FITWIN is a social community for like-minded individuals to share pictures and stories about their everyday healthy successes for the purpose of education and promotion of healthy living. Services also include personalized health coaching, during which FITWIN’s certified coaches provide motivation, inspiration, and education to help our clients achieve their health goals. Below is our interview with Raye Ackerman, an entrepreneur, the CEO and founder of FITWIN.com, ITS-Dispatch, Blue Collar Software and The Foundation for Student Achievement Canada.
Q: What’s FITWIN’s story? How did FITWIN start?
A: Seeing a picture of myself from a family vacation scared the hell out of me and I knew I had to make a lifestyle change. Through support from family and coaching, I eventually lost over 60 pounds. Experiencing success, I wanted to share my personal struggles and successes of my journey but had a hard time finding a platform dedicated to doing so. The only available platforms were social pages such as Facebook, but they were not specific to fitness and weight loss. FITWIN will now fill that void to help people share their fitness journey so others can relate and be inspired.
Today FITWIN.com features free Fitness, Nutrition and Wellness Challenges to encourage people to begin their FITWIN journey through the power of group encouragement. Wellness Challenges provide accountability and support as a group bands together to reach a common goal.
Q: What kinds of feedback are you getting from users?
A: Users love the free services and access to the database of before and after success stories. We also hear positive comments regarding our coaching services. Users have found a lot of success and value working with a FITWIN certified health coach. They’re able to achieve their fitness, nutrition, and wellness success for under $2 a day.
Q: What makes FITWIN a good choice?
A: FITWIN is unique that it offers a large database of before and after profiles and pictures of fitness and health success stories. Users who have not quite reached their ideal health goals (we call them FITWANTS) can search thousands of FITWIN profiles for inspiration. The search criteria are very robust, so a user can search profiles by how much weight was lost, or type of fitness activity engaged in to achieve their FITWIN success, just to name a couple. FITWANTS are often inspired to begin or continue their own journey to wellness, eventually becoming FITWINS. The combination of our social media site, before and after database, the depth and breadth of our fitness, nutrition, and wellness blogs, our free challenges, plus our extremely affordable and effective coaching service make FITWIN.com the one-stop shop on the web for health and fitness motivation and inspiration.
Q: What can we expect from FITWIN in the future?
A: We are about to release FITWIN 2.0, a cross-platform application for desktop and mobile that enables all users to more easily engage with our services. FITWIN 2.0 will help the mobile user experience by making features such as messaging, calendars, coach accountability check-ins, community newsfeed, and search easier to navigate through mobile devices.
Challenges will also be getting an upgrade by gamifying the experience. Users will have mobile pop-up reminders to make sure that their daily tasks are completed, giving the user accountability and motivation. They will also accrue badges by completing challenges, and can compete with other users throughout each challenge.
Q: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned since founding your startup?
A: We have found a lot of value in remaining flexible and nimble in all our processes. There has been a lot of work put into figuring out what our users need and want to engage with most, and being willing to pivot and change paths quickly in response to data has allowed us to continue to grow and provide the best services to our user’s month over month since we launched the site.Activate Social Media: