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Cruise on in to Profits: Market Your Professional Practice This Unique, Luxurious Way

By: Susan Dunn

Susan Dunn, The EQ Coach, coaches individuals and executives in emotional intelligence, and offers workshops, presentations, trainings, Internet courses and ebooks.  She is a regular presenter for the Royal Caribbean and Costa cruiselines.  Visit her on the web at and for FREE ezine.

Whether you're a professional public speaker, therapist, financial analyst, business consultant, coach or entrepreneur, being a Lecturer on a cruise ship is a great way to market your practice--wouldn't you agree? You can do something you love to do, promote your practice to a whole new audience, and have a first-class vacation at the same time.

It's a truly unique marketing opportunity: thousands of captive prospective clients you'll be mingling with for 7, 11, 14 days and nights.

I'm a coach, I present enrichment lectures regularly for a couple of cruise lines, and as I say in my ebook, "Presenting on a Cruise (, this opportunity gives new meaning to the phrase "working vacation."

Here are some tips on how to get chosen for this unique opportunity:
  • Apply through an agency, not the cruise lines. Cruise lines use booking agencies for lecturers just as they use travel agents to book cruises. It's industry protocol that the cruise line not tell which agency they use, and the booking agent not tell which cruise line they book for. There's help with this in my ebook.

  • Cruisers want topics of personal interest. It's a vacation -- time to get away from the job. Self-help and wellness titles sell, as well as innovative topics only you can think of. Someone gave a lecture on the history of chocolate with samples. Someone else gave a lecture on international protocol. Weak in this area? Brainstorm with a marketing coach.

  • At the same time, financial analysts and advisors are in demand to speak on specific topics such as saving estate taxes.

  • Choose a catchy, fun and upbeat title. Titles are a major selling point both to get you chosen and to get people to your lectures once you're onboard. Work on this a lot. Brainstorm with amarketing coach until you get the hang of it.

  • Use positive promising titles. "Smooth Sailing Through Life's Storms" works better than "Transitions". "Ride the Waves to Fun & Happiness" works better than that.

  • You're allowed to bring along a guest. Consider bringing along another coach or presenter. The cruise lines like the two-fer and you’ll have help managing the promotions, logistics, and audience so you can make the most of this marketing opportunity. You'll also get an extra day and a half vacation.

  • Entertain! All audiences today expect to be entertained along with getting the information, and of course a cruise is a festive atmosphere to begin with. Interactive games, prizes work well. Give them opportunity to interact with one another. The number one reason why people choose cruises is because they can make friends. The more you facilitate this, the more popular you'll be.

  • What you should wear. The rule is 'dress one level higher than your audience.' Wearing snappy business attire on a cruise makes you 'stand out like a sore thumb,' and, when you think about it, that's just what you want to do. Dress up, get your briefcase, etc. in hand and walk through the ship on your way (ostensibly) to your lecture room, and you WILL attract a lot of attention, which gives you that golden opportunity. (Allow plenty of time for this 'walk'.) "You look like you're on business," I get asked. Well, then we have a conversation!

  • Be prepared to present under any circumstances, with only what you bring with you. Luggage gets lost. Equipment breaks. What you request may or may not be there. Conditions are quite different from "on land." There's no last-minute trip to Kinko's. However, most ports have an Internet cafe and copying service which can be lifesavers. Read more about this in my ebook.

  • Expect the unexpected. A nationally-known celebrity showed up at my talk on “Strengths,” to find out how to build her life around her innate talents. More than with any other speaking engagement, you don't know who your audience will be. Get there early and mingle. Elicit responses from the audience early on so you can find out 'who' they are.

  • Get to know the cruise director and make yourself useful. Have a 4th presentation ready in case it rains a day in port and the guests need extra entertainment. Make sure the staff know you for when it comes time for them to vote on you.

  • Find out beforehand if you can self-promote. If so, bring exceptional handouts and be sure your name, URL, and phone number are on them and on the pens/pencils you provide. You want them to know how to reach you. Give away a month’s free coaching or one of your courses for prizes. Better yet, pass around a sheet so you can capture their email addresses. They're on vacation. Chances of contact are better if you have their email address.

  • Even if you can't self-promote at your lecture, there are ample other opportunities in general conversations aboard ship.

  • Prepare. Read all you can about the presenting conditions on a ship and ask around because they're very different.
Consider this extremely appealing way to promote your business and services. You've got to admit there are few opportunities like this!

© copyright, Susan Dunn, 2002

Other Articles by Susan Dunn

The author assumes full responsibility for the contents of this article and retains all of its property rights. MarcommWise publishes it here with the permission of the author. MarcomWise assumes no responsibility for the article's contents.


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