By Setmore Appointments
Free, powerful online customer scheduling for businesses of all sizes.
The recipe to making your business successful is half turning prospects into customers, and half keeping the customers you already have. This is especially true for solo entrepreneurs who have to wear all the hats. However, Setmore can help automate the process of getting new customers. Denise Renee, a Setmore user and founder of The Derenco Agency, will show you how to make it work while still having enough time in the day for family and hitting the gym.
This is Denise Renee’s story.
When Denise Renee started The Derenco Agency, she had a problem that all new business owners wish they had: managing and tracking new leads that were coming in from a variety of sources.
“I get messages through Facebook and LinkedIn the most. Other times, people will tag me in a post. Then there are those who reached out to me through my website or somehow got a hold of my number. I was losing track and felt like nothing was going on in my business.”
Denise Renee (that’s a double first name, like “Mary Lou”) helps professionals, executives, and entrepreneurs create more business opportunities for themselves by ghostwriting and editing their books, blogs, social media and web content. At first she worked these gigs on the side, but in June 2017, she made the courageous decision to quit her day job and go full time with her business, The Derenco Agency.
A superhero’s nine-to-five
“I literally work 7 days a week and no two days are alike,” Denise Renee says, “It is a constant juggling act between my business and personal obligations. My days are built around my 6-year-old son’s school drop-offs, pick-ups, and his daily reading time. I spend time working on existing client projects and client acquisition activities while he is in school.” If that wasn’t enough, she also started squeezing in networking events and hitting the gym into her schedule, while also managing existing leadership duties with her church.
This is not the type of schedule that leaves much room for back-and-forth emails or phone tag.
“It was a nightmare sending out text messages to figure out when [my schedule and the client’s schedule] might coincide. Usually, people took a few days to respond to my texts but by then my availability had changed.”
Opportunities have a short shelf life, and they can turn stale rather quickly. Most entrepreneurs can probably relate to this. A client’s interest level peaks early and quickly fades, so to capitalize on the opportunity, one always has to constantly be a in a position to act. If you’re waiting 2-3 days for a text message or email reply, chances are you’ve lost the lead.
And if you’re unable to act on dozens of leads coming from referrals, social media, and your website, as in Denise Renee’s case, then that’s potentially thousands of dollars worth of business passing you by.
Self-booking to the rescue
“It was abundantly evident that I needed a simple way to have people book time with me. I was interacting with other business owners who would send me links to their calendars to book time and I realized I needed something like that for myself.” Denise Renee already had a Setmore account from when she freelanced alongside her day job. But now as a full-time entrepreneur, she decided to re-up with a paid subscription to get the most value out of her account.
Now when Denise Renee gets a message from a new lead inquiring about her services, she can spring into action. “I immediately send out my calendar link to prospects. In my first week using Setmore’s premium features, my calendar literally filled up for the next week with pre-sales calls. It was amazing!”
This is the key benefit of Setmore: the ability to empower your customers and clients to self-book an appointment with you. Denise Renee had set her availability in Setmore’s calendar, then shared a link to her Booking Page directly with her clients via a text.
What is the Booking Page? The Booking Page is a web page that lists your services, staff, availability and contact info. Share the Booking Page with your clients so they can book appointments without having to call you. Click to learn more >
From the Booking Page, Denise Renee’s clients could then choose a date and time that worked for them, using parameters that she had already established in Setmore’s settings. All she had to do was wait for the appointments to show up on her calendar.
“That first week of having Setmore activated in my business allowed me to have calls that were in total potentially worth $10K+ to my business!”
Blueprint for success
Let’s say you want to replicate Denise Renee’s setup for your own business – how do you go about it? We’ll cover a blueprint for success below:
- Start with a free Setmore account. Click here to sign up, no credit card required >
- Set up your account:
- Go to Settings > Staff > Working Hours and set your availability.
- Go to Settings > Services and add your services.
- Go to Apps & Integrations > Your Booking Page (Configure) > Company Details to edit your Booking Page URL, add your business logo, and contact information.
- Share your Booking Page URL with clients to start taking appointments!
The best way to maximize the number of appointments you get is by adding multiple channels for your customers to access your Booking Page. Here’s just a few ideas to get you started:
- Add the “Book Appointment” button to your website >
- Add the “Book Appointment” button to your Gmail signature >
- Add the Setmore Plugin to your business Facebook Page >
Of course, all of this depends on having a strong referral game in the first place, like Denise Renee has. Setmore is the connector that will allow your referrals to book an initial consultation with you right off the bat, rather than waiting for you to respond to their initial inquiry via text or phone call.
Above and beyond appointment setting
If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound? What if an appointment gets scheduled on your calendar, and nobody is there to see it? Part of closing the conversion loop means staying on top of your schedule and knowing when new appointments get booked. Fortunately, Setmore equips you with the tools to do that.
The free version of Setmore comes with email alerts that notify both you and your clients of any new, rescheduled or cancelled appointment. But you can also upgrade to Setmore Premium and get a 2-way calendar sync for both Google and Office 365. This ensures that appointments from Setmore appear in Google or Office 365, and Google or Office events will block out availability in your Setmore calendar.
Looking back, Denise Renee says, “It was my fault that I wasn’t ready or willing to pay for Premium initially. But now that I’m running my business full-time, I can’t afford not to have information synced across all calendars while I’m on the go. I never miss an appointment.”
Choose your adventure
So there you have it, folks. Denise Renee teaches us about the real financial benefit of automating your appointment calendar. If you’re having trouble getting traction with your leads, try using the Booking Page as a platform to book initial consultations over the phone or with a video chat. Setmore empowers clients and leads to connect with you at the best time that works for them, while freeing you up to focus on running your business.
“I would absolutely recommend Setmore to any business owner who needs a simple way to help their prospects and clients book appointments with them.”
— Denise Renee, The Derenco Agency
Categorized in: Customer Spotlight, Resources