What My First Triathlon Taught Me About Content Marketing

22
Sep 2015

What My First Triathlon Taught Me About Content Marketing

 

Yep, that’s me in the photo, celebrating victory after completing the IslandGirl Triathlon — my first ever — on September 20.

This moment was the culmination of a journey that began over four years ago, when I decided to get in shape and start working with a trainer (the ever-awesome Damerone Porter). As I began to incorporate swimming and cycling into my regular cardio routine, a triathlon seemed — for this chronic overachiever, at least — the next logical step.

Was it worth it? You bet.

Of course, I’m always on the lookout for gems of wisdom that these away-from-the-keyboard experiences can contribute to our work as content marketers, and this one was no exception.

With that, allow me to offer the five biggest content marketing lessons from my first triathlon.

 

1. The Past Does Not Determine the Future

To say I was an un-athletic kid would be an understatement. The whole time I was growing up, I was the last one picked for every sport. Every. Single. Time. My parents comforted me with assurance that we all have our gifts, and that mine happened to reside outside the sporting world. So I never gave physical endeavors another thought.

Fast forward to 2011, when I started working with my trainer, and my inner athlete began to emerge. I learned that athleticism is only part natural-born talent, and that the rest comes from hard work if you’re willing to make the commitment. This time around, I was willing to give it a go, for no other reason than seeing what my body could do when I challenged it. And now I’m a triathlete.

Content Marketing Takeaway: If you’ve tried “doing content” in the past and the results were less than expected, or if some “expert” told you your product or service was too boring to write about, or if you’ve been told you’re “just not a writer,” forget it. That was then, this is now. Learn what you have to learn, get the coaching and support you need, and get going.

2. Get Your Kit Together

Completing a triathlon involves a lot of … well, stuff. You need your swim cap and goggles for the swim; your bike, helmet, gloves and sunglasses for the cycling; your running shoes, race belt, and hat for the run. And it all has to be where you need it, when you need it — no dashing back to the car for the one thing you forgot.

Content Marketing Takeaway: Identify the tools you need — hardware and software — to achieve your goals and make sure they’re easily accessible. Of course, it’s not necessary to grab every piece of gadgetry that comes your way. Put together your kit of the essentials, make sure everyone on your team understands how to use each tool, and keep your kit within easy reach at all times.

3. Train for Each Sport

The inclusion of three sports in one event makes triathlons challenging to train for — or at least time consuming. You have to practice swimming, cycling and, running in equal parts, which can take its toll on your schedule … but pays off in the end.

Content Marketing Takeaway: Keep your skills sharp in all areas of your content marketing program: blog writing, social media, podcasting, e-books, white papers, infographics, recorded video, streaming video, etc. Attend webinars, download resources, and sign up for online courses to stay abreast of the latest developments and learn techniques to help you get better at your job. And practice, practice, practice.

4. Master the Transition

The unspoken “fourth sport” in triathlons is the art of the transition: transforming one’s self from a swimmer to a cyclist and a cyclist to a runner in as little time as possible. The pros practice their transitions religiously, because every second they save there is a second off their final results.

Content Marketing Takeaway: Stay flexible and master the segues between all the various “events” that comprise our job: blogging, social media, video, audio, visuals, etc. The world of content moves at lightning speed, and we need to be able to respond at a moment’s notice.

5. Finish Strong

When I was training for the run — the final event in a triathlon — I developed the habit of finishing strong. On the final laps of those practice runs, as soon as my driveway was in sight, I’d turn on the afterburners and bat-outta-hell it to my front door in a full sprint, no matter how long I’d run or how tired I was. It was a habit that served me well on Sunday as I rounded the bend and rocketed to the Island Girl Tri finish line.

Content Marketing Takeaway: From in-depth blog posts to e-books to entire courses, many of our tasks involve long hours of focused effort. As your energy starts to wear thin, it’s tempting to call our content done when it’s “good enough” … but this is the time to dig deep, find whatever get-up-and-go you’ve got left, and make one final effort to make this your best work ever. Finish strong!

 

YOUR TURN: Is there a sport — or any other outside endeavor — that inspires your work as a content marketer? Tell us about it in the Comments. We’d love to hear from you!


TELECLASS REPLAY — BY POPULAR DEMAND!

TNew Teleclass: Help! My Website Content Sucks!he response to our teleclass “Help! My Website Content Sucks!” has been so overwhelming that we’re bringing it back for an encore! Join me on Wednesday, September 23 for a special replay — this one’s not to be missed.

Book My Spot!

 

 

 

 

 


 

About the Author

Rachel Parker, Founder & CEO of Resonance Content MarketingA self-described geek who can recite entire episodes of South Park by heart, Rachel Parker has had a passion for content ever since she was old enough to hold a crayon (purple, please).

As Founder and CEO of Resonance, Rachel helps businesses publish content that connects with their audience … and converts those followers into customers. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and a sought-after speaker, having presented to many major business and marketing organizations. Contact Rachel about speaking to your group or business.

content_marketing_50 BizSugar KredFeatured Author on Business 2 Community

Our Clients Are Saying

  • One of the best “vendor” relationships I’ve ever had.

