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3 Lessons from Venus Williams' Wimbledon Dress


Venus Williams might be an expert tennis player, but she's even more adept at promoting herself. While the tennis world gasped at Williams' recent wayward Wimbeldon wardrobe choice, Williams herself may have gotten just what she wanted: An international audience in front of which to debut a piece from her own fashion line, EleVen.

So what can your business learn from Williams?

A few things, actually.

Seize the moment – Williams surely knows she's not going to be playing tennis professionally forever. So, while she's still holding center court, why not lay the groundwork for her next career move. It's a lot cheaper than advertising in Vogue. The next time you see an opportunity to promote your business, don't wait for the perfect moment. Grab the spotlight and get your free PR.

Be yourself – While the tennis world might not love Williams' flowy frock, they're not the ones she's trying to sell to. Williams surely knows who her audience is and she's staying focused on them. You can't please all the people all the time and Williams' knows her faithful followers will surely be more beneficial to her in a few years than the stodgy old Wimbledon crowd gasping in disbelief this week. Staying true to your own brand and focusing on your customer is key to driving long term success.

Have a sense of humor – Part of what makes Williams' ensemble (and the many she's worn before) so outlandish is that it's rather amusing. It's offbeat, unusual and in some ways, just plain whimsical. Williams knows that what she's wearing represents her brand. And, apparently, her brand is about knowing how to have fun. Make sure your PR and marketing, whatever form it takes, shows the world what your brand is all about.


Jeanette Mulvey

Jeanette has been writing about business for more than 20 years. She has written about every kind of entrepreneur from hardware store owners to fashion designers. Previously she was a manager of internal communications for Home Depot. Her journalism career began in local newspapers. She has a degree in American Studies from Rutgers University. Follow her on Twitter @jeanettebnd.