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CRM Guru, Family Filmmaker, and Host of the Business-First Creatives podcast. I help creative service providers grow and streamline their businesses using Dubsado.
There are a LOT of things you can automate in Dubsado. My absolute favorite is an automated lead response when you receive an inquiry for your services. While I love Dubsado and recommend it to most photographers and creative entrepreneurs, there are still a ton of things on my wishlist, particularly for automation.
This may seem like a trivial request, but when I look at my calendar at a glance I want to be able to tell what kind of inquiry/session it is. By default the title of a new project is the name of the lead capture they completed. So if I get 5 inquiries in a day, they would all be named Colie James Contact Form inside my project dashboard and on my calendar. That’s not real helpful.
What is possible- You can customize the title with client smart fields, but most don’t make sense. I add in a client’s full name or last name to differentiate the projects, but I don’t know any scenario where adding a client address to the project title would be beneficial ?
Until Dubsado gives us the ability to add additional smart fields, or fields from a workflow question, I am stuck modifying this manually after I receive a lead but before I send a proposal to make an offer.
The fact that we still can’t do this is a bit baffling to me. Because you can only trigger workflow actions for a scheduler sent from a workflow, not being able to click a button and automatically map an appointment date to a project date can cause a bottleneck for many preferred automations. This is totally possible in 17Hats (bet you thought you’d never hear me say that ?). This is actually the main reason I do not schedule actual photography sessions from a scheduler and don’t recommend it to my students + clients either.
What is possible- The only thing you can do is create a to-do so that you manually enter this information, but this is a very weak work-around. If you want to schedule a service and add the reserved date/time to a contract, you can’t. If you want to break-up your workflows to make them more digestiable, but still trigger things based on an appointment date in other workflows, you can’t
This is probably my #1 requested feature so that I could actually recommend to my students that they book sessions directly off of a scheduler. Well, that and actually allowing a contract to be attached to the scheduler ??♀️
There are so many great workflow triggers inside Dubsado, but “when appointment NOT scheduled” isn’t one of them.
What is possible- There is a very complicated work-around, which involves setting up multiple workflows to send a new appointment scheduler automatically by default, but pauses each workflow when a call is scheduled ?. I only recommend this if an automatic follow-up is a high priority. The downside is each time you send a scheduler it is a brand new template. You can’t automatically resend the original one so if you use a client portal your client will see each and every scheduler you send separately.
Until Dubsado gives us the ability to follow-up automatically with a workflow trigger, I highly recommend creating a to-do to resend the same scheduler from the appointment tab as needed.
Zapier triggers are limited from Dubsado and a glaring omission is “when appointment scheduled”. If you are using an external task management software like Clickup or database like Airtable, you cannot send any scheduler data into these programs. So any tasks that are related to scheduled appointments cannot be automated.
What is possible- You can automatically change a project status in Dubsado when an appointment is scheduled, using a workflow trigger + action. You can Zap using that project status change, but without the actual appointment data, this might not be sufficient for you.
While there are a TON of reasons I recommend using the internal Dubsado scheduler, if your business heavily relies on external task-management, you may consider using an external scheduling app like Acuity or Calendly which has more Zapier integration options.
Similar to adding a form to a specific project, when you send a scheduler in a project the template is copied and cut-off from the original template. This means if you apply a scheduler to a project on Monday, but change your scheduler availability in the template on Friday, those changes are NOT applied to the project. Now for a single client in a short timeframe, easy peasy to update this manually. However, if you have applied a scheduler to a number of client projects over weeks or even months, there is just no efficient way to update them with new availability.
What is possible- To give a client the most updated availability each and every time they access a scheduler, you can provide them with a public link. However, doing this does not allow you to trigger workflow actions based on the appointment being scheduled. An appointment created from a public scheduler also does not automatically link to an existing project. You would need to do this manually.
I highly recommend waiting as long as possible in a workflow to send out a scheduler and not to pre-load this into their portal months before needed.
Has this been useful? Hit me up on IG and let me know ?
If/when the Dubsado scheduler comes out of Beta and any of these are rectified, will update this post.
Listen to my interview with Maddie Peschong on the Take it Personally podcast HERE. How to automate in Dubsado + creating boundaries may give you a lot of insight for what is possible!
I have a Dubsado implementation course for photographers, the CRM Blueprint. This is my done-WITH-you option. You get my entire system, with step-by-step videos, and one-click templates to customize and implement into your business.