Why ski instructors don't advertise themselves?

Discussion in 'Ski School' started by abcd, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. abcd

    abcd Booting up Skier

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    I was wondering, why it is always so difficult to find a good ski instructor for a given area (e.g. the Colorado recommendation topic).
    When going to a new area I often try to look-up who teaches there and usually there is no information, except for maybe a topic or two on a ski forum where people are asking the same question.
    Why instructors don't market themselves on the web, or on youtube? Is it prohibited by the ski schools? Or good instructors have enough clients and don't need additional publicity?
    Why ski schools don't market their instructors? Most ski schools will not have names of their instructors on their website (or credentials).
    In some places (say, Whiteface), credentials or names wouldn't even be known to the people who do the booking on the phone.
     
    zag likes this.
  2. Sibhusky

    Sibhusky Making fresh tracks Skier

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    They have the instructors and their credits on the website here.

    Certainly instructors participating in ski forums are marketing themselves. Then you've got the guys posting on You Tube, many of whose videos get posted here. I think you get into issues with the mountain if people are booking with you directly, since the ski school wants its substantial cut. That's a huge no-no. But I see instructors out of uniform here at Whitefish regularly instructing people. They just aren't obvious about it.
     
  3. fatbob

    fatbob Making fresh tracks Skier

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    They do in Europe - usually when they are running their own small school.

    The answer lies in the resort owned monopoly model you have in the US with its 80-90% "booking fee". No instructor is going to recover costs of advertising through the minor uptake in pay rate for being requested. Beyond that you still have to rub along with peers and colleagues so why is anyone going to put themselves in the firing line there?
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
  4. jimtransition

    jimtransition Getting on the lift Skier

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    A few years back I paid for instagram ads (effective) and google ads (not effective) to advertise myself, but recently I have been busy enough without, so haven't being doing it. I may use insta ads again in Chile this winter.

    I would imagine for US instructors they get assigned enough lessons to not have to worry about creating business for themselves, or have low incentives for request lessons so it doesn't make economic sense. Also it's not actually that simple to create a good profile online, many people I know create a facebook/insta business page for themselves, their friends like it and they post content, but they never actually get through to potential clients. Another factor is that most good instructors in the US don't actually instruct guests, they are typically staff trainers, examiners, supervisors etc, as that's where you can make a sustainable living.
     
  5. surfsnowgirl

    surfsnowgirl Instructor Skier

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    I am going into my 7th year of skiing and have been instructing for about half that time. I have business cards made up with my name, certification and my ski school information on it and hand those out after a lesson sometimes. That's it for me because I don't teach to make a living so I don't want to teach ALL the time because free skiing and skill development is just as important to me so I strive for a balance of both sides. We have plenty of instructors at my mountain who do privates only and much of that is word of mouth and ski school reputation so they get assigned lots of lessons. I'm wondering if the instructors who advertise more are the ones who don't work for ski schools or perhaps they work on weekends for the ski school and they "do their business" at another mountain where perhaps they have another pass.
     


  6. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    Now THERE is some serious thread material!
     
  7. jimtransition

    jimtransition Getting on the lift Skier

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    Haha sorry, I meant those who make instructing their sole career, I am sure there are plenty of good instructors working out there. But the majority of 'lifers' I know are not teaching regular ski school very often.
     
  8. Thread Starter
    TS
    abcd

    abcd Booting up Skier

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    Sorry, by "advertise" I meant just making basic information available, not really paying for the ads
     
  9. David Chaus

    David Chaus If I am skiing the world is a perfect place. Skier

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    Make basic information available here on Pugski? More detail in avatar badges or signatures?


    You know the joke: “how can you tell when someone is a ski instructor? Don’t worry, they’ll let you know.”

    * Note: in my other job as a mental health counselor and couples therapist, if a client finds out I ski and also teach skiing, and wants to take lessons from me, I have to say no. I can’t have any relationship with them other than being their counselor, it’s an ethics issue in my profession to have what we call a dual relationship.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2019
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  10. Kreative1

    Kreative1 Booting up Skier

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    On the East Coast PSIA has created a find a pro website where members can list their credentials linked here. Also, at most resorts you can ask for specific types of instructors (i.e. Certified, level 1,2 or 3, Children's Credentials, good with seniors, good with women, bumps, racing etc) at no extra cost to you the customer. You will have to do this in advance and depending on how busy your requested instructor is you may need to be flexible with lesson times. The ski school desk staff can be really useful in matching you with a good instructor if you don't mind waiting to talk to them.
     
  11. CalG

    CalG Out on the slopes Skier

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    Live advertisement forum every night at the local bars.
    Can you get them to stop? ;-)
     
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  12. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    I think that for insiders there is a lot of "water cooler" transparency to this info. However, for Joe skier, not so much. This is especially true for the Joes who prefer self service research to having to actually talk with a human. Many of us here are like that - that's why we're on pugski and not at the bar.

