The Golf Professional’s Survival Guide
What Every Golf Pro Should Know (but no one else dares to tell you) About Keeping Your Job, Finding A New One And Developing Your Options For The Future!
I don’t have to tell you how tough it is being a golf professional… even in the good times. You wear many hats, are expected to be an expert in many things and frequently find yourself between a rock and a hard place trying to please everyone. Mr. Jones wants fast greens, Mr. Smith wants slow greens and although they take their respective frustrations out on you, you, in fact, have no control because it’s a greens committee issue anyway.
Mrs. Jones wants Polo clothing, Mrs. Smith wants Fila, you stock only Cutter & Buck. They both complain, but neither seems to understand that you don’t even own the shop or choose the merchandise!
For the third time in six weeks, Mr. Stein is on the phone demanding a 10 a.m. tee time on Saturday for his unexpected guests. The tee sheet is already full. You offer a fair compromise, which he grudgingly accepts while muttering under his breath about how things will be different next year when he’s on the board.
You have been told to bring in more outings but are berated for taking away tee times by the morning regulars when you do!
Yes, being a golf pro is tough at the best of times. These are not the best of times. In fact, they are extremely difficult times and you have every right to be concerned. Concerned about your job, concerned about your family and concerned about your future. It is, of course, that way in many industries, but the golf industry has been particularly hard hit by the recession, owners, managers and boards and professionals like you are rightfully worried about their future.
None-the-less the astute golf professional can do many things to protect himself, his position and his income. While at the same time increasing the amount of his well thought out options in case the shit really does hit the fan!
Why am I qualified to address these issues?
Because I am friends and acquaintances with over 3,000 golf professionals, many of whom turn to me when looking for a job or advice. Because we work actively work with several hundred golf professionals through our daily work with Legendary Marketing. We employee several PGA professionals both at Legendary Marketing and through the courses we manage. We work with hundreds of club boards and owners hearing their intimate thoughts and comments, both good and bad about the professionals they employee or want to employ.
Last but not least… I am not bound by any thoughts of political correctness; I will be very candid and straightforward with my comments, as always.
This special article is divided into three sections:
- Making your existing position more secure.
- Getting a job if and when you have to.
- And developing your options for the future.
I sincerely hope you find the information of great value and take some or all of the suggested actions to survive and thrive in these changing times!
Keeping Your Job Safe!
These are tough times for the golf business and everyone is cutting costs. Everyone is operating with fewer people and those that are left are spread increasingly thin! Throughout the last two years I have received calls from professional after professional who had been in the same position for 5, 10 even 15 years and then suddenly without any warning… were out of a job. Out of a job, because the course went under, the management company the club hired fired everyone or the board just decided to cut costs and do without a fully qualified professional.
Almost no one is safe, but there are many things you can do to increase your real value and YOUR PERCEPTION of value to the club. Now I am not saying for a minute that you are not already incredibly valuable to your club but let’s just work on some strategies to get them on the same page as us!
Taking Control of Your Communication Channels
In his later years, the great Winston Churchill was questioned by a young reporter. “Mr. Churchill in light of the many failures you had in your career how do you expect history to view you?”
Churchill’s reply was classic “Young man I expect history to view me very favorably because that’s the way I intend to write it!”
Churchill of course authored over 90 books and surprise, surprise fared very well in all of them. It is no different today; those that control the media control the tone of the debate.
The key to increasing a member, owner, or boards perception of your value rests mainly on the quality and frequency of your communication with them. I know you already know how to handle communication in the shop, on the range and in the clubhouse but with many members or stakeholders that will be occasional and nothing more than a quick hello at best.
The 80/20 rule applies; You already connect well with 20% of people who show up every week – now let’s go deeper!
Control your press on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter (if you must) your own personal blog and in a special report that will seal the deal!
It has never been easier to build your personal brand thanks to the Internet and social media. You must use these tools to stay in front of customers, friends, acquaintances and career opportunities in a way that builds your professional image as someone they can trust. It does not matter whether you are a CEO or a janitor you can build your brand and increase your value in the marketplace. When you increase your value an increase in income or business always follows.
