The only way to get clients to stop DMing you is to set firm boundaries and train them to book their own appointments. Clients are creatures of habit, they’re used to DMing you and calling you at all hours — and usually, they get away with it. If you continue to let them break the rules, you are holding your business back, you are wasting time, and you’re losing money. Clients will only respect your business as much as you do, and there’s nothing wrong with holding yourself to a higher standard.
Here are some tips for keeping clients out of your DMs.
MAKE YOUR INSTAGRAM MESSAGING CLEAR
- In your bio, give potential clients clear booking instructions. Say something like, “To book an appointment or for information about pricing and services, hit the BOOK button below.” If you haven’t set up your Instagram book button yet, you should. It links directly to your booking page and it’s a clear call-to-action button that helps distract clients from that shiny “Message” button ; )
- It’s going to take some time before clients completely give up on their bad habits. In the meantime, whip up a quick pre-written response you can send to all clients who DM you. Save it in your notes and copy + paste when you need to. Write something like: “Thanks for reaching out! My schedule is super busy and I don’t have time to get to all of my DMs. The easiest and best way to get information about my prices, services, and availability, is to hit the “Book” button on my profile — you can even book your own appointment at a time that works for you!”
MAKE IT EASY FOR CLIENTS TO SELF BOOK
DMing you is NOT easier than booking you online. Period. The only reason clients are still messaging you is because they don’t understand that. It’s a waste of time to message back and forth, wait for a reply, and hope it works out. It only takes a few minutes to create a client account on StyleSeat, and afterward, booking is infinitely easier when they can do it on their own.
It’s up to you to show them why.
Start by sending your clients a mass message (in some cases, a mass reminder) that online booking is easy, more convenient for them, and it’s the only way to secure a spot on your schedule.
Here’s some of the key messaging you should include:
- Get all the pricing and service information you need in one place.
- Browse my availability 24/7 and book outside my business hours — no need to message back and forth or wait for a reply.
- I will no longer be accepting appointment requests through DMs. If you want to secure your spot on my schedule, click this link and book your next appointment: [insert your booking link]
- Once you book your first appointment online, It will be saved in your “My Favorites” for easy booking in the future.
STOP REWARDING BAD BEHAVIOR
No matter how easy you make it for clients to book their own appointments, if you don’t enforce your boundaries, they will continue to push them.
For those clients who keep resisting your instructions, it’s time to teach them a lesson (literally). Next time they’re in your chair, have them sign up and scroll through your profile to get familiar with it. You can even add a five-minute/free service to your menu called First Online Booking. Have your client book that appointment so they see how it works and they can see how helpful the appointment reminders are. After they book the test appointment, you’ll appear in their favorites to make it even easier next time they book.
Training clients to book their own appointments is really about giving them no other option. Don’t answer the phone after hours and change your voicemail to let clients know how to book you online.
PRO TIP: We’ve spoken to some professionals who pretend to have an assistant who answers their DM’s and texts for them.
Their pre-written response sounds something like this: “Hello, this is Mike’s assistant. In order to run his business smoothly, Mike no-longer accepts inquiries through text messages or DMs. The easiest way to check out Mike’s prices/services and to book your own appointment is to click this link and find a time that works best for you: (insert link)
For some stylists, it takes the pressure off refusing to answer and it makes you seem even more legit ; )
We’ve read countless reviews from happy clients who love the convenience of online booking — they just need a little nudge in the right direction. When you stop answering texts, DMs and phone calls, you can actually start to spend more time with your clients and less time planning for them. Online booking reduces mix-ups, it optimizes your schedule, and it ultimately helps you make more money. So, get clients out of your DMs and on to your booking page — and if you have any advice about how to get clients to self-book, leave a comment and let us know!
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For more social media tips, check out these articles:
- How to Set Boundaries with Salon Clients
- What to do When Clients Say You Charge Too Much
- Should You Charge for No-Shows and Late Cancellations