Business

  • 6 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Dubsado

    One of the biggest ways I was able to monetize my blog and grow it into an online business was by offering services. Becoming a service-based business was one of the best decisions I had ever made and it’s something I constantly tell people who wish to blog full-time.

    Offering services can often help you start making an income from your blog quicker than affiliate marketing or ads would.

    If you’re thinking of kickstarting your services, the one reasons you majorly need to get ahead of the game is Dubsado.

    When I first started off offering Pinterest Management services, I had no clue what I was doing. I made my own contracts on Word, used Google Forms for lead capturing, and sent all invoices through PayPal. It was a lot of moving parts.

    It took many different tools to receive inquiries and onboard my clients. So when I discovered Dubsado, I was thrilled.

    Everything changed and my entire client management process became 10x smoother.

    Dubsado is everything all rolled into one. It’s SO professional and allows you to automate so many parts of your business to give you more time freedom to do what you love.

    What is Dubsado

    So if you’re wondering what on earth Dubsado is — no worries, let’s dive in and chat a bit about it.

    Dubsado is basically a business management platform. It is a client relationship management (CRM) program. It gives you the power to manage projects, build client relationships, schedule appointments, and create workflows to automate the entire client process. And you can do this all in one spot.

    That’s what really sold me on the platform in the first place. I was looking for one system to help me capture leads, send invoices, build packages, and onboard clients with. I was sick of running around back and forth between #allthethings to create the perfect client experience.

    If you’re running a freelance business, you’re already busy enough so you need something totally seamless to help you land your dream clients with ease.

    6 Reasons Why You Should Be Using It

    1. Smooth Lead Capturing

    Capturing leads and receiving inquiries from potential clients is super easy with Dubsado.

    You can add contact forms and buttons to your services page to help people easily get in touch with you. And building the contact forms is super simple too because they use a drag and drop interface where you can just drag and drop text boxes, check boxes, drop-down menus, etc so that you can create a custom form that gives you all the info you need from the potential client from the getgo.

    2. Custom Branding

    Oooh, this one was a big one for me! So before when I was using Paypal to send my invoices, it was impossible to customize invoices to match my branding.

    Now when I sent out invoices (and not just invoices, but forms, packages, proposals, etc), they match my colors and branding and include my logo. You can’t even tell it’s Dubsado you’re using. It’s completely customized to your branding!

    3. Automated Workflows

    AUTOMATION! Who doesn’t love having things run on autopilot?

    Dubsado lets you create automated workflows that do the dirty work for you. If you capture a lead and a potential client gets in contact with you, you can set up automated responses.

    And you can set up workflows so that an action occurs after something specific happens.

    6 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Dubsado

    You can also set up automated recurring invoices, canned emails, payment reminders and much more. So if you offer monthly services like I do, you can set up invoices to send out on their own every month.

    4. Contracts, Invoices, and Proposals

    While I did already talk about automating contracts, invoices, and proposals, a huge plus about Dubsado is the fact that you can create all of these within their platform. No more paying a monthly fee to send out contracts and accept digital signatures.

    You can do it all in one place. My favorite feature that Dubsado offers is proposals.

    You can create a proposal for each type of service you offer. Then, if someone reaches out expressing interest in XYZ service, you can automatically send them a proposal. AKA book clients in your sleep!

    Proposals come with several tabs. The first tab allows you to show the package of the service, then the potential client will click through to the next tab, and they will see the contract there for that service and sign it. Then, the last tab will take them over to the invoice where they can pay for the service.

    It’s kind of like allowing them to add things to their cart and check out right then and there. You don’t have to manually do any of it.

    5. Bookkeeping

    Bookkeeping is sooooo important when it comes to running a biz. Luckily, you can see all your bookkeeping in Dubsado! They offer an Accounting tab in the platform that tracks all the incoming and outgoing cash flow. You can check on your invoices, transactions, chart of accounts, and reports.

    It’s so easy to view the bookkeeping and see it with the amazing visual graphs and charts they offer. It’s pretty awesome. I love using Wave as my form of bookkeeping and the cool thing is that you can integrate Wave and Dubsado to record all your bookkeeping for you!