Facebook – Start a personal fan page, not your club’s page, (because if you go your page goes with you the clubs page does not!) Then search the internet for images, articles, and videos of interest to your members or players. Mix in your own blog posts and videos and you are on your way to becoming a media star. Then you can Tweet about your posts and reach even more people!
Linkedin – Build your network of connections, starting with friends, co-workers, suppliers, customers, and players you meet along the way. The larger your network and the more committed you are to engaging with it on a regular basis, the greater your success will be. Post articles in their pulse section to build your industry profile.
Blog – Start your own blog and post something weekly. This is a very simple way to build you personal brand. If you have the self-discipline to do it every week you will be a third of the way towards writing your first book or will have complete a Micro book. You don’t have to be Hemmingway my spelling and grammar are appalling but someone will always fix those issues at minimum wage. Half the time I don’t even bother, (I know awful isn’t it)The important part is your knowledge or opinion about golf.
YouTube – Start your own YouTube channel. It does not have to be a high-end production. Just you in front of your webcam talking about golf or what your opinion is of the issues in the industry.
Join forums – Specific to our industry and locally in your community. Be active in answering others people’s posts and questions.
Email – Always build a personal email list separate from the clubs.
I’ll talk more about each of these items but for now for now just understand that you are in control of a small media empire. You must use that power wisely to craft your personal brand! When you do that you open yourself to greater opportunity. Business comes to you as will job offers and additional media opportunities to promote your personal cause.
Remember if you are not willing to write your own history someone else will surely write it for you! For better or worse…
The Golf Professional’s Blog
On a weekly and monthly basis, the pro’s blog should provide an excellent forum to develop relationships, add value to your members and demonstrate your value to your member’s, owner or board.
Why Should You Blog?
I have been blogging a long time; it’s easy for me because I love to write. Many people find blogging a hassle they can well do without, judging by how few clubs (or pros) are using their blog effectively to engage players, build a personal brand and produce sales. If indeed they are using one at all. Often I get people excited about starting a blog only to find a few weeks later they have given up because they do “not have time” or because they did not get any “Instant” feedback from their first few posts. Like most things in life getting traction takes a little time.
If the club already has a blog contribute to it weekly. If not set up your own blog up at once and ask that it be linked to your club’s website. (a 60-second task) Keep all your articles in case you ever move, so they can be reused!
Many of the things I am going to share with you about blogging are equally applicable to all the other forms of social media. There are many blogging programs out there. I use the most popular WordPress. It’s easy to set up, easy to use and FREE!
Your Blog is Important Because It:
- Showcases your professional knowledge and positions you as an expert. You meaning, not the faceless organization “the club” but the real people behind the club.
- A blog gives you a human face. Many occasional players may never have seen or heard from the pro!
- A blog creates a feedback loop for members and potential customers. They can comment, ask questions and add to your posts. NOTE: You get to review posts before they go up.
- A blog starts new relationships
- A blog strengthens existing relationships with members and players. Featuring them and their families on your blog or Facebook will increase their bond with the club.
- A blog increase links back to your club’s website from other websites, this increases traffic.
- A blog dramatically helps your search engine positioning. The more relevant content you have on your site the higher your rankings. Google loves relevant content and inbound links!
- A blog builds into a large and searchable database of useful information, entertainment, and opinion that can be accessed months from now.
- Things you know about and that your customers want to know about.
- The golf professional should share golf instruction tips, travel tips or comment on recent PGA Tour happenings.
- Everyday events and how they tie back into your club is always good! It could be something as simple a commenting on how much money the Rotary club who met for lunch at the club, raised for a local hospital.
- It could be rallying the club around a cause like prostate or breast cancer.
- You can share pictures of the course, a deer at dawn walking across the 7th green, a giant frog, change of seasons, party pictures of members and guests or a golf ball stuck up a tree. Anything that will engage, educate, entertain or bring a smile is fine
- Topics you are passionate about, that members and guest may also enjoy it does not have to be all golf.
Social media is informal, you don’t need to be Ernest Hemingway or Mark Twain to get your message across. Sure you can spell check it, but don’t spend hours editing your blog work people are looking for content, ideas, entertainment education not an English lesson. Meanwhile, Twitter and Facebook practically have their own language that barely resembles English anyway.
