Friday, February 12, 2010

An Olympic Champion Marketer?

Today is the beginning of the Winter Olympic games and although we don't have TV and won't be seeing much of the games, we'll follow the highlights via the internet news.

But it got me thinking...

Am I an olympic champion internet marketer? And just as important - are you?

What is necessary to turn us into olympic champion marketers? I have a few ideas, but I'd welcome yours too. So feel free to comment...

So lets look at some characteristics that might help us become "Olympic Champion" marketers:

1) Champions have the ability to focus on the goal and never give up. That may be one of the most important characteristics to success in any field of endeavor. It assumes that we know what the goal is and that we're willing to focus on it to the exclusion of distractions and rabbit trails. I must admit, I haven't been very successful at this, but I'm trying to get better. One thing that helps me is to write down about 2 or 3 primary goals for the day before I get started. That helps me focus on doing the things that really count and that will take me a step closer to my goal. FYI my primary goal is to earn enough online to enable us to get out of debt. (Why are we in debt in the first place? Ummmm...don't even ask!)

2) Champions are willing to learn skills and push themselves beyond what they think their limits are. For each one of us that will mean something a little bit different. For an olympic champion it may mean practicing 15 minutes a day longer than anyone else. For a marketer it may mean learning html code when you're beyond the age you thought you could learn such new and complicated things.

3) Champions are willing to take risks. We saw that so clearly in the Superbowl when the New Orleans coach made some pretty daring and risky calls. He seemed to understand that ultimate risks were required to win the ultimate game (at least for NFL Football, anyway)! And I'm sure we'll see LOTS of risk-taking during the Winter Olympics. For those of us who are marketers, it may mean taking a risk on a new piece of software or a technique that looks like it may result in big payoffs. I don't mean that we should be stupid and jump on every bandwagon that comes along. We still need to do our research and be analytical, but occasionally something comes along that is so obviously a risk worth taking, that we should take it. I've gotten stuck on both ends of this - taking a risk on both "duds" and "diamonds" and I think we can all agree that taking a risk doesn't necessarily mean the outcome is always good.

4) Champions spend lots of time practicing the things that will take them farthest - and being willing to do it over and over and over. I can imagine that if an athlete is able to identify a weak area that needs to be perfected, he will spend a great deal of time practicing and perfecting that specific skill. So will marketers. Do we hate writing and submitting articles? If so, we either need to find another strategy to accomplish the same thing or hire someone else to write the articles or just grit our teeth and write articles. Not too difficult to figure out but the advantage we have over athletes is that we can work around our weak areas and still come out ahead.

5) Champions give just a little bit more. Notice I didn't say "take." They give and that's what olympic champion marketers need to do too. We need to have the "give" mentality instead of the "take" mentality. As marketers, we should always be giving more value than our partner or client on the other end is expecting. Olympic champions do just that! They give it their all and hold nothing back.

I welcome your ideas of characteristics to add to this list. Here's to all of us becoming "Olympic Champion" marketers!
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