How do you gain attention in the overfilled hunting industry?
There are already a number of Websites, hunting products, hunting services, outfitters, guides, etc.
It’s an uncomfortable feeling knowing you’re likely to fail at this task before you even begin. The odds are not in your favor if you try to steal away your competitor’s already satisfied customers.
So what can you do?
Get out on the edge in the hunting industry.
Find the few people who are unsatisfied with the status quo. Create a product or service that satisfies the people on the edge.
So your job is to figure out how to identify the edges in the hunting industry and then create a way to market to the people on the edge with a product and/or service.
A few tips on how to gain attention and succeed on the edges of the hunting industry
Identifying the Edges
To identify an edge in the hunting industry you’ll have to look at what the big players are doing and then figure out who they’re ignoring.
Seems easy right?
Well, it should be easy, but sometimes it’s difficult to look past the successes of our competitors. We naturally want to copy what they’re doing. We want to copy their path to success.
Unfortunately this is exactly the opposite of what successful companies do.
Look at your competitors, the big players in the hunting industry. When they were starting out they identified an edge. They found those people who were being ignored and they created a way for those people to succeed. Eventually they changed the status quo.
To succeed you’ll have to take find a new edge, and edge that is now being ignored by the large companies.
How to create a product/service those on the edge want
After you find an edge of the hunting industry you want to serve you’ll have to create a product or service that successfully satisfies the people on the edge.
Each edge has a different need so your product/service will need unique characteristics, but there are a few common things each new product/service has.
Your product will need to be unique and noticeably different from the status quo. Remember, you aren’t trying to upgrade the current products. You’re trying to create completely new and original products that will satisfy the needs of those people who are currently being ignored.
The people who created the Whisker Biscuit changed the direction of a section of the hunting industry (arrow rests). They created a unique product and successfully satisfied the needs of people on the edge (hunters whose arrows kept falling off the rest).
Make your product different in ways that are visible and tangible. Appeal to the five sense of hunters. People take notice when things are drastically different in appearance. They purchase when their edge ambitions are satisfied.
So now you have identified your audience on the edge. You’ve created a product/service that is unique and satisfying for your audience’s need.
Now it’s time to gain attention of your audience.
At this point in the game you’ll find out if you were successful at identifying a truly edge audience and if your product/service is truly need fulfilling.
The most important thing the people on the edge want is to feel like someone cares about them. These people have been ignored. They feel like nobody is paying attention to them.
By far the easiest way to gain attention is by doing the first two steps effectively.
But there are a few small things you can do besides creating a unique product/service that stands out on its own.
As I’ve said before, the Web is the ultimate medium for exchange so there are many unique ways to reach your edge audience on the Web.
1) Don’t push your new product/service onto your audience. The hard part will be to get the audience to come to your product/service. Your goal is to create pull.
2) Establish your authority. You’re going to have to do some work to build your authority. You’ve already put in lots of time identifying an edge audience and creating a unique product. Now you’re going to have to put in time on blogs, forums, and other hunting communities. You have to effectively answer questions, converse, and most importantly listen to your edge audience. As I said above, your edge audience really just wants to know that someone cares about their needs. They feel like their being ignored. Show that you’re listening. Show them that you truly understand their needs. Eventually they’ll see you as caring and they’ll find your product and understand how it can help them.
3) Start a blog that addresses your edge audience’s need without pushing your own product/service. Start a blog and stick with it even when you think nobody is paying attention. A blog is a slow process to building your authority. Focus on the needs of your edge audience and write about their problems. Offer ideas that will help them. Show your edge audience that you are paying attention and trying to satisfy their needs. Show them how you’re different from the status quo.
The best ways to show your audience that you care is to create a strong package of content that addresses the needs of your audience.
A blog is an effective and cost efficient way to show your edge audience that you are paying attention to them.
Each edge in the hunting industry will have different qualities. There is no predetermined path to creating a successful business by leading those on the edges. Your experience and your edge will be unique.
To figure out the correct path for your tribe you’ll have to begin leading people on the edge to your vision. Create a vision that will lead followers to a valuable and beneficial end that satisfies a need.
Edges in the Hunting Industry
Here are just a few quick edges I’ve identified in the hunting industry. Feel free to take advantage of these edges. Create an amazing service or product that will gain attention of these people on the edge. Put yourself and your company on the edge and draw in people from the middle, where they are probably not being satisfied with the status quo.
Find the people who are being ignored by the leaders in the hunting industry. Focus on solving their problems and your audience will grow.
Edge #1 – Budget Hunters
Hunting is one of the most expensive hobbies. I believe it’s right up there with golf. Unfortunately (for my wallet) I enjoy both so my pockets are usually empty – $1,000+ for a new Mathews bow? Yikes!
In today’s worsening economy, I think there is a growing underserved community of hunters who are looking for ways to continue to enjoy hunting with a limited budget. A blog, community, and Website should be dedicated specifically to this audience. Write blog posts about how to effectively hunt on a budget. You could write posts on how to look for the best equipment for little price. You could think of ways for hunters to gain access to hunting land for little or no investment. There are tons of ways you could expand and reach this group of hunters who are on the edges of the current hunting industry landscape.
Edge #2 – Back to Quality
Over the last 10 to 15 years there has been a large move from small quality dealers to large and impersonal dealers. Today there are a lot of large hunting outfitters like Cabela’s, Gander Mountain, Dick’s Sporting Goods, etc. While these companies do put forth an effort to provide quality equipment through knowledgeable salespeople, there still seems to be a lack of quality and a lack of trust. A lot of the research on quality products is left up to the consumer. While the prices may be 5% cheaper than they were at a local dealer, the long-term price of the products is likely much higher when the quality of the products are lower.
I think there is a large need for a higher quality in the hunting industry in general. Whether it’s firearms, arrow rests, bows, arrows, etc., there is a need for a higher quality. With the economic downturn there is going to be a change in the status quo back to trust and quality. People are going to focus back on long-term effectiveness.
If you can serve the needs of people with limited funds, but looking for trust and quality you will be successful in the future. If you offer a quality product with a trusting demeanor, there will be an audience who will save their money and be ready to spend their hard earned cash on you.
In this time of economic turmoil don’t lose your quality.
Bonus #2 – An Example
As I’ve written about before, I’m a big fan of country music. However, during my life there has been a lot of bad country music being put out. In my opinion there aren’t enough artists taking chances with their art. They aren’t reaching the people on the edges. In particular, I’m on the edge where I want to hear new country music that takes its inspiration from rebel musicians like Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, etc. I also want to hear simple story songs like the ones Alan Jackson still creates.
Recently, Jamey Johnson has seen success as an artist on the edge. He writes great songs and sings them authentically. He’s satisfying the needs of those fans like me who are on the edges of the current country music scene.
Johnson is a great example of how to find those on the edges and successfully change the status quo.
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