The skills from marathon training will boost your firm’s content marketing

The skills from marathon training will boost your firm’s content marketing

The skills from marathon training will boost your firm’s content marketingWith the Great North Run fast approaching it got me thinking about how training for an endurance race requires the same mindset and skills as content marketing if you want to succeed. The same is true regardless of your role – whether you’re a Partner or Marketing Assistant, the skills needed are one and the same.

Set your goal

The first step when starting out with either is to set your goal. What do you want to achieve and in how long?

If you’re preparing for the run it could be that you want to complete the 13 mile race in 2 hours.

For content marketing this could be to write a piece of content for your firm’s niche and launch it with a marketing campaign within the next 3 months.

You then need to think about the steps you need to reach this.

Break your goal into an actionable, realistic plan

Another similarity between preparing for a big race and content marketing is that you need to build a plan to reach your goal.

If you go in unprepared expecting amazing results I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. Your plan needs to be customised to you. Everyone’s different, and everyone benefits from training in different areas and at a different pace.

Break it down, step by step and use your plan to drive yourself forward. It’s all about endurance and building up piece by piece rather than being overwhelmed.

For example, one of the firms who joined the Content Marketer produced some content throughout the 12 months, and then at the end of the programme decided his highest priority was a complete re-brand of the accounting business’ brand and logo. He could see that what he had learned brought him back to the beginning areas of branding and website. This journey won’t be the same for every member.

With content marketing get right back to the basics: look at your niche (or identify if you have one), research your clients issues to use in your marketing, then learn how to craft amazing content from blogs to your website. You can’t do this all at once but by having a plan you can gradually build up and produce your own marketing campaigns, while staying on track with your goal.

The progression model shows you how you can take your prospects and clients on a journey and how you’ll develop a stronger relationship.

The same applies for running: you don’t need to run 13 miles right away. Start by walking for 2 minutes, run for 2 minutes and build up over time by following your plan.

You need to be commitment to reach your goal

With a big goal it can be tempting to start and then veer off in another direction and lose interest.

One day you might be on fire running 5 miles, or whipping up an amazing blog: the next you really struggle to do just the basics which you’ve done before.  It won’t be easy, you will make mistakes but that’s the challenge. This is hitting the wall.

You need to be committed otherwise you’re not going to succeed. If you are you’ll overcome the issues, time constraints or pressure and still commit to your next step training or get that piece of content written on business growth tips.

The great thing with a plan is it will drive you forward, you’ll know what’s needed next and power through.

Consistency will drive you forward

Content marketing needs to be consistent, ad hoc activities will not deliver results or help develop a relationship with your clients and prospects. Building your skills and content up each week is what will give you a strong marketing foundation.

If you send out tips on Xero every Monday, stick to your word.

If you’re running 4 times a week but think i’ll just give it a miss every few weeks so I can catch up on Homeland: you’re not going to get the pace you need to complete the run in 2 hours.

It’s these small steps that make a huge difference.


Remember most of all that although a marathon is run alone, you are not alone as you train. Everyone starts at different stages with various challenges and skills. It can help to have some accountability when you’re learning new skills and challenging yourself.

Look at online forums, or training groups to connect with other people in the same position and check in with your progress. Seek inspiration and help.


“I’ve competed in golf, cycling and now running over the past 30 years, and in each case I’ve hired a coach and we’ve worked together to optimise my training so that I have the best shot at achieving my goals.

I’ve tried to do it without a coach, and I never achieved the same results. Then it’s down to me to commit, to follow the plan, to get out and grind on the cold, wet, mornings when I would much rather stay in bed. But if I want to be the best I can be I know I have to get up. And so I do, out the door, get it done. Another step towards the goal.

When it comes to content marketing I follow the same approach. Work with an expert, have a plan, then commit to it.”  Alasdair McGill, Managing Director at Ashton McGill Limited


At PF we have a PF Slack group for all clients and programme members. You can share ideas, progress, ask for help or discuss anything accounting or content related with the PF team and other members.

Our 12 week Content Marketer Accelerator programme also offers that support: weekly webinars with Q&A, a dedicated Slack group with other accountants, strategy call with Karen and a session ‘homework’ review.

Our members find this personal feedback a handy way to stay focused and committed.

The end result

In the end you want to reach your goal successfully whether it’s to complete a race or build a content marketing plan.  Take it at a pace that works for you.

If you’re driven, need pushed and really want to take action now check out our Content Marketer Accelerator programme.  You’ll cover the 12 essential elements of content marketing, and have all of the guidance you need to build your own plan in just 12 weeks. Reach that goal.

Put in 100% and keep building yourself up then go for it!  You’ll nail it and be glad you did.

Most of all enjoy it. And be proud of yourself.