Digital Marketing – Blood, Sweat & Tears – Just like the gym or running

About this time last year I decided to try and lose some weight and finally get myself fit. I went off and bought new sports gear, started to walk and then started to jog. Within a couple of weeks I was already feeling the benefits, I was feeling fitter, sleeping better at night, and even losing some weight.

Feeling full of confidence, and enthusiasm, I then signed up to do the Viking Half Marathon in Waterford. I had about 3 months to get myself in fighting shape, but as soon as I signed up I just stopped training.

There was no logical reason for this, I just stopped. However, I had already told people I was going to do the half marathon. So, in June last year I found myself on the starting line of the half marathon having completed the extensive training program of one 3 mile walk in three months.

If you have ever seen the clip from Tommy Tiernan about his friend turning up to run a marathon without training, I was kind of like that without the ambition to win the half marathon.

I then proceeded to run the first mile or so before having to practically walk around the course with my legs in agony. It was the longest afternoon of my life and I crossed the finish line saying “never again, running (well walking in my case) is just not for me”.

However, 6 months later, I decided to give running another go. This time I actually have started training and am building it up slowly.

Digital Marketing – Blood, Sweat & Tears – Just like the gym or running

While I was out for a run last night, the thought struck me that running (or going to the gym) is just like digital marketing. Anyone can do it, but only if they have the motivation and are willing to put in the hard miles.

We consistently see companies who expect that by building a website, or by spending a month or two on social media, SEO or digital marketing that the world will change.

The simple fact is that just like running, you have to have targets, you have to work hard, and you have to be committed to the program. However, there are no shortcuts, you can’t just turn up and expect to run a 5k, 10k or god forbid a half marathon without putting in the work beforehand. If you do attempt this (and I speak from personal experience unfortunately), you will only end up hating the race and blame it and not yourself.

You wouldn’t join a gym and expect to lose 20% of your bodyweight in a month, or go on a diet and expect to fit into those jeans from 10 years ago in a couple of weeks. Yet people sometimes think that they only have to build a website, it will appear on page one of the search engines and half of the world’s population will start following them on Twitter and Facebook. Not only that but they expect their business to grow overnight and they expect to become the next internet millionaire.

All of these things are possible, but only if you put in the work.

When you join a gym, go on a diet, or take up running, you set targets, realistic targets and build on them month by month.

You aim to lose 2lbs a week, not 4 stone in a month. People who make a difference to their lives through exercise or diet do it over a prolonged period of time and not inconsiderable effort.

Digital Marketing - Let us do the hard work

The bad news is that Digital Marketing is just like everything mentioned above.

Any business can make a significant difference to their sales through Digital Marketing, but only if they are willing to put in the work and set realistic long term goals.

The good news is that, unlike running, dieting or going to the gym, with Digital Marketing you can pay somebody to do it for you and you can eat what you want.

This year my target time for the half marathon is sub 2 hours (not going to win any world records I know, but progress is progress). I am also starting small and running a 5k and a 10k in April as part of my training program. Steps, baby steps.

For the record, my horrific time from last year’s half marathon was 3:17 and the YouTube clip from Tommy Tiernan is