Paperbell only came around in 2020, but the official word is that just last year (2022), the platform paid out over $5m to coaches.
However, that figure is the only flashy thing on the website’s homepage. I mean, judging by aesthetics alone, Paperbell isn’t going to win any competitions.
But here we are, and the platform is silently challenging even the popular productivity solutions coaches have used to manage their online business.
Does Paperbell really have what it takes to be your replacement for the productivity tools you have been using to manage your client interactions and other aspects of your coaching business?
Find out in this riveting review that exposes the ins and outs of the platform. I took a deep dive into the platform’s guts because, like you, I was curious to know what happens inside Paperbell’s fairyland.
Here’s everything this review covers in order of importance:
- What is Paperbell?
- How does Paperbell work?
- Paperbell features breakdown
- Paperbell pros
- Paperbell cons
- Final take
Table of Contents
What Is Paperbell?
Paperbell is a SaaS (software as a service) tool that aims to reduce the workload of coaches and content creators. The coaching platform promises to automate their business processes and client interactions.
It can be demanding to keep track of invoices, contracts, emails, and so on. Time spent on sending reminders for coaching sessions or doing some admin tasks could be better spent upgrading the quality of your products or just relaxing.
That’s when rallying productivity or automation tools can seem like the only logical way to speed up the flow, except that these, too, begin to pile up—in numbers and cost.
That’s where Paperbell comes in. It brings all the productivity and automation tools in one package. Be it appointments, logistics, payments, just name it. Paperbell positions itself as the control center from where you operate your business.
You can use Paperbell with a paid subscription or a free account. Interestingly, this free account allows you to experience all the features and benefits baked into the platform. The only limitation is that the free account can’t take more than one client.
Paperbell has been around since 2020. Its founder, Laura Roeder, is a famous entrepreneur, business coach, and co-founder of Marie Forleo B-School. Laura also has several podcasts to her credit where she shares insights from her entrepreneurship journey.
When screening a platform for first-time use, credibility usually takes the top spot. Interestingly, Paperbell is ICF certified. ICF codes for the International Coaching Federation and the certification badge are there for some extra peace of mind.
Stick around for more of everything you should know about Paperbell.
How Does Paperbell Work?
Paperbell works by taking away much of the manual work behind client management and product/service management. The cloud-based software (it does not have an app yet) helps you keep track of your sales and almost every other part of your coaching/consulting business.
You create your account with Paperbell, add your products or services to the platform, and start selling to your clients via the platform.
Every transaction occurs on the platforms via the Stripe/Paypal/credit card integration.
Your clients don’t even need to create an account with Paperbell.
When you share your Paperbell link with your clients, they only need to enter their email address, and Paperbell automatically creates a client portal for them.
From there, they can access your products and perform any other action you require.
Getting started with the platform is a simple process. It goes like this:
- Sign up with your email address and password, then select your timezone and currency
- Watch the overview video (optional)
- Create your package
- Connect to your calendar
- Add availability
- Connect payment method
There’s more to expect from Paperbell. The following section continues with the feature set.
Paperbell Features Breakdown
Paperbell has about six different features that represent the different functions that the software can take on for your coaching business. They are scheduling, payments, client management, contract signing, digital products, and group coaching.
Here’s what they are all about:
Since scheduling is how you make everything about your business (and life) run in the correct order, you can’t afford to let it slip through your fingers.
However, it does happen. You forget to send an email when it is due, a date you planned on a call gets lost, or you sit at your video call screen, and your client never shows up because you misread their timezone.
Paperbell’s scheduling tools include setting time blocks for every one of your business activities in a day.
For instance, an appointment with one of your clients from 12:30 p.m. to 13:00.
You can sync Paperbell with your Google calendar and book appointments with your clients or let them book themselves. In the latter case, you can set a time window between now and the appointments.
It’s so easy to lose track of who has paid you and who has not. You could receive a payment and forget to send an invoice. You might not even have a proper payment system set up.
Instead of having to deal with a bunch of scattered payment methods and then hunting each one for credit alerts, Paperbell gives you one payment system to rule them all.
