00:00 What is the best free online scheduling software for coaches, agencies, consultants, or entrepreneurs?
00:07 Let me answer that question the only way I know how, which is getting very geeky and zooming out and coming up with the criteria you should be asking. Instead of looking at different software, you need to know which criteria to use. How should you pick the right software for you, so you’re not caught up in all the technical frustrations and buying something that’s not going to work because you made the wrong decision because it doesn’t sync with your calendar or with your CRM? There’s a lot of overwhelm that comes with making technical decisions, and I don’t want you to waste time and money, so let me cut to the chase.
00:37 Every successful entrepreneur, coach, agency, or consultant has to do three things really well to launch a predictable and successful client acquisition system. Number one, you have to be able to turn strangers into prospects by going after a defined target audience, helping them by solving problems that they have before money changes hands by providing value in advance. Then you have to be able to turn those prospects into customers by getting them on your calendar and enrolling them using a predictable system, or enrollment script as we call it, to turn them into customers. Then you have to serve them and turn them into referrers and raving fans. You have to do all those things properly in a leveraged way.
01:19 When it comes to scheduling, this fits in the funnel phase of our system. We believe and we preach that every single entrepreneur has to have the right foundation, funnel, and floodgates. Their target audience, their message, their product, turning those strangers into products and customers. Then, floodgates means getting traffic. If you look at the funnel phase, you have to get people onto your calendar.
01:40 What criteria should you be applying to this decision when look for the right software? A lot of people just go buy two or three, or you purchase one … Sometime says, “Get Calendly. Get ScheduleOnce. Get AppointmentCore.” Then you go down this long path of technical stuff trying to hire people to do integrations and custom Zapier stuff. Don’t do that. Here’s what you need to think about.
02:00 Number one has to be easy to set up. Most people that we serve and most experts out there don’t have the time to become geeks or coders. You want something that has instant integrated APIs and is easy to set up. API simply means it syncs with all of your existing other tools without doing custom work. Easy to set up. Easy interface to you, intuitive, makes sense, has good support, good onboarding. Okay?
02:26 The second thing, you have to have friction-free user experience for your prospects, meaning you shouldn’t have to go through two or three different screens or different URLs or redirects to get on your darn calendar. All you want to do is make it transparent or friction-free or have as little friction as possible to actually get in your calendar. Embeddable scheduling forms. ScheduleOnce is the tool that we use, and it has that. You can actually put the whole calendar on your webpage as HTML, WordPress pages, ClickFunnels pages. It doesn’t matter. You want friction-free scheduling experience for the users.
03:00 Number three, it should integrate with your existing CRM. Why? Because if you have ActiveCampaign or Infusionsoft or Drip or anything else, you want to be able to use automations depending on the outcomes of your bookies or your prospects, meaning you should know who has scheduled, who has shown up, who has not shown up, who has rescheduled, who has canceled, and be able to set simple automations and sequences based on those dispositions. Meaning, you should have simple tag integration. More CRMs operate under tags, so, hey, when someone schedules an appoint, apply the scheduled an appoint tag in ActiveCampaign or InfusionSoft so you know that they’re booking that you can trigger some stuff you want to send them. Maybe you’ll send them a shock and awe sequence, some FAQs. Maybe you’ll give them some homework before the meeting. You want to know where they are in your funnel as it applies to their appointment with you.
03:52 The next thing is pixels and custom thank you pages. What that means is a lot of the scheduling software that’s super light or free, which is why I started the question with, “what is the best free scheduling software?”, I’ll address that in a minute, is you need customization. Simply, sometimes you might want to send people who book to your own thank you page. You might have, again, a ClickFunnels page, a WordPress page. You might want to send them to a page where they can actually get resold on the value of the appointment to ensure that it’s for him or her, to ensure that they’re qualified, and maybe even give them some homework, again, to make sure that the appointment sticks.
