With technology continuously upgrading, people strive to be more efficient in all transactions, meetings, and even music lessons. Join Bree Noble as she interviews Tali Mandelzweig, the Co-founder of MeetFox. Tali explains what MeetFox is all about, from its features to its applicable functions for the service you are looking for. She also shows us how to navigate the platform and how musicians can gain an added value using MeetFox.
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Meetfox: The Simple Scheduling & Meeting Tool For Musicians with Tali Mandelzweig
I am excited to be here with Tali Mandelzweig from MeetFox. We’re going to learn a lot about MeetFox as she tells us about their platform. I heard about this from one of my students and right around that time we connected as well. It was perfect timing because my students were trying different things to be able to teach online, meet people online, record, and all the things that we need to do in this interesting time of the pandemic. It’s going to be moving forward and this being more of a common place for people to be meeting and doing things online like teaching and learning. I thought it would be great to have her on to talk about their platform and how it can help musicians. I want Tali to let us know first how did MeetFox start. Why did you decide to start this platform? What was the pain that you saw in the market that you were trying to solve?
Thank you for having me. I’m excited. It’s great that you’ve heard about us from someone else while I contacted you. It was ironic. It all started with my cofounder Susanne. She was in rural Austria at the time and she was looking for a business coach to get some advice at the company she was running back at that time. She found it difficult to be able to find anything online that was transparent and easy. She spent hours and hours trying to look for something, and then realize that it is taking too long and she’s not finding what she’s wanting, and she thought to maybe start a marvel place of coaches and consultants.
She built that and it went well. There was a lot of demand for coaches. Soon after she launched it, she realized that there’s a bigger demand from the technology behind the marketplace, which is MeetFox. Susanne decided to pivot and take out the technology, and make it a standalone product. I saw her do a pitch at a startup event. I saw it and I loved the idea. I’m fond of the gig economy and people running their own business and their own hustle, or having their own drive to make themselves successful. I contacted him via LinkedIn. We ended up having a two-hour coffee and we started building MeetFox.
You got in because you saw the need as well and felt it was an important thing to be building in this gig economy. What’s different after the pandemic as far as what people are needing, and how you can fill that need?
The biggest difference is that before, the way people work is way more traditional. People thought that you have to meet face to face. People did things a lot more “manually.” COVID has changed the way people work. People who are not used to doing Facebook, people who are not used to start doing digital conferences or different calls like what we’re doing now. We’ve seen a lot of different use cases to COVID. We’ve seen a lot of success stories where people pivoted their business and change their whole strategy to be more online. They thrive and they are amazing. In 2020, a lot of people, especially when the pandemic burst out into an entire world, people thought that 2021 might become “normal,” but as countries are getting vaccinated, I’m not trying to speak anything political, but I’m not sure when things are going to go back to normal. When are you going to go to a concert? When are you going to fly somewhere to meet someone?
I believe that his is going to stay. This meeting interaction and this way to interact with your clients will stay. It becomes more productive. You are saving time on flying, on driving. You could get to the comfort of your own home or from your office or wherever you want to do it. You can still build that great relationship with your clients by meeting them online and having them to schedule a meeting. It’s very efficient rather than always riding back and forth, and working with people that are outside of your time zone. You have to be able to expand your business and your horizon.
It’s going to change people’s routines and habits. Where they always did something in person, now they realize, “I can do this from the comfort of my own home. Why should I drive across town or through traffic to take a voice lesson when I can do it online?” Have you seen specific use cases with musicians on your platform?
Yes. We have a piano teacher who’s been doing amazing by doing all night piano lessons through MeetFox. I also believe that the oldest student is in their early 90s. It’s beautiful to see. He’s done well by teaching these students, kids, adults, whoever he is teaching online during this pandemic. The students are loving it. He says that he’s doing well. He has more students now because he doesn’t have to spend the time commuting. He makes his own hours and he’s more flexible with his hours. He can work a bit later or maybe work a bit earlier now because he has more of this flexibility.Value feedback, listen to your clients, and try to make everyone happy. Click To Tweet
The idea of going somewhere, say you work all day and then you want to take piano lessons, but the idea of having to go out again to go do your lesson or driving through rush hour traffic because your lesson is at 5:30. It’s great to be able to get home, relax, and then switch into fun mode and do your lesson. It’s super easy. I love that it makes that available. I know people that have been doing this for years like teaching lessons on Skype, Zoom, Messenger Rooms or something like that. I’d love to know what MeetFox is trying to serve in that market that’s different from using all those other platforms?
The other platforms you mentioned are video conferencing solution, so they are ways to have the lesson. There are three components to lesson. There is to schedule the lesson time. There is to have the lesson, but also to get paid for that. That’s where MeetFox comes in. We are this all-in-one solution. That application is your back office. The simple link or the single button, the student can book a time that works for them based on their real time availability. You don’t have to ask them anything. They can be scheduled if they need to. You don’t have to have this back and forth of asking them when they’re free. Also, other new students who want to book a lesson or introductory call, they can do it immediately, rather than having to ask you when you’re free. We also provide video conferencing solutions that you don’t need to download anything or use another software, so your students don’t have to have a login, which a lot of them really like.
