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I'm Cait Potter — client experience & workflow coach for creative go-getters. I'm here to help you make your business ROCK.

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Using Dubsado for Mini Sessions (& Portrait Sessions)

August 25, 2021

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There are LOTS of tutorials out there on using Dubsado for Mini Sessions, but I have carefully crafted a way to COMPLETELY automate this process from start to finish! Just in case you don’t know me, I’m Cait. I’m a former photographer turned Dubsado expert, so I’ve got a TON of knowledge on how you can effectively leverage all of Dubsado’s features for your photography biz.

Mini Sessions can be a huge hassle, with TONS of inquiries streaming in with a ridiculous amount of manual time coordination going on. What if you could throw a calendar up on your website, get people to pay you to book their slot, and then automate the rest of the process from sending a confirmation, the contract, appointment reminders & key prep info, and more? HONEY, YOU’RE IN THE RIGHT PLACE!

How It’s Done

You will prepare your account for using Dubsado for Mini Sessions in 3 stages:
FIRST, you will create all of your templates.

SECOND, you will create your workflows

THIRD, you will start booking minis on auto-pilot!

Complete the following tasks in the order I have listed here!

The Prep Work

DECIDE THE SPECIFICS

In order to complete all of the tasks listed in this blog (and to get things plugged into Dubsado), you must first know:

  • the DATE of your mini sessions, the time blocks you’ll be offering them, and how long each session will be.
  • the COST of your mini sessions
  • the LOCATION of your mini sessions

CREATE YOUR PROJECT TAGS

  1. Minis

Not sure how to create a project tag? Check out this help article!

CREATE YOUR CUSTOM PROJECT STATUSES

You may already have different versions of some of these statuses. If that’s the case, just skip the ones you already have!

  1. LEAD STATUSES
    1. Mini Abandonded
  2. JOB STATUSES
    1. Upcoming
    2. Editing
    3. Delivered

Not sure how to create project statuses? Check out this help article!

DESIGN YOUR FORMS

This is probably the easiest form creation you’ll ever do! You just need 2 forms!

  1. A Mini Session Lead Capture to collect your client’s basic information and anything else you want to guarantee you get answers to prior to the session.
    1. PRO TIP: make sure to set the Lead Title in the Settings.
    2. Keep the design simple since this will be embedded on your website!
  2. Create your Mini Session Contract. For every single mini session day you hold, you will need to create a corresponding contract so that you can fill in the date & location specifics. Unfortunately, no smart fields will work for us in this case.

WRITE YOUR EMAILS

The emails you write are the foundation of your client experience. Make sure that you are greeting your client in every single email, signing off warmly, and including as much personality as you can! The more you throw in there, the better! Your clients will never know that this process is completely automated! Here’s the list of 8 emails you need to write in order to get your mini session booking up and running on Dubsado!

  1. Mini Session Not Booked Follow Up.
    1. Summary: This email is going to be something along the lines of “Hi Client, I see you started the process of booking a mini but didn’t finish. Are you still interested? If so, go ahead and book at the link below!”
    2. Smart fields to include:
      1. Scheduler Link: Include the PUBLIC link to the scheduler below. You will have to come BACK to add the link to this email.
  2. Mini Session Confirmation.
    1. Summary: “Thanks for selecting your time slot! You’re almost fully booked. The next step is to sign your contract, which you’ll be receiving in a separate email.”
    2. Smart fields to include:
      1. Mini Session Name: {{appointment.title}}
      2. Session Date: {{appointment.start | mediumDate}}
      3. Session Time: {{appointment.start | shortTime}}
      4. Session Location: {{appointment.location}}
      5. Add to Calendar: {{appointment | calendarLink}}
  3. Send Mini Session Contract
    1. Summary:
    2. Smart fields to include:
      1. Contract Link: {{job | contractLink}}
  4. Mini Session Reminder 1.
    1. Summary: “Your mini session is in x days! Check out this helpful prep information I’ve put together! (link to website or blog)”
    2. Smart fields to include:
      1. Same as 2.1
  5. Mini Session Reminder 2.
    1. Summary: “Your mini session is TOMORROW! Remember to be a few minutes early. Sessions are booked back to back, so if you are late, your session will be shortened to fit what’s left in your time slot.”
    2. Smart fields to include:
      1. Same as 2.1
  6. Thank You & Next Steps
    1. Summary: “I had so much fun with you at your mini session today! As a reminder, you can expect to receive your photos within x weeks. Even if you don’t hear from me between now and then, rest assured that I’m working hard!”
  7. Final Gallery Delivery
    1. Summary: “EEEEEEK your gallery is here! LINK”
  8. Request a Review
    1. Summary: “I so enjoyed working with you. Will you leave me a review?”

