How would you market a Charter Boat Fishing Service? (Offliners Advice Needed)

by 18 comments
I was talking to a local charter boat owner, and he is curious as to how to market his fishing Charters. He actually just bought the boat, and kept the exsisting captain and everything. So, he has an exisitng boat and small customer base.

His website sucks, so that needs to be priority number one. But I have other questions. I was thinking of social marketing, blogging, and video marketing.

This looks like a tough one for google local listings. They show over 1000 results for the local keyword. His current website is nowhere near near the first 25 pages of google. In fact, there arent even any meta tags.

What type of plan would you lay out? I have a few hundred existing customers, but only have phone numbers for them - no mail or email address.

#main internet marketing discussion forum #advice #boat #charter #fishing #market #needed #offliners #service
  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    Video, plus local keyword SEO - content site updated more often
    than the lazy competitor's.

    Oh - and make sure the packages he offers are attractive and
    it's very clear what people get for their money. Throw in
    bonuses where you can, especially ones where you can set the
    value arbitrarily.

    You could call all those customers and take a survey, then you
    develop offers around what the customer base wants.
  • Profile picture of the author Mark Riddle

    I worked at the Lake of the Ozarks for the local small market station, we always would have fishing folks come in and want to know how to get more customers.

    I worked with one guy "Jim The Fishing Guru" I did have a website for him but that isn't the best source of business for him.

    The best is ole fashioned Press releases to newspapers and magazines.

    There are a ton of specialty fishing magazines for what ever fishing niche that your looking to take over.

    The real key is to understand the money in the fishing business is NOT the Boat and Guide Biz.

    It is in product sales and endorsements.

    If they are going fishin' they have to have a video of the trip, have to have some custom lures that work with the fish you're trying to catch.

    Private by mail tips letter that tells about the big one that DIDN'T get away.

    Sport fishing related travel and equipment.

    The fishermen with money have no problem with spending it.

    Mark Riddle
  • Profile picture of the author Mac the Knife
    Offline businesses are perfect for Facebook Fan Pages. If you put up a fan page, and you include a high quality squeeze page as the welcome page, and TARGET fans (people both in the local area and in other areas that list FISHING or other similar keywords in profile) then the business can build a big mailing list to market to AND have an active fan page to keep the business on the minds of fans...offering special deals, trips, etc.

    I can help by getting you Warrior pricing on a fan page with video and opt-in capability as well as driving fans to me

    In addition to that, you can target prospects using local based keywords and articles that would help entice folks looking to charter a fishing trip

    Top 5 Things You Should Expect from a Quality Charter Fishing Outfit (etc)

    While you may be targeting locals, depending on where the charter is located, targeting vacationers from other areas can broaden the market spectrum. I live in Maryland, but I charter boats in Destin, Florida a few times a year for instance.

    Obviously, like you said, you want to get the website locked and loaded to be ready for Google...

    Good luck!

  • Profile picture of the author Jay F
    Build his email list. Both from the website and before anyone steps on to the boat.

    Send the list a weekly fishing report. My Dad does this just with his friends and that gets them very excited to go out every weekend.
  • Profile picture of the author aa411853
    Well the best advice is for the captain to go out and catch some big fish, and then have all the customers tell all their friends. LOL
  • Profile picture of the author jwellsy
    Most charter fishing is booked at trade shows. That's just a fact of life. People going to fishing shows are going to spend their money somewhere. If he doesn't have a consistent presence at the shows and events he will have a much tuffer time filling his schedule.

    If it's a really nice boat that can do overnight trips, he could market himself as the CEU Captain. Yes, the Continuing Education Unit Captain or Charter. Use the acronym of your choice CEU, PDU, CEC or whatever. The point is many professions require continuing education and they are always looking for cool ways to earn their credits. Your guy to market to continuing education facilitators. If the facilitator books 6 students then his trip is free. They can have their meetings during the transit times. Big time corporate money gets spent on this kind of thing every year.

    As an avid fisherman myself, something that would really impress me on a website would be some screen captures of his fish finders showing his favorite structures that he likes to fish. his would help make a personal connection to website visitors.
  • Profile picture of the author Allen Graves
    Is it fresh? salt? flats? river?

    What area? Gulf Coast? Carolinas? Atlantic? Pacific?

    Video and photos will definitely be a necessity once the visitors get to the page - you want to show prize fish caught with the boat or the captian or the deck sign in the background.

    Are his prices reasonable? More expensive? Cheaper?

    There are ways to get some website traffic pretty quick, but you need to keep in mind that a slow and steady SEO campaign will be the best in the long run. Black-hat methods will be your demise. Quality, steady offpage SEO will build a nice stream of clients in the long run.

  • Profile picture of the author MisterMunch
    If you have a keyword with so many competitors, it is possible to change keyword.

    Your keyword might be fishing charter, but it might as well be fishing experience or fishing adventure. You have to do the research and figure out what might work.

    A Youtube reality show might also work. Think american chopper or those crab fishers. (does not have to be that advanced)
  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Have a look what I've done for my client here. He runs Luxury Charters and boat cruises on Sydney Harbour and The Great Barrier Reef and is killing it. Note the use of boat walk-through Virtual Reality clips and video clips. Sydney Harbour Cruises with Flagship luxury boat hire & corporate charters

    This video got us to the top of Google for the keywords -

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