The next thing Paperbell handles is the scheduling of your payments. You have the option to set up any billing pattern of your choosing. Whether it’s one-time payments, recurring ones, or split payments, it works on Paperbell.
For payment choices, you will want to give your clients as many as possible. Paperbell integrates with Paypal, Stripe, and most kinds of credit cards.
Paperbell contains a solution to the issue of not knowing the details of your interactions with clients. The client management feature lets you see everything about your business with a particular client via a dashboard that reveals such information as:
- Remaining sessions
- Upcoming appointments
- Private notes
- Lifetime spend
- Payment status, et cetera.
From time to time, as a coach or some other service provider, you will need to sign contracts that hold you and your clients to the legal agreements of your practice.
In Paperbell, you can let your contracts be the gateway they are supposed to be. In other words, Paperbell enables you to set up your contracts in the correct order for your scheduling and payments.
That means the end of having to remind your clients to sign your contracts after they have paid and scheduled. Now, they have to sign those contracts before they can proceed with anything.
Paperbell makes it easier on your clients, too. Gone are the days when they would have to print your contract, sign it on paper, and then scan it back to you. Everything now happens electronically.
With Paperbell’s digital products distribution and management features, it is easy to sell any:
- Webinar, et cetera.
Delivering the product to your customers or clients is automated within Paperbell.
You will be able to deliver updates to the product or segment your payment plans if you prefer that.
For those who like to release their products in periodical releases, Paperbell supports the drip content feature.
You can even set purchase limits and expiration dates for your products.
All that means you can deliver your products the way you like, anytime.
Group coaching is definitely a way to get your services to many clients at once, and with Paperbell, you gain control over all aspects of group coaching. You can, for example,
- Set up online checkout systems
- Integrate groups from other social media channels like Facebook
- Set the maximum group size
- Automate calendar events for each session
- Automate emails to each participant, et cetera
I was able to spend quality time navigating Paperbell’s website, from scrolling through the various sections of the site to creating my coaching account on the platform.
On your first visit to the website, you are greeted with a minimalist design that, in my opinion, looks drab. Needless to say, my color-loving eyes were eager to get off the homepage, but thankfully, there is a little bit of aesthetics sprinkled in other sections of the website
I didn’t experience unnecessary hiccups, and the website is both PC-friendly and mobile-friendly. But could we expect anything less? Let’s dig deeper.
Firstly, signup is in just two steps, and aside from your name, email address, country code, and password, there is… okay, that’s all.
I like how they guide you through the four stages of making your account live. The four stages are highlighted in a box on the top half of your screen, and once you’ve completed a stage, they cross it out for you.
Overall, everything is as simple as they claim to make your coaching process. No unnecessary flamboyance (but come on, that homepage could use a little decoration) or pesky pop-ups, the themes are gender-neutral, and the general layout is quite intuitive.
Paperbell Pricing – How much does it cost?
Your free plan can last indefinitely, but you are definitely not going to stop at one client for your business, so here are the pricing options.
The monthly billing costs $57, while the annual billing will set you back by $570, paid once.
There are no upsells to some higher tier. You are either on the free account or the paid subscription.
Doesn’t Skimp on Features
You could make a very long bullet list of the expected features of the average coaching service provider, and chances are, Paperbell would have almost all of them. The list of things you can do with Paperbell reads like a paper mill:
- Calendar integration that extends to your clients
- Integration with Stripe and Paypal
- Automatic time zone detection
- And the list goes on.
Paperbell also makes it easier to organize every single detail of your interaction with clients. The platform gives each client their portal from where they can log in and interact with you in private.
Your view of a client’s portal shows you the contracts, sales, sessions remaining, and any other business dealings you’ve had with that person.
One-Stop Hub For Everything
Paperbell’s core functionalities include scheduling, client CRM, and payment solutions. This saves you from the stress of taking the piecemeal approach of using separate apps for those same functions.
