What is a CRM and Why Do Social Media Managers Need One?
Social media managers are always looking for tools to help them do their job better, faster and more efficient, for the best price. This article will mainly focus on comparing the two CRMs Dubsado vs 17hats on:
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is a management software, or contact management tool that provides one central place for customer service, social listening and customer profile organization.
Social media managers with multiple clients can greatly benefit from having such a tool in their tool box. A CRM duplicates recurring tasks like sending out proposals to leads, onboarding new clients, billing, contract signing and staying in close communication with clients.
Which CRM is the best for social media managers?
Dubsado vs 17hats and Free Trials
Dubsado and 17hats both offer a free trial to new customers.
Let’s start with Dubsado’s free trial.
Initially I could not find the time period for the trial period . It baffled me that I could not find any language as to how long the trial would last.
Then I read their welcome email:
Enjoy your trial with no time constraints. Rather enjoy 3 free trial clients on us to test it out.Dubsado.com
Conclusion: This is an offer that can not be beat!
Social Media Manager Perspective: Starting out on your own, starting a new business as a social media manager is tough. Every penny counts. This is a very generous – and might I say – smart offer by Dubsado. What a fantastic offer to any social media marketers trying to get make a go of owning their own business!
Final Grade: A+
17hats makes it clear that their free trial is 7 days.
While that is a generous offer, it is barely enough time to figure out if this platform will work for you. Setting up your clients in this software for such a limited time does not seem like the best course of action.
Conclusion: While I love the idea of a free trial, 7 days is too short of a period of time to play with the full platform. It might be long enough, however, to test out onboarding one client and getting a feel for the interface and functionality.
Social Media Manager Perspective: This trial holds no excitement for me personally.
Final Grade: B-
Dubsado vs 17hats and Pricing
Once I signed up for the free trial, I went looking for the pricing structure of both Dubsado and 17hats.
Can I just say I am blown away by what I found?
Dubsado is 100% completely free until you need to add a fourth client. Your trial does not run out! Can I say this again; you won’t be charged until you need a fourth spot, until you have a fourth client. How brilliant is this pricing structures especially for those who are freelance social media managers?
Conclusion: Dubsado really knows their customer! Once a social media manager has used to successfully onboard three new clients and is getting paid, they will have no qualms about paying $350/year to continue using this awesome tool!
Social Media Manager Perspective: Great value, affordable with a clear pricing structure!
Final Grade: A
While I was delighted by Dubsado’s generous pricing structure, 17hats is just as delightful. For as little as $17 per month if you lock in 2 years, you have access to and unlimited usage of their software. That is cheaper than Dubsado if you have more than 3 clients!
Conclusion: If you can get past the 7 day trial, and use this CRM tool with multiple clients, you get great value for an affordable rate.
Social Media Manager Perspective: This is a great tool for established social media managers and creatives. Best value for large agency, too!
Final Grade: A
Dubsado vs 17hats and Functionality
Dubsado has a lot of features that I liked immediately.
Here is a list of tabs in the dashboard:
For a social media manager, getting access to sample emails and templates for contract, sub agreements, questionnaires, proposals and lead capture and being able to track time spent on projects, send invoices and keep track of expenses all in one place is phenomenal.
I did a bit of exploring. While clicking around the Dubsado dashboard, I was pleasantly surprised to encounter popups with short videos to explain each new function.
One of the newest features in Dubsado is video calling integration! How about getting on a video call with your client now?!
Conclusion: Great features and functionality for a social media manager.
Social Media Manager Perspective: Using this tool will make a social media manager more efficient as several functionalities usually found in multiple tools are all bundled together into this one tool.
Final Grade: A
My observation is that 17hats feels and seems very similar to Dubsado at first glance.
As I clicked around and explored this platform, I found some additional functions of the tool that I liked.
One of the additional functions I liked is the Client Portal. [While upon digging I also found this functionality in Dubsado, is was not front and center on their dashboard.]
Client Portal is a secure location where your Clients can Accept Quotes, Sign Contracts, Complete Questionnaires, Pay Invoices and View Event details.17hats
Another great feature and plus for 17hats? They offer a lead capture center to their customers. This is where you create a lead capture form, or contact form to place on your website and template marketplace!
Conclusion: 17hats really does give you 17 (or so) functions!
Social Media Manager Perspective: The two functions that stood out for me and might be a dealbreaker are the client portal and the template + template marketplace. Create forms and questionnaire and email and more is time consuming as is and working with a professional copywriter isn’t in everyone’s budget. Gaining access to multiple templates is like striking gold!
Final Grade: A+
Dubsado vs 17hats and Efficiency
To measure efficiency, I am relying on their own onboarding process!
Let me preface this paragraph by saying that both Dubsado and 17hats have quite the onboarding process. It does take a bit of time to get the hang of these platforms.
Dubsado’s onboarding process includes a video + checklist.