Be yourself; let your personality shine through. It’s your blog, your opinion.
- “If slow play is a problem call it out.
- “Joke about the fashion police being out and having a new line in this decades colors in the shop now… have some fun with it”
- “Not happy with the Ryder cup team call… ‘em out!’”
- Blog consistently, at least weekly, more often if possible.
The Pro’s Facebook Fan Page
Ok so we have covered yearly, monthly and weekly communication now let’s make it daily. Have a personal Facebook page and then set up a Fan page, that is your business page. Post something daily so you and your personal brand stays in front of your players, members, and stakeholders.
Be involved in your club’s newsletter with a meaningful article, golf travel tips, a photo gallery of your trip to Scotland, or a review of the latest high-tech driver. It doesn’t have to be instruction though that’s always a good option.
The more you are in front of your players/membership in as many different media as possible, the more you build and reinforce the perception of your expertise and value!
“Yes our pro is very active on social media, has a cool blog, always contributes to the club newsletter and offers free instruction tips on Youtube”
This is what you want people to be saying about you!!!
The PRO’S Personal Branding in the Community
In every area, some pros have a reputation and come to mind at once while others with equal talent are anonymous. The previous strategies will help get you noticed these will crank it up a notch
Articles in Local Golf Magazines, Newspapers & Blogs
Articles in local newspapers, magazines, and local blogs will further spread your reputation in your local community. Having even a handful of well-written articles with high-quality pictures (even if you need help to accomplish this) will be a great investment in your career. The more you get out the more your reputation grows and the more likely opportunity will seek you out!
Your YouTube Channel
YouTube is an amazingly cheap and powerful tool to create a buzz that basically gives you the ability to create your own TV show. Now if used correctly that’s not just power, that’s serious power!
You should establish your own YouTube channel (it’s free) and post short teaching videos, which you can then use on your blog, in your clubs newsletter, on the club’s website, and on your social media pages. But it doesn’t have to stop with teaching you can talk about equipment, travel tips, course architecture, rules or even golf marketing.
YouTube is the ideal place to share your expertise, highlight your products, and showcase your customers and results while you attract and entertain your existing and future clients! It’s also a great way to go viral. It aids in generating web traffic and helps you climb up the search engine rankings.
Subscribe to the Golf Business Channel!
Don’t Wait For Your Chance at Stardom, Make Yourself a Star On YouTube!
The Pro’s Year End Report – Your Ticket to Higher Income, Job Security, and Customer Retention!
I came home recently from doing a seminar for the Northwest PGA. As I walked back into the house the first thing my wife said was, “What do you think?” Knowing it was almost certainly the wrong answer I said: “I think it’s time for a beer!” She makes an effort to smack me over the head and drags me outside to point out that our house, which used to be off-white is now green!
You’ve probably had the same type of thing happen to you, at home and in reverse at work. You improve the merchandise in the shop, train your staff to smile, offer a free lesson to the kids in the summer and still no one seems to notice. This is where it pays to be PROactive, in pointing out to your members, clients, customers or boss all the things you have done for them!
The New Year offers a great opportunity to communicate with your members, officers, board, customers or whoever your boss happens to be. Just as large corporations offer their stakeholders an annual report I suggest that every PGA Professional provide his or her boss with an annual report. That way he can remind him of just what a wonderful job he has been doing.
If you don’t it’s a sure bet no one else will do it for you!
The report should start with a general letter talking about the challenges and triumphs of last year. Then should go into detail highlighting all the things you have done to increase the service, enhance the customers experience and boost income!
For the sake of an example let’s take the case of a golf professional reporting to a board of directors.
The report might include some of the following items:
- An increase in the number of tournaments that were offered this year giving members a greater selection of formats and events, than ever before.
- An increase in the number of players whom participated in the member-guest and therefore exposing the club to new prospective members.
- An increase in the number of guest rounds and income from them.
- The adding of new balls on the driving not once but twice a year.
- The addition of an extra employee on the staff to help with the rush on Saturday and Sunday and provide a higher level of service to the members.
- An increase in the amount of goods offered in the pro shop to provide members with a better selection of goods.
- The initiation of two new demo days to give members the chance to hit different equipment.
