28: Honeybook vs. Dubsado - Which Is the Best Fit for Your Creative Business? (with Caitlyn Gray • Dolly DeLong Photography

28: Honeybook vs. Dubsado – Which Is the Best Fit for Your Creative Business? (with Caitlyn Gray

Episode-28-of-Systems-and-Workflow-Magic-Podcast-featuring-Caitlyn-Gray

It’s time to dive into a rather controversial debate… Honeybook vs. Dubsado. Joining me in this conversation is my friend Caitlyn Gray of Systems and Strategy! Caitlyn works with female-owned businesses to fail-proof their business strategy and set up their tech so that everything runs with ease. She is also both a Honeybook and Dubsado expert, so I am so excited to have her on to chat with me today. We are discussing the differences between the two platforms, who should use each of them, and a handful of things to consider when you’re deciding which CRM to use for your business. 

The Systems and Workflow Magic Podcast is brought to you by Dolly DeLong Education. This is a podcast for creative business owners who want to learn tangible steps to automate their business through workflows, systems, tools, and strategy in order to go from scattered to streamlined with purpose. Because even muggles can become automated wizards.

Are you struggling to convert your inquiries? Maybe your contact form is simply an afterthought on your website that doesn’t attract your ideal client. It’s time to level up your lead capture form by creating a contact form that WOWS. Your client experience starts all the way back at the contact form level.

Join this free video training with a behind-the-scenes look at how I’ve built my contact form, along with my system that teaches you how to not get ghosted!

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Review the Show Notes

Get to know Caitlyn Gray (2:33)

The first major difference: who can use each program (3:53)

The differences in automation abilities (5:29)

Smartfields: what they are and how to use them in your specific business (8:28)

Considering the difference in payment processors (16:25)

Who are Honeybook and Dubsado each good for? (18:34)

Get connected with Caitlyn (25:48)

Links Mentioned

Try Dubsado & Get 30% Off Your First Month or Year

Try Honeybook & Get 50% Off Your First Year

How to Create a Contact Form that Wows

Connect with Caitlyn ⬇️

systemsandstrategy.com

instagram.com/systemsandstrategy

facebook.com/systemsandstrategy

⭐️Check out Caitlyn’s Free Resource (how to have a system & strategy for mapping out your client journey) HERE

Connect with Dolly ⬇️

instagram.com/dollydelongeducation

facebook.com/DollyDeLongEducation

pinterest.com/dollydelong

Did you like this episode? Please share it on Pinterest!

 

 

Review the Transcript:

Dolly DeLong
Welcome to the systems and workflow magic podcast where I help entrepreneurs go from scattered to streamlined in their creative businesses. I’m your host, Dolly DeLong, a wife, a mom and a photographer turned systems educator. Join me every week as we have conversations centered around creating tactical workflows, and automations in your business. Now, let’s make some strategic workflow magic. Well, Hey, and welcome back to another episode of the systems and workflow magic podcast. I am so thrilled that you are choosing to join me today. Thank you so much. So in today’s episode, we are continuing the conversation about Dubsado. But it’s going to be a little different, because we are going to make it controversial. Okay, not really. But I just wanted to say that and to bring some drama in the conversation, but I will be chatting with my friend Caitlin gray of systems and strategy, we are going to be talking about the differences between HoneyBook and Dubsado. Again, as business owners, finding the perfect software to automate your business and create an excellent customer experience is one of our top priorities, especially in the creative world, there are so many incredible CRM tools available. So again, CRM means a customer relationship management tool, and two of the most popular for creative business owners or photographers, in particular, our guests that guests HoneyBook and Dubsado. So well, everyone wants to believe that all software’s are created equally, the truth is they’re not. So today, we’re going to talk about HoneyBook versus Dubsado, what the differences are, who should use them and some things to consider when you decide which CRM is the best platform for your business. And again, the goal of this conversation is for the listener to find out what is the best fit for you. Because Caitlin and I both do not want to bash any side, we want to make this a very open conversation. I’m just laughing that I have to preface this because I’m sure somebody will think this is very dramatic, but it’s not. We want to be very logical and research base and just help the listener out as much as possible. Okay, I know this was a very long introduction to the topic of today’s podcast. But before we get to the heart of the matter, Caitlyn, do you mind introducing yourself to the audience?

