Marathons are long, hard, taxing and exhilarating races that require immense dedication and perseverance. Online marketing is no different. In fact, I’m even going to go one step further and say that online marketing isn’t just like a regular marathon, it’s more like one of the hardest marathons in the world. What makes it so hard? Let’s break it down.
Most marketers try to run without training.
Imagine deciding one day that you want to start running. Chances are you’re not going to start with a marathon. And even if you did, you’d find a training program to help you.
Marketers and entrepreneurs decide to start competing in online marketing every day. They don’t see this as a huge undertaking at all. They for sure don’t think about all the training and practicing they need to undertake before being able to do anything close to competing in their field.
What kind of training do they need? A marathon runner has to look at many different aspects of their health and performance and put together a plan that works for them.
A marketer should do the same. Some of the things that should be considered:
- What is their business health right now?
- When would they like to hit their marketing stride and start seeing solid results?
- What tools do they have at their disposal?
- What kind of commitment can they make to training?
- Who can support their training?
Online marketing is an endurance sport.
It’s about showing up, rain or shine, and putting in the work. The best online marketers make the most of every opportunity to train they are given.
They put the hours in – writing helpful, insightful blogs, engaging with peers and prospects on social media, attending industry events, and expanding their knowledge. They build their business’ online foundation strong to make sure they aren’t risking their business’ potential with small mistakes like incomplete link strategy or poorly crafted content. They create. They engage. They respond. They contribute to their success every day.
Remember, in order to succeed, marathon runners set a pace they can maintain. Take that to heart. Make sure you’ve set realistic goals for what you want to accomplish and how soon. Burnout is real. Overtraining isn’t fun or beneficial. Start slowly. Get a feel for the work. Find your feet, your natural rhythm and voice. Take the time to evaluate what’s working for you and what isn’t.
In online marketing, quality beats quantity every time. You want people to know your business is valuable. So take the time to make sure when you’re showing up – whether in a blog post or a comment or giving a speech – make sure you’re bringing value. Make real, human connections with people.
Focus on each step without losing sight of the bigger race.
The fact is marathons aren’t for everyone. It takes a special kind of dedication to see your goal through. To put in the time. To be able to focus on a single step - especially when it’s a hard one - and not let it stop you. To keep putting one foot in front of the other.
In online marketing, it’s hard to keep the conversation going from one day to the next - especially when you may not be seeing your page views growing or huge shares of your content or engagement on your posts. But that’s the job. To keep showing up. Because in online marketing, you never know when your dedication and training will pay off.
But it will.
Your network will grow. People’s trust in you will build. Your reputation as a reliable source of valuable information will attract more people to your content. And your business will grow.
And with each successful campaign or post or event, your heart will soar, your adrenaline will flow. You will get that buzz that tells you you’re on the right path.
And you’ll be eager to keep running. And that’s what it’s all about.