Identifying what you need help with

This is Part 2 of our Ultimate Guide to Getting Help with Your SCUBA Marketing.
Go back to Part 1: When is the Right Time to Ask for Help? 

You’ve come to the realization that your dive shop’s marketing isn’t quite up with the times. Congratulations, you’ve taken the first step. While we’d like to say it’s the hardest, we’d be lying if we did.

As we outlined in Part 1: When is the Right Time to Ask for Help? , there are some easy questions you can ask yourself to get started with identifying what you need help with regarding marketing SCUBA:

  • Does my website look like it was designed in the 90s?
  • Am I using the default Blogger theme for my business website?
  • Have I not updated my website in the last 3 months?
  • Do I not rank in the top 10 in Google searches for “SCUBA + my city”?
  • Does my business email end in, or (or really anything other than my website URL?)
  • Am I not on Twitter, at least a little bit?
  • Do I not have a Facebook Page, not just a Profile?
  • Is my email newsletter still not setup?
  • Is my location still unclaimed on Foursquare, Yelp and Google Places? (yes, there are others, but those are the big three)
  • Do I not get an email every time my business name or “SCUBA + my city” shows up on the internet?

Those are excellent, if not basic starting points.

Does your web site look old and outdated and is a pain to use? Start there.

Interested in starting a SCUBA blog? Do it.

Do you still not have a Facebook Page? Add that to the list.

If you have this list covered, but your scuba diving operation isn’t generating isn’t quite enough business, feel free to contact us and we’ll help to identify areas you may be able to improve upon.

Yes, these are keys. Like in the heading below this image.

Key Components to Marketing Your SCUBA Business Online

To be successful with generating business for your dive operation online, you need the following:

  1. Website (we recommend a blog-based website)
  2. Brand identity
  3. Email newsletter
  4. Facebook Page
  5. SCUBA Board Account
  6. Twitter Account
  7. Top 5 Ranking for “SCUBA + city name
  8. Relevant location-based accounts (in the US: Yelp, Google Places and Foursquare as a minimum)
  9. Mobile site
  10. Any other geographic specific sites
There are plenty of other online marketing tools and websites you can use effectively to generate SCUBA business, this is what we consider a list of mandatory items. If you don’t have one or it hasn’t been updated in the last year, consider it on the to-do list.

What You CAN Do or What You SHOULD Do

An entry level diver could do a cave dive, but we all know they shouldn’t.

Similarly, there are projects you can do on your own and there are projects you should probably avoid.

The way we do it is fairly simple:

Start by asking yourself:

What’s my time worth?

For simplicity, we recommend picking an hourly rate. How much would you like to make per hour?

Some of you may be willing to work for yourself for dirt cheap, but we suggest paying yourself at least minimum wage, preferably a living wage.

Take the project, figure out how long it will take you and multiply that by your hourly rate. If you can get someone to do the same task for the same price or less, get help and don’t do it yourself.

Another aspect that is hard to factor in is the WOW Factor. No, it doesn’t stand for anything fancy, it’s just some arbitrary value you need to place on how professional your work is compared to…well, a professional.

You may be able to do basic work on your SCUBA regulator, but unless you’re a technician or have done it several times, you may reach a point where it makes sense to take it to the local expert (or person in your dive shop) and have them take care of it. Like your regulator, your marketing is a key part of your survival.

How Long Does It Take?

Just like you can assemble a complete regulator from a pile of hoses, regulators and a dive computer faster than your typical person, some people can do certain types of work faster than you. So you need to be realistic about how long it might take you to complete a project while dealing with customers and teaching students.

Here’s a basic chart of a few projects based on people we’ve worked with over the years, just to give you an idea:

Project Professional Tech Savvy Person Luddite
Install WordPress blog 5 minutes 20 minutes 6-8 hours
Complete Website Design 4-6 hours 1-2 weeks 1-2 years
Basic MailChimp/Facebook Page/Twitter account creation 5-10 minutes 20-60 minutes 4-5 hours
Setup Google Apps for Domains (email, calendar, documents, etc) 15 minutes 45-60 minutes 4-5 hours
Rank high for local keywords 3-4 weeks or less 3-4 months 12-18 months

One important point to keep in mind is that professionals will also setup everything in the most optimized way, whereas your setup might be setup, but not setup well.

If you have a specific project that isn’t covered in our examples above, let us know in the comments and we’ll provide our best estimates.

What Interests You?

You might be able to wash a mean rental wetsuit, but that doesn’t mean you like to. At times, we all have to do things we don’t like, but when it comes to marketing your dive business, lack of interest and effort shows.

If you loathe Facebook (it’s okay, a couple of us don’t have personal accounts either), you will not setup an attractive Facebook Page that drives SCUBA business and you will see it as a failure, a waste of time. However, someone who both understands Facebook marketing strategy for dive professionals and is interested in doing the work would see a positive return on investment.

We give projects a numeric value based on interest:

  • Hate the idea = 4
  • Like the idea, no idea how to do it = 3
  • Like the idea, know how to do it = 2
  • Like the idea, have done it before = 1

So the formula now looks like this:

Cost of Project = Interest Factor * (Expected Hours * Desired Hourly Rate)

If a professional costs 10-15% over or less, get help.

You may question the “Like the idea, know how to do it” having a 2 multiplier value. Have you ever done a simple home improvement project? If not, pick an easy one like changing out the seal on your toilet. One trip to Home Depot quickly turns into three and an entire weekend is gone for a project that should have taken an hour. That’s why “knowing how to do something” without “having done it before” gets a 2 value.

You Are Now Able To Tell Me…

You now have the basic building blocks to determine what you should be doing compared to what you should be getting help with.

To recap, here are the steps:

  1. Determine what marketing tool needs to be implemented or strategy needs to be developed
  2. Determine your desired hourly pay
  3. Discover how long a project should take (again, feel free to ask us in the comments)
  4. Factor in your interest level
  5. Use this formula to determine your cost for the project: Interest Factor * (Expected Hours * Desired Hourly Rate)
  6. If your cost for the project is 10-15% over or less, get help.

As this series progresses, we’ll cover where to get help (hint: not all help requires opening your checkbook) and what defines a “professional”, so stick around.

Photo via Bohman

What’s your hourly rate?

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