Using Acuity Scheduler as an online, Squarespace booking system
Imagine having a Squarespace booking system where potential clients could schedule appointments/sessions with you, pay for their sessions, AND sign your contract… all without having to pick up the phone or engage in a 15-minute email trying to nail down the perfect time.
Sounds nice, huh??
Creating an online scheduling system is one of the biggest time savers in my business and I’m here to let you in on why I love it + how to set it up for yourself.
We've all had those conversations that go back and forth trying to find a time that works for everyone. You ask what day/time works… they give a day and it doesn’t work for you… so you counter offer with a different day/time which doesn’t work for them… GAH! It can go on and on…
The good news is that with Acuity Scheduling and your Squarespace website, you never have to have a conversation like this ever again!
(Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. Clicking these links won't cost you any extra money. Plus, rest assured that I do personally use and highly recommend all affiliate links that you will find throughout my blog.)
With Acuity and Squarespace, you can set your schedule availability in your Acuity account, create different call/session types (15 min calls, one hour sessions, 3 hour programs, bulk call packages, etc! The options are pretty much endless), and have your client select and book the best time that works for them. It's SO convenient for everyone involved!
(Want to know what's even better? You can set up a free Acuity account to take advantage of these features OR if you have a Squarespace website, you can get a year of Acuity (Emerging Entrepreneur) for free... just read about it here.)
Why do I love and choose Acuity over other schedulers???
- Acuity makes it super easy to set up your online scheduling with your Squarespace website.
- They make blocking out your availability a breeze.
- Setting up your appointment types AND taking payment online is so simple.
- You can quickly create packages, gift certificates, and promo codes.
- You can sync Acuity with the online calendar of your choice and it will automatically show you as busy during anything entered in your personal calendar.
- You can customize (up to 3!) reminder emails from yourself to your clients who book a time with you.
- It makes client scheduling, paying, contract signing, and follow up so easy and saves me TONS of time.
So here are the steps to getting this set up for yourself…
1. Set up your Acuity account.
Click the link above and create an account. You can select the free account if you would like, however, you will have somewhat limited features. The paid accounts allow you to take payment via Paypal or Stripe as well as set up multiple schedule availability types. (It’s totally worth it!)
2. Set your schedule availability.
(Note: This image to the right shows the new availability page layout that is being beta tested as of Sept 2018.)
On your main dashboard, click BUSINESS SETTINGS on the left side of the page, then click on AVAILABILITY.
On this page you will be able to set up multiple availability types (with the paid version) and you can set up quite a few different limits as well.
Click ADD NEW CALENDAR if you have a set schedule each week (this is what I would recommend because it is so much easier to keep straight in your brain!) or you can also set availability for each day if you need to.
You will want to check out the scheduling limits as well to make sure you’re not booking appointments too close together or too far in advance, plus many more helpful limits that will save your sanity!
To read more about setting your availability click here.
3. Create your different appointment types.
Next you will need to set up your appointment types and/or packages. To do this, you will select APPOINTMENT TYPES on the left side of the page.
Here you can click NEW TYPE OF SERVICE or NEW TYPE OF GROUP CLASS at the top of the page in the green boxes.
Next you can set up as many appointment types as you need. Here is the layout of my appointment types…
Free discovery call (30 min) - This is for anyone who is interested in working with me but wants to learn more. I embed this link on my BOOKING page on my website.
Free strategy session (45 min) - I only offer these on special occasion and give the link out to only those who are considering working with me but want a ‘trial run’ of sorts.
Recap/follow-up call (15 min) - This is typically following a strategy call or consultation and given to those who need more time consider working with me.
45-minute strategy/training session - This is for my paying clients who receive strategy sessions or training sessions when working with me. I set these appointments as free and give my clients the specific link to book this type of call.
One-hour consultancy session - This is for clients who purchase a one hour session or a bulk package of these sessions.
I have a few others for various things (like when someone just wants to chat), but these 4 are my main ones used for my business.
I also have three different packages (located on the PACKAGES AND GIFT CERTIFICATES link on the left side) that allow clients to purchase hourly consulting time with me. I offer a one-hour package, a 5-hour package, and a 10-hour package.
What I love about using the packages setting, is that it allows me to select how my clients can redeem their time purchased with me.
