The Best CRM for Creatives: Bonsai
I am super excited to share one of the most helpful tools you can have in your creative business right here right now today, and that is a CRM.
A little backstory here, my search for the perfect Cinderella glass slipper kinda fit CRM has literally taken me years.
Why did it take me so long to pick one? Honestly, I just never found the one. One that actually jived with my creative brain, was affordable, seamlessly worked with my business, and didn’t take me forever to figure out.
And what is a CRM you ask? The acronym stands for Customer Relationship Management, and if you don’t have one of these systems in place, it just might be the tool that saves you countless hours of headache-inducing emails, invoice sending, and wondering if and when you’re (ever) going to get paid.
But I’m super excited because in terms of CRMs, I’ve finally found the one!
Which was great timing, because let’s face it, I had long since stopped looking for one and just fashioned my own lil rig out of Pages templates, PDFs, and PayPal - all done manually.
Yeeeeah. If you just cringed a little bit at that (or worse yet, were like ‘yup, me too,’) then it’s safe to say that we could all benefit from a lil CRM magic.
Basically, I was in need of a more productive and professional solution fast. Enter: Bonsai.
Here’s Why I’m Totally Diggin This Platform
Bonsai is ridiculously simple, effective, and easy to use. And yes, yes, yes, there will be affiliate links in this post which means I may earn a small commission when you purchase (at no cost to you, might I add), but that’s only because I love this tool and I want you to be able to try it out for a free 30 days, okay?
This platform is a so stinkin’ easy-to-use tool for creative entrepreneurs to send proposals, contracts, invoices, and even automatic reminders. It’s a way to store all of your client’s info and all of your contracts and agreements (and templates) in one place. Easy.
Here is a view of the Bonsai dashboard, which gives a really simple overview of the most important things you need to see (with none of the confusion.)
How Does It Compare to Other CRMs?
I’ll admit, I geek out over this, but for those of us in the creative fields, our minds just work differently, they do. We are extremely visual creatures and that’s why we’re so particular about how our desktops look, how our dual monitors are set up, or how our workspaces are configured on InDesign or Premiere.
It’s totally a thing, it’s real, and it’s important, and it’s a big reason why I’ve chosen the programs and tools that I have. It’s why I design solely on Squarespace, it’s why I recommend ConvertKit hands down, and it’s why I was never able to play nicely with MailChimp because why can’t everything be easier to see goshdarnit?
So when I tried Bonsai I was skeptical because I’d already tried two really big name CRMs, Dubsado and Honeybook, which are both beautiful platforms, but they unfortunately just didn’t work well for me. Neither were set up in a sort of vertical visual way that I work well with, and I didn’t understand the workflows and all of the different bells and whistles involved. *Sigh
But when I opened Bonsai for the first time, I not only loved the interface but I was also able to set up my first client and project in minutes. I sent an invoice with it later that week, tracked my time with a project the next, and sent a couple contracts after that, and boom. I was sold.
Bonsai also clocks in at a way less expensive monthly price than its competitors, at $19/mo ($16/mo if purchased annually) for the plus plan, which is another pro on the list for me. Yay!
The Perfect CRM for Creative Freelancers
If you’ve got a creative business and need to send invoices, contracts, proposals, and *ahem, get paid, then Bonsai is one of the best tools I’ve found so far.
It’s perfect for…
Social media marketers
Plus I’d love to hone in on one very important aspect mentioned above, contracts! Bonsai makes it so easy to send your clients contracts and even has a workshop style way for you to craft your own contracts based on templates that Bonsai provides from the start. So there’s no need to freeze at a blank screen and go “Uhhhhh….” or craft some semi-coherant paragraphs with legal jargon you heard on tv that will (maybe) protect yourself and your work.
If you do have custom contracts you can choose the “blank contract” option and then copy/paste your contracts inside and use it to create your own template to use over and over.
Having a program to help you store and keep track of your client contracts can help you feel more legitimate as a freelancer or online business owner and it also helps you stay on track of those pesky (but oh so important) legal matters that we as creatives sometimes tend to overlook.
Sending proposals and invoices in Bonsai is so simple to do and can be branded with your business imagery.
Get Organized, Get Hired, and Get Paid
If you’ve spent endless hours keeping track of PDF invoices, sending manual PayPal links, or trying to keep everything straight in your inbox, a CRM may be the perfect way to stay organized (and sane) as you go about your daily business tasks. This frees up your time to devote to what really matters - your clients!
Plus, Bonsai has a mobile app that gives you an on-the-go view to check whether your clients have paid their invoices, signed their contract, or even viewed their proposals. So you can be ready and have their next-step materials on deck to send over faster and avoid yet another super delayed and annoying game of email tag.
Ultimately, I truly enjoy sharing tools that I use myself (and love!) so if you’re looking for a better CRM fit for you, it may just be Bonsai. But don’t take my word for it! Give it a try for 30 days by hitting the button below!
I’d Love to Hear from You
Do you use a CRM in your business? Have you tried Bonsai before? What is the number one organization tool that you use in your business to stay on top of invoices, contracts, and more?