuses and tags.
The great thing about Dubsado is there is not one correct way to do anything. However, you can free up a lot of time and energy by using the features to their fullest extent and as intended! Creating a good foundation for statuses and tags will set you up to be able to utilize automation and workflows efficiently.
Remember statuses should change frequently, while tags should mostly remain the same.
Looking for more? Be sure to check out Dubsado’s help articles about Project Statuses and Tags.
Log into Dubsado now to start optimizing your project statues and tags!
If you are a wedding pro, I would love to work with you! I offer full Dubsado setup, coaching calls, and one-click templates to help you with your Dubsado account. Whether you have been using Dubsado manually for a while or are completely new, there is something for everyone! Learn more about me and my services at kellymccracken.co!
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I'm Kelly! I am a Certified Dubsado specialist, wife, and dog mom to my black lab Olive! I live on the north shore of Boston and I love serving wedding pros! I am passionate about helping you save time and run a sustainable business. I offer Dubsado services as well as blogging and Pinterest management for Photographers & Wedding Pros!