Not everyone can (or should) invest in a website at the very beginning of their business journey. And while there’s no shame in that, it certainly makes it harder to collect inquiries from potential clients if you don’t have a base form for them to fill out.
Unfortunately, you NEED to have some sort of way to allow your dream clients to express interest in you.
(And trust me, you don’t want to go down the slippery slope of only operating out of your DMs. Save yourself the trouble!)
Here’s some good news: In this day and age (#technology), there are a ton of options for you to forego the website contact form — for now — and find an alternate method that works for you.
The bad news? It can be overwhelming to search them all and figure out what works best for you.
But thankfully, you’ve got your design bestie here to walk you through it! That’s why I’m popping in your inbox today — so I can share FIVE ALTERNATES you can use instead of a formal contact form.
So pretty soon, whether you have a website or not, your dream clients are gonna be all like “heyyy girl!” in your inbox.
Without further ado… here are 5 options I recommend in lieu of a formal contact form.
Dubsado Forms — Dubsado is a monthly subscription CRM that basically combines a ton of business stuff into one hub for you. I’ve used it since the start of my business, and it takes care of sending and signing contracts, invoicing and payments, proposals and various forms, an automated scheduler for calls, and even time tracking for hourly rated projects. Honestly, there are probably dozens of features within Dubsado that I don’t even use!
But the one that we’re most interested in would probably be the Form Builder. Dubsado allows you to build lead capture forms that are completely on brand design-wise, and you can insert a variety of question/answer methods, like multiple choice, long or short form answer, checkboxes, and more.
The inquiry form on my website is actually a Dubsado lead capture form that I embedded into the page — which, when completed, automatically imports the client and their information into an automated project and contact into my Dubsado hub. It’s the future!
All that being said, Dubsado is probably a great place to start if you need an all-in-one platform to handle a ton of things in your business while you get your footing. It is one of my top 3 must-have subscriptions in my own biz, and I’m almost 2 years into using it! You can get 20% off Dubsado with my code STUDIOALEXIA, and you can also steal the templates I used in my Dubsado Form Builder from The Passion Collective with my link!
Typeform — For a brief period at the verrrry beginning of my business (before I had systems like Dubsado), I used Typeform to collect inquiries. While I don’t think it’s necessarily the best option out there, it got the job done for me at the time!
You can use the free version of Typeform to create a branded questionnaire that allows for 10 submissions each month. I got my first few clients using my Typeform inquiry form, and it was also fun and interactive for my clients to fill out!
Again, while I don’t mega-recommend this option, I think it’s an amazing free, low-effort alternative that can help you collect thoughtful inquiries — especially if you’re just starting out.
Google Forms — While I’ve never personally used it to collect inquiries, I have a ton of friends in the industry who have used (or still use!) Google Forms to collect inquiries.
This is a great option for you if you already have a Google account, are working just for yourself (aka freelance), and want a straightforward form builder. It integrates seamlessly to your Google account and provides you with a clean-cut form builder to get clear answers from your inquirer. It’s a great, safe way to go!
While you’re at it in the Google-sphere, I suggest signing up for a plan of Google Workspace and buying a fancy business email domain! I love being able to be contacted at email@example.com. Feels so profesh!
Basic Email — Along that same train of thought, you can always just have clients reach out to you via email, or you can be the brave one to reach out to them first!
I prefer having a form that clients can fill out — because then I can read their answers to a mini branding questionnaire and get a feel for if it would be a right fit or not. Nevertheless, email is a great way to contact and explore leads, through intentional conversation and networking.
Calendly — Another option that I can’t personally vouch for: Calendly. It’s an online appointment scheduler that takes out the game of email ping pong and gets right to the face-to-face calls!
Basically, an introvert’s nightmare. But still — it works for plenty of people! If you go with this option, you can direct clients to your Calendly link (in your IG bio, via email, etc.) and they can go to the link to book a call on your schedule. Then you can have them answer questions as you’re having a discovery call, which is definitely a great way to go! This can also lead to better trust and may help you get more bookings. People tend to really connect over a face-to-face interaction rather than just a virtual contact form!
There ya have it! If you’ve been struggling with a way to collect your clients’ inquiries, you now have 5 new options to explore. I encourage you to look through them and maybe try one or two. It’s normal to go through seasons where one option works, but the next season may require a bit of a change!
If you haven’t invested in a website yet but you’re def thinking about it, I highly recommend it. Websites have a ton of really awesome ways to connect with your clients, like letting them see your services and deliverables, meeting you via an About page, and connecting with you on an in-page contact form.
One of my clients — shoutout Molly! — had 5 aligned inquiries within the first 24 hours of us launching her new website this year. That could be you too, friend!
If you’re ready to upgrade your client experience and find a solid way of collecting inquiries, you’ve met the right gal for the job. And lucky for you, we’ve got project spots open in late August! Inquire with me and let’s bring your web dreams to life.
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