Studio Management for the Wedding Photographer | Dubsado vs Studio Ninja, Honeybook, & ShootFlow

Business

Feb 27, 2019

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Hi everyone!! I am so excited because after many years of using studio management systems that I just couldn’t fall in love with, I’ve finally found one that I LOVE! I’m going to tell you a little bit about the few that I have used and then (spoiler alert) I’ll tell you how amazing Dubsado is and why I chose to use them for my client management! I am in no way associated with or getting compensated for this blog post.  This is a true comparison and my honest opinion.

Studio Ninja (Studio Management for photographers)

Studio ninja was the system that I used in most of 2018.  They have great customer service and a wonderful mission.  Going from the trusty old paper/pen method, this was a huge improvement to my business.  They have a lot of templates which can be really helpful, especially in the early stages of your business.

They do have a workflow option and even have templated workflows! I, however, ended up completely ignoring my workflows and doing most of this by hand because of the way the dashboard is (was) set-up.  I actually still have my account with them and while writing this blog post I logged in and their dashboard has completely changed and is way more user friendly.  It previously separated tasks by job rather than due date which was not helpful in planning my day.

Another thing that I wasn’t too happy with was their lead form.  They do have one which is amazing; when a client fills out the form on your website it populates their information into studio ninja and you get alerted of a new lead.  The form it-self is not very customizable and when embedding it on my website, it was hard to get it to coordinate with the rest of my website.  I also disliked that I would have a client fill out a questionnaire but I couldn’t get the information to populate anywhere on the client or job dashboard.  I’d have to pull up the questionnaire again to see the information.

Honeybook (Client management for many creatives)

I’m not going to tell you a ton about Honeybook.  I have tried doing their trial on two different occasions but I’ve always found something I’ve loved more so never completely tested it out.  One great thing that I do know about Honeybook, is that if you run facebook ads, and use the lead form option, you can have that information populate into Honeybook.

As of my last trial, Honeybook didn’t sync your emails within a customers dashboard and also didn’t offer a client portal. Both of these options are very necessary for my business.

ShootFlow (Studio Management strictly for wedding Photographers)

I was SO CLOSE to signing up for ShootFlow.  ShootFlow differs greatly from the rest of the client management systems in that all content is already created.  The owners have an entire workflow setup with all of the emails/questionnaires/contracts, etc. already created for you.  You do have the option to edit these things but not to the extent that I needed.  One thing that almost won me over, was that ShootFlow generated a timeline for you based on answers the client filled out on the questionnaire!

One major con with ShootFlow is that the calendar doesn’t sync with any outside calendars which is HUGE for me.  From what I’ve been told they have that in the works but no expected completion date.

I really do love what shoot flow is about.  They are all about creating a personal connection with and loving on your clients which is 100% in line with my business.  I think once they work out a few kinks and get a few more features they will have an amazing system

Dubsado (Client Management for any creative)

Drumroll please… Dubsado is the system that won me over!!!! The cool thing about Dubsado is that it’s not just for photographers.  A ton of photographers use it but it’s also used by all kinds of creatives! My husband has been building custom furniture and I’ve actually been able to create a few cool documents for him to show his clients!  First thing that sold me on Dubsado was their customer service and the amount of support they offer.

Pricing

Dubsado is normally $35/month or $350/year but right now they are offering a special rate of $30/month or $300/year for their anniversary.  To make it even better you can get 20 % off by using my referral code: jacquelinejones or by singing up via this link: 20% off at Dubsado.  They also allow you to trial 3 clients for free so check it out for yourself!

Customer Service/Support

They have detailed set-up videos and they offer free 20 minute 1:1 calls to help with anything you need! They also have a chat feature that is extremely helpful when you have a quick question.  Once I did a 1:1 call with them to help me set-up my workflow, I was immediately sold.  I actually tagged them in a facebook post the other day and they commented on it! They seriously care about their clients and that’s more important than anything else I could list below.

Customization

Dubsado wedding photographer proposal

The one thing that initially held me back from signing up was that there was SO MUCH to set up.  I quickly realized that this is actually a pro instead of a con.  Everything is extremely customizable and there are so many ways to make Dubsado YOURs.

I have their fully customizable contact form on my website (Check it out here!). There is a client portal is embedded on my website for my clients (Check it out here!).  I can have my logo and/or photos on absolutely every document that the client sees.  Answers to questions on a questionnaire or contact form can map directly to a field in the clients profile.  I can even add fields to the client OR job dashboard! For example, I have a “Second Shooter” field so that I can assign who is second shooting that particular wedding with me! Speaking of assigning a second shooter, I can actually add 3 additional users to my account at no additional charge!

Accounting

I haven’t dove into the book-keeping portion of Dubsado quite yet, but they have one.  It keeps track of your income/expenses and also links with quickbooks!

Integrations

Cloudspot!! I can’t believe I’m listing this one last.  Apparently my list is not in order of importance! Dubsado now integrates with Cloudspot!! Cloudspot is the gallery system that I use and it’s amazing! (I may have to write another blog post on this!) You can now add a clients Cloudspot gallery directly to their portal! It’s awesome ya’ll

The possibilities with Dubsado are endless.  I could literally write a book on what all I can do with it but for now I’ll leave you with this! Comment below if you have any questions!

 

  1. Dubsado says:

    We are so happy to have you part of the Dubsado Family!!! Glad to hear that you are loving Dubsado!

  2. Taylor says:

    How did you know that I totally needed The inside scoop on these? Thanks so much!

  3. Mandy says:

    Thank you for this informative post Jacqueline!!! I am in the process of deciding if I am ready to invest in a client management tool and this post was so helpful!!

    • Jacqueline Jones says:

      I am so glad it was helpful!! It will seriously change your life!!! A client management system is so important! Let me know if I can help you further in your decision making 🙂

  4. Jamie says:

    I love that you created a post about your research!! Happy you found what works best for you and are willing to share 🙂

  5. Alisha says:

    Great job putting this together. I don’t really have the patience to try all of these. I purchased a lifetime membership with Honeybook three years ago, so I can’t justify switching to anything else right now. They do have great response time with their customer service though!

    • Jacqueline Jones says:

      That’s so important! I wouldn’t be able to justify switching either!! I wish I could purchase a “for life” plan with dubsado!

  6. Alissa says:

    This seriously makes me want to take the plunge and get it!

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