04:28 We have a script that we use for that, but you essentially want to say, “Hey, thanks for booking. Here’s who it’s for. Here’s why it should be the most important thing you do in the world. Here’s why you should not flake out because we don’t allow reschedules,” and give them something to take away to help them be more qualified and more engaged. Okay? You want custom thank you pages and pixels. You want to track, using your Facebook Ads, Google Ads, or whatever platform you’re using to advertise or get appointments organically, what sources have attribution to the scheduled appointment.
04:59 Meaning, if I’m running a whole bunch of audience building campaigns on Facebook to generate interest and just to help people in advance, and then I’m driving them to a webinar, to a training video, I want to know which campaigns are driving appointments and how much it’s costing me to get an appointment. That’s like a bonus piece of content, because a lot of people don’t pay attention to that, but at the end of the day I don’t care what I’m paying for a lead. I don’t care how many of my leads become appointments. I care about two things. What am I paying for scheduled appointment? I get that number by dividing my price by the percentage that I close. That’s a little bit geeky. Let me explain. If you’re charging $10,000 for your product, and you close 20% of the people that you talk to into that high ticket coaching or consulting offer, if it’s a $10,000 offer, then you appointment is worth $2,000. Why? Because that’s 20% of 10,000.
05:52 If you know what an appointment is worth, you can scale at will. You can spend 10 times more in advertising, because you know if you pay $100 to get an appointment that’s worth $2,000 to your business, it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon, or brain scientist, flip that, to know that you can scale that campaign. Okay? Pixels. You need to make sure you’re tracking in your Facebook account or wherever you’re advertising exactly that you’re paying for an appointment. To do that, your scheduling software has to accommodate it. What else?
06:24 It needs to be flexible in terms of flexible and scalable. All that means is what if you have multiple people? Part of leveraging is not just leveraging the way you attract people and the you convert them into prospects and customers, but also flexibility in team. You don’t want to be the person on the phone all the time. Once you have a provable, scalable system, then you want to go hire two, three, four, five, six people to take those calls for you. You want to have multiple calendars, team members, groups, round robins, things like that. You want to be able to manage where you are now but also not have to change systems all the time. It should be flexible and scalable.
07:03 Having said that, just quick review. Easy to set up and use. It should be friction-free for the customer. You should be able to embed the scheduling page on other web pages or web sites. It should integrate with your CRM so you can tag people where they are in your funnel. Number four, it should ensure that you have functionality to add your advertising pixels and also send people to custom thank you pages. Number five, flive, it’s flexible and scalable.
07:31 Now, that brings me to the beginning of this question is what is the best free online scheduling software? I’m going to say it should not be the question you’re asking. Quite often we get questions that need to be reframed. Somebody will say, “How do I do Instagram ads?” I’ll say, “Well, wait a minute. Why are you worried about traffic when you don’t have the foundation of the funnel set up? Let’s zoom out and make sure you’re doing the right things in the right order.” This is no exception. You don’t want the best free tool. You want the most effective tool that you can launch quickly and scale, because the price you’re paying for that scheduling software, if it’s $29 a month or $100, a month might seem like a lot, but go get some clients manually just by calling up your leads and emailing back and forth scheduling, go close two customers, and then buy the software because it should be ROI.
08:16 Never buy software before you’re going to use it, and it should pay for itself within the first month, so it should not be an expense. Okay? Everything I’ve covered right now, hopefully I’ve helped you choose the best scheduling software. I recommend ScheduleOnce for all of these reasons. This is not an affiliate promotion. There’s no link to buy it. We’ve used Calendly, AppointmentCore. There’s so many of them. Acuity Schedule. There’s just so many of them. We think ScheduleOnce accomplishes all these five key components or characteristics of the best scheduling software.
08:49 Free scheduling software is one part of a system that we use to help coaches, agencies, and consultants launch and scale successful customer acquisition campaigns. If you want to know how the whole thing works and exact steps you should be taking to start generating a filled calendar of prospects and enroll them in your high ticket offer, all you have to do is click below for more information. Otherwise, hopefully this was really helpful for you. Take care.