Many moons ago, I was an avid fisherman. I fished nearly every day. Bass, trout, tuna, roosterfish, marlin. You name it. I fished it. Except catfish. But that's another story 🙂

I was also in the sporting goods industry. In fact, it was my co-workers who re-introduced me to fishing. As a young boy, I would go out with my grandfather and fish the aquaduct. He caught a lot of catfish.

I didn't.

Me? I caught snags and Z's.

There are an awful lot of rocks in the California aquaduct, causing 12-year-old boys lots of headaches. I didn't have the patience to “work them out.” Still don't, in fact. But my grandfather had patience in oodles and he knew what worked and what didn't.

Sit and wait. Wait some more. Sit a little more. Repeat. That's catfishing.

Really not much to it. Put on some smelly bait and wait for the fish to come. I simply wasn't patient enough and I had no idea how to catch fish.

internet marketing is like fishingTen years later I was an up-and-coming retail store manager at a major sporting goods chain that sold–among many other things–fishing gear: Rods and reels, artificial lures, live bait, and all the other accessories you “needed” to fish. So I got back into it. And loved it. Now that I had my own money, I could buy all the gear I could afford. And did.

And I caught fish.

But was it the “bright shiny objects” that caught fish or was it me? Seriously, look at any best-selling fishing gear, especially artificial lures, and ask yourself if it's the gear that catches the fish.

Remember, fish have small brains and they only care about what any other animal cares about: Eating and procreation. They care much more about the former than the latter, by the way. At least in terms of frequency.

You see, fish know what their food looks, smells, and sounds like. Basic fishing lures attempt to appeal to primal instincts centered on sight, sound, and smell. Fish also “feel” really well, so vibration is worked into the mix.

But–and here's the gist of this entire post–fishing lures appeal most to fishermen rather than fish. As one pro angler once told me, “Fishing lures are designed to catch fishermen, not fish.”

Read that again.

Now, let's move to internet marketing. Do you see any similarities to the above? Successful internet marketers are more like fish, less like fishermen. They don't respond to “bright shiny objects.” The “latest breakthrough” isn't on their radar. They are patient and steadfast. They do what works. Things that have withstood the test of time. Sport fish–the kind that fishermen want to catch–place themselves in the path of their prey, lay in wait, and ambush. Often, they attack the weakest or injured prey.

Internet marketers do the same. Simple, basic stuff. No shiny objects.

Now, some successful internet marketers are not only like really successful gamefish, but they're like the best lure makers. They prey on the weak. The small-brained neophytes looking for the newest bright shiny object with no patience and open wallets.

Next time you see the latest “breakthrough” technology that will “fill your bank account with cash,” remember this article. You are a fisherman, not the fish. You will NOT get suckered in by a bait that is totally unnatural.

Do what has worked for centuries. Mankind is still motivated by the basic needs: Food, clothing, shelter. Safety, love and belonging. Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Fulfill any one or a combination of needs and you'll be on your way to internet marketing success.

On the other hand, chase the “latest and greatest” marketing gimmicks, and you're likely to get a fish hook in your mouth. Not fun. And you'll likely get eaten.


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