TWO Brisbane friends have muscled in on the rise of online fitness programs after building an 'insta-business' off the back of hashtag on social media.
Aaron McAllister and Georgio Batsinilas enjoyed successful careers in Thai boxing and international soccer respectively, before returning to the city and becoming qualified personal trainers.
McAllister established a corporate fitness centre where Batsinilas trained clients. After recognising the industry was evolving, the pair decided to take the business to a bigger market in 2014.
They invested $10,000 into research and web development to create an online nutrition and exercise program.
FitazFK, or Fitaz Functional Kinetics, offers easy-to-understand tips, food planner and daily 28-minute exercise routines to kick-start a healthier lifestyle in 28 days.
During the pilot program, the business partners created an Instagram account to track progress and the hashtag #FitazFK began trending.
A teaser post about the program attracted 12,000 followers registering their interest, and FitazFK was launched.
Batsinilas says he was leaving to go on holiday when McAllister called to inform him of the overwhelming response online.
"We released the program and that was the pivotal moment when FitazFK was really born," Batsinilas says.
"I was away and out of phone coverage, but Aaron sat and watched as 285 programs sold in the first hour, 1000 sold in the first five days and within the first six months' sales have now exceeded 7000."
FitazFK has since gained 119,000 followers and has turned over $266,000 during the first six months of trading.
The boys plan to launch a seven-week version of the guide early this year and, based on pre-registration sales of the new program, revenue is expected to tip the $1 million mark in its first year.
McAllister says their passion for the health and fitness industry combined with the power of social media has snared a wide range of clients.
"The truth is everyone wants to look good and feel good and sometimes eating well and sporadic exercise is just not enough," McAllister says.
"We promote a healthy and balanced lifestyle and not a quick fix for losing weight quickly.
"We also wanted to create something people around the world could fit in easily with their busy lives and that people of all ages, fitness levels and backgrounds could do."
He says 42 per cent of sales are within Australia, while the US accounts for 30 per cent.
McAllister and Batsinilas plan to develop a FitazFK app this year, as well as launch a nutritional cook book with recipes to match the food planner.
Image: FitazFK founders Aaron McAllister and Georgio Batsinilas.
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