- The addition of a club website to keep members informed with up to the minute information on club events. (of course http://www.LegendaryMarketing.com)
The Pro might also inform his members of the three education events he attended to keep abreast of current techniques and keep his club’s operation on the cutting edge.
- Attended Andrew Wood’s Golf Marketing Boot Camp to stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing trends in the industry.
- Attended a PGA seminar on how to better control merchandise costs.
- Attended a local seminar on the value of social media marketing sponsored by the chamber of commerce. This provided me with some new ideas on how to market the club at almost no cost.
Notice that every item is stated in the form of a CLEAR BENEFIT to the club!
The report itself can be as simple as a two-page letter or a more elaborate piece typeset with graphics, your logo, and a plastic cover or binder. Any print shop or business box store can do this for you quickly and inexpensively as will any high school kid. Where possible it should include quotes from happy customers about various events or services you have mentioned. There is nothing like a third-party endorsement of your statements to power up their impact!
How do You Get Such Quotes?
Every time a member says “Hey Joe thanks for putting on that junior clinic my guy Harry really enjoyed it”
“It’s my pleasure Joe, Hey would you mind if I used those exact words as a quote in the letter I am writing to the board explaining why doing these clinics benefits the club?”
Why sure he wouldn’t mind!
And neither would the guy who told you “It was the best member guest ever!”
The lady who ”Loves the Friday Wine and Nine!”
All you have to do is ask on the spot and jot it down on your smartphone for later use!
This is an amazingly simple yet powerful way to demonstrate your worth, they simply cannot refute or discount the comments of members and guests who support your view of events.
Once you have written down what you have done over the previous year look to the future!
Finish the report with a look to the future and list some of the things you have already have planned for the New Year, that will BENEFIT the club with your “Forward thinking”
- We will be adding three new up and coming clothing lines to increase the choice in the pro-shop
- We will be offering Free beginners classes on the range every Friday night to expose our club to new people and help grow the game
- I will implement many of the strategies found in the Golf Marketing Bible.
- I have ordered Andrew Wood’s, A-Z Membership Marketing manual and we will be looking forward to implanting some of his strategies to generate more leads.
- We intend to join the www.GolfOperatorAssociation.org and take advantage of the many resources they offer.
Now you have told them what you have accomplished, backed it up with quotes from members or guests and told them what you intend to do next. Job done.
You will find this tool an excellent alley when asking for a raise, increasing your job security or enhancing your customer retention. 0.5% of your fellow pros will take the trouble to do this, you will be a giant among the pygmies.
If you follow my next suggestions of blogging and using Facebook all this information will already have been collected as you go and it will just need organizing and spruced up to make your report.
Total time invested about 8 hours.
Value to your career… PRICELESS!
Kaizen is the Japanese’s term for continuous never-ending improvement. If you are not dedicating 2-3 hours of your week to improving yourself are almost certainly moving backward. Time, technology and competition march on relentlessly with no regard for age, physical strength, race, religion or motivation.
Make your weakness your strength. If you are not good a public speaking, become good at public speaking. If you know little about social media, learn more about social media. (You don’t have to know that much to be ahead of most of your peers). If you lack sales skills, get them through books and audios.
For great information to enhance your career and use on social media go here http://www.GolfOperatorAssociation.org
Three Skills Multiple Income Faster Than Any Others
Beyond your immediate technical professional skills life such as teaching, merchandising or management life offers three great multipliers. We can all commit some of our time to enhancing our skills but which skills you choose to enhance will have a dramatic effect on your income. Say what you like Mrs. Dale about the educational benefits of learning Latin but I assure you, it proved to be, as I suspected at the time, a total waste of one hour of my life, twice a week for three years while in high school!
There are three skills you should acquire or enhance regardless of your profession or business. These skills that have the potential to multiply your income by an X factor far greater than any other skills you could possibly learn.
- Speaking skills
- Copywriting skill
- Sales skills
Your ability to communicate your ideas, and convert people to your cause, through speaking and writing results in a sale of some kind. It may be financial, it may be an alliance or maybe just getting an interview but the X factor in your ability to do this successfully more times than others results in an almost unimaginable difference in income and therefore lifestyle and wealth.
