Paddle boarding: lessons in life – and content marketing – from SUP Lanzarote

What we learned from paddle board coach Chris

Sharon and I were lucky enough to be asked to talk at Sands Beach, a very clued-up resort in Lanzarote this week. Our job was to get staff and partner companies working together to create and share valuable online content so that all the businesses would benefit (slides here if you are curious).

One of those partners was Chris, owner of SUP Lanzarote (that’s Stand up Paddle to the uninitiated) who generously offered us a couple of free paddle boarding lessons in return for our words. Now we expected to learn how to stand up and catch waves, but that is not all we learned from Chris and our paddle boarding experience.

Here are some important lessons we take away with us from the clear waters of Lanzarote. We hope they resonate for you and your marketing too.

What paddle boarders can teach content marketers

  1. Pick the right board for you and the conditions. Pick the right platform for what you want to achieve.
  2. Learn the basics before you venture into the open sea. Know what you’re doing before you start with any new approach.
  3. Find your balance.
  4. Keep an eye on the horizon. Keep looking down and you’ll fall off.
  5. Stay focused on the bigger picture. Getting tied up with the little things will stop you from moving.
  6. Practice your skills until your actions become instinctive. The more you write, blog, talk, and listen the easier it will become.
  7. Be flexible, and adapt to conditions. Life throws things at you; deal with them but don’t let them derail you. There’s always another way.
  8. Observe the etiquette. Know the rules, think of others, be respectful.
  9. Share the water. There’s always another wave coming. Be generous, give away your knowledge and share other people’s stuff too.
  10. Anticipate problems and react immediately. The moment you see something going wrong is the time to take decisive action.
  11. Don’t drift into danger. Be aware of all the forces acting on you.
  12. If it goes wrong, get up and try again. Be resilient. Keep learning.
  13. Timing is crucial when your wave comes.
  14. Getting it right means you can travel great distances with ease. Getting your content right and making it valuable will take your business a long, long way.

Paddle boarding is new sport with a long history. It might be the fastest growing water sport but its roots go back centuries. In our world, content marketing is still just about the new kid on the block, but it’s not really new either. Good marketing has always been valuable but we now have the tools to take this much further.

What’s more, being generous, sharing without expectation of return opens your life up to serendipitous experiences. Embrace it fully, and it will take you to some truly amazing places.

We hope you enjoy the ride!

Sonja and Sharon go paddle boarding!

Thanks to our new friends in beautiful Lanzarote

We had such a great time with SUP Lanzarote. Chris – you shared your love of the sport, of the sea, of Lanzarote with such generosity. You taught us heaps, more than you may have realized. We’ll recommend your paddle boarding centre in Costa Teguise to our friends here in the UK.

We really fell for Lanzarote, the fire island too. Huge thanks to John Beckley and the fantastic team at Sands Beach Resort for the invitation and warm welcome.  We’re so impressed with your collaborative approach to content creation, and loved the active, family atmosphere you create at Sands Beach. We hope to see you again soon.

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  1. John Beckley

    Well we are glad you girls enjoyed your Lanzarote Trip, thank you for all your kind words and helping us to show our partners the importance of working together.

    PS I know Chris will be impressed with this post…at least somebody listened 🙂

  2. Sonja Jefferson

    No thank you John! It was brilliant and we came away with so much to think about. As for Chris, we definitely listened! Good luck with all you do and see you again sometime. I think we might be back in Lanzarote!

  3. Rosemary McManus

    Eh! Excuse me John Beckley…….Speak for yourself. I was listening. I learnt lots from the girls. I sat for many hours before chewing my pencil wondering what to share with our guests and the girls said it all. It was shining in the window….SUNSHINE. So everyday I share our sunshine with someone who has none. I have realised I have taken all the beautiful things around me for granted. I am going to explore something within ten minutes of Sands Beach every weekend and share it. So John Beckley a few chocolates or maybe a cake with the apology would be nice. Girls I love your piece about Chris his love of all his workplace is infectious.

  4. Sonja Jefferson

    That is a gorgeous comment – thanks Rosemary. Fabulous to meet you and looking forward to the sunshine in our social feeds. You really do work in an amazing place – opportunities for valuable content abound. Hope to see you soon.

  5. Kristina Hughes

    Absolutely love that, Sonj and Sharon! The simplest things (not saying SUP is easy – but the least complicated, I mean) can teach us the best lessons in life. Brilliant list!

  6. Sonja Jefferson

    Thanks so much! It certainly wasn’t easy but being out at sea doesn’t half strip back life to its priorities. xx


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