Startup Marries Tech And Fitness In Fitmoo, A Social Platform That Pays Its Users
If you're a fitness enthusiast, then finding your #fitspiration and sharing your journey is often done on various social media platforms. You pin a workout on Pinterest, retweet the new fitness gear you want on that brand's Twitter page, share your run on Facebook and post a post-workout selfie on Instagram.
But whether you want to promote yourself as an athlete or promote your small business like the local gym you own, managing all these sites can be time consuming and you don't get any monetary gain from it.
"I was looking at an industry that I cared for, that was really good to me, that wasn't necessarily being taken care of," entrepreneur, CrossFit enthusiast and triathlete Jeff Dyment says during an interview in New York City. "It didn't have the resources that it needed to really organize, socialize and monetize their great followers, fans and customers."
So Dyment founded Fitmoo, a New York City-based technology startup that is attempting to organize the fitness industry by creating an ambitious platform that integrates social media networks and uses "social distribution" to provide a brand new way to captivate fans, followers and customers.
Fitmoo is a brand-agnostic product platform that marries tech with the fitness industry, providing ambassadors, brands and businesses the human, technology and capital resources they need to increase engagement, while enabling them to use their most passionate customers to help them market themselves.
|FACT: According to the Physical Activity Council, 217 million Americans are physically active.|
Fitmoo aggregates the fitness community in a one-stop shop where users can discover new things trending in the industry. It is built on a social framework with an endorsement feature that allows all users to turn their social media following into a business, a term Dyment coins as "social distribution."
From a social and market perspective, brands, athletes, influencers, gym owners and active individuals can connect online, buy, sell, share, like, comment, and endorse to earn from socializing the things they love the most.
"The social aspect is critical for people to form large, sticky communities of fans, followers and customers across brands and across platforms because there's no ubiquitous fitness platform out there," Dyment says.
A user can share products across social network platforms and potentially make some money off of it — all with just one click. Simply click "endorse" and the product will appear in the user's Shop. If another user purchases the product, whether they see the post on Fitmoo or when shared on other social media sites like Facebook, the user will receive a 5 percent commission.
The merchants are responsible for shipping and providing a tracking number, and once the item is received or the transaction is complete, the person who referred the item will be credited their commission. That means users can make money for just sharing the products, brands, and classes they like.
There are many different features of Fitmoo since it provides both a marketplace and social hub in one place.
Here is how Fitmoo works: there are three main features of the site: Home, Shop, and Discover.
The Home screen allows users to create a post or to browse through their news feed of posts by others they follow.
|MY PROFILE: Access, view and edit My Feed, My Calendar, My Store, My Gallery, My Workouts, My Nutrition, and About Me in the MY PROFILE section.|
Because Fitmoo is integrated with other social networks, a user can post a status update, photo, video or workout, or endorse a product and share it directly to Facebook or Twitter. Users can also share posts from other users, communities, other social networks or email. For example, a post that originated on Instagram can be shared on Fitmoo, then another user can share it to their profile or to Facebook. If someone were to click on the post, the person would be redirected to Fitmoo.
Among the profiles users can see are Fitmoo ambassadors like elite CrossFit athlete Noah Ohlsen, CrossFit competitor and fitness model Christmas Abbott, three-time Ironman champion Chris Lieto and professional athlete Damien LeRoy. Users can see see every aspect of their fitness life, from what they are wearing to what classes they are attending and their workouts and diets, allowing them to connect with fans in a unique way.
Say you are an amateur athlete with a large Instagram following. Posting a video of your workout will gain you likes, but on Fitmoo your likes can turn into dollar signs thanks to the endorse and seller features. Ambassadors can also post exclusive content, to further engage their fans. "Try putting exclusive content on YouTube today and get paid for it," Dyment says. "It's not going to happen."
For Rob Orlando, owner of Connecticut CrossFit gym Hybrid Athletics, Fitmoo allows him to make social connections with members of his gym and beyond. "On Facebook, it is increasingly difficult for people to access my posts. On Fitmoo I have direct access to the people who follow me, they can find all of my workouts in one place, view my nutrition information in one place," says Orlando, who placed 15th in the world at the 2010 CrossFit Games. "One of the big problems that Fitmoo solves for athletes and social influencers is that while it's nice to have an audience of hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of followers, it's virtually impossible to monetize it. Fitmoo allows a person to generate buzz and generate cash flow from the following that they've worked hard to create."
Orlando noted that it is hard for CrossFit athletes to make money outside of sponsorships, so Fitmoo helps these people support their sponsors and gym while adding additional revenue. "When you add the e-commerce side of it, my followers can not only see the gear and what I eat, but also they can purchase that gear or nutrition products. And there's the commission potential from that sale. That's powerful stuff — even if you have a small social following."
The Fit Store is where everything from gear like apparel or nutritional products and services like gym memberships is located. Users can shop by product, service, membership and price range. The shopping cart is unique because users can check out multiple items from various vendors all in one place.
Users who endorse products will see them listed in My Store, located in their profiles, where they have the ability to buy the item for themselves or share the post across social networks for a chance to receive commission on that item.
Besides endorsing items, users can also apply to become a seller. Once approved by the Fitmoo team, merchants can list products for free, set their prices and shipping rates, and upload up to 1,000 products at a time. Up until now, brands and companies could only sell their products or services through their websites. Fitmoo now allows them to have multiple virtual stores to increase sales, being the visibility tool to help smaller brands and business compete for attention against larger fitness companies.
|FACT: $105 billion is spent annually on fitness in the U.S.|
"For small brands it [Fitmoo] allows them to create really an activated customer base that can then effectively market and evangelize this particular niche product or ambassador that they love, and effectively expand their business visibility throughout the world," Dyment says.
An earnings dashboard allows sellers to see how much they have made and allows users to redeem their money without any fees directly to their bank accounts.
Fitmoo already has 200 brands on board to sell through Fitmoo including: Kill Cliff, Crossover Symmetry, Laran Jane, Red Line, Fuel for Fire and Nutriforce Sports, just to name a few.
The Discover tab of the site allows users to find new communities, people, and classes or events.
"On Fitmoo, I can create community, develop stronger relationships with people and we can challenge and motivate one another — and track that all in one place," Orlando says. "In fitness, communities are very central. People crave community for inspiration and accountability."
Click on Communities to find all communities, which currently number more than 14,000, as well as those suggested for you, along with trending communities. Users can start their own community or search for one by keyword, location or community type.
Discovering new People works similarily, with over 6,500 users currently on the site since it's been in beta for four months. The same applies to discovering new Classes or Events — a feature that is integrated with Google Calendar.
Fitmoo aims to reach 1 million active users by the end of the year and have 500 brands on board.
We can sum the site up by looking at its creative logo, a ying-yang symbol to represent the coming together of friends and active lifestyles. And leave it to Dyment to add in an extra cool factor on the logo. The sci-fi fan and Trekkie made sure to include the Star Trek badge that is tilted up to the right.