As senior downsizing specialists, we’re a busy bunch! Between interviewing new prospective clients, providing services, and running our staff and businesses, it’s easy to lose track of how we portray our customers in our marketing.
So, stop right now and take a quick refresher look at your website and the photos you currently use to convey your service message.
Are they primarily seniors with canes or other messaging of health-challenged older individuals? Do the models look sad or happy? Are they capturing all of your potential service markets?
Yes, as senior service providers, many of our clients are in their 80’s, 90’s, or even 100’s. They may not be in good health or suffer from dementia or other degenerative diseases.
Downsizing – A New Reality
But, the reality is our industry doesn’t serve one type of aging client or customer. With the recent influx of Baby Boomers starting to retire, more and more of our clients are downsizing significantly earlier than in the past.
They’re now downsizing as early as their 50s and 60s which was practically unheard of 50 years ago. Case in point, I’ve downsized twice since age 50, and glad I did!
Why the shift? Because Baby Boomers have had a reality check of what happens when you wait too long to downsize by watching their own parent’s experience. They don’t want to put their kids through the pain and angst of having to do the same for them down the road.
What’s Your Marketing Message Telling Prospects?
So, I ask you this. Are you currently marketing solely to the traditional older age groups (the late 70s, 80s, or 90+) or are you promoting a more diverse marketing message that welcomes the Baby Boomer client too?
If you aren’t, then you may be missing a key and profitable client base that needs your services too.
5 Ways to Improve Your Marketing with Aging Diversity
How do you do that?
A recent Aging Report by the American Society on Aging (in collaboration with Shutterstock), outlined ways to better showcase the diversity of aging in business marketing materials.
I’m going to highlight five of them.
1) Increase racial and ethnic diversity in your photos.
Aging is one of the few equalizers in life. It doesn’t matter where you came from, what color skin you have, your religion, or the culture you embrace. Make sure that your marketing reflects the community you serve.
2) Spotlight how capacities change over time.
For example, aging is often represented by a cane, a wheelchair, or some other incapacity. Instead, change your visual content to include active and engaged older adults. This can help to shift people away from perpetuating the aging stereotypes that are so prevalent today. By the way, Baby Boomers don’t identify with marketing that includes pictures of their parent’s age group. In fact, it can be a deterrent. So, try to incorporate photos of different age groups and levels of activity in your marketing.
3) Honor diverse families.
One of the biggest changes I’ve seen is the number of multi-generational families who are coming together to live in one household. Housing is expensive for everyone and not everyone can afford to live in a traditional senior living community. Combining assets and purchasing a larger home that accomodate multiple generations comfortably is a great solution for many.
As housing costs increase, I suspect that this will become a bigger cross-section of our client base in downsizing in the future.
4) Shifting away from negative emotional downsizing stereotypes.
Are you including photos of people who are sad, depressed, or forlorn? Yes, I know that downsizing can be an emotional challenge for many people. But we can do our part to help shift away from the “bummer” expectation to a more positive, forward-looking mindset. Using pictures of happy seniors working with you in their homes is one step to changing that expectation.
5) Show more positive lifestyle examples.
Sometimes that picture really is worth a thousand words. Even better, it can create positive emotions. Show photos of seniors who are enjoying their new life in a retirement community. Seeing seniors with new friends and activities can be a solid motivator for those who think downsizing is the end, not the beginning of a new and happy season.
Our Industry Responsibility
Our role as senior downsizing specialists goes way beyond moving someone from Point A to Point B. We can also help shift the mindset of seniors, their families, and our community away from old aging cliché stories.
We have a responsibility to foster new and better ways that encourage our clients toward more positive mindsets. Ones that promote a healthier physical and emotional life experience.
To learn about more ways you can improve your marketing to include more age diversity, click here for a copy of the full report.
Interested in starting your own senior downsizing business and have some questions to find out whether it’s right for you? Schedule a free 20-Minute Q and A consultation with me by clicking here!