One of the first lessons I learned when I shifted my attention to growing my business through marketing efforts was the need to plant my flag in the ground.
Meaning, don’t try to be everything to everyone.
I needed to state up front who I was serving and why these folks needed to come to me instead of any one of the numerous competitors I had in the Boston area.
We live in an era of specialists. Don’t be a generalist. It just doesn’t work.
If a prospect ever asks you, “What’s your specialty?” and you don’t have an answer…that’s a huge problem.
I am fortunate I had a natural ‘in’ with my population of choice. I had just turned 50 and people already looked to me for answers to the unique questions clients over age 50 have. I went with it…
I created small group training sessions specifically for clients over age 50. Once people found out about them, they were quickly full. I realized this was the way to go and I never looked back and the numbers backed me up.
Here is why I am so vocal about showing trainers why they need to focus on clients over age 50
- Call it what you will – the “Silver Tsunami” or “Baby Boomers”, whatever – there has never been a generation like this…ever. There are 77 million of us. The numbers are staggering and we will change the economy of the United States and many other countries forever.
- The Baby Boomers control 80% of the wealth in the country. This fact alone should determine your focus. Fact: While the ‘millennials’ make up one-third of this country’s population, they have not had the time to accumulate significant wealth yet. Guess who has?
Have you noticed the obvious shift in advertising on TV? Car commercials are far more likely to feature music from The Who than Bruno Mars.
- People in their 50’s and 60’s now are significantly more active than fifty year olds from the previous generation. We want to live longer and play longer than our parents did. We will live longer and want an improved quality of life along our journey. We will need help doing it. This represents a massive opportunity for trainers prepared with the expertise to create workouts suitable for us.
Hint: These workouts are NOT insanity-style, high-intensity, plyometric-filled sessions! If this is the only style you offer, we will not be your clients for long because you just don’t get our needs.
- Interesting thing about folks my age; we respect authority. If you present yourself as such, we will stick with you. Show me you have the smarts to design a program suited to me, show me you understand my situation (career, family and aging pressures), show me you appreciate my values (professionalism, respect, etc.) and I will stick with you for the long haul.
The best part of this trait is that Baby Boomers are FAR more likely to refer other clients to you than younger clients. We understand how business works and trust the opinions of our peers. Once you have proven yourself to us, we will return in droves.
If I am looking to design my ideal business, it might look something like this:
- A marketing campaign targeting the unique needs of Baby Boomers
- I will plug in appropriate testing and program design
- I would include a strong nutrition and supplement
- My marketing is going to focus on the positive benefits of my program NOT on negative images and scare tactics. Boomers have been there and done that. They do NOT respond well to this type of approach.
- I will speak and write on topics important to Boomers. This way I position myself and the authority in my market for this population. This might involve a certification proving my knowledge (i.e. Certifications from the Functional Aging Institute are a great place to start)
As a side note: I sold my training facility just about 1 year ago. To this day, I get multiple inquiries every week from prospects wanting me to work with them because I continue to write two blogs per week on issues relevant to people over age 50.
Planting your flag in the ground separates you from the noise.
The cliché goes “There are riches in niches.” This could not be a more accurate statement. If you try to be the solution to everyone’s problem, you end up doing lots of things poorly instead of one thing extremely well.
As my peers and I age, we will not do so gracefully. We will fight it every step of the way. If you are not providing a solution for the wealthiest population to hit any economy ever, we will find someone who will.
By Art McDermott
Art McDermott is a Certified Nutritionist and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
He has owned several training facilities specializing in personal training, nutrition, fitness/physique transformations, ‘baby boomer’ and senior training as well as sports preparation. Art has been involved with strength sports for over 25 years. During that time, he has participated in over 25 National and World Championships in three different sports, in addition to 2 Olympic Track & Field Trials.
In addition to being a local business owner Art is a speaker and author. He focuses the majority of his time on the “Boomer Blueprint”; a product and service designed specifically for helping individuals 50 years of age and over retain or regain their health vitality and independence.
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