Where have you been fishing for business lately? It’s tough to choose, isn’t it? There have never been so many great places to cast your line or net. As a business owner, you need to know where the fish are biting, not just where they are swimming. Let’s take a look at some simple tips for fishing for business in the “Great Social Media Channels.”
Our first tip is that you need to decide what your available budget is for this business-fishing trip. Your budget must include fuel (resource allocation), availability (corporate buy-in/employee bandwidth), and tackle (tools to market with). You must also take into account your past fishing experiences, so you don’t get your business into rough waters. Note that it may be wise to solicit the help of a guide (a social media consultant). A guide can help reduce stress and increase your catch.
These decisions impact which social channel(s) you select to fish for business and ultimately the success of your trip. If your trip availability is limited and you have limited funds, you will need to select one channel, set realistic expectations, and formulate a plan to maximize your success with the tackle you can afford.
ip number two is to decide what species of fish you are after and to find which channels they are swimming in. Remember though that the channel(s) you select must also fit criteria we determined from tip number one. It is a good idea to speak with other fishermen about where they have been catching fish. These guys know their way around and can help you avoid potential hidden hazards. Be careful, though, of the old codger who claimed to catch a whale “that one time, over there.” He has been telling that same yarn for years. And no matter how great any fisherman tells you a certain spot is, ALL of the fish are not in that same spot, or even that one channel.
Our third tip is to speak with the locals, or tournament guys, if you know any, and see what bait and techniques they are using. Now, don’t let them talk you into going out and buying or trying everything. They can be an excitable bunch, so remember to temper their excitement for what’s new or their favorites against what you see others using. You also need to make sure that the bait they tell you to use is not only “legal” but ethical as well. You shouldn’t just show up and throw dynamite into the channel, even if you will catch some fish that way.
On to tip number four. Learn how to present the right bait the right way: where the fish are looking, not just where they are swimming. Presentation determines if you will have fillets on the plate or just another fish story. You could be using the same bait as the other guys, but if your presentation is off, the catch rate will be too. And don’t worry if your style isn’t the same as the popular guy’s. If you find a technique that works for you, and isn’t illegal or unethical, roll with it.
Tip number five is to be prepared to catch something. It is amazing how frequently money and time is spent to get out to the fishing hole only to find you forgot a fishing net to help get your catch into the boat. And if you are just out there casting, but not monitoring your bait, you might miss a lot of bites in the first place. Few things are as disappointing as going out day after day, but returning empty handed. You may even start to believe that there aren’t any fish in this channel, or that (insert all kinds of other excuses here).
Our last tip is to record your success. Look, you can use a fancy wayfinder tool to mark every position, or you can write it on the back of a napkin, but you must start keeping track of where you have success early on. I mean, do you really want to try to remember what worked years ago or still be trying to figure it out?
A note about the old timers: You can listen to old timers, who usually know of a few good spots that “always produce,” but be careful that they are not just desperate for attention and wasting your time. Keep in mind that trophy fish become accustomed to the tricks used to catch them, so unless you actually see an old timer’s catch, make sure he’s been keeping up with the latest tools and techniques. You need to know which of his lures fish are hitting on lately, not the lure that caught him a monster fifteen years ago. Keep in mind too that grandpa has a favorite spot, and he may stick with it a little too long because, well, it’s what he knows.
A note about the new tournament pros: These tournament guys are amazing. The live, eat, and breath this stuff. You don’t. They can tell you all about the shiny new equipment and lures you should be using, but since you’re not as experienced as they are, or as passionate about it, you don’t know how to present the bait correctly. You don’t want to make this your sole source of sustenance, but you need to catch some. And that fishfinder they recommend only tells you where you are likely to find fish. It doesn’t cast, present the bait, or set the hook for you, and it certainly isn’t going to fry it up for you. By the way, be respectful of the tournament pro who is willing to help you out. You’re not paying him to be your guide, so don’t “expect” him to be.
It may seem like a like a lot of work just to fill up your basket with business, but since the old techniques of paying for someone to put food on your plate aren’t working as well these days, you might as well commit to learning how to fish for yourself. Or at least find a good guide.
Where is your honey hole? Where are the fish biting for you?