Caitlyn Gray
Sure. I’m Caitlin gray. As dolly said, I’m the owner systems and strategy and I help female based businesses fail proof their business was strategy and tech setup and automating everything, so it runs with these.

Dolly DeLong
Awesome, Caitlyn and I am very excited to have you on the show today. It’s always nice to chat with another systems and workflow expert because you get it you you get the importance of setting these up for other business owners and even yourself. Yes, yes, I’m excited. Okay, so I want to preface this conversation with everyone and let you all know that you all may know I preach about Dubsado all the time. I love Dubsado I’m Dubsado, strategist and expert, but I wanted to bring on a HoneyBook Pro as well, and somebody who would like to tell like the real deal behind HoneyBook, that is where Caitlin has come in. And also she’s that Dubsado expert as well. So we’re gonna get all sides of this conversation. So this is really exciting. So I’m sure you all are on the edge of your seats right now. Let’s talk about the differences. Caitlin, I’m gonna let you take it away with HoneyBook.

Caitlyn Gray
Sure, sure. So I love both programs equally. But they’re definitely suit a different need, depending on your business, and where you’re at in your journey and all the things. So for HoneyBook I would say the first difference when you’re looking at both programs will be who can use use the program itself. Unfortunately, it’s only limited to people in North America. So Canada, the United States can use the program, anyone outside of there, I know people have hacked it with VPNs and things, but anyone outside of there, they’re not supposed to be using it. And it’s not really available to even use right now.

Dolly DeLong
Gotcha. This is something that I do not know about. But do you know if they are planning to expand to other continents?

Caitlyn Gray
So I haven’t heard recently, but when I did ask the answer was not right now. I think they just have a lot going on and it’s not priority at the moment.

Dolly DeLong
Gotcha. Gotcha, but they’re like, like our friend. I forget what movie this is from but there is this really funny movie that I always quote and I think it’s like Jim Carrey. And he’s like, so you, you’re saying there’s a chance. So I think that there is a chance of expansion. So I’m sure. And like, for Dubsado, I know this, that it is available to pretty much anyone, whatever country you live in, or wherever you live, it is available to you. So that is, I would say that is one major difference when considering these CRM platforms. So let’s talk about let’s talk about difference number two, then.

Caitlyn Gray
Yeah, so the second, like big thing I would say, would be the automation. So as a business, obviously, we want to get rid of all the menial tasks we can. And while HoneyBook allows you to automate a lot, they’re limited when you compare it to Dubsado. If you’ve never seen Dubsado, you’d be like, wow, like, this is amazing. Having seen both ends, you can definitely automate. But I think it’s meant more to have those manual tasks. And there, it has a lot of great like, reminders that you get all the time, which is nice. So if you aren’t ready to give up all your control, it might be a good fit in that aspect.

Dolly DeLong
Yeah. And I know as Dubsado you can and correct me if I’m wrong, because I know you are also a Dubsado expert as well. But you can do several automations in one step.

Caitlyn Gray
Yes. And that is where it’s kind of limited as well, you can only run one automation at a time, I’m hoping they change this. So you have to like delete that automation sequence and start the next one, which I mean, works. But it’s nice when you can have like three things going on at one time.

Dolly DeLong
Yeah, but I also know with Dubsado, like, when we say that you can run multiple automations. At the same time, that doesn’t necessarily mean this kind of like goes into like difference number three smart field because I was literally thinking this as we were talking, that doesn’t mean like we can put all the steps in one like workflow step like then like send a form and send a scheduler and send a contract and send an invoice like, there are specific combinations of like automations that you can do in a workflow. But like, I guess in that way, like Dubsado is also limited in like their different combinations of automation. So I wanted to again, like the goal of this conversation if you’re listening, and the goal of this conversation is to see things from both sides. And I wanted just to let somebody know, like, Okay, you can’t do all the steps like an automation in one step, you have to do certain combinations within Dubsado to make it work for you.