For one thing, using different apps for each part of your coaching service would eat more deeply into your finances. Besides, each app has a different learning process, and the time you would spend learning the ropes of each could be better spent elsewhere.
Paperbell also allows you to be highly flexible. For instance, one user reported that he could do a group coaching session and then do a 1:1 coaching session with each client immediately after with Paperbell’s flexibility features.
Stellar Customer Service
Word on the street is that Paperbell’s customer care service is one of the magical sides of the platform. While I had no cause for complaints to tender to the support team during my short affair with the platform (silent praises), I didn’t have to look far for evidence of the support team’s care.
Here are some screenshots of Paperbell/user interactions on G2, one of the world’s most trusted sources of organic reviews.
All that shows that the Paperbell team is attentive to user feedback and responsive to them.
Coaching Blog As A Bonus
While Paperbell serves as a hosting platform for coaches, it doubles up as a training site of sorts for coaches themselves.
The Paperbell blog is actually directed at coaches, whether they are business coaches, life coaches, or any other kind of coach.
You will gain practical and actionable insights on how to get started as a coach, the challenges you should expect, how to know the right fees to charge for your services, and so much more.
As a plus, the blogs are free to even free users, which takes me to my next point.
Free Trial No (Almost) Restrictions
Paperbell’s free trial perks go beyond a generous refund window and limited access to the site functionalities like you get with even some popular services out there.
The free trial pegs you to one client, after which you must upgrade to the premium annual or monthly plan as your business expands.
But the sweet thing is that you get all the functionalities of Paperbell with your trial. You can access all the scheduling, client CRM, and payment features with every other utility the platform comes with.
And it gets better. You could theoretically stay on the free plan forever—if one client is all you need for your business.
I must say, it’s a free trial/plan on steroids. With one client, you can do business with no boundaries, and then you can grow from there.
Ease of Setup
The aura of simplicity starts from the moment you land on the homepage. The whole setup process is streamlined and straightforward. You are not left to guess where to go or what to do next.
You don’t even need a demo or tutorial to get your way around. Pardon me if you’ve heard this before, but it’s intuitive. You can get on the platform after reading this and set up all your packages and landing pages without getting stuck.
Paperbell comes with many features to boot, and customizability wasn’t left behind in the packing process.
You can customize your packages as deeply as possible to showcase your brand—logo, themes, descriptions, and all yours to tinker with.
Understated User Interface
Paperbell is not just practical; it’s also beautiful in design (in its own way, that is). It’s very simple and basic, which can be deceptive for a platform loaded with features and tools.
When you’ve played around the system, you will notice that the team decided to trade aesthetics for functionality, and I mean, who’s not in for that?
The result is a clean, no-nonsense appearance that might not win any beauty contests. Still, it provides a refreshing break from our daily bombardment of colors, gifs, animations, and emojis.
And it works. Distractions are cut to the barest minimum as you focus on the life mission that took you to Paperbell in the first place.
Paperbell’s cons are few and far between, but they are there nonetheless. Here are two cons you need to be aware of, as they might be significant enough to impact your decision-making process.
No Client-sourcing Features
If you are in the market for a service hosting platform with a suite of tools for hunting for clients, well, Paperbell isn’t there yet.
There are no marketing features like ad integration or spying tools for market research. If they are already part of your business, you will need to use a separate app or platform.
At $57 monthly and $570 billed annually, Paperbell is somewhat expensive, especially if you are yet to start making good money with your coaching services.
It’s no longer hard to understand why Paperbell has grown in popularity since it was first released.
The platform took all the stressful parts of running a coaching service and gave us effective tools to automate each process so that coaches and, really, anyone who has anything to sell can have the level of insight and organization they’ve always dreamed of.
All of that comes in a streamlined package designed in a deceptively basic manner.
The result is a clean, simple, and intuitive interface that makes the learning curve of managing your coaching service almost as flat as level ground.
That means anyone can sign up with Paperbell, and in a matter of hours, they can start selling on it.
What’s your take on this Paperbell review? Does the coaching service platform have all it takes to handle the demands of your online store?