It’s hard for most entrepreneurs to garner new clientele but, it can be even more difficult in the fitness and wellness space due to extreme market saturation. Physical trainers, have been known to utilize social media platforms like Instagram but, what other tools are available in order to get their message and services out there? Trainersvault is solving that. Black Enterprise caught up with Cortney Woodruff, founder of Trainersvault, a mobile first, web-platform for professionals in the health, fitness, and wellness space to discuss how the platform helps these fitness entrepreneurs run, grow and scale their businesses.
Black Enterprise: Tell us about your background?
I’m originally from Jackson, Mississippi. I’ve always had an affinity for entrepreneurship and business, and I guess it could be contributed to growing up watching my family operate my grandparents’ grocery store, Woodruff Grocery.
With my upbringing being what it was, I naturally pursued a degree in Business and Economics at Alabama A&M University then continued that journey by attending IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, and ultimately relocated to Silicon Valley to launch Trainersvault by the age of 24.
With so many other fitness platforms, why do you think Trainersvault is necessary to the market?
Most health and wellness professionals aren’t formally trained in business and have grown their practices through sheer hustle with little analysis of what actually makes sense. No one has really taught them the ABC’s of running a small business or growing it sustainably.
The Groupons and ClassPasses of the world have done a great job and are creating billions worth of market share within this vertical and trainers have adopted these platforms with fanfare. However, most trainers don’t have a deep understanding of how their businesses actually work on these platforms. So by listing their services on these platforms, they are forced to cut their prices in half for daily deals and effectively receive a smaller percentage of revenue related to their costs which makes it harder to break even let alone run a profitable business.
We want to remove these barriers and think about the hard things to help them optimize their business and that alone highlights our major part of differentiation strategy. By being the platform that powers the trainers entire business, Trainersvault is slowly solving these problems and helping trainers manage, assess, and grow their business in ways where value is created and ultimately passed off to both the trainer and consumer.
How do you connect the customer to the trainer?
With our focus being on the trainers, we are primarily providing tools that make it easy for trainers to bring aboard their existing business. However, we will be launching our marketplace this summer whereby we market trainers and classes to consumers within their vicinities as well as at-home workout programs.
How do you ensure that customers are getting qualified trainers? If a customer doesn’t like their trainer, what happens?
Our platform has really served to be a better meeting place for trainers and their existing customers. However, we have designed features into the site such as public, displayable reviews which are listed on each trainers profile as well as the landing pages for their various classes and workout programs. This creates transparency on many levels and trainers are quite aware that their reputation on Trainersvault precedes them.
What has been the feedback from customers?
The thing we’ve tried to do is continuously simplify the way people interact with trainers, and I’m proud of the job we’ve done thus far. We are now present across the United States, Australia, South Africa, and China and we’ve witnessed high utilization of our platform and over a quarter of a million customers have spent money and validated our product in this market.
For customers we are empowering them with choice and the user experience is providing a way for them to have meaningful emotional attachments with their trainers as well as other customers.
On the trainer side, our trainers are elated. The average trainers’ income is growing over 65% year and we are working diligently to make sure that continues.
What is the price point of the platform?
There are no upfront, monthly or minimum fees to use our platform. Trainers are charged one simple fee per transaction which is 5%. We really make it easy to start in an effort to provide value and really highlight our mission to put trainers first.
What tools are you using to scale the platform and onboard more trainers?
With Trainersvault, trainers have a platform that is tailored to their needs. They have the option to list and manage their 1-1 in-person training services, class schedules, as well as video-based programs for their online training. I think that what we bring to the market is highly complementary and our platform is providing a significant amount of innovation so that a trainer with 10 customers in Jackson, Mississippi, has the same tools as a trainer with 1,000 online customers or a large traditional gym franchise with tens of thousands of customers in Los Angeles. And this is helping to democratize the interchange between trainers and consumers around the world.
But what I’m most proud of is our onboarding process. Our onboarding process is designed from day one to educate and equip trainers with services online and offline that help them contemplate tough questions like; “How do I create and publish digital content online to generate additional streams of revenue or execute a go-to market strategy? How do I create marketing material that is consistent with my brand?” No one is teaching them these things.
So we are not only focused on the tech side of things but the business analytics as well, and we have a great group of investors and advisers that have extensive experience with all these things like Cortez Bryant the CEO of Young Money Entertainment and partner at Maverick Music Management; Arthur Hayes, the co-founder and CEO of the unicorn, BitMEX; and Bryan Calhoun who runs a lot of digital strategies for artist like Nicki Minaj, the Roots, Lil Wayne, and more.