Do you listen to the Tog Republic Podcast? A recent episode featured Sam Jacobson and was reframing the discovery call as the non-sales call. By emphasizing the D-I-S-C-O-V-E-R-Y in the initial call, it helps bring back the value you offer as the expert + determining if a working relationship is what’s best for both parties. Okay, now that I’ve said that I will get back to the topic at hand, the Dubsado Scheduler. I promise the podcast is related LOL.
One of the biggest shifts I have seen in Dubsado tools over the last few years was the introduction of their scheduler. I wasn’t keeping track enough to know if they were the first of the CRMs I reference most for family photographers (Dusbado, Honeybook, Táve, 17hats, StudioNinja, PicSpotr, and IrisWorks) but at this point, it is still the most robust. Unless you have a very specific set of needs, for many Dubsado users the scheduler is enough to eliminate their Calendly or Acuity subscriptions. Let’s dive into how it can be used + features (good, bad, and ugly).
See, I promised my opening sentence was related! There has been a new push in family photography to start the inquiry process with a discovery call. [Okay, maybe not this is not new for everyone, but in my circle it is.] The more traditional inquiries start from the contact form on your website and then IF you offer a discovery call, you typically go back and forth on picking a time to chat over email. More recently, I know photographers that have used one of the external calendars (like Acuity or Calendly) to schedule these calls with a little more automation. You could connect that external calendar to your CRM with Zapier (if available), but if you are a Dubsado user you can eliminate that extra step and just use the internal scheduler.
While I love automation in almost all of my business tasks, I personally do not use the Dubsado scheduler to book session dates. Quite a few of my students do, but doing this is best suited for those that are either high-volume or have a lot of availability in their schedule. Clients can self-select their session date before or after their booking is complete.
I recently completed a Dubsado setup for a newborn photographer where the initial date entered is the due date and when she gets notified the baby has arrived she sends a newborn scheduler through the workflow so the new mom can pick the actual date. You can limit this scheduler to only allow booking within the next x days and then you can have additional workflow actions that trigger based on that scheduled session date.
Last, but certainly not least, is creating a specific scheduler to book limited mini-sessions. There are a ton of features you can use to make scheduling easiest for you, but my favorite is activating an invoice to require payment. When activated, the appointment is not removed from/booked on the calendar until payment is received. If you have ever had someone select a mini-session time slot and then fail to pay, you will be most excited about this.
Everything above is the GOOD, let’s just skip to the UGLY.
So if you are booking a session and require a contract you must send this as a separate workflow step. Do you offer the clients the option of a 1 hour or 2-hour session appointment? You must make two separate schedulers and group them together. This just adds one additional layer to get the appointment booked.
Are you currently using the Dubsado Scheduler for one of the suggestions above? Something else? I would LOVE to hear all about it.
P.S. if you are a Dubsado user and need a little help to fully integrate a scheduler or any other feature, I can help with that!