Caitlyn Gray
Yeah, and I think that’s like a huge thing to remember. And I think a lot of people are like, Okay, well, what can HoneyBook automate, then they can automate sending a form, basically like that. But where Dubsado shines is like, if a form isn’t submitted, then you can send a reminder and things like that. And HoneyBook isn’t quite there yet. They are working on it, though. And they have some really cool new stuff coming. So

Dolly DeLong
and their education is amazing. Yeah, it’s so good. I feel like they’re always just like Dubsado, like both HoneyBook and Dubsado are really good about constantly giving their clients and their new viewers like updates. And also, like free education for both platforms. Yes, Yes.

Caitlyn Gray
And they always are like listening. They’re like, what do you want to see? And then they always kind of had it laid out like, “Okay, this is where it’s at on the timeline, we’re gonna get it to you, don’t worry”, type of things. Yeah, I love that.

Dolly DeLong
I love that so much too. So I hinted at this in earlier from like, a difference number two’s like automations. But difference number three smart fields. So smart fields for I’m going to give my definition of smart field and in Kailyn, I want to give I want to hear your definition, because I’m going to be honest, like I’m so long winded with my definitions. And I wish I could be more succinct, but this is how I think of smart fields. I think of them as placeholders in your templates that automate based on what a person fills out in their field. So that way, if you have templates already created in Dubsado, then those will I guess, like pick up what your client fills out on their forms. So you don’t always have to fill out like their name or their last name or their email address or their project date. And so that’s something that I love about Dubsado. It saves me so much time in the long run by using smart fields.

Caitlyn Gray
Yeah, know for sure. I would say my definition is probably very similar. I was like, “How do I explain this?”, just kind of like pre populated fields that can automatically fill in things later. I don’t know you’re just way better.

Dolly DeLong
Oh, you’re so nice. Hey, I everyone I paid Caitlyn to say that to mean something else in that I don’t know if HoneyBook does this, but in Dubsado, if Dubsado doesn’t offer you a smart field option, you can create your own in Dubsado. So let’s say for example, you are I just did this. Okay, so I will share this example right now, I am currently updating my maternity workflow within Dubsado, because I am a family photographer and I wanted to specifically create a maternity related workflow. And so I noticed that Dubsado doesn’t have a smart field that asks “When is your due date?”, they have a, “when is the project date?”, that’s more like project related. So I went in on the back end of Dubsado, and created a smart field asking my client, hey, “when is your due date?”, because for me, I like to know when the due date is because we can base the maternity session based off of when they’re due. And also, I might purchase a gift for my clients just a surprise, like kind of kind of like a client experience gift. But like that aside, I was able to create a smart field and add it to the client’s questionnaire form. And so when they fill it out, so whatever due date they fill out, it will populate into their project. And it will let me know when their due date is how we can better plan their session, and so on and so forth.

Caitlyn Gray
Yeah, so HoneyBook can do that. So I do love the fact that the difference in that in HoneyBook, you can create the like custom smart field right there, like, whatever form you’re on. Whereas Dubsado, you have to like go to the back end, yes. And created which is, which is perfectly fine. You can see them all there nicely, but it saves a little time being able to do it there. I would say the only like downfall though is you can’t integrate them as much as Dubsado. So like in honey book, you can put them in that contract and things but you’re not going to put them in an email right now the only smart field they have is your first name, and things like that. So that’s kind of a bummer, because I don’t know, I use them in my emails all the time. I don’t know if you do.

Dolly DeLong
Yes. Everywhere as much as possible. Yes, I know. I’m like, Okay, how can I create a template for this workflow? And, like, how little work can I do like in the long run?

Caitlyn Gray
and still make it sound like you actually typed it out? You know? Yeah, exactly.

Dolly DeLong
Like wow, she spent like an hour typing this out. I’m like, No, I just made a template two months ago, and then I personalized it in five seconds.

Caitlyn Gray
Yes, yes. So that’s like, I think one of the biggest things I see missing, so it’s a little frustrating. But I think if you have a very simple business and don’t need all that, yeah, it’s it will work great for you still.

