Hey, friends, welcome back to another episode of the Business Journey podcast. I'm Rebecca and I'm so excited to dive into today's topic. We are talking about several different client management systems or CRMs that I suggest my students and the difference between them and who they would be best for.
So today we're going to talk about session for mini session, as some people call it, Honeybook and dubsado. So we will dive into this in just a second. Now, before we do, I want to let you guys know about a freebie option that you have. I created this freebie just for you, especially as we're headed into mini session season. So sometimes, you know, I especially I don't know about you. Maybe it's just me, but I struggle with what seems to do for many sessions. And picking the right theme is one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle that plays a really big role in how well your mini sessions will book. And so it's really important to pick a good theme for your minis, especially, you know, leading into fall and Christmas. So I've put together my 12 best proven mini sessions theme ideas that you can steal today and start using your own business. This can help you generate ideas as we head into the fall. So you can grab that freebie today at Rebeccariceohoto.com/12ideas. One, two ideas, one word. So definitely go check that out. Now, let's dive into it. Today's topic. I get questions all the time wondering about which should I use? I use honeybook or dubsado or session to book my minis and send contracts and invoices and all things. And so today I'm going to break down the difference between the three and who I feel each is best for, because I think all three are really great CRM. They're great programs to use our systems to use. I have poked around in all three. I haven't used session personally just because I knew right off the bat I couldn't do everything I needed it to do. But I have you know, I did the trial. I I've familiarized myself with it enough to be able to talk about it. I did use honeybook for a whole year and I am currently in dubsado, so I want to talk through all three and who they may be for, you know, price difference, all the things. So let's start with session now. I call it use session because that's what they're are is it's use session.com. I don't know why it is, but it gets really confusing because people think it's called use session and it's not it's called session. So I'm just going to call it session. But in case you've never heard of it, basically session is a CRM that was created specifically for mini sessions. Now, like I said, I've poked around in there. It's pretty good for the price. So it's nineteen dollars a month and I'm going to link all these for you in the show notes if you want to check them out. I do have like discount codes available for some of them for session. I don't, but you can still click on the link. It's an affiliate if you want to help support me. Whatever session is nineteen dollars a month. And it's really great for people that are not very techie. So if you have a hard time setting up automation's or tech session would be perfect for you. It is very streamlined and easy to set up quickly for a set of mini sessions. You can go in, create a date, set up a scheduler, you know, it sets up, it has automatic reminders and things like that. So it's great if you're not super good at, you know, creating workflows and things like that. It's frustrating if you have lots of automated emails you want to send. So that's one reason for sure. Right off the bat, I couldn't use it just because part of my experience is I send my clients a client experience guide and a questionnaire and a final info email. And those things were not able to be added to the workflow in session because their workflow was already created. So like I said, it's really good. If you're not good with workflows or you have a very simple workflow, maybe you don't have several emails to send in your client experience, then session would be fine. If you do have other emails you want to send, session would not be the best fit for you. What's nice about it is it does have a booking calendar kind of like calendly and it's really easy to use. So you have a link that you would send your clients. They could sign up for your mini sessions right there. They get sent their contract, their invoice, everything like that all happen. It happens automatically and then it does send those extra reminders. So it's great if you're starting out or you're overwhelmed with workflows or tech things, I would suggest session for you. We'll talk about honeybook next. Honeybook is thirty one dollars a month and I do have a twenty percent off code. So you can click that link in the show notes and you can get twenty percent off your first year. I used honeybook for a year and truthfully I really enjoyed it. It is really beautiful, it's very user friendly, honestly, if it could do everything that dubsado could do, then I would probably switch back. But unfortunately, they haven't quite caught up to dubsado yet. Who knows? Maybe one day they will and I'll switch back. But for now, it just does not have everything that I need. But it is for sure super beautiful and super user friendly. It is a lot more robust than session. So you are able to customize the workflow to an extent. You can add in those extra emails, like I said, you know, sending a questionnaire and client experience guide and a final info email, you can get a lot more custom with the workflow. It's really useful for full sessions also, whereas session is just good for minutes. So if you are planning on doing full sessions along with many sessions, then something like Honeybook would be a better fit for you than session. What I really like about any book is it has a visual pipeline that's like the best way I can describe it, where it's kind of like buckets that you can see exactly where your clients are in the process, the booking process, who has, you know, signed their contract, who's paid their retainer, who has sent such and such email. Maybe they filled out their questionnaire. And you can customize the pipeline to an extent. Now, it's not quite as powerful as dubsados pipeline, and I'll talk about that in a minute, but at least it's there. So it is helpful. Honeybook also has a section to put in todos. You can, you know, have reports. There's so many other things included that session just does not have. Now, one downside to Honeybook is they do have a scheduler just like intersession does or calendly, but it's not automated, meaning it doesn't trigger any sort of workflow. So when somebody fills out your, you know, picks the time slot for a mini session on the scheduler, it doesn't trigger the contract and the invoice to be sent, which I think is ridiculous. And I talked to Honeybook and tried to get them to do it. I told them, like, if you would figure this out, I would probably switch back. But they they haven't done it. And as far as I can tell, it's not a priority for them, which is very frustrating. So the scheduler is basically useless unless you want to go in and manually add every single person to a workflow which defeats the whole purpose. So of setting up automation's. So Honeybook is really great. It's more robust than session, but if you are somebody that's wanting more automation and, you know, set it up once and then not have to think about it, then maybe dubsado would be a better fit for you. Dubsado is actually cheaper than Honeybook, which is very surprising. It's twenty eight dollars a month with our twenty percent off. Oh, I should mention the thirty one dollars for any book that's with my twenty percent off discount code. So dubsado is twenty eight dollars a month with my twenty percent off disk code and it has everything that honeybook has but way more. It has a way more automations than honeybook does. Let's take the pipeline for example.
