We know that things are a little quieter out on the waters right now, and understand that this has been a challenging time for many of our captains. We’ve been working on ways to help you utilize this time, build your brand, and come back stronger than ever.
Casting off with guests at the moment? Use these tips to make sure your customers know they’ll be treated to a safe adventure out on the water. Trips currently on hold? Dive in and pick up lots of advice. This way, you can continue running awesome angling adventures as soon as the time is right.
Polish up Your Listing – and Your Business
Depending on how long you’ve been running trips and how much time you spend online, your FishingBooker listing may only be a small part of your internet presence. Or maybe you prefer to get your bookings in person, and primarily rely on word-of-mouth to build your reputation.
Now is the perfect time to really think about what makes your charter business special – and how to show that to your prospective customers.
Why? Well, having a unique selling point (something you offer that no one else can) will make your business stand out – on FishingBooker and beyond. It’s your chance to really nail down the image you want to present to your customers.
So how can you pinpoint what sets your charter company apart? Take a look at this checklist of questions:
Maybe you have a traditional vessel, run most of your trips for families and newer anglers, and target tasty eating fish.
Do you have a luxurious yacht, perfect for exciting spearfishing trips targeted towards thrill-seekers?
Perhaps you go after seriously big game fish on a high-powered vessel, suitable for anglers who have definitely discovered their sea legs.
Or maybe your selling point is that you’re an all-rounder who covers these options and more!
Once you’ve discovered what makes you stand out, use this time off the water to your advantage – update your FishingBooker listing. This will help build your brand and show customers what they can expect on a trip with you. Why not:
- Do a “full checkup” of your FishingBooker listing! Make sure that your listing name is correct, your bio is up to date and has a photo of you, and that you’re advertising the right trips, boat, potential catches, and amenities. This is a great time to dig a bit deeper and find out if there’s anything that you’d like to change.
- Finally take that perfect boat photo! If a luxurious vessel is what makes your business unique, you’ll want to show it off. If your main selling point is targeting big game species, make sure this is included in your photos. Don’t forget to add any new pictures of customers smiling happily with their prized catch. Want to rearrange the order of your photos? Just get in touch with us.
- Update your listing description to reflect any new information you’d like to show off. Want to really emphasize how family-friendly your charter is? Let us know.
- Check your calendar, and make sure it’s up to date. Running trips right now? An accurate calendar will show customers that you’re ready to take them out onto the water.
- Make your listing stand out with a video. Customers are twice as likely to book if you have at least one! It’s the perfect way to show off your boat and some angling action, too.
Update and Customize Your Trip Offer
As you probably already know, customers may have slightly different requests and expectations for their trip during this time. A great way to still keep bookings, without having to update your entire listing, is by taking advantage of our special offer feature.
This feature allows you to tailor-make trips to suit customers who contact you through our Instant Messaging feature. It means they get to fish with their chosen captain, and you get a booking! If it’s possible for you, why not think about running special trips for frontline COVID-19 staff when things settle down a bit?
Not sure how this feature works? Take a look below:
If you’re happy to run special trips that are available upon request, get in touch with us. We can add this information to your listing description, and customers will know you’re happy to customize your trips.
You may also find that running trips during COVID-19 attracts a different type of angler. Certain trips may suddenly become a lot more popular than others. You can be ready for any type of booking by being flexible with your trips and allowing customized offers. We have some extra tips, too:
- Get the word out. Reach out to any regular customers or avid anglers that you know. Ask them if they’re planning on fishing during this period, or if they know anyone who is. Word of mouth can go a long way! Use our reports feature to let guests know you’re out on the water, too!
- Keep an eye on FishingBooker’s captain-facing content. We’re regularly updating our site with COVID-19 information and new captain-facing features and fixes. We’re including both practical advice and personal experiences that our captains have been sharing with us.