    6. Client Portals

    Last but not least, you get access to client portals which is GREAT.

    Depending on the kind of services you offer, client portals can be so useful. You can create a portal where your clients can log into and there, they can see contracts, files, documents, etc.

    So if you’re a graphic designer, you can upload your proofs to the client portal and have your clients approve them or ask for revisions. For me, I offer monthly reports with my Pinterest Management services, so I’m able to upload the monthly analytics reports into the client portals.

    6 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Dubsado

    Pricing

    You can get a free trial of Dubsado for up to three clients right now (no time limit!). So you can take advantage and see if you like it.

    Dubsado usually goes for $35 a month or $350 a year but right now for their 4th birthday, you can grab your plan at a discounted rate!

    Dubsado has been absolutely amazing for me and has definitely paid for itself since I’ve been using it.

    So tell me, do you use a CRM? What’s your favorite Dubsado feature? Let me know in the comments below!

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    6 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Dubsado
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  • How To Use ClickUp To Plan Out Your Blog Content

    How To Use ClickUp To Plan Out Your Blog Content

    I’m always on the hunt for the best tools and resources when it comes to running my online business. So when I recently discovered the project management tool, ClickUpnaturally, I was thrilled!

    I am usually a disorganized person, I am not going to lie to you. I tend to write my content the day I’m going to publish it. I’m hardly ever ahead on my work (though I’d like to be!)

    Trust me, I have tried project management tools in the past. Asana & Trello to be exact and I just wasn’t a fan of them. I couldn’t stick to using them. I figured why would I waste my time inputting them into a project management tool when I could just *actually* be working on the content instead?

    Then I decided to give project management tools one last shot when I found out about ClickUp. And let me tell you, there is NO going back. ClickUp freakin’ rocks for bloggers & entrepreneurs!

    Why I love ClickUp

    I’m a very visual person and so when I plan out my content, I like to be able to see what I’m working on and what’s left to do.

    ClickUp makes it easy to see things in list view, board view, and even add checklists. It has so many features that allow me to visualize the entire process it takes me to complete a project. It allows me to break up and organize my business into a way that truly makes sense for me.

    Because of it, I’m able to know exactly what I need to do and when. It’s helped me get super ahead on blog post content!

    The layout

    Now let’s talk about the layout of this free tool!

    Calendar view, List view & Board view

    With ClickUp, you don’t have to choose which type of view you prefer. You can have all three! My favorite is the board view because I love seeing each status of a project and dragging in between the boards. It’s super satisfying.

    The calendar view is great because you can see everything as an overview for the entire month so that you know everything that’s going on in your business at all times.

    How I use it for my business

    I use ClickUp specifically to plan out my blog content. I also use it for other secret projects I’m currently working on.

    So I thought I’d dive in and show you exactly how I use it to plan out my content. Like I mentioned before, I love using the board view to set up my content plan. Let me show you exactly what I mean by that:

    I create different tasks under the Open board. This is where my blog post ideas go for the month. Then, I go in and create a checklist of tasks I need to complete for each blog post.

    Think: Craft blog post title, create outline, write rough draft, find photos, add links, create Pinterest graphics, schedule blog post, etc.

    So the ones sitting in Open are just ideas I’ve come up with and titles I’ve created along with a due date for when that content will be published. Then, as I actually start working on a blog post, I’ll go through and check items off as I go and then move the idea into the In Progress board because it’s now in progress!

    Once everything on the checklist is complete, I can move the task into the Closed board and I know now what’s done and what’s still left to be completed.

    I can also switch over to list view and see a list of everything that’s in progress as well. And lastly, I can switch over to calendar view to make sure the posting schedule fits seamlessly with everything else I’m working on.

    With this method, I’ve been able to plan out my content for the next 4 months which is pretty epic.

    Cool features & awesome upgrades

    Some other cool features that are really great are the ability to collaborate with others, use templates (and create your own!), the native time tracker and more.

    If you have a team for your business, you can easily invite your team members to collaborate with you on your projects. And if you like tracking your time while completing tasks or you work as a VA hourly, ClickUp offers its own time tracker. No more needing to use another tool! It’s all together.

