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Attention All Professional Instructors...

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
We have an unusual level of professional ski instruction talent here in this forum and other members (and non-registered readers) might find it beneficial to have an organized resource that would enable them to identify and contact you for lessons should they be in your area.

Accordingly, I would like to put together a section in EpicSki that lists all of our instructor members with relevant, basic background info and you preferred contact method (for lessons).

We can do anything you guys want with this resource, it is for you. My thinking is to list:

For each:
<LI>EpicSki Username
<LI>Instructor Level
<LI>Specialties (if applicable)
<LI>Preferred Contact Info (phone, e-mal or Private Msg, the latter offering others the ability to contact you without your disclosing personal info -- you might want to keep the PM e-mail notification on if you chose this)
<LI>Any comments you want to add[/list]
Then next to each listing I will also include links to:

<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>Your EpicSki Profile
<LI>A List of Your Last 50 Posts[/list]
With the ability to see your recent posts, potential clients will be able to get a far better sense of your approach then from any other source I can think of.

This will be a marketing vehicle for you guys, so we can do whatever you want with it. First, let's decide what information to include (your additions or changes to my list above). Please reply below or Private Message me with your suggestions and comments on this idea.

post #2 of 60
I like the idea. It would help me find better instructors.

I think you should also link to other "pro instructor sites" I.E. skipros.com Jonathan's site. Of course you need to talk to Jonathan about puting Epicski on his site. he only has skilovers.com as a link
post #3 of 60
I think thats a great idea AC, and with a section like that in place you can be sure that the # of pro's that are members here will go up dramatically - I know that I'll be pitching the site to all of our instructors & coaches.

Speaking of coaches, I would think it would be good to include mentions of race & freestyle coaches as well as instructors.
post #4 of 60
What a super idea!!! Suggestion: Provide a place for those of us who have taken class with any of the instructors mentioned, to give a positive review.

Make sure that the instructors who have their own websites put in their urls. If you don't have a site, this would be a good time to put up even a small one. Believe me, its a valuable business resource.

Put a search link to one or two threads where the instructor has given some valuable info. {No flame wars! }

When you get it together, I'll put up a link on http://www.ski-fitness.net

I'm teaching a ski fitness workshop on October 21. If you have it up by then, great. If not, any instructor who wants me to hand out their info, let me know.

This is just so cool!!!
post #5 of 60
Another thing to maybe add would be which mtn they teach at and if applicable which ski school.
Good idea, kinda gives the students a heads up to what the instructor may be like in person.
post #6 of 60
Ditto...the way of the future! Many schools have on-line private reservations now...linking would work. I know I will sell this feature on Epic to our staff.
post #7 of 60
Yep - I think you've got a winner of an idea there AC. I think Epic is already the most well rounded ski discussion site out there. The addition of a professional forum will make the site more valuable to professional and recreational skiers alike and I imagine will greatly boost participation. If it does get a lot bigger we are going to have to figure out how to make sure you get compensated for your time/money.
post #8 of 60
I was going to join Jonathan's SkiPros.com program two or three years ago, but the area and ski school management where I currently work was reluctant to get involved in taking reservations/credit card info on-line and wasn't interested in providing telephone lesson reservation services on a consistent basis.

They had no complaint if I told them to reserve me for a specific time and date and the customer came in on the appointed day to pay. But if it turned out to be a day I wouldn't have been scheduled to work, they'd only pay me for that lesson. Anyway, Jonathan only wanted to list instructors whose resort would handle reservations on-line.

I report this experience because there may be others here who have similar problems with their local resort.

I personally would be happy to work with folks on scheduling lessons, but I'm sure there's a pretty small group here skiing in Northern Michigan.
post #9 of 60
Thanks AC. Those of us who teach, appreciate your efforts....

Is it SNOW yet?
post #10 of 60
Thread Starter 
I'm glad to hear so much support for the idea, I'm excited about it. I think all of the suggestions made so far have been excellent. Keep them coming, I'll wait a little longer for suggestions then put out a call for instructor's who want to be included to send me the info we settle on.

Two other thoughts I didn't mention:

1. I'm thinking of having links to this resource both in the "Training Center" and at the top of the instruction forum itself so it will receive a lot of exposure.

2. I'm thinking of having some basic requirements such as a minimum of ten contributions to one of the ski forums (excluding the Classifieds) so that we don't have people simply registering to be included, but not contributing. Also so that all those listed have provided some insights which will help potential customers get a sense of their approach.

