I was sitting in the duck blind just north of Clinton, Iowa about 30 years ago. I had my shotgun gripped tightly with the safety on. The ducks were flying right toward our decoys in a path that would lead them within 30 yards of our blind. I was ready to shoot my first bird and take my place as one of the great American hunters of our time. When the ducks were in range, my dad said, “Now!” I quickly pointed my shotgun at the ducks and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. I pointed again and pulled the trigger again. Nothing… the ducks were now out of range. My dad sat there smiling at me and patted me on the back. “Son, you have to remember to flip the safety off before you pull the trigger.” A little embarrassed, I rolled my eyes at myself and slouched back down in blind.
A couple of hours later, the same situation presented itself again. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice. The ducks flew within range and my dad said, “Now!” I quickly point the gun, flipped the safety off, and pulled the trigger. I missed. I pointed again, and pulled the trigger again. I missed a second time. The ducks flew out of range.
Frustrated, I looked over at my dad who sat there smiling once again. He said, “Son, in order to shoot a duck you have to aim ahead of them. If you aim directly at them, you’ll always miss because your BB’s will end up where the duck WAS rather than where it IS. You have to lead the duck.”
There were no more chances that day, but I learned three lessons I’ll never forget.
1. To be successful, you have to turn off the safety before you pull the trigger.
2. You have to lead the duck. You can’t shoot for where your target is today, you have to aim where they are going.
3. My dad couldn’t do it for me. In order to be successful, I had to learn the mechanics and pull the trigger myself.
Hopefully, you’ve spent the last few years leading the duck. If you have, then here’s where you should be:
- You should have an effective website design that turns a percentage of visitors into new business opportunities or sales.
- You should have a blog or news section that keeps your audience informed and positions you as an expert in your industry.
- You should have a social media marketing presence that delivers your message where and how your audience wants to receive it.
- You should have an email marketing process and system in place that is very easy to maintain and predictable for your audience.
In a recent speech, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said, “Mobile is the hottest area of computer technology…The smartest developers now are writing apps for mobile devices before they write for Windows or Apple Mac desktop operating systems.”
Have you started to think about how you can make the best use of mobile technology to offer a new service or to better communicate with your audience, or are you still sitting with your safety on and pointing your gun at the duck?
My dad was an amazing duck hunter. I can’t remember a time he pulled the trigger and didn’t hit his target. He had the mechanics down pat. He was patient, but he was also very decisive and accurate when the time came. I would encourage everyone to be a little more like my dad. Be patient, but know when and how to be decisive and accurate. Make sure you have the pieces in place, and start thinking about pulling the trigger on your mobile marketing plan.