NEW! Recurring Classes, Courses, and Events

Do you offer regularly scheduled events to your clients? That might mean…
  • Regular group sessions or classes
  • Recurring office hours
  • Daily, weekly or monthly meetups or programs
If so, then we’re excited to announce a new feature that we think you’re going to love. It’s now possible to schedule recurring programs in Artichoke such as classes, courses, or regularly scheduled events which your clients can book online. Screenshot 2017-01-26 12.34.32 You just set the times and maximum group size, and your clients will be able to book (until the maximum number of spots has been reached). This is the easiest way to book scheduled group appointments online. Once you spend 10 minutes setting up for booking page, you can start adding scheduled classes, programs, and other events. When clients select the program from your list of services, Artichoke automatically generates a list of the next few dates which have spots available. That means no more clicking around different dates to find an open spot or going back and forth with phone calls, emails, and text messages to get everything coordinated for multiple clients in every session. This feature is going to save you time and help you get your life back!   Here’s how it works:
  1. First you need to make sure you have published “MY WEB PAGE.”
  2. Make sure the service you want to schedule is in your services list with “Book Online” enabled and “max participants” set as needed.
  3. Go to Appointments
    • Add “Schedule”
    • Complete form
    • Save
  4. That’s it. Clients can now book your scheduled events online so you can breathe.
This big step in making your life easier couldn’t have been possible without you. We’re always listening to our customers’ amazing feedback, which is exactly how this feature was born. A huge thanks to the Artichoke community for your continued support, feedback, and business! Watch a tutorial video which explains this in more detail:

Artichoke Partners With 6 Small Business Organizations to Support the Growing Freelance Economy

Artichoke is proud to announce 6 new partnerships that will provide resources for organizations supporting freelancers and small business owners. Through new deals with Associated Hair Professionals, Associated Skin Care Professionals, Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals, Associated Nail Professionals, National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork and National Association of Senior Move Managers, Artichoke will help tens of thousands of small businesses get discounts on Artichoke’s easy-to-use tools to help them manage appointment bookings, client relationships, billing and more. Members will also get access to a library of professional development content to help them grow their businesses. library   “We’re thrilled to have these new partners on board,” said Artichoke CEO Justin Shelby. “They already deliver incredible value to their members, and we look forward to helping them go even further in empowering their members to pursue their dreams of building sustainable, profitable small businesses.”

The Immense Opportunity to Support the Growing Freelance Economy

  There is an immense (and growing) opportunity to serve the freelance community. 50 million American workers perform some kind of freelance work today (either full time or part time). And the numbers are rising rapidly. By 2020, the number is expected to reach 70 million—close to 50% of the U.S. workforce. “We’ve seen the growth in the freelance economy first-hand,” Shelby said. “More and more people are realizing that starting a solo business is a great way to supplement their income or earn a full-time living.” The new Artichoke partnerships will help to build relationships between organizations that are already working to serve this community. “These are organizations that are already doing great work to support freelancers and small businesses,” Shelby added. “We hope that this will be just one more way they can bring value to the business owners they serve.”

Artichoke’s History of Supporting Freelancers

  Artichoke was born when CEO Justin Shelby was running two urban health clubs. He saw how difficult it was for his trainers to track appointments, progress, and payments for their clients, so he created an in-house, cloud-based solution to solve the problem. After thousands of transactions and feedback from hundreds of users, the solution has now become Artichoke, a complete business solution for the rapidly growing community of freelancers, independent practitioners, and moonlighters operating in the U.S. “Starting a solo business is a tremendous amount of work,” Shelby said. “Many people feel overwhelmed, especially at the beginning.” Artichoke brings marketing, scheduling, invoicing together in one easy-to-use application. It’s the first mobile, appointment-based tool that allows freelancers to start running their business in minutes. “Our product gives people an easy way to get — and keep — their business up and running quickly,” Shelby added. “And now our new partners will work together to provide business owners access to resources and connections to help them succeed in every area of their business.”

Invite Clients to Write Reviews – Build Your Reputation Online

Product Update: Take control of your reputation online, starting today.

