When you’re setting up your successful Health Coaching business, it pays to have a scheduling system in place that will keep you from playing email tag with clients, or double-booking yourself. Yes, it’s absolutely FINE to start out with Google Calendar if that’s what feels comfortable for you.
I’d love to share with you a couple of booking systems that might suit you and where you’re at in your business (And at the end of this blog post I talk about what method I personally use to take client payments).
Also, if you’re diving right in and you are aiming for those $5K months, you might want to consider investing in something more long-term; something that will work well with you as you grow your business.
Want to know what MY booking system of choice is? I’ll get to that in a minute. First, let me talk you through a couple of other options:
For a FREE scheduling system that ticks a lot of boxes, it’s worth having a look at Calendly. You get 14 days free at the Premium level when you sign up. I like that they don’t ask you for a credit card. If you want to continue with Premium, it’ll set you back just $10 a month.
Calendly integrates with both Google and Office 365, so you’ll never double-book yourself. When you schedule an appointment in Calendly, it will add it to your calendar of choice.
When you invite your client to the appointment, they can add it to their favourite calendar in one click. It even sends email confirmations and reminders to clients (these are customisable, too!).
Calendly also allows you to set buffer times in between appointments – sometimes they’re a lifesaver!
Appointlet takes things a step further than Calendly in that it has payment collection built in. You can arrange to collect a deposit, or have clients pay full price. You just hook it up to your Paypal or Stripe account (and others).
It’s designed to integrate with Google Calendar and you tell it when you want to be booked and for how long.
And you can control appointments from your own Google Calendar, if you like, if, say, you need to reschedule or cancel something last minute.
Appointlet also integrates with your website and has a cool, responsive design. If you don’t have your website up and running, you can share your scheduler via email, on your social medium of choice, or send it as a link to your clients.
There’s a handy contact information feature in Appointlet – it will collect client phone numbers, addresses and Skype addresses and pop them into your calendar so you have that info at hand for the appointment. Like, Calendly, Appointlet will send email reminders out to clients.
Okay, I think you’ve waiting long enough to find out what my booking system of choice is. Drum roll…
It’s Satori. Their tagline says it all for me: “Simple, Beautiful, Affordable Client Care for Coaches”. And it really is.
I personally use Satori as my ‘hub’. I store my client details in there. I’m able to customise and store my packages and programs in there (Satori calls these ‘offers’). I send out marketing emails from there, too.
I can match my brand to my Satori app, so when clients land on my page, they get to experience the essence of who I am and what I can do for them. Clients are able to create their own account in my app, which gives them the ability to control the scheduling.
Lachlan Cotter, founder of Satori, is passionate about delivering an unsurpassed booking system to coaches. He is dedicated to continually upgrading and taking its functionality to the next level. He invites and encourages feedback from coaches, too, which I feel really gives this app the edge.
Some of Satori’s features that have me sold, are:
- Being able to create a template for my Discovery Sessions, Coaching Programs, Signature Package. In this template I can enter intricate details, such as the length, how many sessions, the fee (and whether there is a free session).
- Having agreements that I can customise for certain clients without having to create a whole new template for sessions, programs or packages. Sometimes things fall outside the box – I love that I have control over them!
- Client contracts that are linked to the templates; with merge fields for that personalised touch.
- The ability, like Calendly and Appointlet, to block out times when you’re available for sessions (and I can vary these sessions to fit with the type of package or programs I’m offering). And the ability for clients to manage their own appointments – in the event they need to cancel or reschedule.
- Something that I’ve found invaluable is being able to customise appointment times so that, for example, only clients in another time zone can book a certain spot you’ve reserved.
- Reminder emails that are automatically sent out can include a questionnaire for my clients to fill out before they come (checking in with them; getting a heads up on what they’d like to address, etc). The responses are stored against their contact record – see why I call it my ‘hub’?
- Automatic invoicing and tracking of payments.
- I can even link Satori to my email list!
Pricing for the Satori booking system starts at $29 per month (at the time of this blog post). You can sign up for a 30 day free trial (no credit card required) if you want to explore the features for yourself.
A WORD ABOUT TAKING PAYMENTS FROM CLIENTS
This is a very popular question amongst new coaches. I have to say that Paypal is an extremely simple and safe option for client payments. It’s great for those clients who are overseas, as it takes care of the foreign exchange side of things for you.
Paypal allows you to invoice direct from your account, too. There’s no monthly fee for having a Paypal account, but they do take a small percentage off each payment you receive.
There are other methods out there for taking payments from clients. Nudge Coach shares a few in their blog post HERE (they also cover the charges you’ll incur).
I cover contracts, payments, client booking systems and all things business in detail in my signature program UPswing Mastermind for Health Coaches which starts again February 2016. (And Lachlan from Satori teaches one of the masterclasses within the program too)