The three skills are all quite closely intertwined as they all deal with your ability to communicate and generate action from others. Getting others to act in the way in which you want them to act, albeit your employer, your employees or your customer’s is the key to all business success!
- A typical golf coach makes about $50,000 a year
- Those that are good at sales make over $100,000 or double, doing the exact same job!
- Those good at all three will make $150,000 or triple the average instructor not because they are any better at teaching but because they are better at communicating (selling) their expertise!
- Those that are really excellent at speaking, writing and sales like David Leadbetter or Dave Pelz make 8-10 million a year!
You can apply formula this to just about any industry or profession. A person with the ability to communicate his worth at a high level will get promoted faster although his actual performance may be no better than his co-workers
Golf instructors, martial arts instructors, and dance school owners all have years of experience teaching their art. It’s no different for accountants, dentist or chiropractors with years of experience perfecting a professional skill. Yet, all will undoubtedly be paid FAR less than their talent and experience is worth if they are not also masters of sales and marketing!
Universal Law: The professionals with the best sales and marketing skills make the most money NOT the professionals with the most talent in their chosen field.
No matter what your skills are in these areas are right now you can quickly and easily improve or hone them. These skills are the x-factor in just about every business or career. Once you have them you can add financial management to the list.
So start enhancing your education in these three areas today and multiply your income immediately!
Any action you take to increase your personal brand, sales, and marketing skills or communication with the world, in general, will increase that amount of opportunity that finds you! The more action you take the more opportunity that will follow.
Ask For Your Club’s Financial Information
Ask to see your club’s financial information. Many golf pros are sheepish about this but it may save you from being blindsided as many are, to the dire nature of their club’s finances. (Remember it’s always easier to get a job when you still have a job!) As a golf professional who is an integral part of your club’s success, you should demand access to financial information.
You may well be able to suggest areas of improvement.
Failing that you may well suggest they get some outside help before it’s too late. (Call me @ 352 266 2099.) Unlike other companies that focus almost entirely on slashing costs, we focus instead on increasing revenues, WHAT A CONCEPT!
If you can’t help or ownership won’t accept your help and the writing is on the wall, start looking now. Do not wait until it’s too late out of a false sense of hope or loyalty.
Creating Residual Income
The Golf Marketing Bible, which I wrote and self-published in 2005 and updated again in 2015 will never challenge Stephen King on the bestsellers list but it has made me almost $500,000. I did the work once and yet have gotten paid for that work every year for over a decade. I still get checks even now ten years later that would buy a nice car.
Anyone can do this and leverage their knowledge.
I wrote my first book, a self-published effort in a three-ring-binder, that was written my second year in the martial arts business. How to Make $100,000 a Year Teaching Martial Arts and sold 1148 copies, at $150 a manual the first year. There were a thousand people in the industry with more experience than I to write the book, it’s just that I was the only one who actually did it J
My golf coach and good friend Mark Wood has published two books on Kindle one on getting more distance the other on shanking. In fact, our goal is to turn him into the world’s leading expert on shanking like Dave Pelz did with the Short Game Bible. He is not a professional writer nor can he typeset but with a little local help from a proofreader and graphic designer he has put out an outstanding book!
Mark has also learned so much about marketing from working with me that I now pay him to consult with some of my client helping them implement their marketing programs and I have encouraged him to do some consulting on his own as well.
My friend and client Scott Seifferlein is also a published author, who also consults and speaks in addition to his teaching business.
My residual income derives from the following yours could too:
- Online seminars
- Selling ads on my various blogs, newsletters, and emails
- Selling other people’s products to my list
- Affiliate programs
In other words, I have not just one source of income but six or seven sources. None may make all that much on its’ own but together the residual income adds up to a tidy amount every year single year.
You could also make additional income through being an
- Expert witness
- Witting articles
- Renting property you own
- Licensing your name or system
- Coaching other professionals in your field
- By creating an online training course
- Selling ads on your YouTube channel or Blog
- Renting out your car
The more different forms of residual income you can create the safer your continued income stream becomes and the quicker you achieve true financial freedom!
Getting a New Job
There are still a handful of clubs mainly in the North East where the dream PGA job still exists. Where the pro is well paid, well respected and is not expected to sell memberships, attract outings, drive green fees and develop a social media plan. There he can teach, run his shop, repair clubs and even play!