Dolly DeLong
Okay, that’s really good to know. And that’s so cool that within HoneyBook, you can create that smart field like where you are like, you don’t have to go on the back end. And I don’t know, for me with like, as a female business owner, I feel like I have 10,000 tabs opened in my mind all the time. So it would just be nice if I could just like stay on the same page where I am in Dubsado. And just like create a smart field on the spot instead of like clicking over. Again, it’s preference. I know, for those of you who are listening, it’s all up to your preference, so. But that’s good, I guess the difference in that would be just location of where you need the actual smart field. And the great thing about smart fields, if you are listening in, I know that both companies provide a robust amount of smart field options. So if you’re just now starting out with a CRM platform, don’t feel like you have to continue to invent the wheel. Work with what you’ve got. And then as you get to know your client journeys, your customer journeys, your services more intimately, you might discover that your service specifically has some questions or you’re needing answers to that aren’t necessarily provided in smart field form in either Dubsado or HoneyBook. So that’s like the beauty of creating your own smart fields.

Caitlyn Gray
I would also say too, I was just thinking, I was like, What is another like difference with that and Dubsado? As well as the smart fields, you can go in that like client panel, and you can fill them out yourself sometimes like, oh, I need this detail. You can’t do that in HoneyBook. So if you’re like, advanced, and you’re like, Okay, I need to like pre fill things out. It’s not going to happen right now. Maybe in the future.

Dolly DeLong
Oh, that’s good to not even think of that. That’s really good to know. All right, my friend, are you still struggling to get those inquiries in because they are ghosting you once they fill out your contact form? Or is your contact form just a brushed afterthought on your website, and it’s not really attracting your ideal client. If you’re raising your hand and you are guilty of this, then it’s time to level up your lead capture form by creating a contact page that Wow. So I am pulling back the curtain to show you all the elements I’ve used in my business to create an incredible client experience. Yes, starting at the contact form level, because I’m a firm believer that you’ve got to wow your viewer and show them that you are the person they need to hire as soon as they fill out your contact form. So with this free training, you’ll get a video training with a behind the scenes look of how I have crafted and created a contact form again at the top of that client journey. And I spill the tea, I also give you a free PDF that accompanies this free training. And you have access to my just like my system as to how not to get ghosted. So, grab the link at dolly DeLong photography.com, forward slash create a contact page that wows and the link will be in the show notes. And I am so excited for you to level up your lead capture form. Okay, so smart fields. And again, all like everything that we’re talking about, for those of you who are listening and might want to take notes about the differences and just start researching, you can get a free trial of both HoneyBook and Dubsado. and test it out for yourself and see what’s the best fit for you. And all of the notes will be in the show notes. So don’t worry, like we’ve got you covered, we really, really want you to see the differences to see what’s the best fit for you. And there’s a blog post attached to this. So I wrote even more down for you so that you can make a very informed decision. So let’s talk about difference number four, which is the payment processor.

Caitlyn Gray
Yes, this is like controversy, I feel like depending on where you’re at in your business journey. So HoneyBook, you can only connect with stripe, which is like, Oh, that’s not a big deal. But for me, it causes some issues with some businesses, because it’s not your own Stripe account. It’s HoneyBook Stripe account. So you don’t get to go into that back end of stripe, I like to go in the back end and like you know, download everything you can to see where things are going and mess with it. And while you can still download things off of HoneyBook you don’t get to connect it how you want and you don’t get the three choices. And all the things.

Dolly DeLong
Gotcha. I know with Dubsado you can connect stripe, and PayPal and square. And you can also connect if you want your client to pay like from their checking account. There’s that option and a credit card as well. So those right now those are the options that I use. Does HoneyBook Do this? Do they allow gratuity?

Caitlyn Gray
I think they just added it don’t quote me on this, I think they just added it in there. But they do have the ACH option. And they make it really, really easy to use, which I do thank them for that because it’s just like a switch. So that is so wonderful. And and you can do it per person as well. Like you can be like I don’t want them to pay that way. So you can turn it off. And it’s great.

