Entrepreneur: Madison Page
Biz: Core to Coeur
Tilt: Digital teaching studio for movement teachers and students
Our Favorite Actionable Advice
- Get creative: Maddy didn’t set out to become an online entrepreneur. It happened because she wanted more control of her pilates teaching environment.
- Think beta: Conduct a pilot program or test your idea before going full throttle into the business.
- Build it: Create your own platform so you don’t have to rely on social media as anything more than a marketing tool.
Madison Page had a vision for teaching virtually well before it was a necessity. A long-time pilates instructor turned content entrepreneur, Maddy created a space to teach online for herself and other movement teachers.
Maddy was a successful Pilates instructor in Los Angeles, but it just wasn’t working for her. “I was just totally burnt out. I was driving everywhere, and there are cancellations and these real deep interpersonal experiences with my students that I’m not really qualified for honestly,” she remembers. “People were telling you about their bodies as going through these huge life changes, so I had this horrible mix of burnout and then also this intensity of emotion that was coming towards me. I was like, ‘Dang, I cannot deal with this anymore,’ so I went up to Portland.”
Venturing online to teach (pre-pandemic)
Moving to Portland in 2015 hurt her teaching income. Ever creative and resourceful, Maddy noticed many of her fellow pilates teachers offered private lessons and classes on Skype and Zoom. “Well, I can do that,” she thought. So she did.
“I had like five students and I was making money on my own. I had control over my schedule,” she says. However, there are only so many private classes one person can teach. And she still needed to add students and teach them in a convenient way.
Surrounded by friends who are entrepreneurs, Maddy began to dream of a solution. In 2019, Core to Coeur was born.
Core to Coeur is a platform for movement professionals to teach private and group classes. She started with herself and 15 teachers and now has an extensive list of teachers who conduct over 700 classes a week through the site.
Students can purchase monthly credit subscriptions, ranging from $50/month for 10 credits (three to four group classes) to $436.50 for 90 credits (30 group classes or seven to eight private classes.)
Becoming a startup
While Maddy is sharing her story on The Tilt, she also took the time to write a six-part series on her Core to Coeur Medium channel on how it got started, how far it’s come, and where it’s going.
As she explains in the series, before launching, Maddy got into a startup accelerator program. “In startups, you’re taught that the best marker that the founder is onto something special is what’s called traction.
“With zero dollars spent, I sent an email out to my friends and colleagues explaining that I needed a beta test with research participants to get feedback, learn about our customers, and understand what we should be building.
“We had 23 participants, and afterward, 12 converted into paying customers, and 10 are still on the platform today. Traction was on the horizon.”
The beta test surveyed price points, interest in ongoing classes, the amount of money they were willing to spend on fitness, and ideas for the brand name.
Eventually, Core to Coeur was born. As Maddy explained: “The center of myself meets the heart of my students, and vice versa. You can’t have one without the other.”
Repurpose to make most of your content
What drives Core to Coeur is Maddy’s comprehensive content creation methodology. As a busy instructor, who is creating space for other instructors, Maddy knows quality content creation that drives results is key.
How does she do it? She maximizes one piece of content across all of her channels, not in a repetitive way but custom to each platform.
For example, she published a blog piece from her student Whitney – Community is the Reason I Core to Coeur. Whitney details her week of workouts on the platform. Each referenced teacher’s digital studio is linked in the text, helping readers to find the instructors Whitney adores.
Maddy used that blog content to create posts for Instagram and Twitter. On both platforms, she utilizes strategic hashtags and tagging to increase their visibility. The tagged instructors reshare the piece, furthering the reach to their audiences. It’s the same story but presented differently to different audiences.
“It’s a lot of time, but it’s a very effective use of our time and our money. Those tentacles reach far beyond just that one post,” Maddy says. “Tying that one post to a blog article to an email campaign to posting it in our community forum is the most effective. It’s really about how to connect to people authentically, to keep them engaged with the brand, but then also have real clear paths to open up the funnel to more people.”
She doesn’t limit repurposing to blog articles. Guests on the Stretched podcast she co-hosts with Liz Getman are featured in her newsletter, The Forward Fold, and are the subject of her Instagram posts. Her YouTube tutorials about how to get started on Core to Coeur are shared in her community forum, the newsletter, and on her personal social media.
Advice for newbie content entrepreneurs
Maddy has learned some hard lessons from her nascency in virtual online teaching to the launch and operation of Core to Coeur. Her best advice? Start slowly.
“You’re gonna have to do a lot of things for free. And that’s a barrier,” she says. That’s one reason she continues to keep teaching while creating content and building Core to Coeur.
“If you think you should be getting paid more for your time, you might want to test your assumptions. Because chances are, if you’re a content entrepreneur, you’re doing things that you don’t know how to do every single day. And if you are not good at it yet, people might not pay for it yet, and that’s OK.”
Check out her business
About the author
Kimmy Gustafson is a freelance writer with a passion for sharing stories of bravery. Her love for world traveling began when her family moved to Spain when she was 6 and since then, she has lived overseas extensively, visited six continents, and traveled to over 26 countries. She is fluent in Spanish and conversational in French. Currently, she is based on Maui and, when not writing or parenting, she can be found kiteboarding, hiking, or cooking.