Keep the ideas coming!
post #11 of 60
Good! I like the idea of the 10 requisite posts. I was a little bit concerned about people signing up who have never posted here. I didn't say anything because I thought it would sound snobbish. :
post #12 of 60
Yep I think the 10 requisite posts is good, but perhaps even 10 a month? We don't want folks bashing out 10 quick posts and then just lurking forever - it would be good to have active participents. I would think though that everything would also be open to your judgement (i.e. if people are obviously just posting "filler" posts you don't count them, or if somebody is going to be on a trip for awhile you could let them slide on their posts, etc.).
post #13 of 60
Nice idea, AC--thanks! I'm not entirely sure why though, but I wasn't immediately enthusiastic about it. I would not want to see the site become a big commercial, where people participate only for financial gain. I've never been too excited about sites that promote instructors simply because they registered or paid some money--these things have nothing to do with talent!

I think your 10-posts idea may help. Is there any way to make sure listed instructors continue to stay current and active? I'm all for bringing in more instructors to the site, but I'm concerned that some will come for the wrong reasons.

And I can already hear the groans of a few of the current Bears who think we are over-saturated with instructors anyway!

I don't think EpicSki should become an instructors' site. It is a great skiers' site. So many people besides the instructors have so much to add in knowledge, expertise, insight, and experience.

How about, instead, simply making the Profiles searchable? Then we could search for "instructors" and get the same list. Or we could search for any other specialty as well. I don't know--just thinking out loud.

I'm in favor of anything that will give good instructors the exposure they deserve.
I hope you can make it work. But please monitor the program closely to make sure it doesn't backfire.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #14 of 60
I think the 10 posts a month thing is a good idea, along with monitoring for post quality.

One thing to keep in mind, some of us choose our instrutors by what we hear them say in various forums. So a teacher would have to be an idiot not to contribute valuable content, once they lay their reputation on the line.

One thought, and this is sort of mean, but I don't care. I don't think you guys need to market this to your colleagues. I'm sure you've mentioned Epic to them before. Do you really want them to participate now simply because its a marketing tool?
post #15 of 60
I'm less interested in getting part-time/short-term instructors into it than getting more advanced educators and supervisors involved because it would make for a richer and even more lively forum. I think the addition of such a section will simply get more of them interested, and then once they experience it I think they'll stick around.
post #16 of 60
okay, that's fair.
post #17 of 60
Thread Starter 
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Todd Murchison:
I'm less interested in getting part-time/short-term instructors into it than getting more advanced educators and supervisors involved because it would make for a richer and even more lively forum.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I fully agree. A big part of this is a "thank you" to the instructors who have made so many valuable contributions already. The reason the link to an instructor’s posts & profile is important is that it makes it easy for a user to see if they are active contributors and have something worthwhile to say -- that is one level of regulation.

The second level would be monitoring by me and, I would hope, you legitimate guys could send me a note if you view an abuser. Monitoring 10 posts on a monthly basis is too much work -- maybe we make it a higher initial hurdle (25?) and then check it annually. I don't want to make it too high because I do hope we attract more thoughtful ski pros, even if they are motivated at first by this incentive -- ultimately, it will be too much effort for them if they aren't into the discussions for other reasons as well.

Lisamarie had a great suggestion that other members could submit comments on those listed who have been particularly helpful (a third level of verifying legitimacy).

As for the risk of those lacking talent joining the fray because of this, bad suggestions have never gone unanswered and if one were to post some ridiculous nonsense and then everyone "corrected" him/her then it seems that would appropriately label that person.
post #18 of 60
Classic Business 101.

What do you do when you need a doctor, a plumber, shrink, or a drug dealer? You ask someone you know and trust.

It's one of the mistakes that the dot-bombs made - they tried to change the human behavior. They tried to tell the world that logging onto "findaplumber.com" was better than knocking on your neighbors door, or calling someone you trust, and saying, "Who's your plumber"?

People do business with whom they know and trust - it's basic human nature and it's been that way for hundreds of years; "Hey Mike. Know a good chinese place"? Would you lend money to some one you didn't know or trust? No.

So while having instructors promote their services here isn't a bad idea, it's not a good idea either. If I want an instructor, I'm going to call a ski person I know and say, "Who's a good teacher".

It's the simple things that people often ignore.
post #19 of 60
Yeah I thought of that as an answer to Ski Magazine's Top 100 instructor list. Sort of an instructor rating by the people, kind of thing.
A benefit would be the fact that through the forum, anyone reading it could get a sense of the ski level and personality of the person giving the opinion. Then, if they identify, they could say, "wow that teacher would be good for me".

But even more important, our more talented teachers are diverse in their range of students they work well with. Someone could see that range through the different types of skiers who commented.
post #20 of 60
Thread Starter 
People do business with whom they know and trust - it's basic human nature and it's been that way for hundreds of years; "Hey Mike. Know a good chinese place"? Would you lend money to some one you didn't know or trust? No.

If I want an instructor, I'm going to call a ski person I know and say, "Who's a good teacher".<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Despite your contrary use of this argument, it is exactly the point of doing this here in this way. We know the instructors here, we see how they think and how they explain things. We see what they believe is important (to things skiing-related). All this gives insight into whether they are the right teacher for us.