The best part yet is that you get paid. If you’re charging $100 for a 60-minute lesson where the student books, you’ll get paid immediately. This is a seamless and easy solution to use. One of the best parts is a lot of musicians or any small company or anyone in the gig economy always wants to grow and boost their presence and their branding. We can help you customize MeetFox into your own branding. We do not only say MeetFox.com, but it would also say your company and our company. It gives you a bit more brand awareness for your students. A lot of people who uses video will like that as well.
That’s cool that you include the branding. That’s going to be important to lot of people that have a studio or are teaching songwriting or whatever they’re doing that they want to have their name on the link. That’s smart. Let’s break this down. Let’s start with the scheduling side. That’s great that you have that built in. I know, for me, I have to have Acuity or Calendly. That’s how we set up this meeting. I have my scheduling link and you do that. When I want to get your information and get your photo and all the stuff that I need for this episode, I have to go to Acuity and look up the event, and then get all this stuff. It’s in a separate place. I have to go to Zoom and do this. If we were doing something that was paid, then you would have to go pay me in a different way. I love that it’s integrated there. Some musicians don’t expand their number of students because every time they do it creates so much administrative work for them. Automating this stuff is important. Do you have any sense of how much time this might save them every week by automating this step?
It’s one full working day a week. The schedule alone, just to do this back and forth of like, “When are you free?” If they are in different time zones. Statistics say that people spend just shy of five hours on that. Let’s say someone isn’t going to meet them face-to-face then you have to commute. If someone did pay you, you have to first generate the invoice then you have to chase them. That is the fun part, especially of teaching music. You want to be able to work with students, kids or adults who love what they’re doing. You want to build that relationship with them. You don’t want to have to call them and say, “You didn’t pay me.” You didn’t want to do that.
That also takes away all that time spent on administrative tasks that takes away much from growing your business. Whether it’s self-development, finding new students, being part of events and networking, whatever you want to do to grow, you have to spend a lot of time. More people spend more time, and they think on all of that. That’s where we come in and combine these different solutions into one. You’re using a different solution for schedule, a different solution for Zoom to have this, but let’s say one of the solutions doesn’t work, your whole ecosystem is broken then.
It’s not a seamless system. You have to go from one to one. You have to make sure that they’re talking to each other. I love that you said that five hours because people would give push back like, “There’s no way I’m spending that much time on that,” but you are. I did a time audit for myself, and the amount of time that I was spending on email is insane if you look at it over an entire week of the back-and-forth emails. This is an important point for people to look at and why it would be worth it. If you want these things to talk to each other and you’re using different solutions, you have to pay for each one of them. You can’t use the free version because then they don’t talk to the other things. You got to think about this as an all-in-one solution that you can use. Pay one small price to use it and it’s covering everything. Let’s talk about the conference side. How does MeetFox differ? What similar things does it have to all the platforms that we already know? Is there anything that’s different about MeetFox when it comes to the online conferencing aspect of it?
We have the same features as most of the biggest solutions such as screen-sharing, file-sharing, chats, recording. The biggest difference is that you don’t need to download anything. You don’t need to have an app. You don’t need to use it in any other software, it’s fully web-based. All your students or any of your clients, all they have to do is click a button and then it pops up right on the browser and you can start easily. It’s an easy way to get things going without having to say, “It didn’t download on this app or it didn’t download on this device.” That is the biggest difference. Also, with the brand name, you can also customize it with your logo, with a URL to change to your branding. It gives it a bit more branding awareness for your agency.
The whole downloading thing is important because some people don’t want to download stuff to their computer. Maybe they don’t even use a phone or something so they can’t use an app. Especially people that are technology challenged, they might be resistant to doing lessons this way, but if you make it easy, all you have to do is click this button and I show up on your screen, they’re all in. Is there a mobile version or do they use it through their web browser in their mobile device?
It’s mobile compatible. They don’t have to use any browser within their mobile.
It’s super easy. No extra apps or anything like that. Let’s talk about the payment side. Normally I know that musicians are using things like Square app, PayPal, or Venmo to get paid. What payment system are you using and how do they receive the money? With every lesson, do they have to then pay when they schedule, or can they be on some recurring plan?
They can invoice if they choose to. They can have their own payment method if they also choose to, but we integrate with Stripe and we’ll be integrating with PayPal. It is session-based, but we’re also building packages as well. If you sell four packages, they can do it not once and it’s recurring. A lot of our clients liked the session-based because then they’re getting paid at the time for each session. We have a lot of cool work around to help our clients, make sure that they’re using it, utilizing this to the best of their ability. People get paid right at the time of booking. The student books in an hour for $100, and then the musician or the teacher would get paid immediately at the time of booking.
