Personal training and wellness coaching went online during the COVID-19 shutdown, which put thousands of coaches in charge of their own income and hosting their own classes virtually. Problem is, there aren’t many platforms that are easy for both coaches and their clients to use. And how does a new solopreneur coach attract clients in a crowded space when all marketing is virtual? Yottled, a new online wellness coaching platform, just launched this week to solve those pain points for thousands of entrepreneurs. It was founded by two guys with the credentials to make it work. Co-founders Trevor Hough and Will Guedes have worked in engineering and product management for hot SE Michigan startups Duo Security and StockX, both two of the four recently minted unicorn companies from Ann Arbor or Detroit valued at over $1 billion. The Yottled platform is brand new, but it’s simple to use and it’s growing. Here’s how an online coaching platform can change the game.
Why Fitness & Wellness Coaching Enablement Software?
“Back in March and April, a lot of the world started to come down on all of us,” Hough says of the coronavirus outbreak and shutdown in the U.S. “A family friend is a musician, and 75-80% of his income came from schools. We asked if we could help him in any way. He was using Facetime, and it was hard to get new customers. We threw up a website saying we want to help people get customers.” Ninety-percent of respondents were in fitness and wellness. “We thought there was something to explore there,” Hough says, “so we got these people on the phone. Will and I started collaborating to help customers who were not technical so anyone could schedule a class, register, and accept payments from a branded page.”
Some competitors were offering similar services for $200 a month, which is too high for solopreneurs. Yottled made it a priority to keep costs down and keep creating a Yottled page simple. “If your expertise is in training people, we want to take the brunt of [the tech side] so you’re up and running in 3-4 minutes,” Hough says.
Disrupting the Fitness & Wellness Coaching Industry
Say you’re a yoga teacher. Working through a gym, you might be paid $15 per hour to teach a class, or you might rent a room at a studio for $20-50 per hour and earn that back through your clients paying you. Either way, the income is significantly reduced by rental fees or by working for a facility. You’re also commuting each way, which costs time and money. Hough says that with Yottled’s early access program, coaches went from earning an average of $20/hour working through a gym to an average of $94/hour, even though students paid an average of $6 per class instead of $30.
The payment collection is also the simplest and most up front we’ve seen so far in this space. Where trainers often have to spend time during class collecting payments or make sure people paid online for each class, Yottled requires a credit card when you sign up for a class, and charges you as you attend so the coach knows that part of the process is handled. “Our coaches are passionate about what they do, but many of them are coaching on the side of a full-time job,” Hough says. Yottled makes it easier for them to create a platform that accepts payments quickly and is as easy for clients to use as it is for them. Yottled’s founders listen to their coaches to inform features and a simple user interface. “We’re tech, not fitness and wellness,” Hough says, “so we tried really hard to talk to our coaches so that we understood how to delight them.”
How Much Does It Cost To Coach Online?
Pricing starts at $9.99 per month to host anywhere from one-on-one calls to 100-person classes, all hosted by Yottled through video conferencing so you don’t pay one company for payment processing and another for hosting classes. The best news? Yottled works on a sliding scale. Hough says that if you’re just starting out or struggling, they will allow you to use the platform for free, even indefinitely, and ask that you pay that forward.
Hough says, “Our ultimate goal is to create a platform for any type of wellness. Right now we’re focused on physical wellness, but we want to expand to mental wellness as well. Because of COVID, there are many areas of our lives that have been impacted mentally as well as physically. We want you to come to us for your wellness needs.”
“The journey that started with our family friend is the same problem experienced by a multitude of industries,” says co-founder Will Guedes. “The goal is that in everything we do to delight clients, and expand the product to other fields. Right now we’re laser focused on this industry.”
Does Yottled really work better than other coaching platforms? One of the missing pieces of online coaching is that the industry is so new, there is yet to be a platform that helps attract clients to a space for the coaches. It’s still up to coaches to build their business, but the ultimate goal here would be to create an ecosystem that helps draw in clients. We expect to see competing platforms own slices of the space and specialize in particular types of coaching, as some already specialize in psychotherapy, or in children’s online music and drawing lessons, for example.
Yottled has done a good job so far of offering a number of crucial services beyond a simple credit card payment system or video conferencing platform. Time will tell which online coaching platform wins out, but it does seem encouraging that Yottled’s tech background and listening ear have enabled the company to hone in on important pain points that affect both coaches and clients up front. We have not seen another platform to date that takes payments quite the way Yottled does, or schedules as conveniently, or looks as clean and neat with branded pages. We look forward to hearing more good things coming out from Yottled and this section of the enablement software space. To learn more, visit Yottled.