Earlier this month, thousands of tennis fans gathered for one of the most talked about tennis matches of the year—the U.S. Open. While every year is exciting, this year was a special milestone. One of the greatest tennis players of all time, Serena Williams, competed in what she says was her last U.S. Open.
The star who is first in all-time rankings and has been dominating the sport for more than 20 years competed for what may be her last time. While we’re sure she has learned many lessons during her decades-long career, it turns out she has also been teaching us along the way! Check out these five marketing lessons you can take away from one of the all-time greats.
1. Believe in your abilities to succeed.
You don’t get to the top like Serena Williams (and her sister Venus!) unless you believe in yourself. Sure, there will be days where you aren’t your best. On days when you aren’t feeling confident in your abilities, surround yourself with people who believe in you and who can help support you. Richard Williams, Serena and Vensus’s father, was the center of an entire movie because of his belief in his daughters’ tennis abilities and dedication to helping them succeed. In your marketing efforts, think of the people who champion you to succeed, even on days when you aren’t sure you can yourself. Seek out their guidance and expertise when you’re having an off day.
2. Good things take time.
No sports pro was a success overnight. Almost all professional athletes practice for years and years before they’re ready for the professional stage. Marketing is pretty much like that. If you get something right the first time, it was probably luck. You know that marketing campaigns require a certain level of finesse. Have the patience to stick with marketing to an audience that is interested in your products and services even if they haven’t purchased just yet. Find ways to stay in touch and understand what may be preventing them from following through. Patience is the key!
3. Don’t listen to a voice saying you can’t.
Serena had plenty of skeptics throughout her career. During one Australian Open, she played while pregnantt. While many would have sworn off playing because they were pregnant, Serena didn’t see it as an obstacle. Even more, she never lost a set. Try new marketing strategies you’ve been too afraid to try. Push the envelope while staying true to your brand. Next time you hear a voice in your head telling you that you can’t do something with your marketing, ask yourself where that voice is coming from and why you think you can’t. Then, don’t listen to it!
4. Even the G.O.A.T. can be beat.
Many affectionately and admirably refer to Serena Williams as the Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T.). However, even Serena has matches or days where she could be beat. In marketing, every single marketing campaign won’t always be a success. The best piece of advice is to learn from your mistakes and use it to succeed in the future. If a certain message fell flat with your audience, figure out why. If you didn’t get the numbers you were expecting, evaluate what may have gone wrong and find a new outlet. Remember that a failure is only a true failure if you don’t learn something from the experience.
5. It takes a team to succeed.
Serena partnered with her sister Venus to play doubles. She has cheered on Venus during her single play matches and vice versa. Serena’s father helped coach her. She had various other coaches, teammates and family members who helped her succeed along the way. In your marketing efforts, it takes a village. Understand where your strengths and weaknesses are, and partner with people who complement them. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
You may not be playing a tennis match, but there’s always something you can learn from one of the greats! Follow in the footsteps of Serena. Take a swing with new marketing efforts, surround yourself with others who will lift you up and remember to learn from your failures. From tennis to marketing, there’s always something you can learn from one another. Take these tips and fall in “love” with your marketing efforts again!