Fly fishing -- it doesn't work, does it? When I ... someone ... I saw them release the linethat went out far in the water. No sooner had the fly hitthe water it was being jerked back
Fly fishing -- it doesn't work, does it? When I first watched someone fly-fishing, I saw them release the line that went out far in the water. No sooner had the fly hit the water it was being jerked back and reeled in. Even today, I still don't understand how this method catches any fish. Yet it does, so I am told. See, I have never been fly-fishing.
It looks like so much more work too. I'm used to the worm, bobber, sitting on a short foldable chair, having some great conversation ever once in a while, sipping on a beer (okay root beer so we don't X factor this article), relaxing and waiting for the nibble. Or, is it praying for that nibble. Okay, either one.
If you talk to a fly-fisherman, he says his method is the best. And the same is uttered from a by-the-seat-of-the- pants fisherman as well (cute description huh, I thought so too).
What makes the difference than? Is it technique? Is it the water type -- salt or fresh? Is it the type of fish you are going after? Is it the equipment or supplies? Is it the bait offered?
Okay, back to the first question -- what is the difference? The right answer is "all of the above." You can also throw in the temperature, weather and time of day you are fishing as well. The right answer still is, "all of the above." And it all depends on the right combination of all these items performed in a step-by-order method too. You don't want to toss out the fly without the line. Well, I guess you can but the chances of seeing that fly again is next to nil for sure.
Marketing is not any different from fishing. If you are tossing out the wrong hook to the right fish, they are not going to bite. If you have the right fish and hook, and the wrong technique -- fly-fishing instead of butt, wait and pray fishing. This too will not get many results.
This is why so much emphasis is placed on your needing to know your target market. Because if you don't you are forever going to be trying what different lures, hooks and techniques that wear you down as well as your resources trying to figure out what is the right combination. You can't catch flounder in a fresh water or blue gill in salt water.
Many times, and without knowing it because you are just glad for the business, the fish pick you. So, what are you attracting? Letís take 15 minutes today and begin an exercise that answers that question.
Okay, where were we. Getting late in the day. Oh, yes, what are you attracting? Since I write mostly for service professionals, let me present the "how-tos" for you. If you own a retail store or have a much larger client base, you can do the same by calculating just the top "A" list by revenue generated.
I recommend starting this process by hand to get the "feel" of it and then you can move it over to Excel or a similar software as it grows. Yes, you have my permission to allow this fish to get bigger in this "fish tale."
On a new sheet of paper, turned sideways or landscaped, in the far left hand side create the first column. Now write down the first name of you client (or last name or both). If you don't remember their name and you had given them a nickname, use that. It doesn't matter as long as you know who they are.
In the second column, title it "M/F." You guessed it, "male or female." I knew I didn't have a "dah" market reading this. Now, go down the column and write in the answers next to each name.
Next column, title "M/S/D/U" = married, single, divorced, unknown. Go down the column and complete again.
Remember, before you move onto a new column you want to complete the previous column as much as possible -- there is a subconscious reason for this I don't want to go off topic to explain, so I'm asking you just trust me on this. Please.
Here is a list of other demographic type of information you want to continue in this same format: Age, time zone, number of children (if any), how long a client, marketing resource (how did they find you or you them), fee, and service type.
As you continue to go through and complete each column you will begin to see some patterns on the type of client you are attraction as well as how they became your client (the source).
Continue with this project by adding more distinctions over the next week. As you complete each column, another important fact will emerge for you that you will want to review. If you are missing some information, you might want to pick up the phone and call that past client and ask Ė a great reason to get back in touch with them and renew your name in their mind.
When you begin seeing the patterns emerge, like you work mainly with 90% males, or everyone lives in a certain area, or all are divorced, etc. Some of these patterns are going to be obvious and some aren't. This is why this exercise is good to complete at least once a year. I do this even though I now have software that does it for me. There is nothing like ink and paper to open my outside-the-box thinking that doesn't emerge when reviewing a printed report.
When you get to a slowing down place, pull out the description again of your ideal client. Now, see the averages for this measurement chart in comparison to your ideal client. How is it different? Were there any ideal clients on the list -- put a star next to them or highlight them?
Is there a gap between the two? Can you see what the gap is? Is it obvious? Do you need to build a bridge of things to evolve with that moves from the island to the mainland? If yes, what is it?
Okay, you've got your work cut out for yourself. I agree. Then again, this exercise is the top one I recommend to all my clients, workshop participants, and teleclass attendees. I have even had seasoned professionals resist completing the exercise because they felt they knew everything there was to know on this already. If you feel this same way, itís okay. Let it evolve and see if something grows.
Much to their surprise after they completed the exercise. In fact, Jim, an insurance agent from Arizona wrote me an e- mail after a recent teleclass that did the assignment, yes, with that same reluctance, saying,
"Damn, Catherine, you're good. The exercise eat at me until this morning when I gave in and did the exercise even though last night I convinced myself that I already knew all the answers. I discovered way too many holes in our marketing. My whole staff is excited. After I introduced it to them in this morningís staff meeting, we had to cut the meeting short because everyone couldn't wait to get back to their office and do the exercise."
(c) Copyright 2003, Catherine Franz. All rights reserved.
About Author: Catherine Franz is a marketing industry veteran, a Certified Business Coach, Certified Teleclass Leader and Trainer, speaker, author, and Master Attraction Practitioner. For daily, weekly, and monthly marketing,nonfiction writing and deliberately creating ezines and other newsletters, visit: http://www.AbundanceCenter.com, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-671-5677.