That’s great because then it’s not on you if they cancel. What I hate is that when there’s people that cancel and then they pay after the lesson, then you’re not getting paid for the thing that you set aside time for. This way it’s on them. If they need to reschedule, and you do allow them to reschedule if they tell you enough in advance, it’s up to them to reschedule because you’ve got their money no matter what. It does protect the musician for sure.
We have cancellation policy similar to how the Airbnb has it. You can set your own cancellation policy based on how you work. You can either make it strict or lenient, it’s up to you. Also, everything happens automatically. It allows you to be flexible and customize MeetFox to your company.
This is like a grassroots company and here I am talking to one of the founders. If you’ve got things that you think they should have, you will be listening to your customers because this is an early-stage product. The customers will be like, “Is there any way we could do this? We might want to use it for this.” You’ll be listening to them and maybe implementing along the way.
We value customer feedback. I also personally speak to a lot of our customers. We have a huge list of what people ask for. We always note it down and we always pass it along to our CTO and our developers as well. We pride ourselves in our customer support, if they have any questions or if they don’t know something. We could work around some things that they can do that maybe they didn’t think of to be able to get the end goal that they want. We do value feedback and listen to our clients, and try to make everyone happy. We develop things quickly. We have great developers in-house that do that. We’re fortunate for that as well. We value what they say, and we do take all feedback seriously.Whatever you want to do to grow, you have to spend a lot of time. Click To Tweet
I want to let everybody know that they’ve given my audience a chance to try it for free for 60 days. Why not try this technology and see if it works for you? All you need to do is when you got to MeetFox.com, then you go and enter the promo code BREETRIAL. You can get to try it out and see if it’s going to work in your business. If they try it and they love it, how much will that be for them on a monthly basis?
We have a few different packages. If they don’t have so many lessons when they want to start off with, it’s $11 a month. If they have unlimited lessons and they’re growing and they’re moving, it’d be $29 a month.
When I think about the fact that it’s $11, that’s what you would pay just for a scheduling tool.
That’s the cost of two cups of coffee.
I have paid for a scheduling tool before and it is that much. It’s worth it when you get the payment and everything are all integrated. I love that you’ve got an entry-level version and a more upscale version for people that are running this as a full-time business. Whether you’re doing a few lessons on the side to expand your income streams, which I always recommend, or if you’re doing this as a full-time thing, this will work for you and it’s super affordable. Is there anything we haven’t covered yet about what you do for people in the gig economy?
We have a way for our customers to embed a booking button on their website. Now everything is becoming digital, and people are spending a lot of time searching online. When someone finds your profile, or any social media channel of yours, or even a website, you could have a book when you want. What that does is convert these interested people or interested prospects into paying customers at the height of their interest. Once they find your website or find your profile, if they’re interested in speaking to you, they don’t have to message you or write you a form or send you an email.
They can book something with you immediately. You can also offer introductory calls for free as well to get people going. We’ve seen a lot of success stories with clients adding it to their YouTube channel, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn if they’re using LinkedIn, and to their email. They’re getting a lot more meetings from people because it’s easy for someone to book a meeting with them then and there immediately when they’re interested in doing it, rather than taking the time and having to think about it, and then changing their mind if it wasn’t instant.
That’s smart. You don’t have to be local to have lessons with people or learn from people. How cool would it be to find someone on YouTube? Maybe you’re looking for vocal exercises. You go find somebody and you like the way they’re teaching vocal exercises, and then you can immediately book a lesson with that person. How amazing is that we live in times that you can do that?
People should take advantage of things like that. There are solutions like ours and other solutions as well to be able to enhance that experience.
What do they click on if they want to get their free trial?
Go to MeetFox.com, sign up, fill out the registration. It takes about a minute or two, your first name and last name. Once it gets to the checkout, click on “I have a voucher” add in “BREETRIAL.” It’ll instantly give you the two months free with 60 days free access.
Thank you, Tali. This has been great. I appreciate you giving us your time and explaining your awesome new platform. I know some of my students have already been trying it. People are going to love trying out this platform. I appreciate you giving them a good long time to be able to test it out to see if it’s for them.
Our goal is to help entrepreneurs to thrive. I was happy to do so. Thank you for having me. I enjoyed being here and talking with you. Hopefully, they get that chance to help some of your students.
You are welcome.
About Tali Mandelzweig
A highly driven and goal-oriented professional, who has an extensive background in account management, business development, management and consulting. I am a sales expert that makes my clients feel at ease by building trusting relationships, creating strong lines of communication, and bringing solutions to the table.
My vast and global experience has enriched me with a unique skill-set that allows me to support businesses/win new business by providing creative and strategic solutions to their needs and building strong relationships with my clients.
I am passionate about creating an inspiring work-culture in which employees are constantly motivated and empowered. I am a leader who exemplifies dedication, integrity, and hard work.
I am also a people person, which is why I highly enjoy helping people solve problems and creating new long-lasting relationships. I love mentoring others and sharing my own experiences to help others grow to become better professionals.