Dolly DeLong
Oh, that’s so wonderful to know. So if you are listening in you’re like what’s ACH? Like, correct me if I’m wrong, it’s like when you are paying directly from your checking account?

Caitlyn Gray
Yeah, and the fees are a lot lower. I mean, if you have a higher priced item, I think it maxes out at like $5, I believe?

Dolly DeLong
No, that’s so good. And especially for those of you who are a service based business owners, and you have bigger packages, let’s use wedding photography, for example. Like, you might charge $8,000, I don’t know for a wedding. And so the fees on that, like if you pay with a credit card might be a lot for both the business owner and you. And so see if like you’re the person that you’re working with, your photographer, has ACH payment option with their contract, and when they send you their invoice so that way, there won’t be a lot of fees attached to it. For sure. For sure. Okay, now here’s like the ultimate, like, who is HoneyBook and Dubsado good for?  Like, we’re gonna talk on both ends. But like, this is a good wrapping up question right here.

Caitlyn Gray
Yeah, so I have two answers. So start with easy answer, I would say if you are a newer business just getting started, you don’t want to learn a lot of tech and you have a very simple process, then HoneyBook is going to be perfect for you. And it’s going to really like be able to set it up out of the box. But if we want to like dive in deeper, I always tell people two things. First, try both programs, because some people hate the interface of HoneyBook. And some people hate the interface of Dubsado. And if you don’t like going to the program, you’re not going to use it. And then second would be mapping out your journey which you can do yourself, you know, I mean, you do this for people. So you need to know like what do you need automated or like what is your end goal, I think would really help you decide because sometimes like, I don’t know, you might love HoneyBook, but it might not give you all the things that you need to make your life easier, or dubsado might be too much. So I think it’s kind of a two part answer. But I would say start with like a newer business or a very simple business. That’s the same thing over over and over.

Dolly DeLong
Now. I love that reminder so much for those of you who are listening like if you need to rewind even a term anymore. I don’t know if you need to rewind, listen to this. Just because you buy these programs for yourself, that doesn’t mean that you’ll magically, magically, everything will be automated for you overnight. Like, what Caitlin is saying is so true, you actually have to map out your processes before you start implementing the steps, either in HoneyBook or Dubsado. That’s something that was one of my struggles when I first bought Dubsado is in 2018. So well over four years ago, and I, I thought, okay, I bought it now. It’s just gonna, it’s all gonna make sense. No, like, and I sat on it for over six months, just like not knowing how to use it. I was intimidated by it I like, and then it made me mad, because I was like, Well, this is their fault, because they made it sound so easy, but it’s not easy. Well, the fact is, like, when you buy a program, you actually have to take the time to like, learn it and learn how to use it. Like you just don’t buy a car, without, like, I don’t know, without knowing how to drive it and just be like, Okay, now I’m gonna magically know how to drive everywhere, like, No, you take lessons. Like, I don’t know if that’s a good analogy or not, but things take time, like, knowing how to work programs takes time. That’s why you hire people like Caitlin to help you out with HoneyBook and Dubsado. And you learn from free education from both HoneyBook and Dubsado. To see what is the best fit for you, and you start taking baby steps to apply it to your business.

Caitlyn Gray
Yeah, that was like a good analogy. I think that people do forget, like, it doesn’t just start working for you. That’s I’m like test both, like ever test drive a little bit and just see what you’ve really like. Because honestly, like, the interface of HoneyBook is beautiful. It’s very, very quick. It’s fast. And it’s really pretty in my opinion. Yeah. So I know a lot of people were like, we just use it for the interface, you know. So I think it just really, really depends on what you’re into and how your business is running.

