Part of the livecast lifestyle is scheduling appointments with people, whether that's a client or a guest for your show, or just somebody you want to have coffee with. It's great to have a scheduling app to manage that.
Scheduling is something that has changed over the years. I remember desktop calendars that we used for scheduling, and then we used the smaller calendars and the Filofax. Eventually, we started automating it.
We got tools like Outlook. Gmail has a calendaring option that does give you the opportunity to schedule, but it's designed so that you can schedule your own things. It is not designed to enable your client to schedule with you and post it to your calendar.
I'm a big fan of Google products. I use Gmail and Google calendar. I use Google contacts and the reason I like them so much is the integration that I have with my partner. When she posts something to her calendar and shares it with me, it posts to my calendar as well.
If she has a call that she wants me to do with her and somebody else, she puts it on there. It shows up on my calendar. That still doesn't give access to the people that we deal with outside our little circle of friends and relatives. This is where that scheduling app shines.
What is a Scheduling App?
A scheduling app, like the popular app Calendly, allows you to integrate people making appointments with your online calendar. We use Google calendars. I have tasks every day that I look at and think about and work on. There are certain things that happen every week that are on my calendar and then things that are unusual that pop up that I put on there.
Clients can schedule appointments on your calendar in any designated free time. So if you're using one of these apps, you designate when you offer appointments. For example, from 11:00 AM until 6:00 PM. If you don't have anything else blocking out the times, then somebody can make an appointment with you for that time.
You can offer multiple appointment types such as one hour, 15 minutes, or 30 minutes. It could be a Zoom call. It could be an in-person meeting. It just depends on what it is that you're offering.
For example, you could have a calendar for Shelley's appointments, and a calendar for Toby's appointments. We're hesitant to do that since a lot of times Shelley's appointments overlap mine and vice versa. But if you had several salespeople working for you and each one of them had a separate calendar, then you can integrate those on your calendar. That is a good way to track their activity as well.
You get multiple appointment types for Joe Smith and another appointment type for Debbie Chavez. It gives you the opportunity for a great deal of flexibility and diversity in your scheduling activity.
Who Should Use a Scheduling App?
All small business owners should use some kind of scheduling app. Consultants who make appointments with people to meet about things and to coach them need this time management tool. Anybody who meets with others regularly can benefit as well. If you're a networker and you like to set up appointments with people to have coffee or visit with people about one thing or another, you're going to want a scheduling app because it will save you a lot of time and frustration.
My daughters use a scheduling app to schedule their visits with one another. They travel so much up and down the coast. They like to know who's going to be where and when so they can track each other. They use Calendly to manage their family travels.
Why Use a Scheduling App?
A scheduling app saves you time and frustration going back and forth, trying to find a time that works for both parties.
If somebody is trying to make an appointment with you and they say, I have some time on Monday, then I have some time on Wednesday, but Tuesday is maybe not so good. You can offer your link to your scheduling app and say Go ahead and schedule something. That way you can skip dealing with that task and get back to work. They can look at your schedule, find a time on your calendar that works for them and make that appointment. You’ll both be notified and you’ll see it appear on your calendar so you won’t schedule anything else during that time slot.
If something comes up and they need to make any changes, they can take care of that without having to get ahold of you first. They can go back to that original appointment and make a change or cancel. If they choose to explain, they may type their excuse as to what happened and you’ll see it when you have time to look at it. You don’t have to have an awkward, time-consuming conversation about it.
The scheduler automatically sends reminders to you and your guest. You can integrate it with your calendar so appointments will automatically appear on your calendar and it sends you reminder emails. Some of the apps will send a text message. You set it up for that. People have no reason to forget once they've made that appointment. They're reminded again and again so they show up.
The whole reason we're doing this is to get people to show up at the same place and time to make things happen.
All the meeting information is in one place. You can just go into that app and look at what's on your schedule and it will show all your appointments for the day, week, and for the next 30 days.
