The Business of Training Active Agers
The health and fitness industry offers a broad market, so narrowing down your focus is helpful and financially logical. Because the market is broad and dynamic, there is significant competition. Imagine if every health and fitness professional had the same focus; we’d be cannibalizing business from each other and that’s not the goal. The goal is to help individuals achieve the best versions of themselves.
Carving a Niche in the Active Ager Demographic
It is not necessary to narrow your focus so specifically that you limit the number of clients who fit your target market so much so that it doesn’t yield a profit. However, you will want to invest time and energy into reflecting on your ideal client avatar.
Considering that the youngest of the baby boomer demographic will be 65 by the year 2030, thinking about training this population is smart. This means active agers 65 and older is one of the fastest growing demographics. The year 2030 is just a handful of years away. Now is the time to think about how you can best serve this population to boost your business and the health of the aging adult.
Use the following questions to guide you in this process of outlining your ideal customer base/clientele.
1. Start with who your ideal client is. Be clear and specific.
b. Age Group (suggest 65–75)
c. Context of the active ager’s reality:
i. What’s happening in their life?
ii. Where do they live? Who do they live with?
iii. Are they care providers for grandchildren?
iv. What is their partner or marital status?
d. Active Ager Habits:
i. What are their primary interests and hobbies?
ii. Do they engage with technology?
iii. Do they volunteer? Engage socially? Where do they frequent?
e. What is this type of client’s primary goal or pain point?
f. What is their primary fear and motivation?
g. Do they prefer to train at home or in a gym/studio setting?
h. What influences this type of client’s buying or consumer behavior? Impulsive? Researcher?
i. What social media networks do they tend to use, if any?
j. What do they need? What do they want solved?
Once you outline the answers to these questions, you’ll have a better idea of how to go about recruiting and marketing.
Why Active Agers?
The benefits of engaging with this population extend far beyond just the job opportunities it presents.
First, deciding to work with active agers gives you an edge over your competition if others in your region or local area are not investing in this group. You have a ripe opportunity to offer specialized training services to a large, but unique population of individuals. Further, this population has an increased awareness of the benefits of living an active lifestyle as well as a (ACE, 2020). Therefore, we expect to see this demographic remain active into their later years.
Second, this population requires special considerations and a unique approach that respects any physical limitations present. The body undergoes structural changes as well as shifts in balance and coordination. Additionally, as an individual ages, energy levels fluctuate from day to day. Some active agers may experience challenges with activities of daily living, which may result in frustration. A personal trainer working with this population requires an advanced skill set, therefore you have an opportunity to upgrade your skill set and widen your scope of practice.
Third, the impact you can have on this population is unmatched. Since this demographic is committed to living an active lifestyle and increasing their longevity, you are uniquely positioned to positively impact their overall quality of life by teaching them valuable principles and engaging them in safe and effective exercise programs designed to slow the rate of functional decline. This means you can change the trajectory of an individual’s remaining years.
For active agers, this might mean being healthy enough to play with their grandchildren, travel the world, learn new skills, and reduce overall disease risk. This might also mean that you help an active ager reverse a chronic condition they’ve managed for years, thus giving them freedom from the limitations of that disease. Imagine the personal and professional fulfillment you can experience in this realm of training.
Finally, by engaging with this population you have an opportunity to learn valuable life lessons you’d otherwise have to wait until your golden years to experience. The life these individuals have lived, the experiences they’ve had, and the contributions they make are rich, vibrant, and vastly different from your own. You have something to offer them, but, in turn, they probably have just as much — if not more — to offer you.
If you have not yet worked with this population, I encourage you to research the benefits and evaluate the competitive market. You have skills that can serve this population and help them age functionally and free of chronic hypokinetic diseases. That is an investment that pays dividends.
Originally published on the Fitness Education Online Blog Site.