March 17, 2023
Pssst…Before we get into the nuts and bolts of the episode, we wanted to let you know we have a new facebook group for this podcast! 🤗
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We wanted to do a podcast to unveil a few of our favourite techy bits and pieces to help you provide amazing customer service. And, to position yourself as a high-end, credible designer.
If you have followed us for a while, you would have heard us talk about some of our favourite tech before. It’s scattered through many episodes and we wanted to have everything in the one place for you to access.
Of course you need a good computer, design software etc. This is not what this blog is about.
The focus of this blog is the tech that you need to provide an elevated client experience in your graphic design business. All while making your life as a business owner easier and more seamless.
So here we go, first up on our list of essential tech is…
Why you need this: To establish your authority, reinforce your professionalism and screen potential clients.
Even if you’re not taking bookings for clarity calls or discovery calls yet, you need one of these!
A cleverly crafted intital touchpoint form will enable clients to tell you what their goals & needs are. All prior to meeting with them! You then get to decide if they are an ideal fit for your business or not.
We like to include a pricing indication on this type of initial touchpoint form. This important inclusion will help you to screen any potential clients who may not be ready for the investment yet.
We use Dubsado* for this. We love how the info Dubsado collect integrates with other aspects of the platform for proposals, contracts etc (more on that in a bit).
So go on, get your form set up! (But finish reading this article first). It could be the first link you have on your socials. So get those appointments booked!
Why you need this: To make it easy for potential clients to connect with you!
It can be intimidating for a non-creative professional to get in touch with a designer. Give your potential clients a helping hand.
If you don’t have an appointment scheduler, make it your FIRST priority after listening to this episode.
Once again, we use Dubsado for this (getting the idea that we love Dubsado?). We already subscribe to the Dubsado platform so it feels like a bonus inclusion. If you’re looking for booking only, you could use Acuity Scheduling (now owned by the folks who made Squarespace) or Calendly for this. Calendy has a free tier, so could be a good place to start.
It’s important to make sure your booking system has the following:
Why you need this: To seamlessly manage the client onboarding process.
We use Dubsado for this (Dubsado is the winner again!), but there are a whole host of options out there.
One thing we recommend with Dubsado is to start small. This is what we recommend as a starting point:
Dubsado is a very robust platform and it does have a learning curve. We include bonus Dubsado training in our design business course, The Academy. This covers everything you need to know to get set up quickly and with ease.
The team at Dubsado don’t recommend getting into some of the more advanced features until you become comfortable with the basics. This includes workflows.
We also don’t like Dubsado’s current client portal, which is a bit clunky. It may improve in the future, so we’ll keep you posted.
…which brings us to our next piece of essential tech!
Why you need this: To manage client projects, files and timelines.
A client portal will help you set client expectations and establish essential boundaries around your process.
You must be very new around here if you haven’t heard us banging on about Trello. 🤗 There are many options for using a client portal but we love Trello for it’s easy customisation to your brand (read: you can make it look really beautiful) and for its ease of use.
To read more about why having a client portal is so important, listen to episode 60: https://designandprosper.co/the-reason-your-clients-are-being-difficult/
You can get access to our client portal template by heading to designandprosper/co/free
Why you need this: To manage internal systems, projects and timelines with ease. To house the working operations and content for your business
Trello wins again! Trello is much more than initially meets the eye. There are many integrations and plugins that make it a super robust platform. It can feel like you have created your own custom software, built specifically with your business needs in mind.
We love Trello so much we have two supplemental trainings included in The Design & Prosper Business Academy: Trello 101 Training and our Time Ninja workshop.
You may be wondering what’s the difference between a client portal and project management software? A client portal is client facing – this is where your client will interact with you, find all their contracts, files, proofs, to-do’s etc. Project Management Software is for all your team — to manage all your operations, team tasks and timelines.
Why you need this: To securely house and protect all of your business and client assets and make files easy to collaborate and share.
Picture this. You spill a full cup of tea over your beloved old Macbook Pro. It fries the motherboard. You cry. You take it to Apple and they shake their head no and say it’s $1200 or you can buy a new laptop.
Realising that it’s not worth spending $1200 to fix your old Macbook, you fork out the money and buy a new one. You head home, set up your essential software and you are up and running within around 1 hour. Not a file is lost.
How is this possible? By storing all your files in cloud storage.
We love Google Drive. It’s hands down our favourite thing, especially with Google Drive for Desktop installed. With Google Drive for Desktop it operates just like accessing other files in the finder or our Macs. We would be lost without the entire Google cloud system.
So, fabulous people, we have a challenge for you. Get your initial touchpoint form live! Send us a DM and let us know when you’ve got it done — we want to help keep you accountable.
Stay tuned for part 2 of the essential tech you need in our next podcast!
For full transcript click here
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