Those jobs are few and far between, demand a bloodline back to the Mayflower and some very good inside connections. Those are not the job’s I am going to talk about although at the end of this report I will give you some key advice in this area. No, what I am going to talk about instead is the real world in which you and I now live.
Owners and club boards need, want and demand:
- Green Fees
- A REAL marketing plan
- Member retention
- Social media knowledge
Few care about merchandising, lessons, rules knowledge, tournament efficiency, your twenty-five years of golf experience or your member relations. You can argue with me, fight it, refute it, lament it, but it won’t change for one minute the facts of the golf industry universe you now live in!
That leaves you, the Golf Professional with three options.
1) Fight for the dream job in the Met section
2) Adapt and embrace the new rules and win!
3) Quit the industry altogether
The vast majority of interviews will involve questions about your ability to market and sell the club! In fact, you won’t even get an interview at most places if your cover letter and resume don’t lead with your ability to generate new revenue.
This report is not meant as a way to sell more of my products (although it most likely will) It’s just that my products offer you the quickest and best, golf specific solution to any gap in your sales or marketing resume.
Read or listen to:
- The Golf Marketing Bible
- The Golf Sales Bible
- The A-Z Membership Marketing Guide
- How to Make $150,000 Teaching Golf
- The Traits of Champions
Each of these products provides you with an incredible education in from just 2 to 12 hours. One reading or listening will give you a massive competitive advantage over the rest of the candidates. While 3-4 readings will make you an expert, able to answer just about any question they could possibly throw at you!
It’s that simple or that hard depending on how you want to look at it. A week of study to improve your career options for the rest of your life!
Our annual www.GolfMarketingBootCamp.com is another great way to get up to speed quickly on the sales and marketing skills clubs want.
Make Your Cover Letter Stand Out
You know all that stuff they taught you at business school about cover letters and resumes, FORGET IT!
If your resume looks like that, it also looks like the 200 other PGA Pro’s who applied for the job! That’s how many we got at a recent job opening, over 200, cloned to perfection, in cream bonded paper and PGA speak. (No offense)
Here is a better way:
Ten Reasons Why Hiring PGA, Professional John Smith Will Be The Best Investment Your Club Has Ever Made
Dear Board Member:
I am sure that being the renowned club you are, that you have received no shortage of résumés for your Director of Golf Position. Allow me just two minutes of your time and I’ll offer a number of reasons why I think I may well be your best solution.
While I possess all the requisite teaching, merchandising and tournament skills of any top class PGA, professional I am also keenly aware that clubs today must have a sales and marketing perspective if they are to survive and thrive.
1. As your director of golf, I will provide an immediate written plan for membership growth.
2. I will instantly improve member communication and our awareness in the community through the adoption of a well-thought out social media plan
3. I will provide a sales training program to all key members of staff so they are instantly able to recognize opportunities for membership, outings, and events at the club…..
This is what the majority of clubs want to hear…
Not how long you have been in the PGA, what tournaments you have won and how many awards you have for your teaching or merchandising skills. (As nice as an addition as they may be near the end of your letter)
The underlined sentence alone (end of the 2nd paragraph) should VAULT YOU to the top of the candidates.
Always write your cover letter from the club’s perspective.
Always write in benefiteeze. What is in it for the club? SPELL IT OUT!
Always lead with how you can IMPROVE key areas or revenue.
DO NOT WRITE in vague generalities about service, commitment, team building, your motivation, works well with others or any of the other BS that might have worked in 1996! (It’s a sure sign you are out of touch with reality)
Other Out Of The Box Ideas
Make your sales pitch (yes that’s what an interview is) on video and put it up on your blog or Youtube (you can use a hidden link) and send it to the club.
Drip-free ideas through an auto email campaign. Let them know you will be following up with a series of ideas.
Make up a WordPress blog dedicated just to this job; add articles, videos, links, and your cover letter. (It will take a day but you can reuse easily)
All of these approaches serve to clearly demonstrate your sales, marketing and social media skills and all can be used to remind them of your traditional skills.
