Many of my clients and class participants have asked me what I think is the best online calendar to use to book appointments with their clients.
I recommend vCita’s online calendar for service-based businesses as I’ve tried several online scheduling tools, but have found vCita to be exactly what my business needs. It’s made it much easier for me to manage my calendar, and much easier for clients to reach me — especially this time of year when I am extremely busy.
I’ve been using vCita since 2014, and I tell you, when I realized how much vCita was benefiting my business, I was hooked. I became a partner and began helping my clients to start taking appointments from their clients as well.
With vCita, my clients and potential clients can schedule consultations and group or one-on-one social media workshops with me on my website.
Also, because vCita gives me a unique URL for my calendar, they can also schedule appointments directly on my Facebook Business Page, on my LinkedIn profile, on Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus and even in my email marketing campaigns.
If you are still taking appointments manually or using a calendar that you are not completely satisfied with, now is a good time for you to begin streamlining the way your clients schedule time with you.
It is almost 2019, and the beginning of the year is always the best time to introduce your clients to a new way to do business with you. Your new online calendar will let them know you care enough about them to make things easier for them.
(Tip: Read all the way through and you’ll find out how to get free help setting up your calendar at the end of this post).
What is vCita?
Let me start by saying, vCita is way more than just an online scheduling platform.
vCita is an all-in-one business management app for small businesses that provides your clients (and potential clients) an easy, streamlined way to reach you.
vCita is scheduling software designed for service providers such as coaches, consultants, educators, accountants, lawyers, fitness trainers, massage therapists, photographers, and others.
It is mobile-friendly and has a payment gateway that allows your clients to pay upfront, which was a biggy for me since before vCita, people would call to schedule appointments and not show up or show up and say they forgot their credit card. I never received payment from those people by the way (yeah, the struggle was real). These folks forced me to come up with a pay upfront policy and new refund policy, which I am able to display at the time of client booking.
Overview of vCita Features:
Here is what vCita will do for your business (and your clients) …
Client Management: It will help you manage your clients and generate new leads for your business.
Calendar Management: This will help you manage your calendar and business with appointment and event scheduling plus it will sync with multiple Google calendars, Outlook, iCloud, etc. When an appointment or event is scheduled you will receive a confirmation email and text message (if you ask it to), and so will your clients.
Billing & Invoicing: You can bill clients with its invoicing tool, which includes the ability to send payment reminders and collect credit card payments.
Online Scheduling: Invite your clients to schedule appointments for online or in-person consultations, coaching, or classes, and add your other services and events from any device. You can also link your Facebook ‘Book Now’ button to your vCita calendar landing page.
Online payments: Clients can pay for your services online using their credit cards, and you can choose either Stripe or PayPal as your payment gateway.
Client Portal: This helps you keep track of your clients, such as viewing client history and contact information. Your clients can also book, reschedule, pay, fill out forms, and share files with you from the client portal.
Marketing Campaigns: Believe it or not, you can create email campaigns (not as nice as Constant Contact’s, but you can create and send them with vCita as well).
SMS (text marketing) Campaigns: You can even send text messages to either announce your special promotions or remind people to schedule appointments with you. This is probably my favorite feature!
Lead Capturing: You can add widgets and plugins to your website that will help you capture leads and allow your clients to book appointments with you right from your website.
Landing Pages: You can also create a really nice, mobile-friendly landing page that can include all or some of your services. Your clients and prospects can schedule consultations, classes, or training sessions with you from this page.
Coupons: When you want to run special promotions, you can create coupons, and either email or text them to your clients.
A BIG bonus for me is that vCita integrates extremely well with other online marketing tools that you may be using to include Google Calendar, Facebook, WordPress, Constant Contact, Wix, Weebly, Intuit’s Quickbooks, Zapier, Stripe and PayPal!
Benefits of vCita Online Scheduling Software:
✔ Great ROI (truly worth the investment)
✔ Free trial
✔ Links to Facebook ‘Book Now’ button
✔ Great email and phone support
✔ Mobile app is amazing
✔ Integrates with the tools listed above
✔ Syncs with Google calendar
✔ Mobile friendly
There are three plans that you can choose from:
1. Essentials: This is what I started with many moons ago, and is their basic plan – and is for a single user. It includes Business management app (clients, calendar, billing & documents), Client portal (online scheduling & payments, forms, files & custom actions), up to 1,000 clients, and Email support.
2. Business: This is the plan I have been using for the past three years because I have a lot of clients and contacts. It includes everything in the Essentials plan plus Email marketing and SMS (text marketing) campaigns, Coupons, Client text messages (SMS), Client tags & follow-ups, 3rd party integrations & analytics, up to 5,000 clients, Free onboarding session, email & phone support, and you can add up to two staff members.
3. Platinum: This plan will be best if you want a custom domain name for your calendar and/or you have up to five staff members that will need clients to schedule appointments with them. Includes everything in both the Essentials and Business plans plus Staff roles & permissions, Auto-assign rules, Custom email & SMS (text) notifications per service, Set your own vCita LiveSite domain, Unlimited clients, Free onboarding session, and priority support.
The nice thing about each plan is that you have the option to pay monthly or annually. It’s up to you.
Because the calendar let’s you get very detailed and specific when setting up your services and classes, it takes some time setting it up. Setting up your calendar correctly will be well worth the time and effort.
Click here to start your free trial today. Then, schedule a free 30-minute consultation with me and I will help you set up your calendar properly!
*Be sure to schedule your consultation while you are on the free trial, so you can get the most out of your online calendar.
Still wondering if vCita would be a fit for you and your business, following is a list that may help you.
Who vCita is for:
Attorneys / Lawyers
Small Business Owners
Other Service Providers
Some companies that I mention on this site are my marketing and training partners. I am an affiliate of others. A few of the links above may be affiliate links for which I may be paid a commission if you use them. I only recommend products and/or services from companies I trust, tools I’ve used, or services/products that are highly recommended — and I feel may be of value to you and beneficial to your marketing efforts.
Author: Romona Foster
Romona Foster is the Social Media Trainer and Consultant at Social Media How To’s with Romona. Romona teaches small businesses and nonprofits how to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Google My Business — and the best practices of Email Marketing, Online Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, and Personal Branding. She is a featured contributor with Business2Community and is a Constant Contact Community blogger.