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For the past 4 months I’ve been swimming.

Those that follow us on Social Media might be thinking “Wait, I thought Alex was a runner”.

Well long story, but I ran about 4 half marathons in 2 weeks in June and have been recovering ever since so swimming is my replacement.

Swimming is a great place to let your mind wander and whilst I was swimming last week it wandered on to the subject of this week’s blog.

7 Marketing Lessons You Can Learn From Swimming

Here we go

You Have To Schedule Marketing In Your Diary

Running is easy.

You put your running shoes on and you leave the house at 7am, 7pm or any time of day.

Swimming is harder.

You have to plan and schedule it in your diary for one of the 50-minute slots the local leisure centre have available.

It’s the same with marketing.

You have to make marketing part of your schedule and one of those non-negotiables, where you can’t just dismiss it because a client calls or because something urgent is happening at home.

At the start of the week look at your diary for each day and work out where you can slot in content production, engagement and the various forms of marketing that you need to do.

One Person Can Cause A Marketing Ripple

Look at a pool before anyone gets in.

There is no movement.

And then one person gets in and the ripple effect starts.

Marketing is the same – one person can make huge ripple effects across a business or industry.

Often the reason we’re brought into organisations to train the team on social media is because either 1 person in the business or a competitor has started making those ripples on social media.

If you’re a business that is unsure about social media and whether it can work for your business, start with training 1 or 2 people and watch the ripple effect start. It will soon become easier to get the whole team on board with social media training and you’ll start to make waves rather than ripples.

You choose your own pace

I’m a good runner. Usually in a race i’ll come in the top 25-30% of runners.

In terms of swimming at my local pool I’m a best mid table – not the worst, but nowhere near the best.

And that’s perfectly ok. I’m swimming at my own pace. I have no idea about the faster swimmer’s history or experience.

And it’s the same with marketing. You have to find your own path and pace.

Do a competitive analysis, but then find a plan that works for you with the resources you have.

Don’t compare yourself to businesses with bigger teams, more experience and a huge budget.

There are always barriers (in swimming and marketing)

You have everything scheduled up, you start off well and everything is going to plan.

And then 15 minutes later children enter the pool and start moving across your lane and everyone elses in the pool.

I’m well aware this makes me sound like a grumpy old man, who moans about kids doing exactly the same thing I did as a kid.

It’s a barrier and you have to swim around the barrier.

We know all too well over the past 2 years there’s been various barriers from the pandemic to the cost-of-living crisis and 3 different prime ministers.

Some of these barriers can be unexpected, but don’t give up and work your way around them with new campaigns and initiatives.

Non or Weak Marketers Cannot Pass This Point

Half way down the pool there’s a sign that says “Non or Weak Swimmers Cannot Pass This Point”.

It made me think of my swimming journey from the paddling pool, the small pool to the big pool to Bronze, Silver and Gold Badges.

And like everyone else if I happen to fall in water with pyjamas on I can blow them up to use a float.

Lots of business owners feel they can-do top-level marketing without taking the training and baby steps above.

And this sounds blunt – but they’re literally drowning and their business is dying as a result.

There are so many ways to improve your marketing – training, outsourcing, hiring content producers. They all take effort, but greatness doesn’t happen without the help of others.

Consistency wins every time.

Everyone can d0 5-10 lengths of a pool.

And it’s better than nothing. But most people only do 5-10 lengths a day when they’re on holiday, so they lack consistency.

During my swimming journey I’ve been doing 50 minutes at a time x 3-4 days a week.

Consistency and compounding makes and impact.

It’s the same with marketing.

Turning up daily and being consistent starts to drive results.

What time are you putting aside daily to market your business?

It feels satisfying when you do it

Sometimes I really don’t want to go swimming.

I look out of the window and it’s cold and I’d rather just sit at home and catch up on Netflix.

But once I’m in the pool and I’ve done the 1st length I get into the flow and love it.

It feels satisfying exercising for 50 minutes.

Marketing is exactly the same.

There are times that you might not feel like doing it, but it always feels good once you done it. Especially in the long terms when you start to see the results of your hard work.

Are there any other Marketing Lessons you’d add?


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Alex McCann

Author Alex McCann

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