In the Interview Be Benefit-Focused
Think out of the box and FOLLOW the very same strategy in your interview as you did in your cover letter. If the letter gets’s you in they liked what they heard!
Talk about going to Golf Marketing Boot Camp reading the Golf Marketing Bible how excited you are about connecting with more prospects through social media.
Talk about what THEY want to hear;
- How the outings guide you just read has an awesome plan for selling more outings you could QUICKLY adapt to use at the club
- How the sales audios you just listen to had some great ideas to help membership sales and referrals
- How social media can help with club communication and participation.
- How your thoughts on growing the game will yield new players
By all means go over your professional qualifications, awards, and experience but quickly move to WHAT’S in it for the club!
“Success is the crossroads where planning meets opportunity”
Expanding Your Options
Your success in life is generally only as good as your well-developed options. Things today change and change fast, often blindsiding even the most seasoned professional. Perhaps you like your current job but are looking only to expand your options for the future or perhaps you just want to stack the decks in your favor in case the current situation at your club changes.
If you have followed my previous advice and are willing to do an annual report, weekly blog and Facebook page you are off to a great start. If you are also willing to write the occasional article, promote yourself on Youtube, so much the better. Now let’s look at additional ways to expand your network and profit from your professional experience.
Using LinkedIn To Enhance Your Professional Career
With over 60 million users, including just about all the world’s top companies and decision makers – LinkedIn is a must!
Profiles on LinkedIn include all types of people: top executives, middle management, sales people, business owners, consultants, entrepreneurs, and micro businesses. They are the very people most likely to join clubs, book golf outings, travel or take golf lessons. In other words, they are your perfect prospects to network with.
Understanding the importance of LinkedIn and how it can help you grow your club’s business and your personal brand is an important part of your social media strategy.
Let’s say you have a golf course in Cincinnati and want to get the local BMW dealership’s outing business. A quick search delivers Rick, who’s also in charge of advertising; perhaps a tee sponsor or GPS opportunity as well?
Boost Your Golf Club’s Business
If you want to generate more customers, LinkedIn is the perfect place to start looking. The chances are very good that your next big outing, lesson or member (or your next job) is already on LinkedIn! Who are you trying to find, what company do you really want to land as an outing customer? Are you searching for a way in? LinkedIn is the answer! By using LinkedIn correctly, you can be introduced to the person you need to meet and turn a prospect into a customer.
It’s also a great way to establish a network of contacts for your next job! We frequently post positions on our LinkedIn, Legendary Golf Management Group, that don’t show up anywhere else. (Open to any PGA pro.)
The key is to have your network well in place before you ever need a job.
Get Advice and Give Professional Advice
LinkedIn Answers is a powerful resource you can use to get answers to your own business-related questions, while at the same time responding to others’ questions based on your own areas of expertise.
What do you need help with? Are you deciding between two POS software products for your club?
Are you looking for the best marketing company for your business? (that would be mine www.LegendaryMarketing.com )
All of these questions can be asked on LinkedIn and within minutes you will start receiving answers to help you make a good decision or direct you to a good solution. This give and take of questions, answers and referrals can easily help forge mutually beneficial business relationships by creating a good dynamic between business peers.
Build Your Personal Network
Although I have my own CRM, iPhone, and Zoho to keep all my information in “one” place, LinkedIn offers a clear advantage over all of them. When people move, change jobs, or start new ventures, they update their own contact information! This alone is worth the price of admission, saving the cost and hassle of updating your files yourself and always having current contact information.
My LinkedIn home page has over 6000 contacts in my network, you never know when you might need a friend to get you in the door somewhere!
Build your network of connections, starting with friends, co-workers, suppliers, customers, and people you meet along the way. The larger your network and the more committed you are to engaging with it on a regular basis, the greater your success will be.
Increase Your Credibility and Build Your Personal Brand
If you’re trying to market yourself as a teaching expert or develop credibility in your field as a manager, it looks good to have a strong presence with lots of connections on a network such as LinkedIn. If you answer questions with the knowledge of an expert in the Answers section, even better. Get active in club manager, golf professional, superintendent or F & B communities, groups and forums within LinkedIn.
Recommending members, guests, colleagues, and co-workers helps others feel good and builds Karma. Often it becomes reciprocal.
