Finding your ski teaching brand is an ongoing, self-exploratory process. You might have a pre-conceived notion about your brand, but then discover an unknown affinity for a certain type of client. Stay open to new experiences. Ask your favorite clients for their input. Read this article and discover different ways to identify your ski teaching brand.
Branding Comes From Within
Your organic reactions to each teaching situation helps you determine your personalized brand. Note how you feel before, during and after class with specific types of people. What types were fun? What types made you uncomfortable? With which students did you have the most empathy? Whose goals can you identify with? Are you capable of helping them reach these goals?
Once you know the answers, discuss them with your ski school director. He or she has a vested interest the ski school’s success.
Your Ideal Student
During your day to day, off slope interactions with people, ask yourself if this person would like your ski class. What about you? Would enjoy having them in your class? How would you teach them. To what methods would they respond? This helps you get a better idea of your target client. Take a realistic approach. Many instructors would love to teach the 20-something with the hot bod, but are you really the best instructor for him or her?
It’s easier to build a brand when you can identify your target client!
Your off-slope interests and lifestyle also determine your brand. Mermer Blakeslee, specializes in fear workshops. She’s also an accomplished mystery writer and gardener. Visit herFacebook Page, and you get a sense of who she is as both a teacher and an intriguing human being.
Mermer shows her understanding of the entire fear concept in her book titled Conversations With Fear. She then uses this to build her personal brand and attract the kind of clients she can best help.
PSIA has specialty clinics, including kids, women, seniors, moguls, adaptive and big mountain. There are other options through USA Ski Racing and adaptive programs. Take these clinics and establish your specialties. Gain respect as a ski professional, not just a ski instructor. This can be an essential element of your brand.
Building Brand You
This information comes from theIDEA website. Although it was designed for fitness instructors, it’s also applicable to ski instructors.
Your Presentational Brand
Your presentational brand starts with your physical appearance. Some instructors stay clean cut and well groomed. Others present more of a “Mountain Man” or “Mountain Woman” appearance. Each type will appeal to a different type of student. The personal touches you put on your business card also define your presentational brand, as do things such as handing out Tip of the Day Cards, or bringing along snacks for your students.
Your Reputational Brand
Your reputational brand is how people talk about you, if they talk about you at all! Much of this will depend on how much of a reputation you have built on social media.
Your Personal Brand
Your personal brand describes how you interact with clients. Do you have an email list? Are you available for chats after class?
Your Team Brand
Never underestimate the value of what your fellow ski instructors say about you. While building your own brand, you still need to be a team player. Learn from others by forming a mastermind group and sharing your expertise.
Think about the brands of successful instructors on your mountain. What makes them stand out among the other identical uniforms? If one of these instructors got sick or injured, whose class would you be able to teach? Consider shadowing these instructors in your spare time.
Testing Your Brand
Once you have chosen your brand, ask yourself “Does this work?” Ask your best clients how the perceive you, how well did you meet their expectations, from what did the build those expectations? It works if you are attracting your desired clients, and if you feel a sense of satisfaction at the end of a teaching session. If not, think about ways to target your brand toward your favorite type of student.