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First, let's talk about why consistency is hard for so many people. Many of us are focused on the destination, rather than the journey.
It’s the same challenge that we face with the resolution of losing weight or getting fit. There’s no magic wand or special pill that will give us six-pack abs or chiseled biceps. The first few days, we’re filled with enthusiasm for the possibilities. We leap out of bed at the crack of dawn to ride our new Peloton bike or take a jog in the brisk morning air. Then it snows, or the baby wakes up in the middle of the night, or our thighs are sore. So we take a day off. That day turns into two, and then three. And by mid-February that shiny Peloton bike is doubling as a drying rack for wet winter coats and the dog is using our new running shoes as a chew toy.
That challenge is the same with our marketing. We kick off a new platform with the best intentions. We open a new Facebook group or start an Instagram account. And there’s a little rush of members or followers. We love creating content and going live. There’s a rush every time that notification pops up about a new comment or someone who requested to join the group.
But much like those early morning runs, after a bit of time, the luster starts to wear off. We’re not getting sales right away. Maybe the comments slow down. Or we can’t figure out what to post next. All of a sudden, keeping up with that Facebook group or Instagram account seems like a *lot* of work.
So you slow down on posting. Or stop all together. That shiny new platform starts to gather virtual cobwebs.
And it’s not just social media that we let go. It happens with blogs, podcasts, and video series. Email lists sit unused for months on end. Ad campaigns run out of funding (or keep spending indefinitely).
But just like you’ll never get the washboard abs of your dreams if you don’t continue to manage your nutrition and keep up with your exercise, you won’t get results from inconsistent marketing.
Here’s an example I share in my book, Minimum Viable Marketing.
One of my clients started a daily podcast because she wanted to try a new marketing strategy – blogging wasn’t working for her but she had a message to share. One year and over 200 episodes in, she has listeners asking to pay her to keep supporting the podcast. Now, her podcast is the top lead generation tool for her business.
She could have quit after 10 episodes when she was only getting a handful of listeners. She could have quit after 50 episodes, or when the listener letters weren’t coming in. But she stuck with it, day after day, to sustainably grow her business in a way that felt real and authentic to her.
So, how do you stay consistent? Here are four tips to maintain your consistency.
- Have realistic goals. Just like you can’t lose 20 pounds in a week, your marketing efforts often aren’t going to drive results in the first week either. But you can start to make a small impact on your business. Set realistic goals for the number of followers that you want to gain, or how often you want to produce new content. James Wedmore suggests that each goal has three levels – a good goal, a better goal, and a best goal. The *best* goal is “shoot for the moon.”
- Start with a plan. It’s easier to be consistent with your marketing when you start with a plan. If you don’t have a workout plan when you go to the gym, you’re not going to have a good workout. And if you don’t have a good plan for your marketing, you’re likely to give up quickly as well.
- Schedule, schedule, and schedule. Being consistent doesn’t mean that you have to be in a boring routine – at least not that when it comes to marketing! With today’s tools like Hootsuite, WordPress, and Anchor, you can create content or social media posts when it works best for you, and let technology take care of showing up on your behalf.
- Don’t overcommit. Many business owners love to hop on every new platform they see – especially if their peers or competitors are having success. Trying to do too many things is a recipe for disaster. In my new book, Minimum Viable Marketing, I share a strategy to decide which platforms are right for you.
There are times that you also have to be willing to walk away to make room for something better to take its place. Before you give up on something, be consistent for at least sixty days – not only in your actions but in measuring results. If you’re not consistent, you’ll never know if it would have worked for you.
If you’re still working on your marketing plan, order Minimum Viable Marketing now. Inside you’ll find my framework for marketing success with fewer headaches, less time investment, and better results.