A couple of weeks ago, I was in a meeting with a group of entrepreneurs and business leaders.
One of the entrepreneurs owns a creative shop that designs illustrations for the publishing industry.
This business owner lamented that publishing is becoming an increasingly difficult area to find business. To diversify their portfolio and build a new revenue stream, they began creating illustrated posters and greeting cards.
No one knows about these lovely gems.
They’ve built a shop on their website, but no one is coming to it and no one is buying.
Go Where the Fish Are
Anyone remember that Sesame Street episode where Bert and Ernie are fishing? Bert can’t catch any fish. But, with Ernie’s secret call, he’s able to get fish to jump right in the boat. If you can’t remember or you want to reminisce and watch it again, check it out below.
As attractive as that might sound, calling fish and hoping they will jump in your boat isn’t a great way to market your business and attract new customers.
Instead, you need to fish in the right pond. In other words, you need to go where the fish (your prospects) are plentiful and your product or service is appealing to them.
But, in order to do that, you need to understand three things:
- What kind of customer are you trying to attract (type of fish)
- Where do those customers hang out (which pond)
- What products and services those customers like and enjoy (type of bait)
Without those three things, you’re going to be much like Bert who can’t catch a darn thing.
How to Fish in the Right Pond
How does this work?
Let’s look at this creative shop for example. They should take the time to learn more about the people who like their cards and discover where those folks hang out.
Once they get a better understanding of those things, here are some things they can do to fish in the right pond:
- Introduce their products somewhere else. Instead of hoping people will find them, they should go to where people are already interested and buying this type of card. This might include craft fairs, gift shops, stationary purveyors or even online through Etsy.
- Get attention. Getting attention from the targeted papers, magazines and blogs is another way to fish in the right pond. Find the people who are already talking about stationary or your kind of artwork and you’ll get your work in front of the right audience.
- Be the answer. People might not be looking for stationary or posters. But, they might be looking for a special Mother’s Day gift or housewarming present. How can you be the answer to what people are looking for? Once you determine that, you can build content (and even SEO and PPC campaigns) around those answers.
- Create new products. Once they start offering their products in the right places, they can get a sense of what their customers like. They can adapt and add new cards and designs based on what selling and what isn’t.
- Find blue ocean. The way to find the most fish? Look for the blue ocean. In other words, go where your competition is not already fishing. What can you offer that now one else is? How can you position your brand as the only option for your customers?
Are you fishing in the right pond for your business? What advice would you offer this creative shop?