CREATE YOUR SCHEDULER

Here are the details you need:

  1. Public Mini Session Scheduler (named something fun like “Book your THEME Mini Session!”)
    1. Email to Send: NONE
    2. Confirmation Email: Mini Session Confirmation (email #2)
    3. Attached Form: Mini Session Lead Capture
    4. Invoice: Full Price of Mini Session
    5. Reminder 1: Mini Session Reminder 1 (email #3)
    6. Reminder 2: Mini Session Reminder 2 (email #4)

Not sure how to create a scheduler with all the elements above? Check out this help article!

CREATE YOUR PAYMENT SCHEDULE

Create a payment schedule with just 1 payment- the full amount of your session! You should do a FIXED amount rather than a percentage! I know this doesn’t SEEM necessary, but it is!

Bring it All Together

WORKFLOW 1: “Mini Session Part 2”

YES, you read that right, we are making PART TWO, first.

ACTIONTRIGGERCONTENT
Change Project Status0 hours
after workflow started
Upcoming
Add Tag0 hours
after workflow started
Minis
Send Contract0.25 hours
after workflow started
Form: Mini Session Contract
Email: Minis | 02 | Send Mini Session Contract
Create To Do0 hours
after all previous actions complete
Assign yourself
Content: {{client.name}}: Mini Session Complete
Change Project Status0 hours
after all previous actions complete
Editing
Send Email0.25 hours
after all previous actions complete
Minis | 03 | Next Steps
Create To Do0 hours
after all previous actions complete
Content: {{client.name}}: Deliver final gallery using email Minis | 04 | Final Gallery Delivery
Change Project Status0 hours
after all previous actions complete
Delivered
Send Email0 hours
after all previous actions complete
General | Review Request

WORKFLOW 2: “Mini Session Part 1”

Payment Schedule: The one you created as part of this blog!

ACTIONTRIGGERCONTENT
Change Project Status
1 day
after workflow started
Mini Abandoned
Send Email1 day
after workflow started
Scheduler: Public Mini Session Scheduler
Email: Minis | 01d | Booking Follow Up
Archive Project0 hours
after all previous actions complete
(This step is necessary to ensure you don’t have 2 active projects for the same client if they DO rebook after sending the email above)
Start a workflow0 hours
after invoice paid in full
Workflow: Mini Session Part 2 template
Pause Workflow0 hours
after invoice paid in full
(This step ensures that the steps above do NOT fire IF they go ahead and book, so your booked clients don’t receive the follow up)

Launch!

Embed the scheduler on your desired page on your website! (OR you can share a public link directly to the scheduler if you don’t have one). Not sure how to do that? I’ve got you covered with this help article.

And there you have it!

A step-by-step guide to EVERYTHING you need to use Dubsado for mini sessions. This process is sure to take all the stress out of these so that all you have to do is show up and do what you do best: take beautiful photos! Drop your questions or comments below!

Want more help?

Purchase my Mini Session Kit to get email templates, form templates, and step by step instructions on how to get your mini sessions running on auto-pilot!

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I'm Cait Potter — client experience & workflow coach for creative go-getters. I'm here to help you make your business ROCK.

tell me more...

crowd favs

on the blog

Getting Started in
Dubsado!

Code-Free vs CSS Form Design

Check out my office!

What it costs you to DIY your Dubsado Setup

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