Why You Need a Business Fishfinder

In one of my public workshops on the Digital Future, I make the point that the next billion-dollar business will not be in Search, but in Find.

What we really want to do isn’t search (which is a means), but find (which is the goal). When it comes to digital platforms, this will require a whole new layer of personalization and artificial intelligence. Search is our first-digital-generation attempt to access a poorly-structured data set in hopes of acquiring a specific something. It’s OK, but it’s also inefficient.

That’s a topic for another post. But right now, let’s look at the main principle and see how it applies to securing our next job, or our ideal clients.

Your goal is to FIND your next role, or your next client – right?

FishingPoles Think about fishing for a moment. Imagine being on good-sized fishing boat, and having 100 fishing poles hanging out with a variety of baits, all at different depths, trolling around for whatever can be found.

Some nibbles. Lots of snags. Maybe a keeper or two.

That’s inefficient. Yet, that’s how most of us go about searching for a new job, or seeking out new clients. We just throw out our resumes or our bullet points or our e-mails or our social updates and hope we land something good “out there” where the fish are.

It’s brute-force search. You might hook something, but there has to be a more targeted way to bring in the keepers.

Our approach should be use our native intelligence, define our target, and figure out where that audience is. Then we know where to cast, what bait to use, and what the ideal depth is for the potential catch.

In other words, we employ a Fishfinder.

FishFinderA Fishfinder tells us where our target audience is, and how best to reach them. And that is what our personalized positioning strategy/statement helps us do. It guides us where to cast out our line, so that we are pursuing, not just any business, but good business

We need to personalize, position, and target if we’re to find what we’re looking for. We’re not trying to appeal to everyone, we’re trying to appeal to the right people. <—-(tweet this). After you finish this blog post, take a quick look at this thought-provoking episode of MarieTV (Marie Forleo interviews Ramit Sethi).

Before you send out that resume, ask yourself – have you defined, in your own mind and heart, just what kind of position you’re seeking – AND, what your ideal company looks like? Are you targeting, or just throwing out lines and hoping?

Similarly, if you’re in charge of developing new business, what does your ideal client look like? And which of your offerings are the most fulfilling, most profitable, and most likely to bring about outstanding success?

Why do we need clarity above all else? Because then we know in which direction to row, where to cast our line, and what we expect to catch. Many others are willing to be inefficiently random. Let them (just don’t follow their drift).

I fear that we often go about our professional lives in the less efficient Search mode, instead of taking on the challenge of crystal-clear positioning and shifting into Find mode.

On a breezy, sunny Saturday, it’s OK to just drift out there on the lake and fish aimlessly. But in the M-F work world, we’re there to Find. And that means knowing (via native intelligence) where to aim!

So, here’s a 60-second exercise. Get alone in a room with a mirror (the bathroom will do), stare into your own face, and see if you can fill in these blanks:

“My goal is to build a work-life in _____(this kind of company)_____ doing _____(this type of role)_________ for ______(this sort of clientele)_______.”

– or –

“Our goal is to grow this company by offering  _____(this particular outstanding product/service)_____ in _____(this particular sector)_________ for ______(this particular type of client)_______ by positioning ourselves as _____(this unique, differentiating message)____.”

When you can do this, you have begun to program  your Bizfinder. Congratulations!

Fishing poles photo credit: joeldinda via photopin cc

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