Let Your Customers Know That Their Safety is Important to You
The importance of safety when you’re out on open waters is nothing new. However, COVID-19 has probably amplified your customers’ perception of it. During this time, customers want to be reassured that they’ll be in safe hands when casting a line or two.
We know that our captains already take safety and hygiene seriously. Below, we have some tips that’ll really take things to the next level – and let your customers know, too!
Keep your boat clean and practice safety
Why? Over 60% of customers who responded to our COVID-19 survey said they expected captains to provide hand sanitizer. They also expect captains to disinfect their boat before the trip. Following these guidelines protects not only the customer but yourself.
How? Follow public safety advice, and make sure you are aware of any new updates. Provide hand sanitizer, disinfect your boat between each trip, and don’t book trips “back to back.”
Get ready for private trips to increase
Why? Not only does this reduce the risk of spreading infection, but it also gives customers peace of mind during their trip.
How? Update your trips so that you’re only advertising private or “one on one” options for now.
Use FishingBooker to let customers know you’re out on the water
Why? Firstly, customers will know from the get-go that you’re fishing! It’s a great place to advertise your cleanliness practices, too. Although you can’t promise to be entirely “COVID-free,” you can emphasize the steps you’re taking to stay safe.
How? We’re currently working on testing out a variety of COVID-related features. Keep an eye on upcoming newsletters for new information. Meanwhile? Get in touch with our writing team, let them know what you’re doing to stay safe, and they’ll add a paragraph into your listing description for you. You can also use our report feature to let customers know how your trips are going!
As well as the physical stuff, something else that’s really important when it comes to safety is making sure you’re fishing legally.
Keep up to date with your local government’s website, as well as state regulations regarding fishing, NOAA, and specific fisheries you usually visit. Consult your angling buddies, and keep each other informed of any important changes or updates so that everyone is fishing safely.
Take Care of Any Administrative Tasks
We know, we know – sorting through paper and ticking boxes is never going to be the most exciting of activities! However, if you’re not running trips right now, taking care of administrative tasks means saving time when things are up and running again. Think of the future time you’ll save that can be spent casting some lines instead.
Firstly, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t drop what you’re doing right now to focus on the following tasks. If you’re currently applying for COVID-related loans or other support, make sure they remain your priority! But when you have some spare time, why not:
All of these activities can take up precious time that could be spent out on the water. Getting ahead of them now means that, when the fishing season is back in full swing, you won’t miss out.
We’re Here to Help
On our end, we’re using this time to really polish up our product. We’re doing everything we can to make FishingBooker better than ever. A whole variety of new features are in the works. We’ll share them in email and product updates, so make sure you keep an eye out for these!
While we’re working on these new projects, we’re also here if you want to make any changes to your listing, or need to call us. In this sense, it’s business as usual.
Of course, we’re also doing everything we can to bring customers your way at the moment. Marketing campaigns, social media, and email – we’re working hard to make sure we get the word out about your listing, as well as fishing in general. We want to make sure customers feel ready to book as soon as it’s safe to do so!
We’re constantly updating our COVID-19 policies and guidelines so that your customers don’t feel pressured to fish if it isn’t safe. We also want them to have a good experience during this difficult time. This way, they’ll feel comfortable booking with you again when it’s safe to do so.
Our team is keeping up to date with global regulations, and we’re dedicated to providing you with content that’s informative and helpful. We’re focused on the future, and our future with you.
With these tips, you can make your business stand out, finally file those papers you’ve been putting off, and let your customers know you’re running safe and sanitary trips. That way, you’ll be ready to bounce back when things start to return to normal. We look forward to seeing you out on the water!
Katie is a Philosophy graduate from the UK, and now she spends her time asking (and answering!) the important questions, such as: What, exactly, are the best ways to bait a hook for Redfish? She first cast a line in Florida as a teenager, and it took her a while to circle back to angling as a hobby, but now she’s hooked. Her personal fishing highlight? Reeling in a rare Golden Trevally while cruising the deep waters off the United Arab Emirates!