Why do 4 percent of the fishermen catch 96 percent of the fish?Article added by Greg Preite on March 18, 2014
Greg Preite

Greg Preite

Temecula, CA

Joined: December 11, 2012

My Company

There’s a saying that “4 percent of the fishermen catch 96 percent of the fish.” Perhaps you’ve heard it (or even said it). Assuming for a moment that it’s true, how does that come to be? Are the 4 percent just lucky to be in the right place at the right time? Or perhaps the 4 percent create their own luck with strategic planning, preparation and patience. My guess is the latter.

Social media and digital marketing are much like fishing. Achieving the 4 percent status typically requires an angler’s planning, preparation and patience. Regardless of your industry or your experience, an effective campaign begins with these two steps:
  • Defining your target audience
  • Creating compelling content that your audience wants to read, watch, listen to or share.
The obvious goal is to reach the people who need or value your services. But just like the fisherman, you need to be in the right location with the right bait at the right time. Another fishing colloquialism applies here: “match the hatch,” meaning “feed them what they want to eat.”

Before you ever cast your rod, you need to stop thinking like the fisherman and start thinking like the fish. Luckily for an advisor, thinking like your target audience is easier than thinking like a fish, but hopefully you get my point. If you want social media and digital marketing success, it starts here. Ask yourself these questions:

Whom am I trying to attract? Define them by specifics such as age, occupational status, marital status, geographical region, and any other modifier that would assist in determining their wants and needs.

What are their problems or goals?
What drives this audience?

What are their goals and what issues do they need to resolve? This is your invitation into their lives. Understanding their motivations helps you create content that will appeal to them.

How can you solve their problems or appeal to their desires? This is where “match the hatch” applies. Provide answers and education as it pertains to their most pressing questions, problems and desires.

Where do they get their information? Every great fisherman has a favorite fishing spot, that one place where he knows he can find fish. You’ll also need to determine the best place to find your audience. Email, various social media platforms, industry websites and press releases are all ways to reach an audience. You may need to try several fishing holes before you find your sweet spot.

Can you be patient? Perhaps this is the primary characteristic of the 4 percent. You don’t get a boat full of fish with your first cast, and you don’t achieve 4 percent status in the first month. Following a strategy consistently over an extended period of time is the only thing that gets you there.

In our next article, we’ll delve deeper into the concept of finding that perfect “fishing hole” and discuss how you can identify the most advantageous spot to fish. Your comments and feedback are always appreciated.

See also: Prospecting: How I avoided becoming one of the dreaded 90 percent
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