The best way to network is to help others succeed in their business or career. This very often is the start of them trying to help you. Use LinkedIn to help others — promote them, link to them, connect with them, recommend them, answer their questions.
This includes friends, colleagues, suppliers, members..!
Make it a point to build 1 new connection per day to build a large and targeted list of meeting, event and membership prospects in your area. If you don’t know the contact directly asked to be introduced from one of your existing contacts!
Remember he with the biggest and best database wins! And nothing is better than a handcrafted one!
If You Are Actively Involved in The Sales & Marketing of Your Golf Club Ask For Performance-Based Compensation
One of the quickest and easiest ways to increase your income when actively involved in the sales and marketing at your club is to ask for additional performance-based compensation. Many professionals are afraid of this, but they shouldn’t be, even in this economy with the right marketing’ strategies it’s not that hard to increase business!
- It’s easy to increase outing business by $50,000-$100,000 by simply following our outings domination strategy.
- You can easily increase daily fee play by 5-15% by simply doubling or tripling your email and social media database.
Asking for a 10% bonus for increasing income can easily put another $15,000 on your paycheck and cement your value to the club.
You Can Make $150,000 a Year or More Teaching
Even is you have no say in the sales and marketing at your club there will always be opportunities for good teachers, but the best opportunities will always fall to the best marketers who can also teach!
Now you may not be able to do it where you are located today, but you can do it. At a driving range, golf school, resort or high-end daily fee. If you have followed my advice thus far you are off to a great start in building the foundation of marketing credibility you need to reach and exceed this goal.
For the rest of the tools, you need this
Is It Time To Own Your Own Golf Course or Range?
The lousy economy has, in fact, produced some very interesting side effects for any golf professional looking to own his own course and shed the bonds of bosses and boards forever! Many courses are worth 50 or 60% less than they were just three years ago. There will never be a better time to buy a golf course in most of our lifetimes.
I bought my first karate school with a $5,000 loan from my best friends and another $5,000 from my girlfriend. That although we didn’t know it at the time launched a mini-empire. Most people simply don’t think others will buy into their dreams and so most simply don’t ask.
For example, instead of trying to get a better paying job as a golf professional, why not buy your own course and work for yourself? Within four weeks of suggesting this very idea at a seminar I gave to one hundred PGA golf professionals, not one but three pros actually found rich members to LIVE this dream!
The only difference the three weeks had made was the level of their goals. Once they realized that others just like them had bought their own courses and that they didn’t need the money, only the connections to others who had the money and the passion they quickly raised the bar on their dreams.
The motivation this new goal had on each of them caused them to start asking questions, to approach people whom they knew both had the money and the desire to be a part-owner in their own golf course. Now your goal doesn’t have to be as big as owning a championship golf course maybe you’d be happy to own a miniature golf course. They’re a lot less work.
Using all of the previous strategies to build your personal brand and reputation begin to cultivate relationships with a dozen or so potential investors and consider forming a partnership. You as the managing partner will put up no money but will organize the investors, find the right deal and manage the club when purchased.
You can even find many owners willing to finance the purchase, you just have to look and ask!
Don’t ignore the possibility of a driving range. Located in the right area it can be much less hassle and much more profitable than running a club!
The Professional Golfer’s New World Order
For better or worse there is a new word order in the golf industry. The old rules, strategies, and tactics have changed and you must too. The days of apprentice to gold watch jobs are gone forever!
Perhaps all this seems like too much? When do you get the time to do all this? You must find it.
In reality, a blog article a week takes just one hour. A Facebook post and a connection on LinkedIn a day takes just 10 minutes. The blog provides meat for any article you might run in the local press. While filming any lesson will provide you with YouTube content.
You can become a sales and marketing expert in your car in two weeks, listening to audios to and from the club or on
the way to your next event. If you partner with legendary Marketing for your club’s website, social media or management services you will find your job gets a whole lot easier with our help!
As you already know, expertise and talent make a big difference! If I can help you further in ANY WAY please feel free to contact me directly, 7 days a week at 352-266-2099 or visit www.LegendaryMarketing.com
PS: This is the BEST investment you can make with hundreds of hours of content to make you look great done for you!