Captain Intel – How to Stay Booked All Season
Sep 17, 2019 | 4 minute read
Reading Time: 4 minutes
A captain fishing for bookings

Bookings, bookings, bookings – that’s what both captains and anglers are all about, especially in the high season. Whether you’re just starting out with FishingBooker or you’ve been on the website for a while, some advice on how to make your listing look appealing to customers is always welcome.

In this article we’ll share some firsthand tips that will make you more likely to get booked on FishingBooker. We also had the opportunity to interview a couple of our most successful captains and ask them to share their stories with us.

After digging deep, here’s our guide to how to increase your chances of getting bookings from FishingBooker – high season or not.

It’s All about Communication

For Captain Hank Valencia, who’s been with FishingBooker for over three years, success means earning the trust of his customers. “It’s all about managing customers’ expectations,” Hank says, “and understanding what they want from their trip.”

Capt. Keith Burch has been getting bookings from FishingBooker since 2017, and his business only improved since then. He believes that it’s all about the customers – about putting them on fish while making sure they’re having a blast on his trip. “I’ve found that communication is key. I always inform my customers on what we’ll be doing on the trip, step by step. I also want to hear what they want to do and accommodate them in every way I can.”

Happy father and surprised son fishing

Capt. Hank also underlines that it’s crucial to keep things current on his FishingBooker listing, and we agree.

Frequently uploading new photos from your trips will help your potential clients see what they can expect. It’s worth having a good camera and taking landscape-oriented photos with a beautiful background and happy anglers holding their catch of the day.

Capt. Keith was quick to mention the importance of inviting your customers to leave reviews after a trip. Customers want to hear what other anglers have to say about the whole experience, and positive reviews are the best way to provide them with just that.

This is a great tip – remember to invite your anglers to leave a review, it will show just how many people entrusted you with their time on the water. Great customer reviews are invaluable for your ranking and contribute massively to how often you get booked.

Capt. Hank also uploads fishing reports every couple of weeks, just to keep his customers in the loop about what’s biting. Sharing your own experiences in recent reports is another way to show your customers what makes your fishing expeditions unique.

There Are Plenty of Bookings in the Sea

Light bulbs with marketing ideas inside

While both Hank and Keith have a thriving cooperation with FishingBooker, they invest in other forms of marketing, as well.

A good part of Capt. Keith’s bookings comes from his website and social media accounts, which he keeps updated with the correct location details, pricing, and photos.

On the other side, Capt. Hank believes that cultivating good relationships with local tackle shops, hotels, and restaurants helps you grow your business. Hotels especially appreciate the fact that they can recommend to their angling guests a trustworthy captain who will show them a good time on the water.

Staying booked throughout the fishing season partly depends on exploring new options and constantly improving your service. Fresh marketing ideas will allow your business to be noticed and help you stay on top of your game.

And the Recipe for Success is…

There’s no one recipe for success, but there are steps that you can take that will bring you closer to it.

“One of the first things to understand is that you should never impose your own expectations on your clients,” Capt. Keith shared. “Be there for any questions they might have and listen carefully to what they hope to get from fishing with you.”

The best time to do this is when you talk to your customers prior to the trip. It’s a good idea to send them a message a day or two beforehand, as a reminder. Explain what will happen on the trip, what species are in season, and what is provided on the boat. That way, the customers will come prepared and you’ll know what to do so that they can best enjoy themselves.

Capt. Hank’s policy is to always show up prepared. “I can’t control the bite, the weather, or if someone gets seasick, that’s the truth of it. But I can make sure that I come prepared, with clean, good-quality equipment, and do everything in my power to show my customers the best time.”

What Drives It All

A Captain holding a big Sailfish with blue skies as background
Captain Keith Burch holding the catch of the day – a beautiful Sailfish!

Both Capt. Keith and Hank agreed that their love of fishing is what drives them to constantly improve themselves and their services. Their passion gives that special spice to their trips and customers respond to it, big time.

Capt. Keith summed up his entire experience in a couple of sentences – “I love my customers, I love what I’m doing… This is an awesome experience, I’m happy to get up and go to work.”

Capt. Hank quit his job in sales soon after he got his fishing license. He started running charters full-time and he never looked back. It was around that time he found FishingBooker and decided to give it a try. Today, hundreds of bookings later, he’s certain that his listing on FishingBooker “…was instrumental in getting [his] business up and running.”

What do you do to make sure bookings keep coming your way? Share your thoughts in the comments, we look forward to reading them!

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