"I want to help out locally. How do I do that?"
If I had a quarter for every time someone called IMBA to ask us that...
You have no idea how many mountain bikers in your area want to be good stewards of the land and show some love to their trails. Why? Because you haven't given them any way to find you and get involved beyond just shredding before and after work. If your patrol group has no presence on the series of tubes that is the Internet (beyond a listing on IMBA's website), you're not running your patrol group as efficiently as possible.
10 Reasons Why Your Bike Patrol Needs a Website Now
- Gives people a place to turn when they want to find out how to volunteer locally.
- Helps to grow your patrol group.
- Positive PR and advertising that you control.
- Brings an air of professionalism to your group, which is important to be able to demonstrate to land managers and potential sponsors.
- Fosters community among your existing patrollers. (Forums, photo sharing, easy access to info., etc.)
- Makes it quick and easy to communicate information to your patrollers, like training and group ride information.
- Lets IMBA know what you're up to so we can trumpet the program's successes and, in turn, gain more support for the NMBP.
- Provides a place to collect information. The site can be a repository for everything from photos to patrol reports to blog posts regarding tips and tricks.
- Provides a quick and easy way to answer the most common questions. Instead of fielding several emails, people can just check out your site.
- The land manager you work with can link to your site. Bike shops can link to your site to advertise the program. You can link back to sponsor sites to make them happy and encourage them to sponsor you even more.
Can You Imagine if the NMBP Didn't Have A Presence on IMBA.com?
No, me either! It's the easiest way for people to find out about the program. The Resources section makes it easy for people to get started and means that when they do call me, they are prepared with specific questions.
Your patrol group, whether five people or 50, is no different. Everyone is using The Google these days, and if you don't show up on search engine pages, you're missing out on opportunities.
So get to it!
Click here for part 2: What you should include on your patrol group's website or web pages and a few easy options for creating your web presence.