In order to operate a thriving business within the scuba industry, diving professionals need to be more than just experts in the water – they’ll need to have specialist business knowledge, too.
As a renewed PADI Professional you have access to a wide selection of tools and training opportunities to help equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to manage and grow your diving business efficiently and successfully.
These tools include courses such as the PADI Business Academy, print and online publications and live or pre-recorded webinars, and cover a variety of topics including:
Selling and conducting PADI courses and training
Marketing, eMarketing, advertising and social media tips
Boosting sales opportunities for courses, merchandise and equipment
Customer and stock inventory management with EVE
Developing and expanding your business into the wider market
To find out what support is available, contact a consultant in your local PADI Office or speak to your local PADI Regional Manager.
Remember: renew your 2016 PADI Professional Membership before 31st December 2015 and you’ll be able take advantage of our special renewal offers. Find out more here.
Everyone has them, everyone knows them – but does everyone know how to use social Media most effectively.
I am now working as a PADI Regional Manager for several years and I saw many Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus – business pages of various diving schools. I also learned that today’s youth is represented on Instagram. So, if you only use Facebook – in the eyes of youth you are “Out”!
Oh dear… I thought … I’m already so old … But you have to be clearly aware that every target group uses different Medias – the diversity is the key to success
There are seven important points which need to be considered:
Existing social platforms
Which social Media do I use for my diving school
How many times do I write a post
Who should write you posts
Existing social Media platforms
The number of social media platforms is increasing, however, not every Platform is suitable for your business. Below you’ll find the most popular social media of our times.
– Google Plus
– YouTube Channel
– Instagram (only Mobile)
Which social media do I use for my diving school?
From my experience I can say very clearly that a business without Facebook, Twitter, Youtube Channel and ScubaEarth – has clearly missed the today´s train. You have to be visible and find the customer where he is looking for you. This is called inbound marketing – means to target the potential customer, who is looking for you, will find you. That is why it is so important that your website is always up to date.It does not mean that each platform needs a separate entry. Various social media can be linked with each other. For example, Facebook can be linked to Twitter and vice versa. Then each entry on Facebook will be automatically published on Twitter. Then there is also Hootsuite. Hootsuite is a platform that manages all your social media. This means; you write an article only once and Hootsuite publishes all your messages on your registered social media. The only problem with this is that the contributions are not adapted to the uniqueness of the platform.Very important, especially for resort areas is TripAdvisor. Statistics show that diving schools, which have a TripAdvisor account and also several reviews, are much more frequently contacted by new customers.
Which target group I want to reach with my entries?
How effective are my messages?
Do I reach new customers with my photos?
These are all questions that you need to ask yourself, if you are planning a new post. A post should be interesting and exciting. The visitor of your page has to feel addressed. You want to get to your existing customers, to keep them in touch with you and show them what´s happening in your Dive Center after they leave it. After all you want these customers to come back. You also want to acquire new customers through your social platforms. Attracting and motivating the user is key. Facebook for example, it is not about how many “likes” you have, it is about how many of them are interacting with you on your page. The number of “likes”, “comments” and “shares” improves the chance that future “posts” appear in the news feeds of your “fans”. Non interaction risks that your future “posts” will disappear in the “fans” future news feeds. That is not a good thing…
How many times do I write a post?
I know that the time is a problem – especially during high season. However, you cannot avoid to actively and effectively use your social media during high season. This is the time where you have to promote your business. You have to publish a post, for example, on Instagram and Facebook at least once a day, a blog post would be very good once a week, but by-monthly is also ok. What you want is consistency in your publications. Google, as well as your readers, will immediately notice irregularities. The great thing about social media and blogging is that you can schedule you publications, and therefore write your posts in advance.
Who should write your posts?
People are always asking me: “Who should be writing all of these articles?” Delegate your social media needs to a responsible staff member, give them a camera and your login details and tell them to go wild.
Encourage your customers to write on your wall. Animate and activate your clientele, by publishing on your wall they become advocates for your diving school. Motivate them with prices for the most liked article during the season for example.
What is the first thing you do when a customer is walking in your diving school…? Right – you say “hello” and then…? … Then you give him a Tablet in his hand and ask him to log on to their social media platform. Encourage them to like your Facebook business page immediately. It is also very important that you mention that they tag themselves in every picture where they appear.Before your satisfied customer leaves your Dive School, ask them to write you a review on Trip Advisor and / or on the Facebook Business page. It’s amazing how many new customers have been generated by TripAdvisor and Facebook reviews. People read these reviews before they decide where to go!
Each platform has a statistic. Use this well! You can read when your “fans” or “followers” read your posts, when they are active on the Internet, where they come from, how many of your visitors are men or women – and a lot more. You can find all of this within the insights. Try to find out what your most successful posts are and according to that you will write your future posts – and measure the success again.
A diving school with no blog – is like a VW without a catalyst…! It is absolutely a must have! It does not mean that you need to write a novel, even a small article is ok. But it is important that you blog frequently.It is also important that your blog has social media sharing buttons. This ensures that your blog can be shared by the readers. It is also important that your readers can subscribe to your newsletter or blog. With this they will get an email as soon as you published a new blog. Encourage your customers to share your new blog on their social media platforms.
