Whether you’re meeting a potential couple for a consultation, booking a family portrait session, or getting ready to deliver a client’s beautiful new KISS book, the process of booking appointments with your clients can be time-consuming, frustrating, and worst of all, can lead to the loss of the sale.
We’ve all been locked in the endless back and forth of emails when trying to pick an appointment time that works. Coordinating schedules can be a monumental task, especially during your busy season, and even more so if you’re trying to coordinate a couple or a family. Varied schedules can create a nightmare for everyone involved.
In our ongoing series on organization in your photography business, a quick, simple, and often free way to streamline your booking workflow is to use an online scheduler. While many studio management platforms have online scheduling included as part of a more robust system, here are a few of our favourite standalone online schedulers.
Options for Online Scheduling Tools for Photographers
Calendly – Fully integrated with Google, you’ll use your Google account to sign in, and sync this calendar with your existing Google calendar. Setup is straightforward and easy – set blocks of time you’ll accept bookings, the duration of those bookings, any buffer you’ll need for travel time or set up, and the maximum number of bookings you accept on any given day. You can add custom questions, too. Calendly is free for basic users, with premium features starting at $8/month.
ScheduleOnce – This scheduler allows you to create a personal booking page, which shows your clients which times you have available, allowing them to choose. Once they select a time, it’s added to your calendar and theirs. This scheduler also makes creating group appointments easier, with an option to send out your availability to multiple people, and let them vote on a time that works best for them – a great option for when several family members are trying to attend a viewing appointment! From $5/month.
Acuity – Ideal for paid appointments, like mini sessions, Acuity lets your customers see your real time calendar availability, select their time, and pay for the session. With dozens of convenient integrations, Acuity can handle every aspect of your sales workflow, from email marketing to invoicing. Free for basic users, with premium features starting at $10/month
When trying to narrow down your choices, consider what you’ll really need your scheduler to do for you. If you are a destination wedding photographer, a scheduler with automatic time zone conversion will save the day. If the added step of invoicing gives you a headache, one with built in invoicing functionality will ensure you get paid. Giving clients an easy way to book with you will take your customer service to the next level, by creating more time for you to deliver an amazing experience and unforgettable images.