So Honeybook, you're able to customize the pipeline to an extent. You can add in some custom buckets, if you will, but it doesn't let you move people automatically down the pipeline. Whereas in dubsado. you can set up an automation that when somebody fills out their questionnaire, they move down the pipeline into whatever bucket you want them to go in. It's so helpful, especially like once the session is over, I can have a date trigger them to move into a bucket that's ready to edit or something like that. It's just so much better to be able to visualize and not have to manually move everybody down the pipeline. I'm all about automating whatever can be automated and saving time because my time is so precious and I don't want to spend all my time doing things manually when it could be done automated with automations. Dubsado definitely has the leg up. It's also really customizable in their automation and their workflows. Honeybook has limited triggers. So when we look at a workflow, for example, Honeybook can only trigger something to happen automatically based on like three or four things. And it's not as helpful as that because maybe you need something to trigger based on if somebody didn't fill out a questionnaire to like resend the questionnaire, send a reminder, honeybook can't do that. Whereas dubsado has so many different trigger options way more than Honeybook does. So I could say, hey, I want to send a reminder to my clients when they don't fill out the questionnaire. And so I can do that in dubsado in the workflow and it is so beautiful and so awesome to use. And that's just one example of how the automations are better just because the triggers. Are so much more robust now, dubsado does have a scheduler and it's so beautiful because a scheduler can trigger a workflow to start in dubsado. So let's say I have a set of fall minis. I have a scheduler and somebody, you know, picks a time slot and they fill out all their information. Well, I can have it set up that they automatically get sent a contract and invoice and then any email that I want to schedule along the way before our session, it's so, so powerful. And if you're like Rebecca, I don't even know how to do workflow things. Well, I do have a dubsado workflow in my shop. If you want to go check it out. Rebeccaricephoto.com/store, you can go see that Dubsado workflow literally shows screenshots of how to set it up, exactly what things to do to follow the workflow that I use with my own clients. So you can literally copy my workflow. I have it done for you. You just have to put it in there. So if you're like, that's really overwhelming, just get that it's already done for you and it'll make it a whole lot easier. But all that to say, it's much, much more customizable. Now, I will say that dubsado is a little more clunky than honeybook. Sometimes it takes things longer to load on my end. On the client end, it's fine, but on my end it takes longer to load. It's just a little more clunky, not as user friendly. That's why I said if honeybook would like pick up their game with automation's and catch up to dubsado, I would probably switch back just because I love how user friendly honey book is and it's so beautiful, but they're not there yet. So for now I'm happily sticking with dubsado, even though it is a little more clunky. The automation's are just unmatched in my opinion. And the fact that my many sessions workflow is 90 percent automated is like the best of the best. And the only part that's not automated is like actually editing and delivering galleries right. That you can't really automate that. That would be wonderful, wouldn't it? Anyway, all the other pieces are automated. So that's sort of like my quick rundown of which one is best. Still, as a little recap, if you're not super techie, you don't need a really robust built out workflow and then session is probably good for you. And I do have a link in the show notes if you want to check it out. If you want something more robust than session something that does better four full sessions, then I would check out Honeybook, but my personal favorite is Dubsado. It's more powerful and it's cheaper than honey book. So in my opinion, it's a no brainer. It is the best system to use. I know there are so many screams out there that I didn't talk about. I personally don't have experience with those other ones. I have looked around to see if I want to switch, but in my opinion of dubsado right now is the best one out on the market. So I just wanted to give you guys an overview of those as we're heading into mini session season so that you can really get, you know, your stuff set up and ready to book those minis. So as you're going, if you guys have any questions, like which one would be better for you, you're not sure where you should land, let me know. I'd be happy to help. I should mention some honorable mentions. If you're like super just starting out and on a budget shoot proof would be an OK start for you. Shoot proof is what I use to deliver my galleries. But they also have a contract, an invoice feature. It's not very robust. You can't do automation's, but you can send contracts and invoices and get like electronic signatures and online payments. So it's better than doing like Google Drive, Google doc contracts and getting checks, you know, for invoices. Don't do that. OK, so if you're like super on a budget, I was really looking to shootproof. I'll link shootproof for you. Also, I do have a link for them and I want to say it's like ten dollars a month and that includes gallery delivery. Honeybook, dubsado do not include gallery delivery. So you'd have to get another system in addition. But in my opinion it's worth it. But if you're like Rebecca, I'm going on a budget, then I would say go for shootproof as the honorable mention, start there. I'd you shoot proof for my first year in. Then I switched to Honeybook and then I switched to dubsado and haven't looked back. So you can sort of follow that progression if you need to. Again, hopefully this was helpful for you. If you're like super confused with some of the words that I'm saying or, you know, like I have no idea what language you're speaking. Rebecca, then DM me on Instagram. I'd love to chat with you. We can voice chat about it and I can help you sort of navigate this world because I know it can be overwhelming. I wanted to sort of give you a breakdown. And, you know, if you take nothing from this, take that. My biggest suggestion is to go with Dubsado, OK? Because they're the best, in my opinion. They can do the most and they will last you the longest as you continue to grow. So there's our quick overview. I know this episode was like super short and sweet, but wanted to just, you know, lay it.
Out there, I'll let you decide as you head into mini session season again, if you have any questions, me on Instagram. Rebecca ice photography and I would be happy to help answer them. So with that, we'll go ahead and sign up and we will see you next time. Bye, guys.

Episode Transcript

22. Comparing Honeybook, Dubsado and Session for Mini Sessions