The checklist Dubsado Provides is a walk through of setting up your Dubsado account and inlcudes:
- Content & Client Communication
- Manual Testing
- Workflow & Automation
The onboarding checklist is broken up into these 4 steps and includes many links and prompts on getting you from points A to Z. Each hyperlink goes to a full article with screenshots on how to complete the next step of the Dubsado onboarding process.
I was sent the onboarding information via email, setting the tone for tool efficiency; Dubsado has their own onboarding automation set up right, showing us how it’s done by example!
Conclusion: Easy to understand instructions, easy to onboard as a new client and learn the software.
Social Media Manager Perspective: Anytime a tool ‘talks’ us through learning a new interface is a bonus. Social media managers are by default multitaskers – having access to such an amazing tool for free and a great first-touch experience was humbling. The one downside was that there was only one video. For anyone who is a visual learner, videos are a must-see to understand the software. The accompanied in-depth articles with screenshots made learning about the software fairly simple.
Final Grade: A-
17hats provides their own an onboarding process. In order to access their 17hats university, a new login needed to be created, which was a bit of a turnoff for me.
The 17hats mini video course includes modules
- Let’s meet each other.
- Where to start before you actually start.
- Check off your to-do. How to create and send documents.
- Transferring from a different system
- Inspiration and help
- Set up for success
- Lead system – coming soon
- Book system – coming soon
Inside of 17hats university, it appeared that each module was set up to let you dig into the setup process. If the video explanation wasn’t proficient, each video linked to an article that explains the same process.
By quickly scanning the videos, there was nothing that jumped out at me except the comments. Some people reported trouble hearing the instructor, and some stated that the background music was distracting. One viewer mentioned that the material was very similar to another module.
Overall, the idea of a free mini-course is a great way to get started despite their limiting 7 day free trial!
Conclusion: A mini-course onboarding process is a good idea to get client onboarded to 17hats.
Social Media Manager Perspective: The execution of the mini-course could be a bit smoother and more in-depth. Having access to multiple, short videos is a good way to learn a new platform. However, I found their mini-course a bit lacking in details on how to actually get started using the product.
Final Grade: B+
Dubsado vs 17hats and Interface
The interface of Dubsado is easy-to-navigate and color coded by task on the main website menu.
As you click on a ‘project’ aka client, it’s easy to see your work history and jobs. I loved their use of color on the main dashboard however the grey of their sub-menu is rather dull.
Conclusion: Easy to navigate.
Social Media Manager Perspective: I was able to find the functions and options pretty quickly. I found the dashboard to be pretty intuitive. As a visual learner, the colors on the manin menu were stimulating.
Final Grade: B
The 17hats interface looked less inviting to me at first glance. Dubsado’s use of color limiting. I got past that initial lack of visual stimulation to find their dashboard to be highly functional and intuitive. I was able to find everything I wanted to know about the software by clicking in and out of menu tabs.
Conclusion: I like this dashboard. While this dashbaord is not as perky as Dubsado’s, I found it to be clear and fresh.
Social Media Manager Perspective: Social media managers click and click to get to something and somewhere! This dashboard requires just a minimal amount of clicks to get maximum capability and functionality.
Final Grade: A-
The Winner is….
I am giving this win to Dubsado! Dubsado is the CRM tool to get if you are just starting out as a brand new social media manager with only one or two clients and no CRM system in place.
It is important to establish a business workflow that is efficient and duplicatable for future success.
Dubsado can help with that!
Social media managers ready to scale their freelance businesses need Dubsado as their free CRM.
If you are switching from Honeybook, or any other CRM, and have an established number of clients and a fairly steady monthly income, take a second look at 17hats. The available template marketplace makes this tool a very close second and possibly your winner!
I didn’t touch on all functionalities for these two tools.
If you have an aggressive growth strategy for your social media management business, consider 17hats over Dubsado as your new CRM!
Firstly, you will save money using this tool long-term. Secondly, it seems 17hats will continue to be grow and develop their software to include new features and additional tool integrations.
if those aren’t enough reasons to convince you, here are some additional things to consider as you make the ultimate decision for a CRM platform!
- Team management functions
- CRM support teams response time
- Growth possibilities
Dubsado vs 17hats and Mobile Access
I did a quick search for you to find out if either of these tools have a mobile app.
I found that 17hats has a mobile app for business management on-the-go, while Dubsado unfortunately does not have a mobile app.
For most social media managers, this might be not be deal breaker afterall, as I manage 90% of my daily tasks on my laptop.
Choosing a CRM – My Last Words!
Let this comparison serve as your guide to choosing a CRM for your marketing business. The number one goal? Setting up a social CRM tool.
The best tool is the one you use~ Dorien
Don’t go it alone any longer. Pick one of these that best match your current and future needs and go for it! You can’t beat free for Dubsado for up to three clients and you can’t beat $17/month for the full suite if you have many clients!
Best of luck to you in your social media management journey.
I am a Certified Social Media Manager, Strategist, International Keynote Speaker, Organic Specialist and Agile marketer! Blogging is my creative outlet. Running, hiking and skiing are how I recharge. You’ll recognize me on stage and online by my always present orange glasses, a nod to my Dutch heritage.