#10 Automated appointment booking system for solopreneurs

 

 

Things I'm grateful for this week

Would you spend $10/m to get back 8 extra hours a week? Here's my system to automate your appointment scheduling & booking.

As I write, it’s the run up to Xmas…
It’s a stressful time for everyone, I often feel like I spend the whole month saying no to people.
We’re all under a huge load of pressure to get everything done before everything stops for the festive break.
This is particularly bad for solopreneurs, who are wearing all the hats and have to pick up the slack in all areas of the business.

So I was definitely due some relaxation, and this week I had booked myself a massage before Xmas.
My masseuse was also having the same problem, and was spending hours going back and forth organizing last minute therapy appointments before xmas.
Then she still had to take payments,
and check payments,
and send reminders
all manually!

So I’m recording a video walkthrough of a system which will solve this problem for you which I’ll share with you further down the article.

If you’re currently arranging calls and appointments manually, you probably aren’t even problem aware.
Here’s all the problems with manually scheduling your own appointments:

Solopreneurs who don’t have a system for scheduling will suffer

I’ve already written about the huge benefits of limiting your availability.
Making yourself available 24/7 is a recipe for burnout.
Without a system for scheduling, you’ll waste hours a day going back and forth trying to achieve the simplest task of arranging a mutual time to meet.
Does this look familiar….

“Hi I’d like to book a call with you?”
“Ok when?”
“Oh anytime, just let me know what suits!”
“How about Thursday”
“Oh I can’t do Thursday”
“Friday?”
” Oh I can’t do Friday either!”
“Ok what suits you?”
“can you do Tue?”
“Tue this week or next week”
“Next week?”
“ok what time?”
“afternoon please”
“I’ve got 1pm, 2pm, or 3pm free?”
“hmm… let me get back to you….”
🤦🏻‍♂️🤬

This is a classical example of the kind of 3 day email sagas I see going on with a lot of my students.

Each email is a drain on your mental energy,
a distraction from your day,
another thing on your todo list you have to remember.

When you operate in this manual fashion you will always be on call,
anyone can call you anytime, for anything.
There’s a mental tax to this, and it costs real mental bandwidth.
How can you achieve stability and work ON your business if you’re too busy just trying to arrange a time to do the work?

I have the same problem as the therapist mentioned.
The demand for my time and attention in the run up to Xmas in INSANE.
But luckily I have a system which makes it easier for me to manage:
If someone needs to arrange a meeting, I copy + paste this message:

“Hey, here’s a link to my schedule.calendly.com/mycalendlylink
Just a heads up, my availability is more limited than usual because of the Xmas rush.

Here’s how the system works

  • I send the message above.
  • The customer follows the link.
  • My availability and non-availability is already preset.
  • They wont be able to book any slots that are already full in my calendar.
  • They can book a call at the most convenient date and time for them with zero back and forth needed.
  • They will submit all the info I need for the call at time of booking.
  • They might need to pay online depending on the type of call they book.
  • A Zoom meeting will automatically be created.
  • The date and time will be blocked off in my calendar automatically.
  • They will receive automated reminders and follow-ups with the date and time, with a link to the call
  • I’ll receive a notification and automated reminders with the date and time, with a link to the call, plus any info they submitted.
  • They have the ability to cancel later, and I’ll receive a notification if they do.
  • I show up to the call at the date and time.

Video Walkthrough of the automated system

automated appointment booking system for solopreneurs

I've recorded a video tutorial of my scheduling system for solopreneurs which saves me 8hrs+ per week.

Subscribe for instant access to the video walkthrough.

Scheduling & booking appointments should be fully automated.

Scheduling & booking appointments is a mental load, and a time consuming task that can be fully automated.

Every task you automate IN your business frees up time and mental capacity to work ON your business.
Scheduling and booking appointments is a time consuming task that can be fully automated.
This not only frees up your time, but sets important boundaries of when and how you can be reached

Many solopreneurs are aware of the problems, but don’t know how to extract themselves.
I’m going to run you through the system I use to automate my appointment scheduling & booking.
This system can be used by solopreneurs, or by any service provider,
plus can be adapted to become a paid booking system.

🎁 As a bonus If you want to take this further, I’ll also show you how to tie this into an automated email nurture system to improve your sales rate.

