A Gas Station, Bluegills and Marketing Success

By on September 22, 2017

It almost reads like a country music song, no? Wait, don’t roll your eyes just yet. Give me a few minutes. I promise…all three concepts tie in.

A Gas Station

This is a true story. I recently met a client that needed some writing. The client’s office was in an urban area of Seattle that’s filled with startup businesses. The employees of these companies are mostly 20-somethings that reside in numerous nearby condo buildings .

Tucked in a corner of this area is a small gas station. After my meeting, I stopped in for some fuel.  As I stood near my car waiting for my tank to fill, a minivan pulled in. The driver got out, put a nozzle in his tank, and then proceeded into the station. Before entering the door, he posted his business card on a bulletin board adjacent to the door.  I looked at the minivan and noticed magnetic logos that told me our marketer was a painter.

The painter quickly returned to his vehicle. I caught his eye and asked what type of painting he did.  He replied with, “residential.” I had to ask the follow-up question: “Any commercial work?” “No,” he said, “just homes.”

I looked around at all the office and condo buildings and said to myself, “hmm, just homes.”  I looked at the painter and asked, “any success with hanging the business card?” The painter looked at me, and as if startled said, “not one lead in the four years I’ve been posting.”

And onto the Bluegills

I loved fishing as a kid. There was an industrial park not too far from my home that had a pond I would visit. The pond was filled with bluegills.

Now, if you’re new to bluegills, just know that they’re a smaller fish that tend to travel in schools. This means that if I was at the shore of my pond and located one bluegill, I could spend most my day in one spot while catching bluegill after bluegill (catch and release, of course).

The secret to a fun-filled day simply lied in locating where the bluegills were. These fish weren’t the smartest tools in the shed and they were usually in the same location time after time again. So, rather than waste time (and worms) walking the banks of the pond and casting my line, I just went to my usual spot. The result? Bluegills!

The Lesson Is?

Fish where the fish are. This applies not only to fishing, but it applies equally to marketing. If you’re a painter specializing in residential homes, then why the heck target an urban area filled with young adults that live in condos!? Can someone please tell me where the bluegills are in that equation?

Imagine your potential client base. Think of the relevant statistics that go with this base – age, hobbies, profession, etc. Then market where these potential clients are. Please don’t waste the time and money marketing to audiences that will never buy your goods or require your services.  This makes no business sense.

If you can attract clients online, then think of what social media site(s) might work best – Facebook? LinkedIn? Twitter? Instagram? More than one?  Some social media sites, like Facebook for example, even let you run posts while targeting a specific audience. Capitalize on this!

If nothing else, I hope this post makes you think, “bluegill,” before concluding on where and how to market. Don’t cast your worm in an empty area of the pond. Locate where the fish you’re after are and then go get them!

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