When Fiona McKenzie was struggling to find a good way to stream her dance fitness classes during the pandemic, she decided to take matters into her own hands. With a background in IT and a web developer for a husband, Fiona set about creating her own streaming platform, designed specifically for fitness professionals. This “little Aussie start-up” has been gaining rave reviews from its users and is helping fitness businesses of all sizes improve their offerings to clients and grow their revenue.
What is My Fit Pro?
My Fit Pro is a platform for fitness businesses to live stream their own classes in high definition to their own customers from anywhere in the world. The software has been a resounding success, with around 97% of its customers based in the US, and provides a better live streaming platform for fitness businesses of all sizes, from individuals to clubs with a full group exercise timetable. My Fit Pro saved over 480 businesses from closing down during the global pandemic and the majority of those businesses have continued to live stream via the platform, offering their members the flexibility of attending a class in person or being able to join in remotely.
Fiona McKenzie and Alex McKenzie, founders of My Fit Pro
The problems fitness professionals face with live streaming platforms:
Like most fitness instructors, Fiona was thrust into the world of live streaming all of a sudden when Australian lockdown restrictions were put in place. “My dance fitness business had to close and I lost all of that income, but for my customers, I knew having that hour of scheduled fun was just as important for their mental health as their physical health, so straight away I tried to find a solution to bring back my income and be of service to my customers,” said Fiona.
She soon realised that none of the usual live streaming platforms met her requirements, and through contact with hundreds of industry colleagues around the world, it was clear that they were all struggling with the same issues. The free platforms had poor audio or video quality – some couldn’t even synchronise the audio and video, which was critical for teaching a music-based exercise class. The other issue was that free platforms didn’t allow copyrighted music, which was a huge problem when you’re paying for a license to use copyright music, but the platform mutes your audio, cuts off the class mid-way through, or bans you completely! While these platforms were suitable enough for some industries to keep operating remotely, they were completely unsuitable for group exercise.
Fiona found that there were paid platforms available that did meet the technical requirements she needed, but they were extremely expensive and required an up-front payment for 12 months, which was a big pill to swallow when no one knew if they would make it through the next month of running a business during the pandemic, let alone a whole year. The battle with trying to deliver classes on substandard platforms was stressful, taking the fun out of teaching, and resulting in lost customers.
A better live streaming platform for fitness businesses
Tapping into their expertise in the IT space, Fiona and her husband, Alex, created My Fit Pro, a live streaming platform specifically designed for fitness businesses. As the pandemic shifts into the rear view mirror, it has left a lasting impression on the industry, and fitness class members expect digital options and the flexibility to choose between attending an in-person class, or being able to join online. My Fit Pro is being used to help fitness business owners grow their businesses through live streaming, whether that’s 100% online or a hybrid version of in-person and pre-recorded classes. With My Fit Pro, classes are no longer limited by the physical space in a facility, so even when a class is full, there’s no limit to the number of people who can attend.
“We’re also helping to make live fitness classes more accessible to people all over the world,” says Fiona. “Some of them don’t live near a fitness class, so live streaming is their only option if they want to experience the excitement of a live class. For others, life gets int he way and they can’t make it to a fitness studio. Many are busy working or juggling multiple responsibilities, so taking time out for an exercise class can be neglected. By being able to live stream, they can still attend a class even when they can’t make it into the studio on time. They can continue to work out whether they’re home with sick kids or travelling for work. Many of our USA customers were able to live stream their regular timetable during snow storms when the roads were closed.”
How has My Fit Pro been received by customers?
We asked Fiona about the rollout process and how they started off launching My Fit Pro into the world… “We originally started with just one colleague from the dance fitness community, who was extremely stressed like I was. She loved our platform and encouraged us to share it with everyone! So we did – I started with an online meeting where I invited a couple of dozen dance fitness instructors, and they were all so supportive and keen to jump on board. Within a few weeks we had over 100 paying customers, with another hundred on a waitlist. We couldn’t keep up with the demand! We had to bring on board an additional developer, and also a support person in the USA to help with enquiries while we were asleep, as the majority of our customers are actually in the USA.”
Fiona shared a story about one of her Californian customers, Nisa. Prior to the pandemic, Nisa ran an in-person only dance fitness class that could fit a couple of dozen people. When she went into lockdown, Nisa started using My Fit Pro to live stream her classes but realised this was an opportunity to start marketing her classes outside of her local area. Nisa has now returned to teaching in-person classes but continues to live stream. She always has at least double the number of members joining via live stream versus in person, and it’s not unusual for Nisa to have over 100 members joining her classes! Finding a venue that could hold 100 people in her area would be nearly impossible and would cost a small fortune to rent, and for Nisa, just one online member is enough to pay for her monthly My Fit Pro subscription, so it’s extremely profitable for her!
There are some great video testimonials on the My Fit Pro website.
The benefit of live streaming exercise classes
The post-pandemic world has changed consumer expectations. People now want to have access to more online and expect more flexibility from employers, educators, and fitness professionals. As with all technological change, we can either ride the wave or get left behind and live streaming is one area where fitness professionals can embrace the change and use it to their advantage.
Traditionally, income for a group exercise instructor was limited by how many people they could fit into a class, multiplied by how many classes they could teach per week. By offering a live streamed option, there’s no limit to how many extra sales can be made by selling online attendance. “Some of our customers are selling three times more online passes than their in-person studio can hold! Some are 100% online with no in-person option, giving them the flexibility to travel and teach from anywhere. My Fit Pro makes live streaming so simple – all you need is your phone and a tripod and you’re ready to go.” says Fiona.
“From a business perspective, it’s a no-brainer. Usually, the revenue from one customer is enough to pay for the monthly subscription, so any online sales on top of that is profit. It’s also a great value-add for your existing customers and offers them the flexibility to join your class in-person or online depending on their changing circumstances. This also helps with retention, and I’ve certainly seen that with my own business and customers who moved further away, or change jobs and can’t make it to my class on time, or have young kids who they need to stay home with sometimes.”
My Fit Pro is available for all sizes of businesses, from a single class per week to a large-scale gym with dozens of classes on offer. For more information on pricing or to book a demonstration or a free trial, visit the My Fit Pro website.
If you’d like to hear more about My Fit Pro, check out Fiona’s recent interview on the GROUPEX podcast.
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