A Fly Fisherman’s Guide to Catching New Customers with Internet Marketing

For those of you who don’t know me, I am passionate about two things—fly fishing and Internet Marketing.  So when I get a chance to talk about both of them in the same conversation, I jump at the opportunity.  I had been thinking lately about the parallels between the two, when to my delight, Ryann Price at Hubspot wrote a great blog post today titled “A Fly Fisherman’s Guide to Catching New Customers with Inbound Marketing”.

I’d like to touch on a few of his observations, as they are great reminders for small and medium-sized businesses that are thinking about or starting to embrace Internet Marketing as a key driver of their business success.

The Importance of Having a Guide

Fishing a river for the first time is challenging.  Figuring out where the fish are and what they like to eat can be hard.  I find that hiring a guide who is familiar with the river can make my fishing experience much more productive. They’ve fished the river many times before, know the best places to fish, and the best flies to use.  They know the river’s quirks and take you past all the water you might have fished by yourself that just doesn’t hold fish—no matter how good the water looks.

In his blog, Mr. Price points out “Where you THINK the fish are and where they ARE can be totally different.  It’s best not to leave it up to guess work and actually listen to and follow the guidance of the experts. “ 

An Internet Marketing consultant knows the landscape, understands the process, and is equipped to help you identify where your customers are and how to reach them.  As Mr. Price says “You have to go where your potential customers are by determining which persona you are trying to reach. Are they on FaceBook?  Twitter? Yahoo Answers? or LinkedIn? You can assume, like many people do, that your target customer isn’t using social media or the blogosphere. Or you can measure where your traffic is coming from, identify your referrers, track your leads, and close the loop on which new sites and content produced the most leads and customers.”

Choose Your Fly Carefully, or Match the Hatch

One of the most important aspects of fly fishing is “matching the hatch”—determining what insects live on the river that fish will eat, and at what stage they are in their lifecycle.  Figuring this out enables you to identify the right “offer”, and if you place it correctly and in the right location on the water, fish will check it out or even eat it.

Once you know where your customers are and what they are interested in, you can create the right message to reach them, a compelling offer that they cannot resist, and put it in front of them using the most effect delivery mechanism.

Keep Your Fish on the Line

When learning to fly fish, the first time you hook a fish is incredibly exciting.  And as you gain experience, the good news is that feeling never goes away.  More important than hooking the fish is landing it, and here is where Mr. Price makes a couple of good points about hooking and landing customers.

“When you’re fly fishing, you need to keep the line tight; any slack in the line gives the fish an opportunity to free itself.  You also want to keep your angles on the fish.  As the fish swims, the position of the hook changes. By keeping your angles, you reduce the chance the hook’s position will change and he’ll get away.  It’s the same with lead nurturing–you need to make sure your angles are right.  If the person came into your site with an interest in social media, you would keep engaging them with social media material.  It’s all about catering the material to their interests and engaging them with it when they’re interested. “

I love fly fishing, and I love helping businesses attract more prospects to their website and convert them into customers.  A good guide can help you on the water by catching more and bigger fish.  And a good guide can help you grow your business on the Internet by catching more and bigger customers.  I strongly suggest you use them for both.

You can read Ryann’s full post at  http://bit.ly/5na5vL

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