Managing your reputation online is critical these days. Do you buy anything online without checking the reviews? Probably not too often.  We live in a world of transparency and it’s important to embrace it if you want to grow your client base. Artichoke has always had a review collection feature which uses your client activity to ask for reviews at logical times.  However, now it possible to invite your clients to write reviews proactively instead of waiting for the logic to kick in.

Where are client reviews displayed?

On the REVIEWS page on MY WEB PAGE Reviews on Booking Page New reviews will also be shown on your Artichoke dashboard Reviews on dashboard block

What should I do if a critical review is submitted?

This is very important.  Anytime a review is submitted, good or bad, you should ALWAYS comment on the review professionally so others can see how responsive you’re likely to be with them.  When you see a new review on the dashboard, always use the “comment” function so you can write a public response.

 Comment on Reviews

How can I invite clients to write reviews?

Watch the video below or follow these simple steps:
  1. Go to Dashboard
  2. In “Reviews” block select “Send Invitations”
  3. Select clients and “Send”
Review Invitations

You Need Epic Reviews on Your Website (4 Startling Reasons)

reputation-management-for-internet-reviews-and-ratings

Here’s something true about online reputation management:

Where your reviews live is just as important as what those reviews say. Here are 4 reasons why:

1. The Best Defense Against Unfair Reviews

You have zero control over business reviews on Google or Yelp. As the business owner, you can (and should) engage with users, but you have no power to take down unfair reviews. If a competitor posts a fake review giving you a bad reputation, you can flag it (Here how in Google and Yelp). But even then, you won’t know if fake reviews will be taken down, or how long it will be until something happens. By putting reviews on your own website—however–you give potential customers a chance to see an authentic reviews—ones you can verify.

2. Customers Trust Reviews

The stats around reputation management are overwhelming: 92% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses 73% of consumers form an opinion by reading 1-6 reviews 69% of consumers believe that reviews older than 3 months are no longer relevant Bottom line? You need customer reviews. And you need to keep them fresh. Potential customers don’t trust them beyond three months.

3. You Can Keep Prospective Clients Away from Google and Yelp

No matter how good your reviews are on Google or Yelp, those websites present you as one of many businesses your potential customer could choose. That’s not what you want. You want to be the only business in consideration. If you get a potential customer to your website, including customer reviews helps you keep them there, instead of losing them to Google or Yelp.

4. Reviews Increase Conversions

Finally, don’t forget the end goal of any business’ website: to make sales. Almost 90% of customers say they trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. By including reviews on your website, you increase the chances of making a sale. And isn’t that the point of your website?

UPDATE: Calendar Views

Change calendar views on desktop

On a desktop, laptop, or tablet, you’ve got more screen real estate to play with so one Artichoke user wanted us to do a better job using it to display a full week of appointments.  Having the ability to see a full week can quickly help to identify gaps and opportunities in addition to just help you get generally tuned into what’s ahead. Thanks to the feedback above, it’s now possible to change your calendar view on desktop to display an entire week in columns for each day in addition to the typical list view. Best of all, you can select which one of these views you’d like to show by default each time you visit.

Locate the list view selector in the right corner.

Note: Only applies to desktops, laptops, and tablets. screenshot-2016-10-11-14-24-13                

Check out the week view.

screenshot-2016-10-11-14-24-48                  

Set your favorite to be the default view.

screenshot-2016-10-11-14-24-28           Please keep the great ideas coming! We love to hear from you and often put ideas into action quickly.

5 Simple Tips to Increase Your Freelance Income

If you’re a freelancer and you’re anything like me, you probably constantly think about one thing…making more money. Of course you could pick up a few additional clients,  but then you have to spend more of your valuable time servicing them, possibly scaling up operations, and tons of other variable expenses. money question markSo Isn’t there an easier way?  Of Course!  Just increase your rates! Most freelancers do not understand the impact increasing your rate can have on your bottom line.  You don’t have to incur any additional expenses (time, equipment, supplies, etc),  so the extra money you make is all profit! And even more surprisingly,  your clients will almost always be willing to pay! If you are doing a good job,  clients will be happy to pay a premium to continue to receive your services. But where do you start? The team at Artichoke put together 5 simple steps and 1 tool to help freelancers easily calculate rate increases, communicate with clients, and start making make more money! Here are five quick tips that can help:

1. Be Confident

Don’t let doubt or fear creep into your voice when quoting your rate. Prospects will sense if you don’t believe you’re worth the rate you’re quoting them. To quote Vince Lombardi, “Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.”