You can research the person who made an appointment. Who are they? What do they want to talk about? What's their phone number? What's their email? You have all that information there in one place
You have the flexibility to enter the numbers and types of questions that you need to ask an individual. So if an individual wants to be on our show, we ask them a completely different set of questions and have a different set of requirements for them than if someone wants a one-hour consultation. We'd like to know your name, email address, phone number, and whether you're on our email list. We ask a completely different set of questions and the calendaring app will provide you the flexibility to add those kinds of questions.
When Do You Need a Scheduling App?
We believe you should get set up with a scheduling app as soon as you're ready to start taking appointments. That could be when you're ready to do free consultations or paid coaching calls or just meeting up with people either online or in-person.
Some people feel like they’re going to take an hour of your time. It's important and we're going to start from scratch. They would like to pay you for that amount of time. One of the features of the scheduling app is if you want to set up an appointment that they have to pay for in advance you can do that. It uses PayPal or Square or a number of other payment processing applications to take their credit or debit card so they can pay you.
You don't have to charge for your time, though. As a matter of fact, the free hour of consulting that we offer folks is indeed a free hour of consulting. We don't charge you for that as long as we stay on the topics that we're familiar with.
Another good feature is that if you're a time-based digital business you can charge for those hours that you're working or consulting. The scheduling app enables you to do that.
Which Scheduling App is the Best?
There are so many scheduling apps available. We have used Calendly and Schedule Once. We are trying a new one now.
The most important thing is that when you switch apps, turn off the old one when you turn on the new one so that people aren't making multiple appointments on two different apps.
Although these apps are all very similar, we prefer to own rather than rent.
You're getting the benefit of us having tried out several different products until we landed on one that not only met our criteria, but we didn't have to pay a monthly subscription.
We Use TidyCal
We purchased a lifetime subscription to TidyCal which includes updates. TidyCal is found on appsumo.com and is an AppSumo original that they created. It integrates well with other apps they created, like SendFox. We're looking at things that integrate well together. So if somebody makes an appointment with us on TidyCal then we should be able to automatically put their information into SendFox so we don't have to do any extra steps to get them on our email list.
If you want to make an appointment with us for an hour of free consultation, go to http://calendar.AGKmedia.studio We simply created a subdomain that forwards to the TidyCal app we set up.
If you’re a digital marketing specialist, and you'd like to join us on our show one day, go to http://journey.AGKmedia.studio
The Livecast Lifestyle
We published a book on Amazon called Livecast Life, the Content Creator Lifestyle. Part of that lifestyle is offering consultations and calls, and meeting with your prospective clients and collaborators. There are a lot of other people that you might be meeting with such as sponsors who want to work with you.
Having a scheduling app makes that a lot simpler and it helps you look professional. When you say here's my link to schedule time with me, people understand that you value your time and theirs.
It saves you time and frustration and it's so easy. The minute they schedule with us, we get emails saying somebody just scheduled an appointment with you.
Schedule Appointments While You’re Away
I'm going to be traveling to visit family on the east coast in July. I'll make those dates unavailable so nobody can schedule while I'm traveling. But I'll push my calendar out however long I'm going to be gone. That way they can make an appointment for after my travels so I don’t have an empty calendar when I get home.
Podcaster Time Zones
If you're a podcaster and you want guests to schedule to be on your show, you definitely want to have a scheduling app so that guests can easily choose the time and day to work with you. This is especially helpful if you're in another country because the scheduling app will figure out your different time zones.
When I was a guest on the Chasing the Insights podcast with Vince Warnock, he was in New Zealand. I knew that it was going to be at 7:00 PM my time. I don't know what time it was where he was. It didn't matter. What mattered to me was that I showed up at the right time.
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That's all we have for today on scheduling apps and specifically TidyCal. If you have any questions or you would like more information, please reach out to us or you can schedule with us at calendar.agkmedia.studio, and we can have a conversation about your vision for your livestream podcast or book.