    Another neat feature is the fact that you can sync your ClickUp with Google Calendar. I like to plan my day-to-day on Google Calendar and keep it on my phone so that’s a huge plus.

    Lastly, let’s talk about the awesome upgrades that ClickUp offers! You can upgrade to their different plans to get access to unlimited storage, advanced reporting, unlimited custom fields and goals, the ability to set permissions and so much more.

    But honestly, you can do SO much with just the free plan. It’s perfect for bloggers & entrepreneurs!

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    How To Use ClickUp To Plan Out Your Blog Content
    How To Use ClickUp To Plan Out Your Blog Content
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  • 7 Awesome Amazon Finds For Bloggers & Entrepreneurs

    7 Awesome Amazon Finds For Bloggers & Entrepreneurs

    Anyone who knows me knows that I have a slight obsession with Amazon. How could you NOT when it’s so easy to find and order things with the app and have it show up on your doorstep two days later?! I work from home as a full-time blogger and my home office is basically all from Amazon (minus the desk from Ikea!)

    So I thought I’d put together a list of some awesome Amazon finds for bloggers and entrepreneurs to help you get started! These are products that I use all the time (if not daily) and they’ve been such game-changers for my business.

    Amazon Finds For Bloggers

    1. Webcam

    7 Awesome Amazon Finds For Bloggers & Entrepreneurs

     

     

     

     

     

     


    First on my list of Amazon finds for bloggers is a webcam! I use this Logitech webcam that I attach to the top of my computer. It’s extremely high-quality (my laptop has the WORST webcam so I refuse to use it for anything because the image is just so grainy.)

    I use this webcam whenever I have meetings, interviews, or just want to film a masterclass or tutorial.

    2. Computer monitor & mouse

    7 Awesome Amazon Finds For Bloggers & Entrepreneurs7 Awesome Amazon Finds For Bloggers & Entrepreneurs

     

     

     

     

     

    Next up on my list is my computer monitor and mouse. I’m big on graphic design and do a lot of design work for my clients. Having a larger screen and mouse is absolutely essential for me. I love being able to create my Pinterest pins with ease and seeing it enlarged vs. having to scroll or zoom in on my laptop.

    I find that creating graphics and content on a laptop is more time-consuming. I work quickly when I use my monitor and mouse at my desk. Another big plus for having a monitor is that I can set it up as a second screen and have both my laptop and monitor on – I can multitask and have different tabs and programs open this way.

    I also find it easy to take screenshots and film my screen for tutorials with a big monitor! My partner was able to set this up for me by connecting a monitor and keyboard directly into my laptop!

    3. Microphone

     

     

     

     

     

    So another fun Amazon find is this Blue Yeti microphone.

    When I’m using my monitor, it’s hard to record audio since I close up my laptop and set it aside. For super clear and crisp sound, I connect a microphone and use it together with my webcam. It’s not 100% necessary for new bloggers to invest in a microphone but it’s super helpful for those that want to improve their audio, film videos, have reliable tech for meetings or simply just want to start a YouTube channel!

    4. Phone tripod

     

     

     

     

     

     

    It’s kind of a weird gadget but super useful. As bloggers, you know just how crucial it is to be active on social media. Plus, video is all the rage now with Instagram Stories, IGTV and live video. I got this handy little phone tripod to hold my phone so I can record and take pictures hands-free.

    It comes with a button that you can use to take photos with! I use it mostly for filming my Instagram Stories!

    5. Pens

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Such a simple little thing but seriously pens make me so happy. 

    I’m really big on planning, to-do lists and basically putting everything to paper. So when I discovered these pens, they literally became my faves. I already have a huge pen collection but I just had to add them to my supply.

    They’re the Paper Mate Inkjoy pens. They come in super pretty colors and write so well. The ink doesn’t bleed through paper with decent thickness. I also feel like my handwriting is nicer when I use them (anyone else have chicken scratch?)

    Besides writing in my planner, as an entrepreneur, I sign documents, write checks, and tons of other things & I feel like these pens are really high-quality for doing just that.

    Even though every single color is extremely beautiful and vibrant, my favorite pen is just the plain black one. It’s just so darn satisfying to write with it!

