One of my favorite hobbies is fly-fishing. If you call my office and I don’t answer, I might be on a river somewhere chasing trout. Fly-fishing is a relaxing pastime. But, it’s also an activity that “the industry” has over-romanticized through movies, such as A River Runs Through It, and over-complicated by those incessant Orvis and Bass Pro catalogs that show up in everyone’s mail. The “experts” would have you believe that catching fish involves buying special equipment, using the perfect casting technique, or tying a mysterious type of fly.
Yet, after fishing for years and catching hundreds of trout, I’ve found the opposite to be true. Fly-fishing is pretty simple:
1. Go where you know the fish are.
2. Get your hook in the water as often as possible.
3. Change your fly if the fish don’t bite after a few minutes.
The simplicity of fly-fishing can also be said about marketing. The “experts” would have you believe that marketing is a complex process reserved only for those with special knowledge, advanced degrees, confidential techniques, or big budgets. They are wrong. Marketing is a simple process that anyone can accomplish:
1. Create a hook that attracts people’s curiosity.
2. Go where you know lots of interested people congregate in large numbers.
3. Get your hook in front of people as often as you can afford.
You can’t catch fish unless frequently cast an attractive hook. Likewise, you must frequently cast an attractive hook to catch people’s interest. You won’t catch many fish unless you find where they gather in large numbers. Equally so, you won’t catch many new customers unless you advertise where they congregate en masse.
If your marketing tactics aren’t producing the desired results, consider if you’ve overcomplicated the process. Don’t let the industry fool you with fancy talk and gimmicks. Go back to basics and examine the quality of your hook, your frequency rate, and the size of your audience.
It’s a shame to stand in a pristine river on a beautiful day and not catch fish. It’s a shame to spend thousands of dollars on marketing and not catch customers.