Sennen Cove at the far end of Cornwall is one of the best and most beautiful surf spots in the country – a mile of exquisite golden sand, turquoise water and pretty consistent Atlantic rollers. There are a couple of surf schools here but Smart Surf School stands out a mile. Turn up at Sennen any summer’s day and you’ll hear excited whoops of encouragement resounding around the beach when one of Smart Surf’s students catches their first wave. The enthusiasm of their teachers is magnetic. If you were looking for surf lessons for your kids (or for you) it’s an easy choice.
Enthusiasm is infectious and it’s an underrated business tool. Showing that you love what you do and the difference that it makes can be the thing that tips the balance in your favour. We all want to work with people who take delight in their work.
Smart Surf School are as enthusiastic on the web as they are in the waves, and it works. Here’s marketing that makes you smile so a Valuable Content Award badge is on its way to Sam Smart and the team at Sennen Cove. Here’s why we think it’s so richly deserved, with lessons to take away for your own website too.
What we love about Smart Surf School’s website and media
Enthusiasm and energy shines from the home page on the Smart Surf School website. From the row of windswept smiling faces lining up on the beach, to the copy that reads like it was dashed off in between catching the waves, Smart Surf School looks like the authentic real deal. Look at the website, and you’re guaranteed to want to run straight into the sea. Right now. No looking back.
“We are as local as they come and 100% Cornish. As toddlers we spent most of our time chewing on surfboard wax and getting nailed in the high tide shore break.”
The story stacks up. Who wouldn’t want to be taught by a family of pro surfers who’ve lived here and loved this place all their lives?
The website does a great job of selling surf lessons, and Sennen Cove. It also makes it easy to buy, with clear calls to action and simply priced and clearly explained packages.
Smart Surf School strikes exactly the right note between inspiring and reassuring – the focus on safety addresses the biggest worry of potential punters head on. The fact the teachers are surf expert locals who’ve all done their lifeguard duty at Sennen Cove makes you feel like you’re in safe hands.
They invest in great quality photography, with a photographer on the team snapping photos of the students each day. The photos they take, share and also sell on the web site are all part of a great customer experience. The moment you stood on a board for the first time is a brilliant memory to capture. But it’s also savvy marketing. Arming your happy customers with proof of their success to share with their friends magnifies word-of-mouth marketing ten-fold.
They take search seriously as a channel to business, and spend time and thought on optimising the site and URLs so they get found. Their lively, photo and video-rich social feeds, blog articles and email newsletters keep them front of mind.
Other valuable Smart stuff we love:
- Check out the Smart Surf School Instagram feed – just right
- Video – inspiring (and there’s more coming)
- Webcam – a helpful addition that does the job of selling Sennen without the need for words
- Their team profiles – written with personality and love
Sam Smart’s approach to marketing
Here’s what founder Sam has to say about the Smart approach:
“Your individuality is your selling point and genuine belief in your product always shines through so don’t try to copy others.
A good awareness of your target market helps a great deal because you have more of an understanding of their demands enabling you to give them what they want.
“Keep it real. No human or business is perfect. Customers will relate to honesty”
We say social media is vanity and our website is sanity. It means that it’s all well and good to get followers or likes on your social media platforms but are they making actual bookings through the website or buying what you’re putting out there?
We want to push more video stuff as most people can’t be bothered to read paragraph upon paragraph of information. We are looking forward to this because it’s lots of fun and we have a lot to show. With one click, a video can reveal a thousands words in a short amount of time.
You see some content that businesses put out which we know is relevant to their business but it’s not very interesting because they might be using crude ways to get interest etc but it’s a bit too insincere and has its limitations.
Our Motto is “join the family”. When you have a lesson at the Smart Surf School, you are joining 3 families: 1 The Surfing family – become surfers and be a part of a positive friendly community; 2 Your family – bring your family together with an unforgettable experience; 3 The Smart family – meet the brothers and rely on us for any help regarding surfing in the future. This is how we live.
We just keep it real. No human or business is perfect. Customers will relate to honesty.
I used to work as a salesman around the country and didn’t enjoy the hard nose business approach which I see and recognise on a day to day basis. I quit that job and feel blessed that I’ve turned my passion into a fun little business that allows us to live a fantastic lifestyle, which I feel is far more important than salary.”
Lessons to take away from the Smart Surf School approach
- Do what you love – you can’t fake enthusiasm
- Show your enthusiasm for your area of expertise by sharing what you know, what you’re learning, what you love
- Show your enthusiasm for those you love to do business with by sharing their experiences
- Share the joy – articles, videos and photos – and make it easy for your customers to share this too
- Have fun with the words you use on your website – yes it’s business but you don’t have to be a corporate robot
- Make people feel part of something – focus on community
- Be more human, and make your customers feel great.
Enthusiasm trumps slick marketing every time. Don’t be afraid to put it to work for your business. All you really need to do is show that you care.
“I began to realise how important it was to be an enthusiast in life. He taught me that if you are interested in something, no matter what it is, go at it at full speed ahead. Embrace it with both arms, hug it, love it and above all become passionate about it. Lukewarm is no good. Hot is no good either. White hot and passionate is the only thing to be.” ~ Roald Dahl
A well deserved Valuable Content Award
Whoop whoop! Congratulations Sam, Seb and the team at Smart Surf School. A Valuable Content Award badge is winging its way to Sennen Cove. Keep up the great work, and see you in the water soon.
Learn from other Valuable Content Award winners in the South West
- The Finisterre story – purpose-led marketing at its finest from the coldwater surfing people
- Lessons in community engagement from Sergeant Colin Taylor of the Isles of Scilly police
- Creative inspiration from Radix Communications (you can’t fail to love their boardgame!)