Bidsketch Enhancements

We have some exciting new Bidsketch features to announce! These mark some of the biggest upgrades we’ve made in quite some time so we hope you’re as enthusiastic as we are.

Here are the recent changes and additions you’ve been seeing (or can expect to see):

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RubenRuben

Over the last few weeks we’ve been working on some exciting new features that’ll help you land more clients, faster than ever.

Here’s a peek at what we have for you:

  1. Realtime collaboration (you’ll love this)
  2. Proposal activity feed so you know exactly when changes were made to a proposal
  3. Private proposal comments to add internal notes and stay organized
  4. Bonus: monthly and yearly totals

We’re also working hard on the next release: Hourly fees, fee ranges, and additional collaboration features.

If it’s been a while since you’ve tried Bidsketch, make sure you sign up for a trial.

Realtime collaboration

You can now see changes other people are making to the proposal, as they make them. This is super useful when you want to collaborate with another person on a proposal.
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RubenRuben

Ryan Thompson of AriaThis is a guest post by Steve Stormoen of RightSignature, the easiest, fastest way to get documents signed online. Learn more about the integration between RightSignature and Bidsketch.

How does a growing ad agency gain a competitive edge using Bidsketch and RightSignature?

Aria is a full-service advertising and branding agency that helps businesses take the leap into the digital age. Spearheading web and mobile development, brand renovation, marketing campaigns, and event planning, the Aria team is the engine behind memorable projects in the Dallas/Fort Worth area–their hometown–and across the nation.

Their portfolio includes successes of every size: from a Telly award-winning 30-second TV spot for the Kimbell Art Museum to an immersive “World Challenge” social media game for the Travel & Adventure Show that took the trade show by storm.

Aria CEO Ryan Thompson explained that the agency has had particular success in the travel, tourism, and real estate industries. “These are deeply experiential brands,” said Thompson, “where the consumer can really form a bond with that brand. Our job is to tell the stories and get them out there.” To that end, Aria has refined a full bag of tricks, using social sharing, storytelling, viral video, and other modern strategies to achieve impressive results.

Aria uses the integration between RightSignature digital signature software and Bidsketch proposal software to generate proposals and obtain e-signatures. The integration links these two powerful online apps to automatically send any Bidsketch proposal for legally-binding electronic signature using RightSignature. To Thompson, the integration has “transformed” Aria’s business.

Ryan Thompson details Aria’s successes with Bidsketch and RightSignature:

We love the integration between Bidsketch and RightSignature. We’ve saved so much time using RightSignature and Bidsketch together. I am, as I speak, in an Admiral’s Club in DFW airport, and I just typed up a proposal in Bidsketch and sent it with the RightSignature integration a few minutes ago. The whole process only took me 7 minutes, because we knew what we were doing and the tools were already set up to do it.

I can’t believe how many documents I sign from anywhere that would otherwise have to wait until I got back to the office to print, fax, email, and scan. Just in the last 2 months, I can think of 3 times when I was literally about to turn off my mobile device on the airplane and I saw the proposal come through signed, and so I countersigned with my finger on my mobile device. Instantly, all those documents went automatically to my producer in Dallas to get things underway.

By the time I landed I already saw invoices out, and I already saw planning documents going through the agency. This is a normal scenario, too—this happens often. We’ve probably saved hundreds of hours in just the few months we’ve used the RightSignature + Bidsketch integration.

Bidsketch has been a total transformation of our business by itself, as our proposal solution that let us get away from non-standardized Word DOC formats. With our wide range of different services offered, inevitably we would end up with some very different looking proposals. At the end of the day, it was just very inefficient and inconsistent. We standardized on Bidsketch to use a proposal for anything we do, whether it’s one page or 20 pages. We’ve created templates for each different service we do—branding, marketing, advertising, creative, and digital—while ensuring that some things, like our standard terms and conditions, are always included.

We’re big believers in RightSignature, as well. Our attorney loves that we’re using it, we love the standardization. I love the fact that nobody can sign on behalf of the agency except the two principals of the agency. We’ll be long-term users, and we’ll be looking forward to finding ways to integrate RightSignature with other products in the future.

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RubenRuben

Integrating with Harvest has been one of the most highly requested features for a while. That’s why I’m very excited to be able to say that Bidsketch now works with Harvest!

