4 Ways Marketers Can Up Their Mental Game


By Brooke B. Sellas, {grow} Contributing Columnist

For marketers, our mental game is likely one of our most valued (and valuable) assets.

Mental challenges for marketers include creativity, focus, and juggling the five Ps:

  1. Your product(s)
  2. Your pricing
  3. Placement
  4. Promotion
  5. And of course, your people

Here are four ways to up your mental game in 2017.

What’s a Mental Game?

First, let’s talk about your mental game. What exactly are people referring to when they use this term?

For me, my “mental game” is achieving 100% (or as close to it as possible) mental clarity. It’s seeing the small details and the big picture.

Golf, for example, is such a mental game. I have all of these little mantras I have to say to myself to drive the ball off the tee. If I don’t, I’m likely to whiff (miss the ball completely) or shank it (hit the ball to the far left or right, rather than straight).

Essentially, having a good mental game is all about focus and building a process, routine, or mantra for staying present in the moment.

Here’s how I achieve that as a marketer …

Up Your Focus With These 4 Tips

1) Trust in your (and your team’s) capabilities. At our company, we call this “trust and verify.” I trust that my team is capable of getting things done, but I verify that by checking in, spot checking items, and reviewing the quality of work (QA or quality assurance).

If it’s my own work, I have someone else on the team verify what I’ve put together.

It’s not that I don’t have confidence in myself or our team. We’re human, mistakes will (and do!) happen.

The trust and verify process is a great checks-and-balances system to ensure quality work goes out each and every time. Knowing that a second set of eyes has approved your work helps you feel mentally strong and more confident about deliverables.

2) Focus on the process rather than the outcome. One of our biggest projects for 2016 was less about winning and more about the process or workflow to get the “win.” By documenting and refining our processes, we were able to grow over 230%.

As marketers, we’re often trained to focus on the bottom line or return on investment. But when you think about it, you can’t truly control whether you win or lose. The only thing you can control is the process, workflow, or tangible tactics you perform to get to the outcome.

I love the way Claire Dorotik-Nana, phrases this in her article on stepping up your mental game:

“Before you can win anything, you have to learn how to play.”

Bye-Bye, Need To Control

3) There is no loser in losing. Similarly, to emphasizing processes, I’ve been learning not to be a slave to losses.

Choosing to let go of losses quickly and focus on current processes for other clients or potential leads helps me redirect my focus in a positive way.

It’s not that I’m clinical; I don’t want to waste time worrying about things that are unlikely to change.

The same goes for constantly winning. I don’t get cocky.

Going too far in either direction with winning or losing causes you to lose mental clarity and concentrate on external factors. Stay present in the moment — especially while selling.

4) Know that advantage is overstated. Clients often focus on competitors. “They’re budget is bigger.” “We’re a little guy and they’re not.” “They have X.”

Who cares? If we all went around with that mentality we’d never go into business, or join a team, or get a date! Why waste your time and energy on those things?

Instead, learn to control how you deal with adversity, deal with loss, and bounce back/learn from your mistakes.

One of the biggest keys to having a strong mental game is focusing on the things you can control.

Use the tips outlined above to better refine your routine, processes & workflows for a better mental game.

What are some ways you’ve upped your marketing (or other) mental game? Let me know in the comments section below!

Brooke Ballard for {grow}Brooke B. Sellas is an in-the-trenches digital marketer & owner at B Squared Media, blossoming blogger, and  a purveyor of psychographics. Her mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout on Twitter.

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