Seems like it's always tennis season here in Florida. So it makes sense to take a few lessons off the court and into marketing. Here are managing partner, Kellie's tennis rules for brilliant marketing:

1. You only need balls and a racket to get started.

You can’t wait to have everything perfect before you hit the market. Get out there and start talking about and promoting your cutting edge product or new service. The more you play, the better you get.

2. Keep your eye on the ball.

Don’t be distracted with all the noise from the crowd, however, keep your eye on the goals that you have set for your marketing plan. Just like you can't stand in one place on the court and expect to hit every ball, be open to move around and adjust your marketing goals to keep up with the changes in the marketplace. 

3. Play YOUR game.  

It’s good to study your opponent’s game but always play your own game. Your marketing should be different from your competitors. Have a plan for marketing that plays to your strengths. Know what you do best and do that as much as possible. 

4. Follow through.

Don’t swing just enough to hit the ball, hit all the way through the ball. Every tennis coach and instructor I've ever played with has said this. Follow through can change a so-so shot into a winner. That continuing motion after the ball has left the racket helps guide the shot where you want it. Make sure your marketing works from start all the way to finish. 

5. and follow up.

Be prepared to move and follow up with your next shot. The first time I hit a shot that went right where I wanted, I was so delighted that I didn't notice my opponent scrambling enough to return the ball. I wasn't back at the baseline for my next shot and lost the point. Same thing with your marketing — When you know what your next shot is going to be, you can get into position for your best shot.

6. Don’t let one bad shot be the start of a bad streak.

Move on to the next shot. Quickly figure out what went wrong and be ready to take on the next shot with greater awareness. Even small errors can lead to a bad shot in tennis, and in marketing. When you recognize the mistake right away, it's easier to fix and avoid repeating. The key is to assess and move on. Don't let it carry over for the rest of the match, or your next marketing activities.

7. Consistency beats power.  

If you are good at what you do every time you do it, you can take on any competition. Power can be intimidating, but without consistency, it is often a lot of effort with unpredictable results. Consistent effort delivers consistent results. A consistent approach to marketing will be your  competitive edge, especially when going up against bigger players. 

8. It's hard work.

Playing the game takes real effort, focus, commitment. As much as the tennis pros make it look easy, they work hard before the game starts and they are always learning and training. Great marketing looks easy, but the most successful marketing campaigns take time and expertise. 

9. Play fair and enjoy the game.

Be a good competitor, show good sportsmanship. Everything you've ever heard about playing fair applies to your marketing, too. When you market what’s great about your business, you can enjoy the game and people will see you have your heart in it.


If you're looking to score a match when it comes to your company's marketing, let's talk. We specialize in helping companies, large and small, stand out from the crowd. Contact us today. 


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Kellie Nolan is co-founder and managing partner at Brilliant Lens. She provides clients with strategic direction, meaningful marketing, and communications that engage, inspire, lead, and succeed.


This article was inspired by my father, Phil Nolan, who patiently taught me how to play tennis many years ago at the neighborhood park tennis court. He also taught me a lot about business. Since his passing on September 4, 2015, I have thought a lot about the many days I spent with him at work, where I learned by watching and doing, asking questions and listening. From his example and his stories, I learned about being a good employee and a good leader. And, with his coaching, I eventually became a pretty good tennis player, too. Thank you Dad! ~ Kellie