Dolly DeLong
Yeah, you like, I honestly, I don’t really think the interface of Dubsado Is that pretty at all, and I’m a very visual person. But now that I know the ins and outs of it like I am like, it’s okay, if it’s not that visually pretty, I know how to use it. And it’s great. And it’s robust. So again, if visual, like that’s even another difference, if visual is important to you, then like go with something visual that can help you in your mind out and like you, do you everyone but like that’s why it’s important to like test drive both programs out, see what’s the best fit for your business. And also don’t just like, use a program because like I told you, it’s the best or that Kaitlyn told you it’s the best, like, use it, because you’ve done your research. And you know, it’s going to be the best fit for your business and your goals and your client journey. So there I’m getting off my soapbox. Research, people. And And again, like, I hope for those of you who are listening like that Katelyn and I have shared like five main differences. And there are still a lot of other differences. But these are like five main points that we both like were talking before we hit record like, these are things like we want to share with the listener like, especially how to get paid or like, have like automated steps and even visual components of interface, like what does it look like? And so we want you to start thinking about these things. And we just don’t want you to jump into something blindly. Because an influencer told you to do something. Lily’s think and reflect and see what’s the best fit for you. Yeah. Do you have anything else to add to that? Caitlin?

Caitlyn Gray
I don’t think so. I mean, I agree. I agree full, full fully. I see on Facebook all the time, you will be in like, what should I use? And all these people like competing on like, yeah, my affiliate code. I’m like, Oh, don’t use it for the discount, just like test it out.

Dolly DeLong
Test it out, see what’s the best fit for you about your business. And you might you guys might listen in. And at the end of the day, you might use something else like because I know there’s like 17 hats and there are so many other robust CRM platforms. And again, it’s entirely up to your business. So please like put your blinders on, stay in your lane, and do your research. And then you might come at the end being like, Oh, this program is going to be the best fit for me in my long term goals. For sure, for sure.

Caitlyn Gray
I always tell people to take like a week. Yeah, take a week of your time and like make a list of everyone you want to try and spend a day like in Dubsado a day and HoneyBook just dedicate your time to that so that you’re not distracted like you’re saying and like can really write make a list and write down what you like what you hate and yeah, pros and cons.

Dolly DeLong
Exactly, exactly. And also in like two or three years. Give yourself grace like you might change your mind like you like, and that’s okay, that’s normal, like people change their mind and make different pivots. You know, nobody likes the pivot word anymore. I’m saying the P word. Pivot into a new business program, you might decide to do an overhaul in two or three years. So, like, if you are an overthinker just don’t overthink that and don’t get stressed out. Like don’t let that the stress of like the looming dread of well, I might pivot and change in my business in five years. Like, don’t let that stop you. Do your research now. Cncentrate on what you can do right now see, what’s the best fit for you right now. And if you have to pivot, you’re going to be okay. So before we go on, and on and on again, I’m sure people are like, okay, Dolly, we get it, we get it. Like we’re gonna stay in our own lane. We’re gonna do our research. Kailyn, how can people find you and work with you and get to know you? Because you are, you have such a beautiful soul. You’re wonderful woman. And I’ve loved getting to know you on the interwebs. So I want more people to get to know you, too.

Caitlyn Gray
Oh, thank you. So you can find me on my website, which is systems and strategy.com. And my Instagram handle and Facebook handle are the same systems and strategy.com. And kind of all over the place, kind of.

Dolly DeLong
But she’s very streamlined. And she’s she’s all about systems. So well. That’s awesome. Well, Caitlin, thank you so much for agreeing to come on and have this very controversial discussion about HoneyBook versus Dubsado. And again, for those of you who are listening, I hope this was encouraging to you. And just like gets you thinking how to get started with you researching. And I’m going to have Caitlin in the show notes like share her HoneyBook code with you so that if you decide to do a trial, click on Caitlin’s link. Okay, and then as and then I’ll put a link for Dubsado as well. So that’s that’s me like being awkward about my transition off. But thank you all for listening. I hope this helps. And I will see you all next week as we continue our Dubsado series. So have an amazing and streamlined week, everyone. Bye. Thank you so much for listening to the systems and workflow magic podcast. You can find full show notes from today’s episode at Dolly DeLong photography.com forward slash podcast. If you’re loving the podcast, I’d be so honored if you’d subscribe and leave a review on your favorite podcast player. Be sure to screenshot this episode, share it to your stories and tag me at Dolly DeLong education over on Instagram. Until next time, go make some strategic workflow magic.

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