I was listening to an SEOmoz Webinar about using video in search the other week, when during the Q and A at the end the guy casually mention bidsketch. I took a look, signed up and here is my experience with it so far.
Bidsketch allow you to try out their service for two weeks without paying so I’ve had a good look around and a play with their service over the last couple of weeks. For me the “Studio” plan is fine as I don’t need to manage users but it does allow me to send out unlimited proposals. I’ve got to say I’ve been pretty impressed with it so far.
Initially, setting up the proposals took a little time, luckily I already had my doc/pdf proposals I use for clients to refer back to, but once you’ve organised it into sections it makes more sense. You need to separate what you have into two parts of the proposal template. The quick code is a great feature too, you can set up [client name] etc that will fill in the proposal based on the client information you enter which saves a ton of time. You can also save your services and prices to use next time but at the same time these are easily editable when needed. Once you’ve set up the first proposal and got your head around it, you’ll find the second on a breeze.
I used it in a couple of ways. I sent out new proposals that I had to get done, but also resent out some proposals we’d done in the past but hadn’t closed, we let them know we were moving to a new system and were just updating our records, but the response was great and a feature I really liked was that you can see when people have actually read the proposal, which allows you to time your follow up contact to after you know its been seen.
Some of the features I didn’t try were adding it to your own domain, but I’ll probably sit down at some point and set up proposals.goddardseo.com or clients.goddardseo.com or something similar to add another layer of professionalism to the service.
The key features I loved however were.
- Follow up e-mails and videos. The videos were only a couple of minutes long but genuinely helpful. Giving insights into what to ask clients, how long to make the proposal, how to increase conversions based on their data. I didn’t know these were coming but like I said, each one was genuinely surprisingly helpful and useful. I’m not usually a fan of being e-mailed by services I’ve signed up to, but I’d welcome more of these, or a section on the website to collate all this data and information
- The pre written template sections. These gave me some great things I added into my current proposals and areas I hadn’t though of, again a nice simple touch but something I use regularly
- The ability to interact with the client at the proposal stage, they can comment on proposals, sign proposals, you can edit them based on their concerns and see when they have been read.
If you send out proposals to your clients moving to bidsketch is a really great choice to speed the process up but without sacrificing any professionalism and we’re happy to have it as part of our regular toolset.