If you haven’t yet fulfilled your New Year’s resolutions in the first half of this year, one new site just robbed you of any excuse not to make good on them in the months ahead.
Betterfly.com wants to help you improve your life and they’ve come up with an innovative way to do so. The site, which launched last month, connects users with individuals known as "Betterists" who specialize in fields like career coaching, Web design and relationship counseling. And best of all, it does so without charging a fee to users or the experts advertised on the site.
For example, if you’re interested in voice lessons and you live in New York City, you might be matched up with a Betterist like Dawn McCoy, a singing specialist. On her page, you can find her music resume, studio locations where she teaches and information about pricing and scheduling. Yet, perhaps the most useful feature is that there are two reviews on her page from users who have actually taken one of her classes.
Betterfly is built on the premise that many consumers are more interested in the quality of the individuals providing the services than the company they may be affiliated with. Or as Joshua Schwadron, the founder of Betterfly, puts it, the key to bettering yourself is "finding the right people to help you."
Schwadron decided to create Betterfly in part because he was so dissatisfied with other popular sites like Yelp and Citisearch, which focus on providing reviews of businesses rather than people. He describes one personal experience that many can relate to, where he visited a highly rated hair salon only to end up with the worst barber in the place.
“I knew there had to be an easier and more efficient way to find people to help you learn, look and feel better and wondered why there wasn’t a resource that could match people based on specific characteristics, similar to dating Web sites,” he said. “That’s what Betterfly set out to do.”
Other sites like Craigslist and Fiverr.com also advertise individuals as opposed to companies, but as Schwadron points out, posts on these sites expire after a period of time and often get lost in the shuffle. By comparison, Betterfly essentially operates as a free search engine full of permanent listings for specialists. The site takes into account more than two dozen specific factors including price, location, skill level and the experts that friends of the user recommend in order to match that user with a specialist.
Of course, the downside of any service that connects users with individuals rather than companies is that it can be hard to tell initially how reputable those specialists are. Betterfly’s solution to this is allowing users to rate experts with whom they’ve done business, but since the site only just launched, there are relatively few ratings right now.
Check out this MainStreet piece on ways to tell if an online business is trustworthy.
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