10 Things I Love That Will Help Your Business


I’m not Oprah, but I have my own favorite things! Below are products and services that I use / endorse / love that I think will be helpful for the DZO, DZM or DZ Marketer. Hope these things help!

Apple Watch


I’ve been interested in getting an Apple Watch since it was first released in 2014, but wanted to wait until the second edition to allow Apple to work out the kinks. I picked up the watch earlier this week and I absolutely love it. Though I think it’s totally cool, it also makes my work life better. My favorite feature is responding to texts and e-mails by voice dictation to the Watch and then zipping a message out. I’m not sure why, but I find the voice dictation to be better than that of my iPhone (though I could be imagining this). Super accurate and makes response fast while being on the fly. It’s all about efficiency especially for those who feel there aren’t enough hours in the day.




As a marketing agency, we needed a tool to manage and schedule our posts for our various clients, so we implemented Hootsuite. Many people aren’t big fans of Hootsuite as the interface can be a little intimidating requiring time and patience to master. Enter Buffer. If you’re a business owner looking for a clean, streamlined tool to manage your DZ’s social channels, then this is worth looking into. We discovered Buffer at a recent marketing conference and I was really impressed. Simple and easy.

Burble Software


Burble Software is an advertiser within our blog, so it would seem natural that they would make this list. Franz (Burble’s owner) didn’t know we were writing this story, and we don’t allow advertisers in our blog unless we believe and endorse the product. 

I endorse Burble. If you haven’t looked at the software recently, it’s light years ahead of where it was just two years ago. Working with DZ’s all over the world, I don’t believe there is a better solution for online reservations and manifest (both tied together). The benefits of using Burble are too long to list in this space, but it’s a valuable tool that increases efficiency for your staff, increases sales, has excellent reporting and is continually evolving to meet the needs of DZO’s from the smallest of DZ’s to the world’s largest.




If you wish to step up your social media game, then Canva.com will help you do that. Canva is a free tool that makes creating customized posts with great graphic design… easy. If you have zero graphic design experience, Canva makes it look like you do. Best of all is it’s free. As a marketing agency, we use Canva all of the time for the many social media clients that we manage. This is an awesome tool and a golden nugget on this list. 


 Facebook LIVE


I cannot endorse Facebook LIVE enough because of its power as a marketing tool. Facebook’s algorithm greatly limits how much people can see your content. Facebook LIVE opens the algorithm to greater exposure and the all important ‘e’ world of social media marketing: engagement. If your DZ is not regularly using Facebook LIVE, I encourage everyone to add it to your marketing mix for 2017.

DJI Osmo


DJI (same company that makes drones) has several Osmo products which are essentially a gimbal on a stick. If Facebook LIVE is in your plans for 2017 (and it really should be) then consider this tool which gets rid of the shakes and prevents your awesome posts looking like a scene from the Blair Witch Project. I have the Osmo X3 which is more than what’s really required and doesn’t play all that well with Facebook LIVE. I’d recommend the Osmo Mobile.




If you’ve been impressed by the design and quality of the jerseys worn by the crews at Skydive Dubai, Skydive Chicago, Chicagoland Skydiving Center, the US Army Golden Knights and more, then you’re seeing the work of Manufactory. Manufactory is owned by husband and wife team Rob and Shelly Delaney. These two started their careers in fashion & graphic design long before they started skydiving. For more than 10 years, they have designed and manufactured clothing, sportswear & accessories for iconic fashion brands who sell to an international audience. 

Rob and Shelly are professionals who only use high-quality products that will last combined with great design. Highly recommended. 


Melanie Curtis’ Virtual Skydive Center


Future skydivers are lost in the chasm between graduating from AFF and earning 100 jumps. Between the high cost, societal pressures, lost weekends due to weather and feeling socially awkward as the ‘newbie’, it’s not hard to see why the attrition rate is so high.

Melanie Curtis has created the Virtual Skydiving Center (VSC) which offers newer jumpers a safe place to have their questions answered and gain perspective that what they’re feeling through the process of learning to skydive is completely normal.

Imagine having Melanie Curtis as a mentor. Melanie will inspire people to stick with it and help them navigate the challenging moments of being a new jumper.

Melanie is now working with DZ’s to compliment their student programs to help retain newer jumpers and build the jumper base.

I recommend if you’re interested in growing your student and fun jump population, then you should consider Melanie’s VSC.


Schier Concepts


I like to support entrepreneurs who create something that resolves a pain point. It’s even better when that entrepreneur is a skydiver. Daniel Schiermeyer (calls Jumptown and Skydive Carolina his home DZ’s) is an engineer who was tired of wrestling with his helmet and GoPro. Adjusting the angle of the GoPro or taking it off of the helmet was a struggle, so he created a clamp that made this easy to do.

Anyone I’ve met that has one loves this solution and it’s an easy sales item for gear stores.


Sticker Mule


With the PIA Symposium just a couple of months away, we are preparing our cadre of knick knacks and giveaways. I’ve been frustrated with the quality of items in the past especially with stickers that fade. This year we’ve discovered Sticker Mule and I’m impressed with the quality of the work combined with customer service. If you’re looking for stickers, these guys get my recommendation.


This blog proudly sponsored by Sun Path Products

SunPath Products - Maker of the Javelin Odyssey Skydiving Rig

About James La Barrie

James La Barrie is passionate about marketing and changing a company's service culture. Originally from the Caribbean island of Antigua, James melds his approach of marketing and delivering elite service together as one. James has injected his 'service marketing' approach throughout his career to transform companies from good to great.

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