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6 Lessons from Olympic Athletes: Why Every Marketer Needs a Coach

Posted by Laura Tyson on July 28, 2015

Olympics marketingAn Olympic athlete has tons of raw talent, drive, and ambition, but there is one additional thing an athlete needs to achieve Olympic glory—an amazing coach. You also can’t launch a successful career alone - no one does. As a recent grad it may be tempting to think you’ve got life, work, and everything else wired. But you don’t know everything (again, no one does!) - you need a coach just like Olympic athletes do.

This is especially true in a fast-paced industry like marketing. Leading in an environment of rapid change (marketing technology specifically) requires an understanding of change management. While you may be able to acquire technical skills, applying those skills is a challenging. This is where a coach is essential. 

A coach will help you apply your technical skills in a changing environment and within the organizational context. (Tweet this)

For example, you might be AdWords certified, but if you don’t understand the company’s overall strategy (why) and the organizational dynamics (the basis for why) - your Adwords campaign might generate clicks but not convert to revenue or company growth.

Marketers who invest their time and resources in career coaching services are likely to experience six key advantages to help them apply those skills and succeed in an ever-changing market.

1. Gain Long-Term PerspectiveBasketball marketing

 Quote: Bobby Knight, American basketball coach of the 1984 gold medal-winning men's team

Coaches help you see farther down the road and focus on the most important things. You need to learn to look at more than just your day-to-day marketing tasks and instead see your role in the organization as a whole. What is your company's BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal)? Where does the digital marketing plan fit into this goal today and how can you contribute more in the days, months and years to come? A great coach helps you gain long-term perspective.

Football success marketing2. Achieve Your Goals

Quote: Vince Lombardi, Head Coach Green Bay Packers (1959-67)

Coaches help you set goals and keep you accountable for achieving those objectives. Nearly any good performance coaching for digital marketers will include a lesson in SMART goals—setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. (Tweet this) Luckily, in marketing it's possible to create goals like this based on clicks, visits, conversions or whatever statistics matter most to you or your organization.

Diving marketing3. Enhance Your Performance

Quote: Ron O’Brien, U.S.A. olympic diving coach

The best coaches care about you. They want to see you succeed, and their mission is to help you grow and become successful. For them, coaching is the pursuit of excellence. From those social media posts you write to the queries you pull, everything you do makes a difference. Your coach will help you take your digital marketing skills from where they are today to higher levels than you imagined were possible.

Track victory marketing4. Receive Honest Feedback

Quote: Bill Bowerman, USA track and field coach (1972) and co-founder of Nike

Since your coach has a stake in your success, he or she will give you honest feedback and push you to be your best. In a field as subjective as marketing, it is nice to have someone you can count on you to give it to you straight. Honest opinions and even constructive criticism will help you improve. Also, you know the pointers you get are ones you can trust—not shaded in any way.

Football marketing tips5. Increase Your Confidence

Quote: Marv Levy, Hall of Fame NFL Coach

A coach believes in you, even when you do not believe in yourself. Your mentor can instill confidence and improve how you feel about your work. (Tweet this) Your coach can help you trust in your data analysis and follow your gut when it comes to launching a new marketing campaign. When the naysayers chime in, a coach is a voice repeating “you can do it!” If you have this confidence, you will be able to achieve—in spite of any roadblocks that may stand in your way.

Gymnastics marketing6. Discover the Root of Your Problems

Quote: Gabby Douglas, gymnast, two-time gold medal winner in the 2012 London Olympic Games

Hard days are sure to happen, but coaches help you get to the bottom of what’s going on and help you resolve underlying challenges. Why was that campaign actually delayed? Why do you have such a hard time connecting over social media? A coach will help you to see the root of these problems. It is worth noting the best coaches do not just give orders; they bring out the best in you by asking questions.

Coaches create the structure so that you can work together to design a solution. 

As you can see, a coach is vital—for a digital marketer as well as an athlete. If you want to learn digital marketing in San Antonio you need the right coach for you—be it a one-on-one coaching relationship, an internet partnership or something else altogether. (Tweet this)

Would you like to learn more about how a coach can help you hone your digital marketing skills?  Download the free eBook today, Breaking Into Digital Marketing, and put that building block in place to help you become your best.

Breaking Into Digital Marketing Ebook

Breaking Into Digital Marketing free ebook

Topics: For Recent Grads