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I love fishing; it’s relaxing, fun and always a challenge. I don’t fish in tournaments because I don’t know how to catch game fish in a consistent way. For me, entering fishing tournaments would be a waste of time and money. There are those, however, who study every aspect of a particular fish, practice casting, and know their target so well, that they consistently pull in “the big ones” and win the tournaments. It seems the same thing happens in business. Certain companies seem to consistently “pull in the big ones” and gain market share. Why? They know that their target is like a fish! Fish are naturally unpredictable. They only strike at bait that is pulled toward them at the right time and in the right place. Sounds a lot like your potential clients doesn’t it?
When promoting their business small business owners and entrepreneurs often forget basic marketing principles. When I go fishing, the first thing I do is look for a couple of lakes that have they type of fish that I want to catch. Once I find a couple of lakes that I want like to fish, I would seek out the locals to
get the latest scuttlebutt on what my fish are doing. I would ask what’s biting, where they’re biting, and what time of day seems to work the best. I would also find out which type bait is hauling them in. Then, I would purchase a map of the lake so that I have a good idea of the “lay of the land.”
This is a lot like exploring your target market. When I’m fishing for Bass, I get the intelligence report from the locals and a map for the lake. When you’re fishing for clients, you need to find the right market, gather information and cast your line. Remember, you can’t just cast it in any old place and hope that your “fish” will see the lure. Make sure you are casting into the correct places to find your customers. Know where your target market hangs out so that they see your message. Bass hide out under logs, lily pads, etc. If I want to catch a Bass, I throw my lure where the Bass are located. Apply the same concept to your target market. Cast in the correct location, you will save yourself time and money and avoid the unnecessary “snags” that many marketing campaigns run into.
When you market, you need to know what type of customer you are looking for, where they are, and what will attract them to your business. By focusing your efforts on reaching a defined target with a specific message, you will pull in many more “fish” than if you simply float to the middle of the lake and start throwing lines into the water.
If you know your target market you will be able to create a strategy for pulling some of them into your boat! Defining your target market is just one of the strategies.
Success in fishing is learned, but with a plan and some perseverance you can start catching the “big ones” too. It’s the same with your clients. You have the ability to pull them in – just toss out a line and start reeling!
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