Unique Ways to Market Yourself Online As a Golf Teaching Professional
The Internet provides a wealth of opportunities to find new students and new income opportunities for golf teaching professionals. Furthermore, to take advantage of many of these opportunities, you do not even need to have your own web site. While having a web site can only be helpful, all you really need is an e-mail address, a computer with an Internet connection, and a commitment to spend sometime on pursuing these opportunities.
One of the easiest and least expensive ways is to start an e-mail newsletter by creating a mailing list of your students’ e-mails. Every month, make it a priority to create and send out an e-mail newsletter to your subscribers. As for content, perhaps you would like to write about a golf training drill or a tip to make time at the driving range more productive for your students. Concluding with a paragraph about your availability for private or group golf lessons is also an important piece to this e-mail. In addition to communicating with your students consistently, you will easily be able to attract new subscribers to your list, even without a web site. For example, when chatting with a colleague, who has an interest in golf, calmly ask if you can add him or her to your e-mail mailing list. Gradually, you’ll build a list of prospects that you will consistently and inexpensively be able to communicate with and market to. For maintaining your e-mail list, you can do it yourself and use a regular e-mail program like Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express. Or, if you are a little more aggressive, you can use a service like Constant Contact (www.constant contact.com), which allows for use of graphical effects and has more advanced tools for keeping your list up to date.
A second suggestion to use the Internet to keep in touch with your students is to send e-mail greeting cards, especially for the holidays and on their birthdays. Whenever you talk to a new student, ask what his or her birthday is and make a note of it. Then, on the student’s birthday, send a personalized e-mail greeting card wishing them a happy birthday and a specific note about how you can work on improving the student’s golf game. Sending e-mail greeting cards on holidays and on birthdays is more personal and potentially more heartfelt than your monthly e-mail newsletter. Also, in many cases, you can choose from existing card layouts with a golf theme. Some places where you can learn more about e-mail greeting cards and send for free are 123 Greetings (www.123greetings.com) and FreeWebCards (www.freewebcards.com). You will find that both of these sites have golf-themed cards that might be appropriate for your students.
Another suggestion for marketing yourself online is to visit bulletin boards, especially golf instruction bulletin boards. A bulletin board (sometimes called a BBS or message board) is a web site where users can discuss various topics and ask questions in hopes of receiving an answer or some feedback. Furthermore, they are typically free to register with and to be able to ask questions and respond to posts by other users. If you take the time to completely and promptly respond to questions posted by other users, then you will start to develop a reputation as an ‘expert’ and your credibility will grow. Other users might even formally recognize this by giving you ‘positive’ feedback on your participating. With good credibility and in the ‘signature’ of each of your posts, if you include your contact information and a brief slogan about your profession, then you will be in a strong position to start generating some business. However, resist the urge to shamelessly ‘plug’ yourself. Being patient and developing a reputation of someone that offers prompt, complete advice and answers to questions will better reward you. Perhaps you might even be able to charge a small fee for each question you receive. Raging Bull (www.ragingbull.lycos.com/mboard/boards. cgi?board=GOLFER) and Yahoo! (messages.yahoo.com/yahoo/ Recreation___Sports/Sports/Golf/index.html) are two of the more popular golf message board web sites you may wish to investigate.
The above represent three excellent and affordable (many times free) opportunities to use the Internet as a tool to market yourself as a golf teaching professional – and none of these three require the use of a web site. With a little bit of time and a computer with an Internet connection, you can use the Internet as a building block for your golf teaching profession.