Looking for Zoom class streamlining ideas

by jasonrumohrlmt. Posted on Sep 14, 2020    1    5


EDIT: After re-reading my post, my real question seems to be: What online scheduling system do you recommend for integrating with Zoom? (Genbook, Schedulicity, Square Appointments, Jane, Acuity, SimplyBook, Woocommerce Bookings, Schedulista, Luma Health, etc, etc.) To be honest, I haven't researched every one of these to know yet which ones do and don't integrate with Zoom. I'll email Zoom and ask them if they know. Zoom can't tell me, creating an online ticket with this question is immediately shut down (I assume they are overwhelmed with support tickets).

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I've 17 years experience in specialized massage therapy and 7 years teaching tai chi. Since covid, I'm doing it all online, over Zoom. Using Zoom is going well and I've learned I can teach people how to massage their pain away really well over Zoom.

However, I'm feeling bogged down by logistical pieces. Perhaps I just don't have the muscle memory built-up enough yet and I need to come up with a better routine. But I bet there is some technology out there I'm unaware of (or don't know how to use it) that could help streamline the process. Any recommendations? Here's what a typical day looks like:

  • I'll have say 4 private sessions and 1 class. Each session and class is recorded to my computer.
  • When sessions are scheduled (currently done through email), I write it down in my paper calendar. I create an event in the Zoom desktop app, copy the event details and write up emails scheduled to be sent later in Gsuite.
  • Recordings are then edited and uploaded to my Google Drive.
  • Emails are then written to the person or email list to alert them that the recordings are available, with a link. Emails sent to one person are sent via Gsuite, email lists are sent via Mailchimp.

My business is small, I don't have room in my schedule for thousands of people. I have room for 4-5 private lessons a day and 1-3 classes a week. I don't want to automate so much that the personalized feel and connection is hampered. But I'm feeling flustered with the logistical chart flow of the four bullet points above. Like I said, I might just not be used to this particular workflow and need to get used to it, but I'd love to harness tech to make these things easier. I'm a one-man shop, I have no other support staff, not yet anyways.

Here's what I've tried so far:

  • I'm exploring different online scheduling systems. Currently, I'm toying around with Square Appointments, since I already use Square for taking card payments. Not sure if it has the Zoom integration I'd like to see. For example, if I schedule a private lesson client in Square Appt, I could check a box that says "Zoom meeting" and it will auto-generate a unique Zoom meeting ID and when Square Appt sends out the appointment confirmation and reminder emails/texts, it will have the Zoom meeting info already in there. Bonus would be if Square Appointments could know when I upload the edited recording to the cloud (Drive would be ideal, but I'm not attached to it as long as the cost isn't ridiculous), but this might be asking too much right now.
  • Zoom has a Google Calender add-on for Firefox. I've installed this and have experimented a bit. It allows me to create an event in Google Calendar, which will auto-create a Zoom meeting (like I wish Square Appointments to do). But I don't want to use my Google Calendar as my online scheduling system. It's not intuitive to use, especially not for many of my clients. I'd like to use a third-party tool, such as Square Calendar, that will integrate with Zoom. If it integrates with Google Calendar, that would be bonus.

I think I've answered my own question. I need to develop the rigor of doing all this manually and doing it well before I pawn it off to technology. Except for the online scheduling system, that would free up tons of energy/time of back-n-forth emails trying to schedule private sessions. I'd rather start with an online scheduling system that will meet my needs down the road, instead of having to jump ship and switching platforms later on.


Comments

NoBulletsLeft 2

You should look into Mindbody. It's very full featured and geared at the fitness industry. Too many features to go into here, but it will handle scheduling, let you create classes of different types and times and let your clients do online booking and payment either through their app or the website.

In my day job as a software developer I've been writing a custom app that interfaces with Mindbody, so I've gotten to know it pretty well. Has some quirks but it's overall a good system.

  jasonrumohrlmt 1

Thank you. I'm aware of Mindbody but I haven't seriously considered it due to its high price and having way more features than I'd ever need. But I'll take a closer look at it. I hear rave reviews about Jane as well, but it's also very high price. I'd rather not have to jack my own prices up just for some fairly basic features. Maybe I should learn to write code myself...

If you're able to share, is the custom app you're writing to interface with Mindbody available for the public?

NoBulletsLeft 1

Unfortunately not. The application is built for a specific client to use in their fitness centers.

And I don't know if you were serious or not, but coding something up like this and doing a good job would not be a beginner project.

  jasonrumohrlmt 1

Thanks. Yep, I was joking. Last coding I did was BASIC in college... I have neither the inclination nor time to learn how to code at the level of someone like yourself. I imagine it would take 3-5 years just to get the basics down.

ctran 2

You may be able to use zappier - https://zapier.com/apps/square to link things together. I'd be happy to help if that is out of your comfort zone.