Last week, my wife and I were walking along Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz and watching the surfers below.
One surfer caught our attention. Actually it was two surfers on one board, a man and a woman - something I hadn't seen before.
They caught a good wave and got a really good, long ride.
And then they started to paddle along the shoreline to catch their next wave. And in the process, they passed wave after wave after wave. I guess they hadn't found what they were looking for.
We walked north along Cliff Drive following their progress.
Finally, after positioning themselves for the perfect wave, they found it; it was a nice one with the ideal height and speed.
As they finally caught the wave, both standing on the board at the same time, we gave them a cheer, impressed by both their persistence and expertise.
Later that week, I found myself talking to an associate about, "riding the wave of the recovery with your marketing."
Yes, business and marketing are a lot like surfing.
First you need the expertise. Surfers are athletes. They take years to master their sport. It's not as easy as it looks. Same goes for marketing your services. It takes time to study the information, practices and skills of attracting new clients.
Next, you need to understand the conditions. When the water is relatively calm in surfing, you lay low until the right wave arrives. In business there are slow times, times when a proactive marketing campaign wouldn't make sense, as nobody is buying.
Finally, you need to watch for the wave. When it comes along and you're in the right position, you can catch the wave and have a great ride. Same for marketing. When the wave of client interest begins to rise, it's the time to start marketing in earnest.
And no matter the conditions of the surf or the market, if you don't go for it at some point, the wave will pass you by.
Market conditions, like waves, fluctuate depending on the weather and the tides. For surfing, it's easy to see the wave approaching; with marketing it's a little trickier.
You need to become a "wave watcher" and be tuned into what's happening in the marketplace. Where do you look?
In the News: More and more you hear about the economy recovering. Business is increasing and job losses are slowing. Sure, a total recovery isn't here yet. That's not the point; the waves are beginning to rise.
In Social Media: This is a great way to tune into what people are thinking and doing. We're seeing more optimism, more opportunities, more excitement.
In Your Conversations: Personally I'm finding that people are more excited and hopeful than they were a year ago. After all, doom and gloom gets old after awhile. Things start to turn around sooner or later.
In Your Results: When business starts to pick up a little, it's a sign that it could start picking up a lot. This is the beginning of the swell of the wave.
But if the waves of the economy start rising, it's no guarantee your business will automatically improve. It still takes an intention, a plan, and some action on your part.
I recommend that you start to increase your marketing activities. Do more networking, increase your social media presence, and start a campaign to market a particular service or program.
Now is the time. Don't wait for the wave to pass you by.
The More Clients Bottom Line: Improving market and economic conditions are the ideal time to work on your marketing in earnest. Don't wait around for things to get better without any effort on your part. Invest the time, money and effort to take your marketing to a whole new level as the wave rises. If you do, this year could be one of your best.
What's your plan to take advantage of the rising wave of the economy? Please share your answer on the More Clients Blog by clicking on the Comments link below.