When it comes to personal training older clients, you need to think carefully about your approach. Active aging populations have distinct fitness needs and training requirements, so it’s important to tailor your offering accordingly. You’ll also need to consider how you find senior clients and appeal to them through your marketing.
In this article – we explain how to work with older adults as a personal trainer or fitness coach.
How To Train Older Adults
Older adults are a relatively untapped market for the fitness industry. More and more seniors are looking to age well by staying active, maintaining their strength and as a result, their independence. But training older clients requires specialist knowledge and a tailored approach.
Not yet qualified to coach older adults? The Senior Fitness Specialist Program from ACE Fitness will teach you everything you need to know (we might get a small referral commission if you click our links but there’s no extra cost to you).
Specialist training will enable you to…
- Understand the unique psychological and physiological needs of senior clients
- Design programs that suit their personality, needs, goals, and physical activity experience
- Modify movements for senior clients so you always know which exercise to prescribe
- Develop programs that address cognitive decline through dementia or Alzheimer’s disease
- Partner with other health professionals to support a senior client’s physical and cognitive health
Working with a niche segment of clients allows you to become an expert in your field and makes it easier to secure repeat customers. Learn more about getting qualified here.
Attracting Older Clients
If you’re interested in personal training older clients, then you’ll need to know how to attract them in the first place. Where should you advertise? What messages should you focus on?
Targeting a niche audience like seniors requires a different approach to other segments. This is one of the topics we cover in our ebook and comprehensive online program – How To Sell Personal Training. So we thought we’d share some of the key aspects that we teach in relation to targeting clients.
The first step is to identify your ideal client. In this case, you know the age group, but that’s not enough to develop appealing marketing.
You need to dive a bit deeper, to understand their demographics, headspace, and hangouts. If you can pin down these 3 areas, then you’ll be able to create really effective marketing that appeals directly to their needs.
Let’s look at an example of what your ideal ‘active aging’ client could look like…
Demographics are a traditional way of segmenting people by gender, age, education level, income, and family situation. Rather than simply saying that you want to target ‘older adults’, it’s better to be specific and target males aged 60-80 years old.
Rather than targeting everyone in this group, you’ll probably want to narrow it down further. Ideally, they’d have a retirement income of at least $30,000, so that they can comfortably pay for training.
Does your ideal client have a partner, kids, and grandkids? If so, there are several messages that might be effective in your marketing materials and sales pitch.
You could talk about family, and how your services will give him the energy and strength to run around in the garden. Or play sports and continue to live an active life with their kids and grandkids.
The next thing to think about is your ideal client’s headspace. What are they thinking? What drives them, or holds them back?
If we were to pick a stereotype then we might say that he’s interested in gardening and golf. So perhaps he gets lower back pain from prolonged periods of bending over in the garden. In this case you could tailor your messaging to talk about how your training strengthens that particular area of the body, so he’ll experience less discomfort.
Of course, it’s important to align your offering with your client’s goals and challenges. He may be concerned with maintaining fitness, flexibility, or balance in order to avoid falls. He may value feeling young at heart, but be worried that his body will let him down, or slow him down. So these are points that you can reference to show you understand what his needs are.
It’s also worth thinking about what your clients’ objections are likely to be. Price is likely to crop up, so it’ll be really important to educate him on the value during your pitch (so he believes that the price is worth it).
This is the final piece of the puzzle. Understanding where your ideal client hangs out will influence which marketing channels you use. So where would the client hang out in this specific example?
Well, it’s quite likely that he prefers to hangout out in person rather than online (although you shouldn’t discount online entirely). He may like spending time at a nearby café or be a member of a local bridge club.
Older adults also tend to favour Facebook over other social platforms, so it could be worth focusing some advertising there to attract this type of client. You could think about writing articles in golf or gardening magazines, to appeal to this specific client type.
Personal Training Older Clients – Marketing To Active Aging Segments
If you’d like to learn more about how to identify and target your ideal client, then check out our online course on How To Sell Personal Training. It’ll teach you the exact steps to finding profitable, long-term clients (minus the old-school, sleazy sales tactics).