What are the key points for a successful Blog?
– Update frequently so that the readers are coming back
– Link your Blog with Facebook / Twitter – for automatic feeds
– Use keywords to support you search engine optimization (SEO)
– Link your Blog with your website and vice versa
Your goal should be to keep your existing customers in the loop about what´s going on in your diving school since their experience – after all you want them to come back. By using the right keywords (SEO) to attract new customers, you have the highest chance that your blog will be read and shared by a wider audience. The more interesting your article is – the better. You will generate future clientele.
I hope that this article has opened your eyes a little wider and that you understand the importance of how to use social media most effectively.
If you would like to learn more about social media and Websites, it would make sense to apply for the PADI Business Academy, which is offered in various countries.
If you’re looking to inspire inactive divers, and help them rediscover the underwater world through your dive operation, then PADI ReActivate is the perfect tool to help you achieve this goal.
We recently published an article on our consumer blog, PADI.com, specifically written to inform divers about PADI ReActivate and to encourage them to jump back into the water again with this modern digital tool.
Click here to view the blog article and feel free to share and repurpose it for your own blogs, social media sites and newsletters to help encourage inactive divers to join your next course or trip.
Any PADI Open Water Diver aged 12 years or older can start their PADI Rescue Diver course by completing the Knowledge Development and Rescue Exercises in confined water! Encourage them to consider PADI Rescue Diver training as an integrated part of their development.
PADI Adventure Divers who have completed the Underwater Navigation dive can complete the full PADI Rescue Diver course.
Top Tip: Targeted Packages to Drive Sales
To help boost your sales in continuing education courses, why not create an email campaign that targets your existing PADI Open Water Diver customers. Offer them a package to include PADI Adventure Diver/Advanced Open Water Diver and PADI Rescue Diver.
Better still, if your divers are local or are staying in your area for a few weeks, offer them a PADI Master Scuba Diver package that includes:
PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
PADI Rescue Diver
5 x PADI Specialty courses
Getting 50 logged dives as experience
This the ideal way to combine training and diving into the ultimate experience that delivers a win-win for both your business and your customers.
Promoting the course package:
By using EVE, you can use your customer database to deliver relevant, targeted email campaigns automatically and with ease. For more tips, check out this video or contact your PADI Regional Manager.
Alternatively, invite existing PADI Open Water divers to attend an informal evening where you can organise fun talks, workshops and information about courses to inspire them to sign up (as well as gain additional equipment sales on the night).
To help promote the courses, you can download a free digital marketing toolbox which includes posters, leaflets, flyers and email graphics. You can use these materials to advertise the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver course, the PADI Rescue Diver course and the PADI Master Scuba Diver course plus many more. Click here to download the toolbox in ZIP format. You can also access it from within the PADI Pros’ Site by visiting Toolbox > Marketing > Marketing Campaign > and in the section ‘Campaign Tools PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa’.
We recently published a blog article on our consumer blog (www.padi.com/blog) which informed student divers about the benefits of the PADI Equipment Specialist Touch – click here to read the article.
The article contains information and images which you are able to use to create content for your own blog articles and newsletters to encourage your own student divers and customers to take the course with you.
We have included product features, benefits of why they might take the course, testimonials and images which you can adapt and use to promote your own PADI Equipment Specialist courses.
If you would like to purchase your own copy and/or you need to buy a copy for students who have signed up for an upcoming PADI Equipment Specialist course you are running, please contact your PADI Europe, Middle East and Africa Sales Consultant by email (email@example.com) or by telephone (+44 117 300 7234).
Get your friends and family to experience the incredible underwater world during Into the Blue 2013, and you’ll all be rewarded with a range of free gifts!* All you need to do is take them to your local participating PADI Dive Center and show your PADI certification card.
Plus, selected PADI Dive Centers are even offering 2-for-1 on PADI Discover Scuba Diving bookings, so you can bring even more friends and family to share the adventure! Watch our special promo video by clicking here!
By booking a PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience as part of Into the Blue 2013, your friends and family can take their first underwater breath in a safe environment under the supervision of a fully-qualified PADI Professional. What’s more, they’ll get to take away a range of benefits* too:
A 33-page colour guide to take home, packed full of tips and reminders
A limited edition certificate of participation
Access to a 90-day free trial of both ScubaEarth Premium and the Digital PADI Diving Society
A free PADI Discover Scuba Diving e-Card to recognise their diving experience
The first section of the PADI Open Water Diver Online course via PADI eLearning for free
A £20 voucher to redeem against the PADI Open Water Diver course
Free entry to win one of 50 limited-edition PADI Discover Scuba Diving t-shirts
An exclusive invitation to the Birmingham Dive Show in October, including a free ticket and presentation for Into the Blue 2013 participants only
Not only will you both get PADI branded gifts*, but when you accompany them and show your existing PADI certification card, you’ll get a €10 voucher to spend on PADI Sportswear clothing as a reward too!
So, whether your loved ones are interested in marine life, shipwrecks or just the sheer tranquillity of scuba diving, the adventure will capture their lifetime’s imagination. By taking part in Into the Blue 2013, they will be able to join you as part of the global diving community and start their own journey to explore what really lies beneath the waves.