This is probably the highest leveraged system I can teach in terms of mental tax and time saved.
I estimate this saves me at least 4 hours a week on emails, communications, follow-ups back and forth,
and at saves me from at least 8-10 hours a week on calls that would be a waste of my time.
There’s other benefits too:

From Frantic freelancer to systemized solopreneur

Scheduling and booking is one of the fundamental parts of business you can’t eliminate.
Here’s what happens when you set up a system for this:

⌛ You gain back time

Stop wasting time on scheduling, which can be fully automated.
This is time you can spend working ON your business.
Also…
When your availability is limited, your time becomes more valued by your customers.
Your customers stop wasting your time because they know it’s valuable.
People magically start being more organized, and fix their own problems.

😍 You improve your customers experience.
People are inherently lazy.
We follow the path of least resistance.
Which means if you haven’t set up a system, customers will email, whatsapp, text, fax and possibly send carrier pigeons.
But your customers don’t want to email back and forth any more than you do.
They want an easy solution.
Give it to them.
Improve your customer experience and give them a smooth process.

🧠 Mental Boost
Brains are built for having ideas , not storing them.
Imagine every unfinished task as a small drop in a bucket.
When your bucket is full it’s hard to carry and there’s no room for more ideas.
If you want to have better ideas and think clearly, start leaving room in your bucket.
Eliminate all those mental drains such as chasing up appointments, sending reminders etc.

Here’s the automated system for scheduling and appointment booking

Components

  • Google Calendar
  • Calendly
  • Zoom (optional)
  • PayPal / Stripe (optional)
  • Mailchimp (optional)

Google Calendar

We’ll use this to handle our availability. Calendly will check you don’t already have something in your calendar.

Calendly

A slick prebuilt system for booking the appointments.
Calendly handles all aspects of booking from scheduling, availability, booking rules, payments, automated reminders, cancellations, questionairre and more…

Zoom (optional)

If you want to set up remote virtual calls and meetings you can integrate Zoom which will automatically create a zoom invite,
and block out the meeting in your Google calendar.

PayPal/Stripe (optional)

You can integrate PayPal or Stripe if you want to take payments for appointments.

Mailchimp (optional)

You can also integrate Mailchimp if you want to collect info about your customers, tag them in your CRM and send more complex sales or nurture emails

How to set up your system

Each of the steps below will be covered under the video walkthrough.

  • Create an account
  • Create a new event
  • Optimize your event description
  • Connect Google Calendar
  • Set availability
  • Set up booking rules
  • Add any additional fields you want to gather
  • Set up automated reminders
  • (optional) Connect Paypal to take payments
  • (optional) Connect Mailchimp tagging for nurture sequencesExample use cases

Example uses

Web Designer

sell a one-off website audit, paid at the time of booking, including a questionnaire for the info you need.

Therapist

book and pay for one off appointments. send automated reminders by text and email before appointments

Accountant

book onboarding appointment – send an automated email with a checklist of the info they’ll need for the call

Social marketing

Book a discovery call – set up a limited availability to do all your calls on a Thu 9am-11am

automated appointment booking system for solopreneurs

I've recorded a video tutorial of my scheduling system for solopreneurs which saves me 8hrs+ per week.

Subscribe for instant access to the video walkthrough.

I've recorded a video tutorial of my scheduling system for solopreneurs which saves me 8hrs+ per week.
subscribe for instant access.

🔑 Key Takeaways

Every task you automate IN your business frees up time and mental capacity to work ON your business.
Scheduling and booking appointments is a time consuming task that can be fully automated.
This not only frees up your time, but sets important boundaries of when and how you can be reached

🛎️ Daily Reminder for Solopreneurs

Most 30m meetings can be a 10m call.
Most 10m calls can be a 5min email.
Most 5m emails can be avoided entirely,
by setting up a system to solve the problem before it occurs.

💥 How to take action

Knowledge without action is only potential. Here's something you can do right now to improve the way you live & work...

Would you spend $10/m to get back 8 hours a week?
Set up your Calendly account, connect your calendar and add an event.
Send a copy + pasted message with your  calendly link to anyone who needs to book a call.

Nicholas Robb

Nicholas Robb

Founder, Design Hero
Author of Life by Design

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