By number of appointments: You can sell a grouping of your service packages by selecting multiple appointment types that they can redeem at one set package price…
By number of minutes: You can sell them a certain number of minutes that they can redeem via any combination of appointment types (that you pre-determine on your ‘appointment type’ page)…
By unlimited amounts of only certain appointment types (you choose the types they can choose from)…
and finally by total dollar amount: They can divide the amount up between different appointment types based on your set cost of each type…
For my packages I listed above, I use the total number of appointments option and enter one, five, and ten one-hour sessions depending on the package. This way I can give bulk discounts for my larger packages!
4. Set up your intake form questions.
Another one of my favorite things about Acuity is the intake forms. I am a big fan of pre-qualifying my potential clients with these forms. So what do my forms look like? Great question! Here are the different forms that I have set up…
Client form - This is a questionnaire for those who are booking and paying a website or consultancy package. This allows me to ask questions that will get us on the same page and fill me in on where they are at in their journey before out time begins.
Free call questionnaire - This is for those who are looking to work with me and have either booked a discovery call or a free strategy call. This gives me a bit of insight before our call so we can make the most of our time.
Honestly, these are really the only two that I use on a regular basis. My favorite questions are…
Would you like to receive my free resources? (gets them on my email list - and acuity integrates with many email marketing platforms to do this seamlessly for you!)
How did you hear about me? (great for market research and to let me know what marketing dollars are well spent!)
What are your biggest struggles with your online presence currently. (this helps me identify what their specific pain points are so I can position myself as the solution!)
Tell me about your dream website. (Again, this helps me identify their dream so I can paint a good picture about how I can specifically help them achieve it.)
Tell me about your online journey so far. (This fills me in on where they are at and what type of support they have hired in the past.)
How ready are you to invest in your website? (This lets me know if they are serious about hiring me or just wanting to chat - I have VERY limited time and may pass on those who are not serious about wanting to work with someone.)
I have reviewed Sandra's previous work and current programs and understand that hourly consulting starts at $125 per hour and a full website package starts at $1,900. (This is my FAVORITE question because it is the biggest pre-qualifier… They are acknowledging that they know my prices and that I am not totally priced outside of what they are willing to pay).
5. Adjust your email settings.
With Acuity, you can set up a initial confirmation email plus three reminder emails. I personally use the initial confirmation email to send directions about how the call will take place (if I will call them or they will call me, how we will meet - phone or zoom, etc.). I also have two different reminders set up - one that goes out 24 hours before the call with the Zoom link (if applicable) and one that goes out one hour before the call… also with the zoom link, if applicable.
I also use these reminder emails to send a link to my contract that they are to fill out as well as remind them to download and install Zoom and close down any extra windows at least 5 minutes prior to our appointment time.
(PRO TIP: When you pair HelloSign’s contract template with Acuity’s scheduling and paying options - you can have a completely automated sales process! People can book, pay, and sign the contract straight from the web without you having to lift a finger.)
6. Set up payment methods.
I love that my clients can book and pay all through Acuity… it makes it so simple on everyone. You can set up payment through PayPal and/or Stripe through the PAYMENT SETTINGS link (within Business Settings) on the left.
To set this up, you can view some in-depth tutorials here.
7. Integrate your favorite online calendars.
I use Google Calendar for EVERYTHING in life! From my kids doctors appointments to when I need to start cooking dinner (yes, I seriously schedule this in so it pops up on my phone! This is life as a new mom).
It is such a lifesaver that Acuity allows you to sync your availability with your favorite online calendar so people can’t schedule appointments when you’re already busy. I personally suffer from scheduling ADD and double book my personal and professional life ALL THE TIME. But not anymore!!! I simply enter a new event on my Google Calendar and BAM, my Acuity forms won’t let anyone book anything during that time. It’s such a great feature!
8. Embed your form onto your Squarespace website or simply link a button to your Acuity scheduling page.
Acuity and Squarespace work really well together. In fact, Squarespace even has an Acuity pre-set option that allows you to just enter the URL/link of your Acuity scheduling page, calendar, or appointment type.
And if you would rather, you can just create a Squarespace button that links directly to your Acuity scheduling page. (How to create a button here)
Well, I hope this was helpful and starts you on your journey to a more automated business! And if this totally overwhelms you or you just want this all done for you, then contact me and I can set your entire online booking system up for you!
Cheering you on!