When it comes to getting customers & orders in your business it’s a little like fishing! You find the perfect spot (social media platform), You cast your line (marketing posts) and you hope the right fish will bite! My question to you though is are you fishing too close to the shore?
Social media is AMAZING! Never before in the history of small businesses has it been so easy to get FREE marketing in front of thousands of local people who are going to want to purchase what you have! Without a doubt the invention of social media is TOTALLY responsible for the BOOM in home based businesses. More and more people are ditching the full time job or grabbing a side line from the comfort of their own home and taking advantage of the amazing opportunity that social media offers – the balloon industry is no different!
So let’s look at this from a fishing perspective. We will take Facebook as a prime example but equally it could be Instagram or any other platform…. You set up your pitch on the river bank full of fish (Facebook Page) and cast your line sitting there waiting eagerly. The only problem is there are LOTS of other fisherman sitting there all with their lines in the water…. Each of them with a tempting offer on the end of their line… The fish have a whole range of tempting treats waiting for them to grab…
Some fish will grab the treat that LOOKS the most delicious, other fish will grab the biggest treat so they get MORE for their bite, others will get confused by so much on offer and swim round and round in circles…. So what do the fisherman do? They start putting more out there for less… They start putting bigger bait out there that will be more attractive to the fish… Sure it hurts their pocket… They will have to do more fishing and spend more time at the river but it’s a competitive world we live in…
The fish start complaining it’s too noisy with all fisherman on the river bank and the river owner starts to add dams to the river siphoning some of the fish away from the river bank. The big fish don’t like the noise or the dams or the intrusion into their river so they mostly swim off to the middle of the river leaving little fish closest to the bank.
The fisherman still get quite a lot of bites on their line so they keep going back to the river but the fish are little and not enough to sustain what they need to catch every day… The fisherman respond they spend longer at the river bank…. They try several river banks…. They take greater hits of the offerings to the fish…. They work harder and harder…. At the end of the day they see other fisherman loading their massive fish into their cars to go home but they can’t quite work out how they are catching the big fish… they assume they just have to keep at it.. Work harder… and fingers crossed it will come…
Sound familiar to you? Don’t get me wrong I am not saying social media is a bad thing or you shouldn’t be there. It’s absolutely a major part of everyone’s business strategy today but now let’s look at what the clever fisherman does…
The clever fisherman sets a line on the riverbank with everyone else BUT then pulls on a pair of waders right up to their chest. Sure the river water is cold and uncomfortable and wading in chest deep is initially the hardest thing they thought they would ever have to do – they almost go back to sitting on the riverbank – but after a couple of days they get used to it and it gets easier… They could get a boat but boats are expensive and not easy to get to the river so they wade into the middle of the river and further along the river where the banks are inaccessible to the other fisherman… It takes a little time to find the sweet spots where the big fish are but word soon gets out in the middle of the river and after a few bites of the BIG fish more follow… The fisherman gets comfortable with this different kind of fishing… they catch BIGGER fish so they don’t have to spend half as much time at the river… the bigger fish have different priorities and values and they don’t have quite so many fisherman to choose from. They want the BEST and are willing to search for the perfect fisherman… The fish speak to the river owner and he opens the dams to otherwise inaccessible areas. The clever fisherman fine tunes their art of fishing in this way and then reaps the rewards of choosing to do something different in their business!
So how does fishing apply to the balloon industry? Here’s what the smart businesses know…
- Social media is a great part of your marketing strategy BUT it is not the only part!
- You need clarity in your business. You need to know what your vision for your life and your business looks like. You need to know what types of orders (fish) you need to REALLY grow a sustainable and profitable business so you can live in your vision. You need a plan of what you want, where you will find it and how you are going to get it.
- Networking is key to growing your business. This means you have to physically get up… out of your home and away from the computer/phone screen to meet the people who will want the bigger orders or who can help you find the bigger orders that you need to grow your business. For many this will be majorly out of their comfort zone but once you have done it a few times your comfort zone will simply move to keep up with you and this will become your new comfort zone.
- If you keep doing the same thing you will ultimately keep getting the same thing even if you work harder you just get more of it. You need to be prepared to learn new skills and be open to new ideas to bring new things in your business.
- You need to persevere and be persistent.You need to give your plan a chance to work… On average it takes anywhere between 5 and 20 touches for people to really notice you, get to know you, get to trust you and want to do business with you. You can’t just try a couple of times and think they weren’t interested then so they won’t be interested in the future! Sure if after time it’s still not working you need to flex but if you know where you need to be you will find the “how” along the road as long as you keep putting one foot in front of the other and not just give up and go back to the riverbank with everyone else.
- The magic happens just outside of your comfort zone but once you move out into the magic your comfort zone quickly moves to keep up with you.
So what are you going to do today to make you the clever fisherman on the riverbank?! Not sure where to even start? Start with the clarity and your vision… everything starts from there!
Until next time
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