amSTATZ aspires to be the “LinkedIn for Fitness”

The Chicago based
startup not only helps you locate and book personal trainers in your
neighborhood, it’s also a platform where trainers and small gym owners can
create and promote their own brand.

 Mission

 Michael Piermont, the CEO of amSTATZ wants to eliminate the
barriers between people who want to get fit and the professionals who can get
them there. The 28-year-old fitness fanatic hopes the startup he co-founded
last year will solve the inefficiencies in connecting people to
the fitness professionals they’re looking for. The company’s tagline is “Technology
for the business of fitness.”

By using the amSTATZ website, users can search for a local
gyms, personal trainers and yoga instructors all within their area. Piermont
likes to call amSTATZ the “LinkedIn for fitness,” since it is where trainers
can present their professional selves, but it’s probably closer to ZocDoc, the
New York-based startup which allows you to search for and book appointments
with doctors in your area. The site launched in April this year after raising
$415,000 in its angel funding round and it currently has over 680 users, a
quarter of which are trainers.

Piermont is no stranger to athletics, he got his start working as a ball boy in the NBA, including stints with the Indiana Pacers, the New Jersey Nets and the Chicago Bulls. He had worked with personal trainers before but found it hard to stay committed to the workout program or monitor his progress. That’s where he saw an opportunity to provide a solution. 

Marketing/Communications

Although clients looking for trainers can use the site for
free, fitness professionals pay a monthly subscription fee to list their
services on the site. They can customize their own personal profile page, put up
pictures and list their certifications and training specialties. Much like Yelp
or GrubHub, clients can write testimonials and provide ratings for them. The
site allows trainers to book appointments, personalize workout plans and manage
payments with clients. “Trainers are really, really good at connecting with
their clients, they’re engaging and articulate, but they’re not always great at
keeping track of the business side of things,” says Piermont. “They can use our
services to efficiently run their business.”

 In addition, users
can monitor their stats after each workout and over a period of time, along
with feedback from the trainer, something Piermont believes is crucial in
providing real value to the customer and having them return. It’s also the
basis of the company name, as amSTATZ stands for “amateur statistics.” 

At its core, amSTATZ is first a service for personal trainers and other fitness professionals who aren’t always affiliated with large gyms and often can’t reach a wide client base. “We’re finding that being able to have your own brand is so important for fitness professionals, since they don’t always have storefronts or advertising,” says Piermont. “We provide them with a way to create their own brand or micro-brand using our service.”

Since it needs both fitness professionals to list on the site and customers to use the service, amSTATZ is in the unique position of being a “B2B2C” company. This has proved to be a marketing challenge for the company as it tries to attract two different groups of users. “From a brand standpoint, we’re focused on reaching fitness professionals first,” says Bill Colbert, amSTATZ’s director of marketing. “We’ll slowly cater more towards consumers by developing more content. 

The company employs a team of writers and experts who produce articles about health, fitness and the latest trends and techniques.  “For brands, it is no longer about what you sell, the core product itself isn’t enough to generate differentiation,” says Colbert. “You have to continually provide additional, engaging content.” This also helps 

amSTATZ place higher in search engine results for fitness, health and related subject searches.

 

Future plans

Although the site officially launched in April, it’s already
experiencing 74% month-to-month growth in adding trainers and is projected to
do about $355,000 in revenue this year. The startup plans to hold another
funding round in October this year. Going ahead, the strategy will include
signing up bigger enterprise clients such as universities or sports facilities
that will list their entire fitness staff on the site. Piermont also hopes to
have more visible fitness personalities affiliated with amSTATZ such as Indiana
Pacers strength coach Shawn Windle, who currently serves as an advisor to the
company. “He’s someone who can attract both types of users since he’s a fellow
fitness professional, but consumers can also relate to him because he comes
from pro sports.”

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