    My company had little or no time to spend on social media. Our needs were to ensure a steady stream of posts across three platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) by harvesting and re-purposing content from our own site and news streams. So I contacted Rachel Parker of Resonance Content Marketing.

    The result was two-fold. Not only did our ranks of followers grew steadily, the steady drip, drip, drip of content helped us train our personnel and direct their own individual social media efforts.

    Rachel and her team are extremely organized and open to discussion and new ideas. They deliver a rapid response to new opportunities — and an overall feeling of being on the same team. One of the best “vendor” relationships I’ve ever had.

  • Social Media Ranking Better Than Ever!

    We are so happy to have hired Resonance for our social media needs. We spend most of our time serving our clients and studying our field so we can provide the highest quality possible. We no longer worry about our social media, as we have total confidence in the wonderful work Rachel and her team have accomplished.

    Our social media is active, promoted, and is ranking better than ever! People often comment about what they see on our Facebook page. Resonance has added a creative, and artistic twist to our social media that is appealing and captivating to our audience. This has allowed me more time to work with my team and clients, so I can focus on service towards the people that help our business grow.

    I know there will be wonderful content on Facebook, and that Rachel will answer to posts, comments and questions as soon as a comment arrives. I am often impressed at how quickly she responds! Thank you Resonance! I highly endorse Resonance and encourage companies who need social media strategies to work with Resonance! You won’t regret it! 

  • Produced ROI Result

    Form.io needed someone who could grasp the complexities of our product, capture the subtlety of our differentiating value propositions, and convey them in the right voice for an exacting customer audience…. Resonance delivered, by crafting a multi-faceted online content marketing strategy that drove traffic and conversion, producing the ROI result we were looking for….

  • Increased website traffic, New Lead Generation

    We were experiencing a lack of internal resources to consistently maintain the Ustream blog. So we turned to Resonance Content Marketing to write blog posts on current industry topics while maintaining a consistent tone with the brand. The result is increased website traffic, new lead generation from gated assets on blog, and better educated/qualified leads. And I now have more time to spend on marketing strategy with the confidence that the content we push out is extremely well written and engaging.

    Rachel is an amazing writer and has really managed to create engaging and relevant blog material on topics that aren’t always super interesting. On many occasions, she has been able to quickly turn around one-off requests and the results are always top-notch. She has also helped guide our content strategy based on her expertise in content marketing, which has been a huge asset to our team.

  • Added 5 figures to my business in less than 4 weeks

    Rachel took the overwhelm and stress out of writing content for my marketing campaign! When I approached Rachel, I was really concerned that I wouldn’t have the time to focus on writing copy for a lengthy marketing campaign that included sales pages, solo emails, newsletters and social media updates. Well, let’s just say I’m glad I hired Rachel because I couldn’t have done it without her support and expertise. I loved how she used my voice and words to craft content that helped me reach and attract my ideal client. As a result of working with Rachel, I added 5 figures to my business in less than 4 weeks, hundreds of new social media followers and exceeded my sales and list building goals! You know your marketing copy is working when you hear someone say, “I see you everywhere”. Thank you Rachel for helping me not only get seen by my ideal clients but get paid!

  • Increased our likes and interaction rates

    Working with Rachel was a delight. Not only does she communicate very well, but she provided valuable insight about our social media platforms and followers. We have much better engagement with our fans and followers, which increased our likes and interaction rates.

     

  • Professionalism and Sincere Desire to Help

    I just didn’t seem to be able to find the time or the right words to explain what I offer and how my company helps people accomplish their goals. Rachel was able to ask me some questions, do some research and capture my voice while writing my website copy exactly as I needed it to be written.  Now, the copy on my website is much more professional than what I would have created and having this task handled by Rachel and Resonance freed up my time to complete other tasks I am better suited to do.

    It was a joy to work with Rachel. Her professionalism and sincere desire to help was apparent from the first communication until the final delivery. I will definitely use Resonance again and highly recommend their services.

  • Event Sold Out Two Years In A Row!

    Rachel worked with me on creating a content marketing calendar and content for the Big Social Media Summit (Big SMS) three years in a row. She is very organized and knows just the right amount of posts on social, email newsletters and content to send.  Her content marketing efforts helping us sell out our event three years in a row!  I am expecting the same for October 2014.

    Rachel was hired to write content for our email newsletter and content for our social platforms. In addition, she had a budget to do advertising on social media. She participated in the event live and after the fact to assure buzz was created before, during and after the event. As a result, our event sold out.

    When I work with Rachel, I have total peace of mind.  I know that she is on target, on time, reliable and delivers over and above the results I expect.

    I trust Rachel totally with her ideas on strategy, marketing and the content used to not only promote our events, but also post on my behalf on social networks. I have been doing social media for 8 years, and I hire Resonance to post on some of my social sites as it saves me time, and keeps my social sites relevant and current. They always post great, engaging content that gets my social properties likes, comments and shares.

     

Free Tips
learn more...