    6. File organizer

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Okay, so this one isn’t one of the more *fun* Amazon finds for bloggers on my list. But it’s essential that I mention this one. You should definitely have a file organizer.

    In my first year of business, I made the colossal mistake of not keeping records of important documents or filing them away. I basically had no system in place and was quite disorganized. And because of that, it came back to bite me when it was time to pay taxes. Ouch.

    Do not make this mistake, trust me!! Get a filing system or even a place on your computer to keep everything (make sure to back up the information regularly!) Keep every single receipt, invoice, or contract because you might need it again later.

    7. You Are A Badass

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Did you know how much of a badass you are? If not, now you do! Seriously though, You Are A Badass is one of the very first books I read when I started my entrepreneurial journey. It was the exact kind of kick in the pants I needed to rise up and say “heck yeah, I can be my own boss!”

    If you’re struggling with confidence, mindset, and just plain old imposter syndrome where you feel like you’re not a pro or you’ll never have your dream life — this book is for you. Jen Sincero has written a complete series for You Are A Badass and trust me, you’ll want to read all of them. They are so worth it and will leave you feeling ready to take on the world.

    Entrepreneurship is a hard and lonely journey. Personal development books like this one have changed my life!

    *BONUS* 8. The Content Planner

    7 Awesome Amazon Finds For Bloggers & Entrepreneurs

    So The Content Planner *isn’t* on the list of Amazon finds for bloggers because it’s actually not available on Amazon. But I did want to mention it because I couldn’t survive without it!

    The Content Planner is a physical planner made specifically for content creators and those in social media marketing. It is literally perfect for my business and I feel like it’s the only one of it’s kind to help bloggers and entrepreneurs organize and plan their content.

    With this planner, you can plan out your months, track your goals, keep track of your collaborations, and so much more. It’s also a bigger planner which I love! It’s much easier to write it and brainstorm ideas but also not too big that you can’t travel with it. I keep it on my desk and use it every day. It helps keep me on track and stick to a plan at all times. I highly recommend it!

    Shop the list

    Shop this list of Amazon finds for bloggers to level up your blogging biz!

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  • Why The Content Planner Is The Best Tool For Bloggers

    If you knew me personally, you’d know that I am a serial planner. I am obsessed with planning every detail and looking ahead to the future. It’s just a part of who I am. So naturally, as a blogger and business owner, when I came across The Content Planner, it was a game-changer.

    All jokes aside, planning out your content is crucial! Flashback to me back in 2016. I was a burnt out college student looking for an outlet in the digital world to share my thoughts, tips, and favorite things as a hobby while I pursued my degree.

    I blogged whenever I felt like it or came up with an idea and needless to say, it was disorganized. I’d post one week, then no posts for a month, then back to posting twice a week.

    There was no rhyme or reason and I struggled with what exactly I wanted to write. I was all over the place. And I recognize that this happens to a lot of new bloggers and business owners.

    Enter: The Content Planner

    The Content Planner 2020 is currently on sale!

    Then, one name change and rebrand later, I decided I wanted to take this blogging thing much more seriously. And eventually, I made the decision to invest in The Content Planner.

    If you’re wondering what the heck it is, let me explain.

    It is the ONLY physical paper planner of its kind. Founder Kat Gaskin created the planner with entrepreneurs in mind. It’s made specifically for content creators, bloggers, and entrepreneurs.

    And that’s what really drew me in – We FINALLY have a planner that helps you stay organized and get rid of that social media stress!

    Planner Features

    Now let’s dive into the features of the planner, pros and cons, and how I use it to run my business.

    Customizable

    First of all, my all-time favorite feature of the planner is the fact that it is entirely customizable. The months are undated and actually come with a few extra months in the planner.

    So whenever you get your planner, you can already start writing in it! No more waiting for the new year to break into your shiny new Content Planner. Just fill in the dates and start planning.

    Stickers

    Because the planner is undated, you get to add the dates yourself. And a neat feature is the cute little stickers that come with it.

    The stickers include the months, tabs, social media stickers, reminders, days off and so much more. There are tons of social media stickers that come with the planner and who doesn’t love stickers? I know I sure do!

