No matter what age you are, find a mentor(s).
First you need to decide what areas that you want to specialize in and then you can start setting your goals in this field.
When I was a group exercise director at a YMCA, a had a woman who was in her 60s and who was retired a Human Resource Rep. taking my Ballroom and Cardio Dance classes. As our friendship grew, I thought she would be a great instructor to take over some older adult classes. After several discussions, she was interest. So I took her under my wing and trained for about 4 month. She was a sponge. Other staff members did not see the potential that I saw from day one. After the intensive training, everybody wanted her in their department. She built her way up to full time and I was still a part time employee. i no longer work for that job but she still does. She now has about 5 certifications and had been working for about 3 years at the YMCA.
A man in his 70s decided to become a personal trainer. He has earned in AFAA certification in personal training.
You will be a blessing to your clients.
You must look at your current market in the area and relate it to your current personal and professional strengths. If you are just starting out in the health and fitness industry you may not have the skills in programming and assessing clients. You could therefore look at low demand clients, such as mature adults (gentle exercise-assisted living facilities) or you feel comfortable running a post baby mothers group (pram pusher groups). Children could be another area of interest after school group activities and holiday fitness groups – game play based. Continual learning during the year (group instructor, sports nutrition, strength stretch, sports coaching) will give you a greater scope of clients. Acknowledge your strengths and work from there, at the end of the day you may have the best ad campaign but if you fail to deliver you lose that “word of mouth” referral that is so important to all health professionals.
Actually, Sharon, I think you have a great opportunity to market to ‘boomers’ in your area; many 40+ individuals prefer not to work with a younger trainer, because the trainer is less likely to be able to relate to any age-related health issues. My first recommendation is to decide whom, specifically, you want to work with, then seek out ways to connect with them where they are. For example, if your target market is professional women between the ages of 45 and 50, you could seek out local ‘wobusiness’ssiness’ organizations, and offer a lunch seminar or short group exercise sampling. The more specific you are with your target market, the easier it will be to find them and let them know about how you can help them!
Best of luck,
Suggestions to market yourself as a relatively new fitness professional over 50 include:
1. Check with your local YMCA to see about teaching one or two classes a week. Great way to meet others and develop a following.
2. If you have classes you are teaching, Craigs List is a free way to advertise in your immediate & surrounding areas.
3. Offer free intro classes to your local churches and suggest a class in the church (or at your normal location).
I hope these ideas help!