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Becoming a fishing guide: how to effectively promote your activity?
Posted On 2 August 2018
Do you want to become a fishing guide? Have you just obtained your BPJEPS leisure fishing, that famous sesame to make your passion your job? Before embarking on this adventure, take the time to read these few lines to help you make good decisions and think about this project as a whole. Here are some useful items for the new generation of fishing guides.
Become a fishing guide: be an entrepreneur before being a fisherman
It is important to understand that you are first and foremost an entrepreneur before you are a fisherman. Does that surprise you? You shouldn't because you own a business. Certainly yours, but indeed a business. It will roughly consist of getting people to pay to discover, learn, understand, improve in the practice of fishing or just have a good day by the water while trying to catch fish with you. .
However, one should also be aware that this brief description is only the tip of the iceberg. To get there, you will first need to attract customers, retain them, establish partnerships, manage your image, your accounting, your invoices, your communication, administration ... In short, all of these elements that do not concern the fishing and that it is important to remind all those who wish to become a fishing guide!
“A fishing instructor guide is there to guide, not to fish.”
As summarized Mathieu Colzato during our last interview, fishing is not what the client asks you to do, he asks you to make HIM fish. And as the name suggests, a fishing instructor-guide is there to guide you before you fish. So make sure beforehand that your boat and equipment are in good condition, that your customers find you, that they have everything they expect from you and that they understand your directions before they can hope to think about fishing. And even under these conditions, nothing is less certain!
It's not easy to see things from that angle. It is therefore important to ask the right questions before being able to start such an activity and to have motivations other than the simple fact of wanting to fish.
Choose a place according to your perspectives and not your desires
Where you work is one of the most crucial things to consider before embarking on an adventure and becoming a fishing guide. Beyond your professional skills, your place of activity will be a determining point in your success… or your failure. Several factors may come into play: the region, the environment, the fish wealth, competition or even the volume of French and foreign tourists are examples.
Choosing a place where the tourist visit is frequent is a first step. However, don't forget that the more touristic regions are more often than not already occupied by other well-established guides who have already made a name for themselves on a place or a technique that you may be considering offering.
Of course, most of you won't be able to pack your bags and travel several hundred kilometers just to become a fishing guide. Do not worry ! Each region has its own tourist areas. And as an entrepreneur, it is your responsibility to determine the region with the best development prospects in relation to present but also future constraints.
Be a good communicator on and off the water
Before being able to guide a customer, it is of course necessary that this one learns of your existence and wants to contact you. For that, you must play on all the tables in order to be as visible as possible.
Do not hesitate to activate your own network to make people talk about you. Fishing is a very community environment. Use it to your advantage. The slightest information can be relayed very quickly if it is taken well and by the right people. Once your diploma is in your pocket, you can rely on your training center, your colleagues and your fishing friends to make you a first clientele.
Subsequently, tourist offices, airports, hotels, lodges and bed and breakfast will be excellent supports to develop your visibility. Make sure that anyone who would like to go fishing, if only they had the choice, finds your flyers or business card there. Remember that you are a vector of value for these different actors. So don't be afraid to ask them. If guests of a hotel go fishing with you and have a good time, this will inevitably and positively affect the hotel, especially if the hotel has recommended them! This therefore gives you solid negotiating power to convince these tourism players to make your brochures available to their customers.
Become a fishing guide with the Internet as your best ally
90% tourist reservations are now made via the Internet, from a smartphone or a computer. You owe it to yourself to follow this trend by communicating your offers on the internet in the best possible way.
First, through your own showcase site. It must be clear, attractive, well organized and above all transparent on all the information useful to a fisherman to be able to book: the type of service, location, duration, level, price, etc.
Second, social media will get people talking about you for less and make it easier for customers to find you. However, this requires commitment, time and skills.
For those who are not comfortable with internet or communication skills, Rodmaps supports you through an easy-to-use tool allowing you to create your advertisements and to be able to manage all of your reservations.
Guiding people in the middle of the day while taking care of their sides and their communication outside of guiding is a full-time job. You will very often miss a call from a future customer or not be responsive to receiving an email. From experience, this can cause you to lose a lot of customers who will simply choose to contact another of your competitors. To guard against this, consider providing a second issue on your communication tools. Your spouse, your son, your daughter, a good friend or better still an associate will easily do the trick. Well chosen, it's even likely to do the job better than you could have done. Plus, you'll be free to focus on what you do best: guiding and providing the best possible service to your customers.
If these points seem obvious to you, it shows that you have conscientiously considered your project to become a fishing guide. If other points could have been mentioned, these will allow you to ensure a regular flow of new customers useful when you start your activity. In off-peak periods, do not hesitate to question yourself and reread these few lines. As the owner of your own business, you will very often find yourself sucked into your daily life and have your head in the handlebars. In these cases, taking pride in your actions never hurts.
Rodmaps is above all the story of Nicolas and Matthieu, two friends passionate about fishing. Since our childhood, our passion drives us to travel through France and to travel around the world in search of adventure and trophy fish. Through Rodmaps, we want to share our passion for fishing with as many people as possible and make people discover the joys of this sport around us, because yes, fishing is a sport!