The health and fitness industry is one of the largest industries in the world. With over 80,000 gyms and studios in the U.S. alone, a couple hundred thousand licensed fitness instructors and an estimated 350,000 fitness classes taking place every day, as a gym owner it can feel impossible to stand out from the rest.
Jeff Dyment is trying to help with that struggle. As an amateur athlete himself, Dyment wanted to create a place where those involved in health and fitness could connect. In early 2013, Dyment founded Fitmoo, Inc., the first agnostic technology platform for the fitness industry.
Upon joining Fitmoo, users can share their active lifestyle experience, connect with others in the industry, create communities and buy or sell products, memberships and even classes.
“I felt there needed to be a place that was a central point of communication where people could find things, they could form their own groups and they could get to know one another,” said Dyment. “I see this as the starting point for anyone interested in fitness, health and wellness. It is a place to discover cool people, great gyms, awesome instructors and cool products to buy or represent.”
The website hosts many features that are unparalleled with any other social platform, such as places to post workouts, photos, recipes, share your social calendar and even shop for or endorse various health and fitness products.
Fitmoo is not only fun and engaging for individuals, but Dyment also established it as a place where gyms could find and connect with new and existing members.
When creating Fitmoo, Dyment examined the common problems gyms faced. He found turnover, retention, unfilled classes and recruitment of new members were some of the biggest issues.
Currently the website features 14,000 gyms, most of them CrossFit boxes, but according to Dyment, they will be pre-loading around 50,000 to 60,000 regular gyms. But before then Dyment encourages gyms to login and create their own profile.
Fitmoo is the perfect way to gain exposure and recruit new members. “We built this around the gyms because we allow them to market themselves, their memberships, services and events,” explained Dyment.
In their profile, gyms can load photos, class schedules, share what is happening at the club and engage with members. From the class schedule, users can also RSVP to any class and then socialize it on their Fitmoo profile or on Facebook. “So not only has the gym received a notification that the user is going to the class (you pay at the door or on Fitmoo) but users can also share the class with their friends inside and outside of Fitmoo,” he added.
Once shared on Facebook, other friends can click into that post and they are directed back to that class on Fitmoo. As a new user they can then sign up for the class as well.
“I see this as a place where gyms can gain organic visibility,” said Dyment. “Everyone is selling something, whether it is services or memberships. It is a way of helping people to monetize their networks of fans, followers and customers and turn them into their most activated sales people”
Not only does Fitmoo support exposure, the platform can also help with retention. Once a gym creates their own profile, members have the ability to connect with one another, which helps to build a strong community within the club.
“Members can like posts, instructors can post about classes, members can post feedback and everyone gets to know one another this way,” said Dyment. “Members can check out each other’s profiles, so when they walk into the gym they really have those relationships. They form an interpersonal relationship with not only the gym, but with other members. Our hope is that it ultimately results in stickier communities. We want this to be a technology that brings people together.”
Fitmoo is only in the beginning stages. Dyment stresses since the industry is so large, it will take some time for the platform to fully develop, but the end objective is to have over 20 million people connecting via Fitmoo.
“We want to form the largest fitness community in the world,” explained Dyment. “It is all about relationship building. Connecting that running group in Chicago with the running group in South Africa and allowing them to share ideas and inspire each other. I really want people to make those connections and build those relationships.”
By Emily Harbourne