    I checked it out. Good start, but doesn't tell me what I need to know. It's a list of some names and very basic info (L1, 2, or 3). For starters, let's see some video of you skiing.
     
  13. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    Continuing the thought, what about a feature where I can upload video of my skiing, with some comments from me, and get matched to an instructor ahead of time, instead of having to go through the tiresome and pointless exercise of hearing three skiers of wildly differing abilities describe themselves to the ski school desk in identical terms?
     
  14. Cheizz

    Cheizz Craving camber Skier

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    Post a clip here and let's see who will take your case :ogcool:
     
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  15. SallyCat

    SallyCat Getting off the lift Skier

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    Terminal intermediate here: I've had terrible experiences with ski instruction and would NEVER choose an instructor based on an advertisement or certification level (oh you're level 3 and can do some weirdly specific PSIA drills, like skiing backwards on one snowblade while juggling three machetes and singing "Modern Major General"? Awesome. Do you think you could, like, show up on time and give me some feedback that's more constructive than "let the skis do the work." ?)

    Or my favorite: "You just need more time on snow." Time on snow doing WHAT, EXACTLY? Practicing shite technique just makes you a more experienced shite skier in my experience.

    I also don't pay for vacuous encouragement. (You're doing great. blah, blah." No, dude, I am objectively NOT doing great. That's why I gave your ski school a hundred dollars just now.)

    I think that unless you specifically request someone by name, most ski schools just take your money and throw any free instructor at you. I'm not paying another dime for ski instruction unless the person was recommended by someone who knows my skiing and knows the instructor. But honestly, I'm so burned at this point and sick of being a shite skier that I'm more likely to give up the sport entirely than to keep trying after four years of no progress.
     
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  16. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    After a decade here and before that at EpicSki, you have, with that one paragraph, become my favorite poster of all time. :golfclap: Brava! (Note to known-good instructors here: This is not about you. It's about our real world experience.)

    Don't do it! Oh, the humanity. We're all on the journey. We all suck at different levels and then we die. You've found your people. Hang out for a few more beers years with us.

    Okay, my one instructor tip: Join some kind of race program with a coach - not an instructor - who teaches kids. That's where the beef is. Meanwhile use the race kids as your models; they know their shite.
     
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  17. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    Oh please do not give up. I SO get your frustration. This is the way I felt as an adult beginner. So many lessons, so many disappointments. I gave up on lessons and read how-to books, but that only goes so far. There's no one there to watch you and give feedback, which is essential.

    What did I do? I became an instructor --- to get the free training :rolleyes:. I assumed the training would be better than the random instructor assigned to the group lessons I'd been taking. The training was regular, often, at at my first mountain quite good. Until it wasn't. But that's another story.

    The generalization that becoming a ski instructor gives you good training is right ... with qualifications. That training still sometimes leaves much to be desired, but not always. At least it's free, there's locker room discussion to augment what you are given in training, you HAVE to figure out how turns work if you're going to teach ... and on-the-job-experience gives you great feedback. Eventually you figure out who in that locker room really knows what they are talking about and who doesn't. You have the chance to find a mentor on staff.

    Some ski schools (I see you are in Pennsylvania) are more intense about training than others. This information can be gotten through PMs on this site.

    You see where I'm going here, right?
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
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  18. Tony S

    Tony S aka qcanoe Skier

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    One thing LF's comments and mine have in common is that there is a rewarding social glue that can help hold your ski life together while you roller coast through the technique stuff. My glue is just a lot less goal-oriented than hers. :D
     
  19. LiquidFeet

    LiquidFeet Making fresh tracks Instructor

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    Hey there Tony. Just sayin hi.
    I started that dorsiflexion thread for you.
     
  20. SallyCat

    SallyCat Getting off the lift Skier

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    I hear you for sure. Thanks for the good advice. (I moved to Vermont last year, btw, and will be working up in the White Mountains starting next month).

    I kind of stopped skiing at resorts this past year, not really on purpose, I just got so danged bored skiing groomers over and over. Got a cheap AT setup and started to seek out easy ungroomed terrain. That was the only thing that was fun, because even though I sucked at least it was interesting. So I have a hunch I'm not even going to get a resort pass this year, just seek out whatever baby-backcountry terrain I can find. For example, I live near a defunct resort where the locals keep most of the old trails mown, so it's very possible to find ungroomed terrain that I can safely access. I would way rather climb for two hours to ski one interesting run than go to Okemo, bore my face off, and end up in the bar by noon.

    Agree completely about the social aspect, though. Have made great friends and met amazing people on the journey.
     

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