How to use an Acuity paid plan for FREE with Squarespace
If you've been following along for the last several months, then you probably already know I use Dubsado for my business. In fact, I'm kind of obsessed with it!
Dubsado has an online scheduler now, but I still haven’t gotten around to setting it up and since it's not ready yet, I’m still using Acuity because it integrates well with Squarespace and it also has a lot of features, like the ability to take a payment when a client makes certain types of appointments.
Acuity has a free plan, but it allows limited customization among other limitations. At first that was fine, but eventually I wanted the features that the paid plans offer.
If you want the paid plan features too AND you're a Squarespace user, you can upgrade to the Emerging Entrepreneur Acuity plan, FOR FREE.
That plan is valued at $15/month, allows more customization, and I'm going to show you how to get it FREE in today's quick blog post. #thankmelater
First, what does Acuity do?
Acuity is an online scheduling system that allows people to book your services themselves, from available time slots that you have pre-set.
Only want to allow appointments on Tuesdays? Or maybe just Tuesdays & Thursdays from 1pm to 5pm? Easy.
Do you need the ability to take payments when the appointment is booked? Maybe just the ability to take payments for certain types of appointments when they are booked, but not all of them? Acuity's got that covered too.
No more emails back-and-forth while you try to find a time slot that works for both of you!
So now that you're dying to have it too, because you can see all the wonderful possibilities, I'll walk you through creating an account real quick.
1 | Create a free Acuity account
Reminder: this only works if you have a Squarespace website!
Sign up for an Acuity account*, and start with their Free plan. Don't worry about adjusting all the settings just yet.
*This is an affiliate link; if you use it to sign up for your Acuity account, I'll get a small commission. Don't worry though, I never recommend a service I don't already love AND use myself!
2 | Add an Acuity Block
Next, you'll need to login to your Squarespace site and choose a page where you'd like to embed your Acuity Scheduler. A good example for most people would be to use it on the Contact page, or a separate Booking page if you have one.
To do that, navigate to the page where you want to embed the scheduler. Go into Edit mode for that page, and Add a new block by clicking the plus sign. Then choose the Acuity Block from the "More" area within those Add Block options.
Adding your Acuity Block in Squarespace:
Once you've done that, click Save in the edit bar at the top of your page. Your change is live! Now go back to your Acuity account page, and navigate to the Client's Scheduling Page settings to grab your custom scheduling URL.
Click Copy to copy the link. Now go back to your Squarespace page, and edit again. Double click or click Edit where you placed the Acuity block, so the settings window pops up again. There's a place in that window for you to paste in your Acuity Scheduler URL.
Click Save in the top grey Editing bar to publish that change on your page. Your embedded scheduler won't look like mine, because you haven't customized it yet, but don't worry; you'll get to!
3 | Upgrade!
Now that you've embedded a basic scheduler on your Squarespace site, you can upgrade your Acuity plan.
Make sure you have your Acuity account open & you're still logged in, your Squarespace account is open & you're still logged in. Make sure you know the URL for the page where your new Acuity Block has been added (example: www.example.com/contactme).
Paste in your URL and click Submit.
4 | A list of some of the features you now have
Here's a list of features you now have with your new Emerging Entrepreneur plan:
Offer unlimited services and appointments
Embed scheduler into your website
Display your logo
Customize with your company colors
Edit all app text so it sounds just like you
Automatic time zone conversion
Automatic appointment reminder e-mails (requires initial setup)
Two-way syncing with iCloud, Google Calendar, Outlook.com, Exchange, and Office 365
GoToMeeting, Join.me, and Zoom integrations for online meetings
QuickBooks, Freshbooks, and Xero integrations for invoicing and accounting
MailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact, ConvertKit, and MadMimi integration for bulk e-mailing
Pipedrive integration for sales/CRM
Integrate with 500+ other apps through Zapier
Accept payments and deposits through PayPal, Square, Stripe, Braintree, or Authorize.net
Vault credit cards for charging clients later
Optionally let clients tip you
Offer coupons and vouchers for discounts
Offer classes, workshops, or group events
Easy upsell clients with check-out add-ons
Advanced reporting about appointments, no shows, & performance
5 | Customize your account
Now you have a "paid" plan, so go customize it! In your Acuity account, I'd recommend doing the following:
Under My Account:
Edit your Business Name
Choose your Time Zone
Provide an email address where you want to be notified of new appointments
Choose the color of your sidebar, if you want
As you saw in one of the videos above, mine was purple!
Under Business Settings:
Set your Availability, Settings & Scheduling Limits in this section
These are the types of services or classes that clients can schedule.
ex: Initial Consults are 30 minutes, or One-On-One Training is 1 hour, etc.
Create Add-ons & Coupons, if that relates to your business
Add-on ex: 15 extra minutes to the appointment = $X more
Intake Form Questions
Ask clients questions when they schedule an appointment. They're always asked for name, phone, and email, so these forms are great for gathering anything else! Or, create a private form to use internally to track appointment information.
ex: "Are you allergic to anything?" for freelance bakers offering pickup times for custom baked goods.
Create a New Form, or New Terms & Conditions Agreement here
Packages & Gift Certificates
Sell packages of appointments, gift certificates, subscriptions, and products.
Who else should be able to manage appointments and availability of this calendar? Receptionist? Business Partner? Aunt Louise?
Connect your Acuity Scheduling account to other applications.
Sync with Other Calendars
Link your other Calendars with Acuity here.
Configure which payment processor you'd like to use with Acuity
Stripe & PayPal
Edit the automatic emails Acuity will send clients:
Package/Gift Certficate orders
Next you'll want to set up your Client Scheduling Page! Here are some recommendations for what to edit within your Acuity account:
Scheduling Page Link
Here is where you copied your scheduler page link to use in the Acuity Block within Squarespace.
You can also edit the bolded part of your link:
If you change it, make sure you update the Acuity Block where you embedded it on your site!
AKA: the good stuff!
This is where you can upload your logo, change fonts & colors to match your branding, & more.
Template (displayed monthly or weekly)
Week starts on
Scheduling Page Options
Make sure you're saving your changes as you go!
That's it! You're all set! Now you can embed your scheduler anywhere on your site and it will match your branding, allow payments and help make your life a lot easier!
If you use Trello, you can create a Private board with important links like this, so you can refer back to them easily without having to log into each account to grab the link (in case you forget it). For more on that, read about How to Organize Your Life with Trello or How to Use Trello for your Bookmarks.
Other ways to use your new Acuity account:
Send anyone to the direct link for your scheduling page from a button
Link some text to your scheduler, in an email
Add the direct scheduler link to the About section on your Facebook page, the Bio section on Instagram or Twitter, etc.
Create a shortlink version with Bitly and add the Scheduler link in your Pinterest Profile description
That's it for now, so get moving!
Does all of that seem overwhelmingly complicated? Why not let me do it for you!
As part of my Website packages, I link tools like this together for you, so you don't have to hunt for tutorials and figure it out on your own if you don't want to.
All these conveniences take time to set up, which you might not have!