Inbound Marketing is a Lot Like Fly Fishing

I realized recently that two of the things I love doing also have a lot in common.

Not only do inbound marketing and fly fishing involve a similar pursuit of elusive prey; they also require carefully thought out strategies and precisely executed tactics in order to achieve success.

The fundamental tenets of fly fishing include:

  • Match the hatch: This simply means taking note of the types of real-life insects that are around you and choosing lures from your fly-box that mimic what the fish are expecting.
  • Watch what the water is doing: You need to understand the main flow of the river and take note of how it flows around rocks, into deep pools, and forms calm spots beneath riverbanks.
  • Understand the fish holding and feeding patterns: Trout live their entire lives in a constant battle to take in sufficient food while minimizing the amount of energy required to get it. Therefore, they tend to hold in quieter spots just outside of the rapid currents, facing upstream to snatch insects that come tumbling along in the flow.
  • Cast accurately into the feeding zone: Once you understand where your quarry is hanging out, then your task is to put exactly what they want right in front of them.

I know fly fishing is not for everyone but for me there’s a moment of pure grace when that elusive fish rises to snatch your perfectly-chosen fly out of the air in midflight – right above the spot the where you knew he was hiding!

In a similar way, I find it very satisfying when a perfectly-crafted landing page produces high conversion rates that fit our target persona profiles as the result of well-planned campaigns with focused social media, blogging and SEO tactics.

In both cases, getting the results that you want come as the result of knowing what you’re doing and executing with precision.

First you need to “match the hatch” by understanding the trends in your industry and aligning your messaging to gain traction with your target audiences.  Even if you’re telling a disruptive story about a new tech innovation that will change everything, it needs to have the proper context in order to hook your audience.

Next you need to “watch the flow” to identify the social media, publications, industry associations and other information feeds about your industry and to understand the “feeding patterns” of your target audience, such as LinkedIn groups, hashtag feeds, etc. where they’re looking for specific content. Finally, you need to craft exactly the right messaging and cast it precisely and repeatedly into those target zones.

Of course inbound marketing doesn’t typically include the serenity of standing waist-deep in a burbling stream in the middle of a pristine wilderness but, hey, maybe that’s why we get paid to do it.

By the way, if you “don’t have time for the fishing but just want the fish”, consider using a turnkey inbound marketing lead-generation service like our Leads-In-a-Boxe.