Harvest makes time tracking and invoicing your clients extremely easy. If you haven’t tried it out it yet, this is a great time to check it out:

http://www.getharvest.com

Get 50% off with this discount code: BIDSKETCH (expires September 1st)

Now, let’s jump into the integration details.

A quick overview of what you can do:

  • Import all of your existing Harvest clients
  • View and create invoices from Bidsketch
  • Export proposals into invoices (you’ll love this)
  • Convert proposal fees into project tasks on export
  • Export clients to Harvest when creating an invoice
  • View a summary of invoice totals for a client

Setting up the integration…

To get your Harvest integration set up, you’ll want to go to the Account –> Integration page. From there, click to create a new integration and select Harvest from the list.

You’ll see a form where you can enter your Harvest account information:

Harvest Integration Form

 

After you submit the form, you’ll be redirected to Harvest so that you can authorize Bidsketch. You’ll then be redirected back to Bidsketch, and you’ll see your clients being imported if that option was selected:

 

Harvest Client Import

 

Clicking on the sync link on this page will also import your clients into Bidsketch. After that point, you shouldn’t need to sync your account because Bidsketch will automatically export clients to Harvest whenever you create an invoice from within Bidsketch.

Converting proposals to invoices…

To export your proposal and turn it into a Harvest invoice, just go the proposal details page and click on the “ADD INVOICE” button:

 

Harvest Proposal Details

 

Once you click on that button you’ll be shown a modal dialog that will give you the option of creating a Harvest project. If you select this checkbox, you’ll also have the option of converting proposal fees into project tasks.

 

Harvest Modal

 

Viewing invoice information…

When you view a Bidsketch client, you’ll see a Harvest section on the client overview page. This section will give you totals for invoices paid and pending:

 

Harvest Client Overview

 

You’ll also now see an “Invoices” tab. Clicking on this will give you a list of client invoices:

 

Harvest Invoices

 

And that’s everything you need to know about how the Harvest integration works. Remember to try it out if you don’t have an account yet!

Thanks and talk to you soon!

 

 

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RubenRuben

I’m a big fan of having a paperless office; that’s why I’m so excited about the latest release:

You’ll now be able to have clients sign proposals online with the new built in electronic signature feature.

Included in this newest update is an easier way to organize your fees/sections as well as full mobile support if you’re running iOS 5 on your iPad or iPhone.

Electronic Signatures

If you’re able to get your clients to view proposals online you’ll get some great benefits from using the built in electronic signature feature.

The main benefit: Getting a signed proposal is much faster because they don’t have to print, sign, and fax it back.  A great side benefit is that clients love the convenience of going paperless so it’s a great way to start a new client relationship.

If you’re on the Studio or Agency plans, you’ll see the option to use this feature when sending out proposals:

 

If you enable this feature your client will be prompted to sign the proposal once they’ve accepted it:

 

 

Once your client signs the proposal both of you will be able to download the PDF with the signatures appended to it:

 

Signed Proposal

 

On the proposal details page you’ll find a link that will show audit information associated with the signatures:

 

 

Some additional notes about using electronic signatures:

  • RightSignature integration will still work but you can only use one or the other. If you have RightSignature integration enabled, it will override the built in electronic signature feature.
  • Once a proposal is signed it can no longer be edited but you can still copy/delete the proposal. This ensures we’re in compliant on the legal side of things.
  • You can read the legal details here if you have any questions about whether it’s legally binding.
  • This feature is available to the following plans: Studio, Premium, Business, and Agency.

Categories for Sections and Fees

I’m often told that being able to easily reuse content to create proposals is one of the best things about Bidsketch. I’m happy to report that we’ve made that even easier by introducing fee and section categories.

When editing a fee or section you’ll see a new category dropdown:

 

Adding a section or fee to a category will make it easy to use the same name for different types of services and tell them apart when viewing them in list view or when importing them into a proposal:

 

 

 

Note that categories will help you better organize your sections and fees so they won’t appear on the proposal itself.

Full iOS 5 Support

If you have an iPhone or iPad running iOS version 5 then you’ll be able to use all features within Bidsketch. This includes, creating, editing and sending proposals. Your clients will also be able to view, accept, and export to PDF.

The biggest hurdle with providing mobile support on for Apple devices was the HTML editor support within the operating system. This latest version of iOS finally lets us use the same HTML editor you can use in desktop browsers.

 

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