For football fans Jürgen Klopp is one of the most recognizable faces in management: he heads up Liverpool FC, one of the UK’s most successful teams, and has a catalog of animated facial expressions to rival Jim Carrey.
But Jürgen’s qualities are useful to more than just football fans: as with any great leader, he has a list of skills that can be applied in life, politics, and business – your online business.
Below I’ve run through Jürgen’s finest skills and explained how you can apply them to your own successful business. Read on and find out how to make your business as successful as Liverpool.
To date, Jürgen Klopp has managed 3 football teams: Mainz 05 (2001–2008), Borussia Dortmund (2008–2015), Liverpool (2015). Liverpool compete in England’s Premier League, where the average lifespan of a manager is 1165 days (3.19 years), putting Jürgen’s long stays at odds with his peers.
Like all jobs, a football manager’s tenure isn’t decided by them alone. However, Jürgen has shown he’s a man in for the long-term and he’s made the plans for his teams with this in mind – he’s confirmed this when speaking about his players, previously backing Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius to be a “long-term” success.
While your online business needs to always be thinking about the short-term, this can’t be your only consideration if you want to run a successful business. So, learn from Jürgen and plan for the long-term. Whether that’s going to conferences, investing in R&D, or being one step ahead with team hires: it pays off to be thinking long term.
And if you don’t trust Jürgen then watch Bill Gates explain the benefit of long-term planning below…
Go after your competitors
Part of the reason Bill Gates has made Microsoft so powerful and has become such a successful businessman is that he’s gone after his competitors with vigor, isolating them and nullifying their threat by buying them out. Jürgen Klopp also takes out his competitors.
Jürgen’s gegenpressing is his philosophy of demanding that his players relentlessly press their rivals, chasing them down at every opportunity and stealing the initiative away from them. It’s a strategy that has seen Jürgen’s Liverpool become the thorn in the side of Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, as they turn their ability with a football, and desire to play, against them.
While I am not recommending you buy out your competitors, or even press them into making mistakes, you can go after them and use their success against against them.
SEO is one way that you can do this: some of the best SEO lessons you will ever learn will come from your competition.
Using SEOquake, you can find the keywords your top competitors are ranking for, then incorporate them into the your own content and SEO strategy in the form of long-form content, videos, guides etc. This is a strategic way to ensure that your site is competitive and primed for ranking.
My #1 tip? Try to improve on what’s already out there, rather than let your site become a boring amalgamation. They key here is to out-do, then out-rank, the competition.
While we’re talking about the way that Jürgen likes to play let’s review how he uses automation to make his Liverpool team faster, more fluid, and more ruthless than his competitors.
Jürgen employs a relentless style of coaching that means his players know where they can expect their teammates to be at a given moment; moves and passages are practiced with such intensity that they become second nature, automated.
You don’t need to bring your employees in for double sessions; you can bring Jürgen’s love of automation to your online business by employing tools, widgets, apps, and software to do it for you.
Some of the great tools available to you are:
- 99 Dollar Social: This is a social media automation tool that creates new, fresh, and interesting social media posts for your business and then shares them via your Twitter and Facebook accounts everyday.
- Moosend: Marketing automation is name of the game for this software, with the emphasis placed on the online marketer’s beloved channel: email. You can employ user onboarding, triggers, and website tracking to fully automate your marketing funnels.
- Needls: The focus here is on your digital advertising. Using this tool automates the process of creating, targeting, and optimising your digital advertising. All you need to do is upload videos, images, and a summary message and then this tool does the rest.
Check the brilliant video below to see Jürgen’s mastery of automated team play…
Make the right acquisitions – be prudent, but spend money where necessary
As gadgets for your online business are on the agenda, now is right to discuss how Jürgen’s approach to acquisitions for Liverpool isn’t just brilliant: it’s perfect.
Football is often spoken of as being a game of economics, where the richest have an advantage over their less well-heeled peers that means they’re unbeatable. That’s life, but it’s also not the bottom line.
Jürgen has less money than some of his peers, but more than many other managers. What he does better than most, though, is that he spends what’s necessary for his business (Liverpool FC). Take his defence: Joël Matip was signed for nothing, Virgil van Dijk cost £75mn and is the world’s most expensive defender, ever.
For your online business it’s about knowing when to spend and when not to spend:
- Dropshipping and affiliate marketing are both ways to ‘stock’ your online business for free. This guards you against the risk of stockpiling expensive products that no one is buying and which you may lose money on. A good idea for anyone just venturing out for the first time with an online store or website, I would always recommend getting to market quickly with an idea or brand. Market research can be your product research.
- Copywriting. Sadly, good words cost top dollar. You have to be willing to pay for in-depth content that really stands out in search engine results pages and in people’s inboxes. Whether you go agency, freelance, or in-house, just make sure that you take your brand copywriting seriously.
Jürgen Klopp is not just a great football manager: he’s a brilliant teacher and his lessons can be applied across a wide range of institutions, organizations, and businesses – including your own online business.
So, take my advice and put Jürgen’s teachings into practice; after all, you’ll be learning from the best.
Kayleigh Toyra: Content Strategist: Half-Finnish, half-British marketer based in Bristol. I love to write and explore themes like storytelling and customer experience marketing. I manage a small team of writers at a boutique agency.
(Photo of Jürgen Klopp: Getty Photos)