Business and Fishing the 3 P’s: Patience, Presentation, Preparation

Attention: We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog post to announce a tweetup happening next Tuesday August 21, 2012. Lori Widmer and myself will have a dialogue about Google Plus and the forum she co-founded for writers and creatives. The conversation begins at 6:30 ET and 3:30 PT by using the hash tags #allaboutgoogle+ and #aboutwritingsquared. Mark your calendars and join us next Tuesday on Twitter. Now back to the blog post.  

Wilson River Steelhead

Lessons I learn on the river apply to many facets of my life. Today, I compare business writing to my favorite pastime.

Patience

In order to be a good fishermen you must have patience. I have experienced numerous days where I will wait hours for that one bite. It’s tempting to leave a spot and go looking for fish, but if you have confidence in what you’re doing it will be just a matter of time for that strike to happen. The same is true in business. Much of the content I write today will not produce cash flow for weeks or months. I need to have confidence in what I’m offering and that my offer is right for the situation. I strive to make it easy for my targeted customer to find me. However, they must need what I’m offering, and reality dictates that won’t happen often. Within a given day hundreds or even thousands of fish will swim by your bait, but 99% won’t be interested. A successful day of Salmon or Steelhead fishing only requires one or two bites. A 25lb fish goes a long way in feeding my family. So is the case with customers. Land the right ones and your table is full. In our instant gratification society waiting is not something were use to, and possibly this is why studies show less young people are taking up the sport of fishing.

Presentation

There are numerous considerations and multiple combinations in choosing the correct lure and presentation for Salmon and Steelhead fishing. To the untrained eye it often looks simple. When I take a friend out for the first time they usually don’t realize all that goes into my decision process. Water temperature, light conditions, depth, current, weather, and tidal changes are just a few of the things to consider. When someone does something well the presentation just flows. As a business owner it is extremely important you’re making the

Webinar on August 28th

right presentation. I witness too many companies put out content for content sake. They do not consider their target audience and what factors could put them in a buying mood. If the content isn’t reaching the correct audience or is written poorly it won’t attract any customers. The old saying, “10% of the fishermen catch 90% of the fish” has some merit. There are many people who fish for Salmon and Steelhead days on end with nary a bite. It can be very frustrating and it is why I recommend that a newbie go with someone experienced to learn the ropes. Business owners would do well with the same advice for their content management. What my friend notices is a pole handed to him and cast to a certain spot. Often he will say, “that was easy” or “man we were lucky”. Frankly, luck and ease doesn’t play into the equation and neither should it for your business.

Preparation

The night before a fishing trip you will find me on the Internet studying the latest river levels, barometric pressure and water temperatures. Based on that information I will tie up numerous rigs, color combinations and lure sizes. I always prepare more than necessary and have a wide variety available. My days to go to the river are limited and I want have the best possible outcome. The same goes for business, because there is limited opportunity to interact with future customers. Your competition is literally at everyone’s fingertips, and our ability to change our minds with a simple click make it imperative that you do your homework. When you hire someone to write content make sure to provide complete data on your ideal customer. Extensive preparation will give you the best opportunity to land the big one.

Does this analogy make sense to you? What are your hobbies? Can you make a similar analogy? Leave me a comment below.

How to Write Better Profiles

Payless Celebrity Golf Tournament

Getting to Know You

Does your company website have profiles of you and your staff? Stale and generic profiles are rampant throughout the Internet. Most of the time they focus on how long you have worked for the company or awards you have won. This doesn’t resonate with your customers. What do your patrons find on your home page? Do they get to know the face behind the company? Customers are more likely to trust and purchase from people they know. Having well-written profiles places you in that category. A polished profile on your site allows customers to feel like they have developed a relationship with you and your company.

People are Interesting

We like to learn about people. We are social creatures and are more likely to trust people we know. We search to find others that have common interests or similar tastes. If we believe someone is like us we tend to trust him or her. And we want to know what they do with their time. The example to the left is a profile I wrote for a golf tournament program and illustrates these points. Knowing the person behind the characters he plays provides us a sense of knowing Mickey beyond the superficial.

  • A profile should introduce you to a wide audience.
  • A profile should capture your personality.
  • A profile should treat you as a whole person not just what you do for a living.
  • A profile needs more than just a list of accomplishments or milestones.
  • A profile needs to reveal something unique about you.

Here’s Your Help

Now you need someone to write your profile. When I write a profile I look for unique attributes and personal philosophies that make a person stand out. When I interview someone for a profile piece I come at it as a conversation. I don’t concern myself with staying on a specific track. I just listen to what that person has to say about their life and journey. Having a well-written profile on your site is imperative and I can provide that for you.