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Why digital marketing is like training for a half marathon

28th September 2016

Running a marathonIn just under 3 weeks, a couple of the Cosmic team are taking part in the Great West Run – a half marathon in Exeter. We have been out training regularly and whilst out running, we have been making comparisons with the work we have been putting in and how that has similarities to how you should be approaching your digital marketing. Here are a few of our thoughts…

1. Don’t expect quick results

With any training, it is important to build up slow and steady – there is no quick fix and no overnight success. It requires commitment and practise as you get better and better. It is the same for your digital marketing – you can’t expect people to know who you are straight away. It is about building up your online presence, being active and committed to your strategy.

2. Make sure you have the right equipment

You can’t run if you don’t have the right trainers, or sports bra! It will be hard, it will be painful and it will be impractical. The same with building up your online activity – what do you need to make it work for you? Do you have good internet access? Do you have a laptop or tablet that has the right platforms you need? Do you even understand the platforms you want to be on? Different equipment is right for different people – you may prefer Nike trainers when your friend prefers New Balance. You might prefer to have a WordPress website whereas others may prefer Squarespace. Figure out what you need, what fits well for you and then make sure you have access to that. Sometimes it’s about trying out different things until you find what does work for you, so don’t be put off if you don’t discover that straight away.

3. Work with the right people

It takes a while, but you will discover who is a good running partner, and who isn’t quite right for you. We might ourselves be the best coach for someone else, or we find the one who is our perfect motivator. To run with people who spur you on is much better than those who bring you down or pull you back. You might like a good natter as you run, or you may want to listen to music. Find those who are the same. It is the same within business – you will find those you want to collaborate with and you will figure out those who you’d rather not. It’s about who fits right with you – in running and in business.

4. Don’t compare yourself to others

Following on from point 3, once you have decided that someone isn’t right to run alongside, don’t worry too much about it. We all train at different levels – some are faster, some slower. Some go out 5 times a week, others 3. It’s not about what other people are doing; it’s about your journey and your body. What is right for them isn’t necessarily right for you and it is important not to compare yourself to others in that way. It is the same with your online activity – some accounts may have thousands of followers on Twitter but that doesn’t mean you won’t, you’re just at a different point right now. Focus on your plan, your strategy and don’t worry about what others are doing.

5. Cross train

It is important when you are training to do different types of exercise, as this builds up your strength and fitness. Swimming, cycling, cross training and weights will all help your running and make your training easier. By using different digital platforms through your strategy this will help your overall online presence and reputation. By doing regular blogging, sending out e-newsletters and updates, as well as all of your social media activity will make your presence so much stronger and healthier all round. Don’t limit yourself to one place or one exercise, but cover as much as you can to help yourself.

6. Make sure you retain consistency

Fitness training works best if you are consistent – not just with exercise but with your diet too. Jumping in and out of healthy eating or drinking will work against you, regardless of how much exercise you are doing. It is the same with your branding – however active you are on your different platforms, if you haven’t retained consistency in your branding (whether it is your logo or your biography) then you won’t be recognised by your audience and your online presence won’t look healthy. By being consistent throughout your online profiles it will make you look like a reputable business which in turn will help your customer know who you are, wherever they find you.

Ultimately, whatever activity you are undertaking – whether it is starting out on your digital strategy or beginning to train for a fitness goal, building up slowly will work best. Don’t throw yourself in at the deep end without a plan, and make sure you are looking at the overall rather than just individual aspects.

We hope you like the analogy – we’ve had plenty of time to think about it while we’ve been running! Do you have anything else to add? We’d love to hear it!

If you would like to find out more about why we are running, or you would like to sponsor us, please take a look at this link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/runningforrob1.