And don't get me started on "business 101" cliches.
post #21 of 60
Where's the contradiction?

I been wrong before. I wouldn't invest in it, but I ain't you.
post #22 of 60
I know I've been away for a while so I might seem like a newcomer to some here but I've been participating in ski related forums for a number of years so I've decided to throw in my two cents worth.

I think it would be a great idea. I say that both as an instructor and as someone who takes lessons when I go to new resorts. This way a student can request an instructor who has shown that they care.

I like the idea of 25 posts, that seems to me to be enough to weed out the faint of heart.

Also how about a place for us to tell a little about ourselves beyond a data base type list of qualifications. Sort of a "Why I've been teaching skiing for X years in a hundred words or less.". And eliminate anyone who can't keep it under a hundred words because they would talk too much on the hill.

Where do I sign up
post #23 of 60
That's why I thought the student feedback was a good idea. Also, keep in mind, some people will understand different instructor's verbal communication styles better than others. I don't want to eleaborate too much here, because that's a topic I want to start.
But if there is someone who says something on this forum in a manner that is comprehensible to you, that can help you make a choice.
post #24 of 60
Thread Starter 
This is not and never has been about profit or ROI. (SCSA, i didn't say it was "contradictory", I said it was

The long description is a good idea, but I'm thinking about how to do it without creating a page for each (that is a lot of work).

Certainly I would link to an instructor's personal web page if they have one.
post #25 of 60

My point is that I wouldn't start a referral site - I don't think there's a sustainable business model there. So, I was passing my experience along to my good friend August "And Everything After" *******.

For the record, I'm all for instructors making dead presidents - lots of them.

Yes, vistitors can come here and read all about instructors. They can get a good feel for what they're about. But I still think in the case of ski instruction the buying decision is made by references and referrals from those you know and trust. I mean, for all someone knows, an instructor who looks good in text could be a fraud in person.

Here's an example:
Even with all what I know about Rick H, who's a PMTS instructor, I wouldn't hire him without calling Harald or someone else I know first and checking him out. If no one I know and trust could confirm his ability, I'd pass.

Like I said. The reason why I chimed in here was to offer my advice is to AC. He's done a nice job here and seems to be a hard working, enterprising fellow. If AC is looking to make money off of this sort of service, my advice to him is forget about it. If he's not looking to make any money, then great - do it.

Anyway, I'm beating a dead horse. The rest of the members here should add whatever feedback they have.
post #26 of 60
Charlatans and posers will reveal themselves with the content of their posts, however neophytes are continually duped in bars too. A certification listing will at least qualify the instructor to a minimum standard. I like Jonathan's link to cert standards on each bio page. There a plenty of competent uncertified teachers as well, but that's what the "pin" was intended to portray....professionalism.
Here's a scary thought...let the instructor group rate their peers on the now defunct star system!! Scary!
Snokarver....I am glad to see you back...I was concerned that I had unintentionally contributed to your absence and was going to e you! We missed your comments and insights.
AC- raising the bar to 25 posts should vet/cull the "marketers" well.
LM- On reflection, I agree, I won't promote the listing feature to the staff...just the site...and let them discover the opportunity.
post #27 of 60
Scsa, I do understand your point. But some of us have a high level of intuition. I picked out my favorite all time instructor just by reading his posts on this forum.

Another important point. I used to be afraid to post here because everyone seemed to be such advanced skiers. There are some people who have a tendency to talk down to newer skiers. I think we should promote an atmosphere of intolerance for that sort of thing. If someone is intimidated at the thought of participating here, that is lost potential income for instructors.

Also, the race coach idea is great. I was talking to a kid on the bus to Montreal who was looking for a website where coaches participate. He's on Dartmouth's ski team.

AC, now that we have your attention. Robin and I were once talking about having you set up a link to a bunch os ski books and videos that are sold on Amazon. We could write reviews. Possibly a small money making thing for you.
post #28 of 60
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by SCSA:
So while having instructors promote their services here isn't a bad idea, it's not a good idea either. If I want an instructor, I'm going to call a ski person I know and say, "Who's a good teacher".

It's the simple things that people often ignore.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

And what about the people that don't know any good ski instructors in America (like me)? I think it's a great idea and can see me using it when I visit America and need a good ski instructor.

SCSA - Maybe if you thought what was also good for other people instead of just thinking what was best for you or how you could make money out of it your respose would be different.
post #29 of 60

Most of the comments that really count have been posted. I like the concept and think it ould work. Let's give it a try and see if it is viable.

post #30 of 60
Not related, but not worth a separate thread.


I'm bummed out that you took links to HH and Lito off of your site...

How could you link to Barnes and that ##$%^ Candice Carpenter and not HH and Lito?

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