2. Quote Your Rate, then Be Quiet

When giving a quote in person or on the phone, your prospect will often be quiet for several moments immediately after you state your rate. Be quiet when this happens. Let the silence hang in the air. No matter how long it takes, let the other person be the next one to speak. Sales leader Tom Hopkins advises, “Just remember the eight most important words in the art of closing a sale: Whenever you ask a closing question, shut up!”

3. Give Timely Notice

When you need to raise rates, do so professionally, and with timely notice for current clients. You’ll want to establish a transition period before the new rates go into effect. As entrepreneur Jenny Shih says, “It’s okay to give your current clients some time to transition to the new rates while also charging new customers your new rates.”

4. Be Amazing

Studies show 86% of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience. Even more telling, 89 percent of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience. Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay, said: “Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ‘Make me feel important.’ Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.”

5. Let Go

Some clients will leave, no matter what you do. This does not have to be a negative. If a client leaves because of your rates, it opens a spot for a new, higher-paying client in your schedule. Author C. Joybell C. puts it this way: “You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.” Get The Freelance Rates You Deserve The biggest difference between average freelancers earners and high-earning outliers isn’t how good they are at their job; it’s how confident they are in their value. You deliver tremendous value to your clients, and you can use these tips help you get the rates that you deserve.

Artichoke Goes Global

International Text Reminders and Currency

Artichoke is going global.  Now it’s possible to do all of the following with your Artichoke account in 21 countries: – Accept credit cards – Send automated appointment reminders by text message – Display your local country code in client profiles – Display the proper local currency in transactions and notifications to clients   It’s super simple to set up. Just go to  SETTINGS / TIME – PHONE – CURRENCY screenshot-2016-11-04-12-09-51   Once this adjustment is made, all of your client notifications will reflect the proper currency, charges made with the integrated payment processing will be in the local currency, and text reminders will work seamlessly in your country.   Where do you work?

Income Builder

Build and Track an Income Goal

Income stability is one of the greatest challenges for a solo practitioner or freelancer. Having a plan and establishing a clear set of objectives is critical because you can’t know when you’ve succeeded if you don’t define success up front? That’s why we’ve created a simple income goal builder tool inside your Artichoke account which makes it easy to set and track your income goals. You’ll be surprised how small changes like a slight increase in fees or fewer no-shows can impact annual income. Check out this video to see just how easy it is to set up and use.
Let us know if this post was helpful. We love to hear from you! Are there any other topics you’d like to see covered in future posts?  

Update: New Repeat Options

Recurring appointments that work for everyone.

So how often do your clients visit? Setting up recurring appointments or slot blockers reduces admin time and increases “you time.”  For some this is straight forward and for others not so much.  Well, now there’s a a few new options for the frequency of recurring appointments. – Repeat every other week – Repeat every month When selecting every month, you’ll also have the ability to indicate if the appointment repeats on the same numeric date each month or the same day of the week. Example: Every 19th of the month vs every 3rd Tuesday of the month   Frequency options: Repeat appointment options   New options for the “monthly” selection: screenshot-2016-10-19-21-20-09   Watch a video:
    If you’re already using Artichoke, please check these out and start enjoying the benefits of less admin time. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use, all-in-one business platform specially designed for solo practitioners, try Artichoke free for 30 days.  Have some more ideas to share?  support@getartichoke.com

New Update! Require a Credit Card Online

Requiring Credit Card Information to Book Online!

Reduce administrative time, easily collect payment, and even make it possible to enforce attendance policy by requiring credit card information to book online! Step 1: Go to your personal booking page Step 2: Select “Credit Card Options” at the top left of the screen screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-2-01-35-pm Step 3: Select “Require Credit Card to Book Online,” then click save! screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-2-01-44-pm Step 4: Customers will be prompted to add their credit card information when they book online! Now every online booking will be met with a confirmation allowing customers to input their credit card information if they choose to book online.  This will store their information in their client profile for future appointments, which also allows them to set up reoccurring payments, double whammy!   Please always remember to reach out to us with any questions at Support@GetArtichoke.com