    For me, the best part is adding the stickers into my calendar. I’m a visual person so it really brings my plans to life.

    Stats tracker

    Next up is the stats tracker. This is what really sets your planner apart from any other that you can pick up at the store. The Content Planner has a tracker in every monthly spread that you can use to track your social media growth, income, email list, etc.

    Tracking these stats is exactly what I do every month so it’s awesome to be able to see it in there every time I’m looking at my calendar!

    Spaces for your goals & dreams

    Okay, so this planner definitely inspires me to be a freakin’ boss. It comes with blank spaces for you to just dream about your business and set goals on how you plan to succeed.

    Not only can you freely daydream with The Content Planner, but you also have space to make a plan of action to set goals to make your dreams a reality. It allows you to track your goals, check them off as you achieve them, keep things in mind and on your radar, plus you can track your hashtags & collabs.

    It even comes with a little section with tasks and tips for the month which I love.

    What It’s Really Like Being A Full-Time Blogger
    My own Content Planner!

    Monthly themes

    If you have a hard time planning your content ahead and making sure it goes in line with what’s going on during the year, then you’ll love the monthly themes section.

    At the beginning of the planner, there’s a section for big things each month to keep on your radar as well as themes for the months. For example, the month of March has themes to keep in mind such as healthy eating, travel, packing for travel, taxes and finances, etc.

    These are hot topics during that month! So having that there allows you to create content and plan out your social media to go along with what’s going on during that month and keeping up with the trends.

    List of marketing & holiday dates

    Last but not least, similar to the monthly themes, Kat has had the genius idea of putting together a list of marketing and holiday dates in the planner. So you’ll have a massive list of not just the regular holidays for the year but also the fun & wacky ones.

    She lists the holidays for the US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

    This is a great addition to The Content Planner because you can pick and choose which holidays and dates your target audience is interested in and plan your content out ahead of time.

    Pros & Cons

    I thought I’d also go over some pros and cons from the planner. I’m super obsessed with using it on the daily in my business!

    Size

    I have a home office so I spend most of my time working from home. I personally love that the planner is on the larger side because I have more space to write and plan out my content. So that’s definitely a pro for me! But it might be a con for you if you’re the type of person who likes to throw your planner in your bag and head out.

    It’s more rectangular than square so it’s not the size of a traditional planner. It does come with a neat box to put it away which is super cute.

    Space

    While you do have a lot more space since the planner is bigger, I kind of wish there were more blank pages in the planner for me to set goals on. I try not to write too much in those pages and usually write out my ideas in a notebook instead since I run out of space or worry that I won’t have any more space at the end of the month when I want to write something.

    Additionally, I’m a huge fan of both the monthly and daily spreads in planners. I love quickly writing important things on the monthly view, but then I also like having some space to plan out the smaller tasks I need to work on on a daily basis. The planner only has a monthly view — which I guess is okay because it might make the planner to thick.

    I do wish it had something for planning your day to day though!

    How I Use It In My Business

    As I mentioned, I use this planner every day. So let me share a little bit about how I personally use it in my business.

    I work with clients on a monthly basis. A big part of what I use my planner for is setting dates for when I need to work on graphic design, invoices, proposals, etc. I look at the monthly overview and it allows me to visualize the entire month at once. So I go in with a sticker and set those days.

    I also use The Content Planner together with ClickUp to plan out my blog posts, email newsletters, and Instagram posting schedule.

    And lastly, I even use the planner to mark important dates (both business and personal!) so that I know not to plan business things on those days or vice versa.

    The Content Planner 2020

    The Content Planner 2020 is here! I’m really psyched about it because Kat always launches a new color of the planner each year. 2019 was my first year using the planner and I got it in purple.

    I’m excited because this time around she has a couple of options to pick from: blue & yellow (sunshine & emerald sea) and a lighter blue (powder & pacific).

    The Content Planner 2020 is currently on sale!

    P.S. If you’re not sure if you’re ready to invest in a planner like this just yet, you can also purchase printables on The Content Planner website to give it a test drive before buying.

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    Why The Content Planner Is The Best Tool For Bloggers
    Why The Content Planner Is The Best Tool For Bloggers
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