July 20, 2024

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Brenda’s transition from charter manager into destination manager

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Brenda, at home on the water

Brenda Fann is no stranger to the world of fishing. Her dad was an avid angler, so she saw first-hand what a true love for this sport looks like. From there, fishing became a constant thread running through her life, leading her to where she is today: managing the business side of Fishin Fannatic, the charter she started with her husband, Captain Mark Fann.

But that’s not all. As FishingBooker’s first destination manager, Brenda uses the skills she’s picked up over the years to build relationships with captains and help them run their businesses to their full potential. Below, she tells us about her journey, as well as what a day in her life looks like…

Making waves in the charter fishing industry

Although she’s now based in Wanchese, NC, Brenda’s role means she works with captains all across the US – including Florida, where her fishing charter journey started. “My first husband worked on one of the boats down in Fort Lauderdale,” she tells us. “Next thing you know, I was basically doing bookings for a multi-boat company that we started with just one drift boat.”

After they parted ways, Brenda met her current husband, Mark, at the Bahia Mar Marina – also in Fort Lauderdale. They regularly ran trips out of the marina on their own boat, before deciding to relocate to the Outer Banks in 2015. They’ve been here ever since.

A big catch onboard Fishin Fannatic in Wanchese

“I started working at the Wanchese Marina when we first moved down,” Brenda tells us. “It didn’t take long until I was co-manager, in charge of bookings and all things marina-related. Now, we run two boats out of here.”

While Mark handles the fishing side of their business, Brenda’s role covers pretty much everything else. She puts it this way: “He’s the captain. I’m the one who does everything for him! I answer all his phones. I book his trips. As far as marketing and bookings, and talking to customers and setting up where we’re gonna be and what we’re gonna do, I handle all that.”

This gives Brenda a unique perspective that’s been essential to her role as destination manager – especially as she and Mark have been on FishingBooker since 2017. “I understand it from the captain’s side, as well as the business side,” she says, estimating that around 20% of Fishin Fannatic’s trips come from FishingBooker. “We jumped onto some other platforms too,” Brenda says, “But I think in three years, we’ve seen only one trip. FishingBooker by far outranks everybody.”

Becoming a destination manager

So how did Brenda make the transition from being a FishingBooker user to working with us? “It’s kind of a funny story,” she tells us. In the winters, Mark would go to Florida and run charter boats, while she held down the fort in NC.

Bonding with the FishingBooker crew in the best way – fishing!

However, during the past year, the owners of the business sold up. “I was basically looking to find Mark a replacement job” Brenda tells us, “And I came across the destination manager position on Indeed.” After reading the job description, Brenda called up a friend to discuss the opportunity. “She said, ‘Oh my God, if there was ever a job written for you, this is it.’” 

Brenda’s picked up plenty of skills during her 25+ years in the charter industry that make her the ideal destination manager. The main one? She knows how to talk to people – captains, in particular. “I wasn’t worried about talking to [them],” she says. “I know how to do that. I’ve used the platform from the captain’s side, so I wasn’t worried about that either.”

On top of this knowledge, her dedication to the local fishing scene is something that doesn’t go unnoticed by the captains she meets. Recently, after talking with Brenda and seeing how much FishingBooker could help them, “three new captains joined the platform who would’ve never joined before. As a matter of fact, they used to sit at the marina and trash the captains who use FishingBooker!” she says. “But they joined. Why? Because I’m a local person, and they now have a local contact.”

A day in the life

So what does the average day in the life of a destination manager look like? Simple: “It’s never the same!” Brenda started out with what she calls a “trial by fire” – traveling around cities in the South, calling captains, looking into their accounts, and getting familiar with FishingBooker from a whole new perspective. Now, she describes herself as “the fixer.” “Captains call me all the time, asking how they can do this or that. It’s a challenging position,” she says, “but I love it.”

Mark Fann, filming FishingBooker’s #FishLikeALocal campaign

In her short time as destination manager, Brenda’s participated in a whole variety of projects. For one, she coordinated with our Creative team on FishingBooker’s #FishLikeALocal campaign. This led to her husband Mark becoming the face of the campaign – as well as starring in a video ad! Brenda was even on set as the footage was filmed. She kept the Creative team in the loop by sending updates and photos, as well as using her insider knowledge to suggest how the fishing could look as exciting as possible.

On top of this, she’s quickly become the go-to contact person for projects and campaigns that involve other captains and angling enthusiasts. She uses these conversations to influence what FishingBooker offers to captains, giving first-hand insights into issues such as when the busiest times on the water are and how this impacts communication with customers. She also does the reverse: working here means she can explain the benefits of new updates to captains. It’s a win-win situation!

And as for the biggest hurdle Brenda’s faced so far? “Captains don’t think I’m a real person!” she laughs. “If they’re old-school, they think I’m a scam.” In fact, there was even a situation where a captain wasn’t sure about FishingBooker. When Brenda asked why, he admitted that he didn’t think she was real. Later that week, she ran into some of his fellow captains, who mentioned him. “I said, ‘Oh, really? Will you tell your good friend that we fixed your site and you’re getting more trips?!’”

A successful day out on the water

“You see, I know first-hand how much FishingBooker can help fill in the holes for your business,” she continues. “There’s more publicity, more advertising out there. From the standpoint of a captain, it’s been a great platform for us. I’m lucky that I get to talk to a lot of captains that say the same thing!”

Do you have a question for us, or for Brenda? Interested in what being a destination manager for your location would look like? Let us know in the comments below. We love hearing from you!

The post From charter manager to destination manager: Brenda’s story appeared first on FishingBooker Blog.

By: Katie
Title: From charter manager to destination manager: Brenda’s story
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/destination-manager-brendas-story/
Published Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2023 10:30:23 +0000

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