Build a List – Learn How to Fish for Customers

Point #1 – Learn How to Fish for Customers

Fishing
Image by GeorgeMuresan

Yesterday was such a beautiful day that I caught myself daydreaming about those lazy summer days when I was a kid and we used to fish just because we could. As I thought about the steps we took to make sure we had a good catch, I recognized the similarities between list building and fishing.

Since many of you have never fished, let’s start with how it works so you can understand my analogy. You wrap some form of bait around a hook and then toss the bait into the water.  When a fish takes the bait you “set-the-hook” by jerking up the pole, which causes the hook to embed in the fish’s mouth.  Then you reel in the fish.

There are two parts of fishing that can be a little challenging:
1.    Selecting good bait that the fish like
2.    Placing the bait where the fish are located

Continuing with our analogy, think of your potential customers as the fish; and, you are the fisherman with bait and hook. The bait must be something that intrigues visitors enough that they want to “bite,” but it is not the product you plan to sell.  You place the “bait” on your web page with an invitation to try it out – usually for a non-monetary exchange (e.g. their name and email address).

The fish (a potential client) takes the bait and exchanges his name and email address for the item.  It is an easy and effective way of giving people an opportunity to sample your offerings.

I am sure you can see how the challenges faced by Internet marketers are very similar to challenges faced by fisherman – selecting the right bait, getting it in front of the fish, and being able to “hook” the fish (visitors).

This explains why you may hear marketers use the term “opt-in” and “opt-in bait” as a reference to an ethical bribe to attract people to your list. Your list or database filled with email addresses is the “fish keep.” Do you get the picture?

There are a few more critical components that will make the expedition successful, which we will cover in other postings. But, for now let’s focus on the primary purpose of your fishing expedition, which is to capture the visitors’ contact information, to start up a dialogue, and to build a relationship with them so ultimately, they will buy from you.

People do not buy products for a variety of reasons.
1.    The timing may not be right.
2.   They cannot check out your deal to their satisfaction.
3.    They do not have money to spend that day.
4.    OR – the big one – they don’t trust you yet.

People are more likely to buy from people they know and trust than from a stranger.

Terms to Remember:

  • Fish – Potential clients, buyers, curious people
  • Bait – Opt-in offer:  Report, tips, picture, photo, recipe, audio recording, video…anything that potential clients will find irresistible.
  • Hook – Opt-in form
  • Fish-keep – Your list that is stored in a database. This may be a spreadsheet, but a more powerful tool is an autoresponder service such as AWeber or Get Response.

Watch for the next post for more tips to help you fill your fish keep….um, list.

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