Fishing may seem an odd way to talk about marketing, but it is actually an amazing way to understand several important concepts in order to be successful.
In this 2-part Tuesday Tidbit, we will explore how the wisdom of fishing helps us better understand how to successfully market our businesses.
In fishing terms, learning how to cast gets your hook and bait to fall in just the right place for the right fish you desire. Then what? How can we can relate this to our businesses? Let’s dig in:
ONE: Are we casting a line at all? OR are we waiting for the clients to magically come to us? One of the first wake up calls we had years ago was that no matter how good we were, clients didn’t just show up at our door. They had to be reminded of who we were (and these days, more and more often) and then given great reasons to come to us.
Throughout the past decade with the influx of photographers, the “reasons” to come have had to become stronger and more compelling. Too many photographers in the market are like a fish pond where the fish are being fed daily and are not hungry, so to get them to bite on your hook may take a stronger “lure.” Where a free Session Fee might have lured them before, now it may take that plus a bit more.
Warning! Be careful that you don’t end up drawing price sensitive spenders with your “lures” by offering too much. This is a journey, not a sprint, so look at the long picture, not the short term.
We consider a Groupon or discount coupons the wrong “lure” for Waldens as it draws only those looking for a bargain. As an alternative, at times, we offer a “Gift with Purchase” which may be a frame or a set of cards with the purchase of a wall portrait. We also participate in private school auctions (Live if possible) to get new clients and the “lure,” although it is a dollar amount, is for the school to raise money, so it has a better perception. As our studio is hidden (so we don’t get drop-ins), we must have a face in the community and the auctions provide that for us. Certainly, the “fish” at the private schools are what we want to “lure.”
TWO: Are we marketing with the right message to attract only those fish that we want or are we throwing out a wide “net” which will bring any and everything to our business? Chumming is scattering cut pieces of bait in the water. With chumming, you will attract more fish, but are they the ones you want to catch?
This is where understanding your target market comes in to play. Who are your perfect clients? Where do they eat, play and shop? What is their income or zip code? It takes greater understanding to reach them as those with the most money may not be your perfect client! Do your research to find those who have the income PLUS love and value portraiture of their loved ones. For us, that is our perfect client.
The right marketing message starts with you knowing who you are and who you want to attract. What is your style? What does your perfect work day look like? What is your personality and who do you click with? What makes your heart beat faster; that is your passion!
Once you know who you are, you can message correctly because you will know who you want as your clients. And, you will know who you don’t want as your clients!
THREE: Just because you can see a fish, it doesn’t mean you can catch it! You know they’re there. You can see them. But unless you can engage, then nothing happens. Know what you need to do to pull them in.
How? We are part of a small group of photographers across the country who get together with each other every other week to talk, share and encourage each other. We are all different, yet what we bring to the table in our marketing and sales chats help all of us. Get with a few others who are great at marketing and have similar vision as your business and learn from each other. It is invaluable and will lhelp you land those elusive fish!