Mastermind Group

Create Raving Fans

I took the opportunity to attend Michael Hyatt’s Platform 2014 Conference at the Broadmoor Hotel in November. This was a great couple of days for me, where I learned more about building a platform of followers and customers from which to deliver your message in a busy world. There are several lessons from the conference I hope to share with you that I believe can help us improve our business as ski and snowboard instructors. My trip report provides a quick survey of the event and further references.

For today’s posts, I’m going to explore on Pat Flynn of talk on “1000 Raving Fans”

Create Raving Fans

At first this seems like an audacious goal. Creating not only fans, but raving fans from your ski school clients. We are not talking about the scale of Justin Beaver crazed fans. But people that are genuinely excited and enthusiastic. Clients that love to ski with you and can’t wait to ski and ride with you on their next visit. That is “Niche Famous”. To be raving, they are even willing to share with anyone that listens how great an experience they had with you.

Raving fans aren’t created the moment people discover you, they are created by moments you create for them overtime. — Pat Flynn

Moving Up the Affinity Pyramid

Moving a person from just met you to active client, to returning client to raving fan takes time. We can use Pat’s affinity pyramid to visualize the progression. The first thing to note is that the bottom of the pyramid is wider from this base of people you encounter every day, only a portion will become regular clients and then potentially move up to fan status.

Casual Audience

Your student’s first impression of you will most likely be even before they are assigned to your class. It may be a chance encounter approaching the ski school, observing you teach others, from your Facebook page, or a comment from others in the resort.

The key take away from Pat’s talk was to make sure your first impression has the effect you want. These first interactions should attract your ideal guests. Be consistent in delivering that impression, you never know when you will hit the mark.

Active Audience

If you can define the problem better than your target customer, they will automatically assume that you have the solution — Jay Abraham

The Guest Centered Teaching Model (GCT) naturally fits at this level. It gives you the best opportunity to move a student from a casual observer to actively joining you in a learning partnership invested in their own success. It is important to listen to and observer your clients so you can clearly understand their needs from the three areas in the GCT model: Cognitively, Affectively, Physically. Delivering a good goal statement for your lesson, will have the effect as the above quote.

Putting some of “you” in your brand will make it easier for the clients to actively engage with you. Once the goal is set, make sure deliver quick wins, then celebrate your student’s accomplishments.

Connected Community

To bring your clients to the next step with you will need to build a relationship beyond the first lesson. It is important to get them comfortable enough with you to share their contact information. You must make sure not to abuse this confidence, but deliver content to your clients that they find valuable, always with the option to opt out of future messages.

The first interaction should be an email or another message that summarizes your experience together. Particularly if you can make it personal, celebrating some of their accomplishments and clearly articulate a larger goal. As with most of your interactions a simple invitation back letting, the client knows you enjoyed skiing with them is so effective but often neglected.

After the lesson, use phone calls, Facebook, email and/or other social media to build a connected community with your clients. Use this community to deliver additional value, photos, videos and links to other resources. Many clients enjoy “factory tours”, let them in on the insiders view of a mountain life style, how you prepare for the lesson, what you do when your not skiing.

Magical Moments

If Pat offered any “secrets”, it was to provide your guests with memorable moments. You do this by delivering a bit more then what is expected. It can be actual magic, humor, music … just about anything that personalizes the experience for your guest. Something that works for me is to share a favorite powder stash with my guests. Something that they wouldn’t necessarily find on their own. I give it a bit of a build up, and create a bit of mystery. I have source great spots for various ability levels, and it is always the hightlight of the day. No powder that day, I have a collection of other trails, that with the right buildup can be a bit magical as well.

Another example: capture on video, key moments of the day and present an edited video of the experience enhanced with a music track. Or if your brand is more of a technical coach, deliver an analysis video with recorded tips. The key is to find ways to add a bit of magic, that little bit extra that will move people from a satisfied customer to raving fan.


  • Work to create a consistent first impression
  • Articulate an insightful goal statement
  • Deliver quick wins and celebrate your client’s success
  • Together with your client build a plan for a larger goal
  • Create connected community and deliver value after the lesson
  • Deliver magical moments
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