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Rowboat Wisdom for Winning at Business

The fastest growing water sport in the world is “Dragon Boat Racing.” Every year in Myrtle Beach, the community gathers to watch these long skinny row boats that are over 40 feet long and weigh several hundred pounds skim over top of the water with amazing speed. The key to the success of these dragon boats is their skilled team of rowers who row in a synchronized precision. It’s beautiful to behold.

As I watched these boat races, it occurred to me that the rowers are PULLING the boat through the water, not PUSHING. Is there a lesson here for small business marketing?

I think so. We’ve heard the term “attraction marketing.” It’s kind of a buzz word right now; there’s even a book by the same title. It means, in essence, that we’re “pulling” clients and prospects to us, not “pushing” information out to them.

When we were young, most forms of advertisement involved pushing a message on us, and although some of it stuck, most of it was unwanted. I mean, who doesn’t remember how to complete these sentences: “Winston tastes good…” (like a cigarette should). Or how about, “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz…” (Oh, what a relief it is – for Alkaseltzer) But that was in a day and time when there were only a few TV channels to choose from, and a company could be guaranteed that most of would see the ads. Today, there are hundred, even thousands of cable channels and it would cost a fortune to try to reach a target audience that way. The only companies doing it now are those who have so much in profits, they have to spend it on something.

Another term for this old-fashioned kind of marketing is “interruptive marketing.” We interrupted people with our message, with the hopes that some mud would stick to the walls to the listening public.

The key to successful marketing for small businesses today is to attract our target audience to us instead of pushing our message out to them.

Are you wondering the best way to accomplish this? Let’s talk about that.

  • 1. First of all, you have to know who it is you’re trying to reach. This is also known as your niche market.
  • 2. Building a list of names and email addresses is super important. There is an art and science to this that is beyond the scope of this article, but I’ll give you a hint and tell you that it includes what’s called an “opt-in” page on your website and your business blog.
  • 3. What can you give to people in exchange for their signing up to be on your list? (Or, to “opt-in” as we call it)? You might consider something digital that you can give over and over again without expense to yourself. But it has to be something of value to people, something with good content. Don’t even think of offering junk. How about a short report? Or maybe an eBook that you’ve written (or purchased to rights to give away)? Get creative. Coupons? Discounts?
  • 4. Get in on the Social Media “conversation” – Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
  • 5. Start a business blog.

I know this is a lot to swallow. Does it seem overwhelming to you?

Don’t even think of quitting now! There is help available that will guide you through all the steps in getting started with this new way of marketing.

I invite you to visit Business Training Team and download a free Ebook entitled Local Marketing On The Internet.

Also, Business Training Team has just completed a 5 week series called “Make It Work.”  We covered Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Customer Service and Referrals.  Next Tuesday, June 29, at 3pm, there will be a free Webinar at 3pm where we will cover the highlights of these past five weeks.  You can register at the top left on this page.  The link is there.  Thanks! I hope to see you online for the webinar.