Personal Training for Older Adults: Marketing Strategies and Retention Tips

According to the Personal Trainer Development Center, senior citizens are among the fastest-growing demographic of personal training clients. This demographic is well educated, affluent, and increasingly looking for personal trainers who can effectively and safely improve their fitness and health. Simply put, personal training older clients can help your fitness business to thrive.

However, most of the conventional personal training marketing messages and methods that may be effective with the younger generation may not work with seniors. Unlike younger adults, it will take more effort and time to convince active agers to join your fitness program. But once they join your personal training programs, they can be one of the most loyal personal training clients.

In this article, we will explore the importance of marketing your fitness business to seniors, how to market to senior citizens, as well as how to retain older personal training clients.

Woman doing leg presses.

1. The Importance of Marketing Your Fitness Business to Seniors

Seniors refer to the demographic of people from 50 and above. Unfortunately, most personal trainers overlook this demographic, assuming they don’t want to be active. But this is not the reality. Lots of seniors want to be active and maintain healthy lifestyles.

So, if you have not been marketing your personal training services to this demographic, you could be missing out on a steady source of revenue for your fitness facility or club. If you are still not convinced, here are some more reasons why you should be marketing personal training services to senior citizens.

1.1 Seniors are More Committed

People over 50 understand the great benefits of regular exercise. Also, they exercise regularly to manage or reduce chronic pain, reduce the risks of falls and injuries, improve sleep quality, and reduce muscle atrophy.

Hence, unlike younger people, their motivation to exercise regularly goes beyond aesthetics. As you may expect, seniors will be more committed to working out regularly compared to younger people. Consequently, you can expect them to continue renewing their gym memberships.

1.2 They Have the Money to Spend on Fitness

According to Market Watch, seniors contributed to approximately 40% of the U.S economy’s GDP in 2018. And this number is gradually growing, as more people join this demographic.

And with great retirement benefits, mortgages paid off, no dependents to drain their finances and with homes that have acquired considerable value, seniors have money to spend on things they care about. And this includes their health and well-being.

So, if your personal training marketing strategies have been solely focused on young people, it’s time to re-strategize and start marketing to older adults too.

1.3 More Publicity for Your Gym

As much as you will be holding most of your personal training for seniors inside your gym, they also provide an opportunity for your fitness center to become more visible in your local community.

For instance, you can provide on-site fitness programs in a nearby assisted-living facility. And while you may offer these services for free or at a heavily discounted price, the event will be a source of good publicity for your fitness center.

And with good publicity, there’s a high chance your gym will attract even more clients, who may have never heard about your services before that event.

1.4 Seniors are a Rapidly Growing Market

According to the United States Census Bureau, approximately 115 million Americans were 50 and older in 2019, representing at least a third of the population.

Over the next 10 years, this demographic is expected to reach around 132 million, according to a report published by the AARP. And this translates to more spending power for this age group.

In contrast, there are approximately 45 million people between the age of 20 and 30, which is usually the main target group for most fitness centers. At the same time, this number is expected to remain stable over the next couple of years.

Hence, focusing your personal training advertising strategies on people over 50 offers your personal training business a huge market, not only today but in the years to come. Simply, this age demographic provides a huge earning potential today, and the future is also promising.

1.5 Higher Retention Rate

Older adults usually face social isolation as the years go by. Hence, it becomes increasingly important for people within this demographic to maintain social connections.

The problem is, it’s not always easy for them to find suitable activities for their age, which can help them to maintain social connections.

And this is where fitness centers come in. By providing a place for seniors to stay fit, socialize, interact and integrate into the community, you can help to minimize the social isolation they usually face.

You can also engage them in activities like group workout sessions or social support. And by having a thriving senior community in your fitness center, you can rest assured the retention rates will be higher.

2. How to Market to Senior Citizens

As earlier mentioned, the personal training advertising strategies you will use with younger people may not work with older adults. So, how do you convince this demographic to join your fitness center? Here are some tips on how to market to seniors.

2.1 Define Your Target Audience

The demographic for older adults is quite diverse. Hence, when you create your personal training advertising campaigns for seniors, you should not target them as one large group.

Instead, you need to clearly define your target group within this demographic. For instance, you can opt to target men or women, diseased or healthy, fit or frail, retired or still working.

You also need to go a step further and narrow down your target client to their marital status, economic status, hobbies and interests, the charities they support and where they live.

Narrowing down to the type of older adult that you intend to target will help you to specifically come up with personal training ads that effectively speak to them.

2.2 Establish Yourself as a Fitness Expert

Older adults tend to respect those who have specialized in their areas of expertise. Hence, by positioning yourself as a fitness expert, you will become their go-to person on matters related to fitness. And this presents more opportunities for you to convince them to join your gym.

So, how can you establish yourself as a fitness expert? Well, you can do so by publishing fitness books, writing fitness articles, giving presentations at fitness events, or even appearing in local news.

2.3 Focus on Selling them What they Want

Older adults join fitness centers to improve their overall health and fitness so that they can continue enjoying life. And while they may want to lose some weight, attaining the physique of a 20-something year model is not what they are after.

Therefore, whenever you are designing your personal trainer ads, you should focus on addressing the key health and fitness challenges this demographic is facing. By using this approach, you will find it easier to convince them to join your gym or personal training program.

3. How to Retain Older Personal Training Clients

By following the above personal training marketing and advertising tips, you will manage to bring some older adults to your gym. But, bringing them through the door is one thing. You will also need to work on retaining them. After all, there may be other fitness centers in your area targeting the same clients.

So, how do you make sure that the older personal training clients that you’ve just acquired don’t cancel their memberships? Here are some tips:

3.1 Avoid Loud Music

Loud music can prevent a senior from hearing your instructions clearly. As a result, you may be forced to raise your voice.

And while this may not be a problem if you are training a younger person, older adults may not be comfortable with you shouting at them. Hence, if you have to shout instructions to them, then that may not be the ideal environment for personal training older adults.

If you have to play music, you should keep the volume low. Also, make sure you select tracks that are appropriate for this age group. You can even ask for their recommendations and then shuffle the tracks as they train.

3.2 Create Time and Space for Them

We all hate working out in crowded fitness clubs. And, it’s going to be even worse for older adults.

Older adults have a fear of getting knocked over and falling. So, if your gym is jam-packed, there’s a high chance they will not be there for long.

Also, a considerable number of them use hearing aids. So, if your fitness center is jam-packed, it will affect their ability to distinguish sounds and voices. Again, this may heighten their anxiety while increasing their risk of getting injured.

To prevent these issues, you should have dedicated workout sessions for older adults. This way, they can comfortably enjoy their workout session without the anxiety and fear that comes with a crowded gym.

3.3 Keep the Instructions Simple

Training older clients can be a bit tricky compared to younger personal training clients. But, regardless of the approach that you take, make sure you keep your instructions simple and clear.

Doing so will help to eliminate confusion, making it easier for them to follow your instructions.

And if they can follow your instructions clearly, it will be easier for them to attain their health and fitness goals.

4. Wrapping It Up

Older adults deserve personal training services, just like any other demographic. However, most gyms, fitness clubs and personal trainers don’t market their services to this demographic, meaning they are mostly left out. But as earlier mentioned, personal training older clients can be a source of steady income for your fitness business. Besides, it can also be extremely rewarding, as you help them to regain or maintain the ability to be fit, active and independent.

Jay Bats

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