I want to talk about one of the simplest, yet most under-utilized techniques in existence. It’s one that we live by here at EntrepreneurOnFire.
Consistency: Simple, but not easy
It’s called consistency.
Question: If consistency is really that simple, then why don’t more people just do it?
Well, let me clarify: consistency is definitely one of the simplest techniques, but it’s not the easiest technique in existence. Simple, but not easy.
What do I mean by this? Well, if you think about it, consistency simply means that you do something on a set schedule over and over again. Pretty simple.
But doing something on a set schedule over and over again, and ensuring that whatever you’re producing is of great value to someone else, isn’t necessarily easy.
Consistency in creating valuable content takes a lot of planning and time management. It requires that you make sacrifices and that you stretch yourself – challenge yourself to do things that, yesterday, you might have not even thought were possible.
Bottom line, people make excuses.
They have a million and one excuses why they aren’t consistent with their content, or with practicing something, or with learning new things, when in reality, all it takes is committing to doing what you say you’re going to do.
Want to create better blog posts? Write every single day. Want to be a better interviewer? Interview someone else every single day. Want to be a better coach and leader? Then learn something new about coaching and leadership every single day.
So, do you understand that consistently creating valuable content – whether that’s a blog post, a podcast episode, or even creating value through coaching or being a great leader – is something you can choose to commit to?
Alright, then let’s look at the many benefits that come along with it (get excited – this is the fun part!)
Consistency does a few things: It…
1. Builds trust,
2. Encourages loyalty,
3. Creates momentum, and
4. Drives engagement
See what I mean? Who wouldn’t want these four things going on in their business?
But where a lot of people get stuck is here: How does one go about being consistent?
Good question, and again, a very simple concept. Easy? No, but IF you’re willing to do the work, you will see these benefits as a result. So here’s where you can start:
Create a schedule, and stick to it!
If you’re launching a podcast, for example, then how often will you publish a new episode? Once per week? Three times per week? Daily?
Ramping up your content in the beginning is important. Having posts or podcast episodes or whatever it is that you’re creating for your audience “prepared” will help you get off on the right foot.
However, beware: just because you have a few waiting in the wings doesn’t mean that you can launch and then take a couple of weeks off. Woah no – it means that you need to bust your hump every single day to continue creating that content on a consistent basis so that you’ll ALWAYS have that runway.
Why is this so important?
Because once your target audience starts to follow you, they’ll grow to expect whatever you’ve established as the norm. If that’s a daily podcast, and suddenly three days go by without you publishing an episode, that will affect their trust in you and what you’re promising to provide.
And trust easily funnels into loyalty: if someone can’t trust that you’ll provide them with the content they’re looking for, then they aren’t going to continue coming back for more.
But if you’re consistent – let’s say being consistent means you launch a daily podcast – and you continue to publish an episode every single day, then your listeners begin to trust that they can go to you for content. They also know when they can go to you for that content.
They’ll start to make going to you a part of their routine, and as a result, they’ll become loyal.
Guess what? All the while, you’ll be building BIG momentum because the more content you publish, the more content your audience will have to consume.
When someone finds your podcast, whether you launched two weeks ago or two months ago – if they like what they hear – then they will be downloading all of your episodes, not just the most recent one.
This creates momentum for you, for your business and for your content.
Once you’re in that flow of creating consistent content, you’ll also begin to receive more consistent visitors. And once you start to receive more consistent visitors, you’ll want to create more content for them. The more valuable content you provide them with, the more likely they are to tell their social networks about you, and so on…
Once word starts going around about your content (whether it be a podcast, a blog, videos or even an eBook), people are going to want to start engaging with you.
They’ll want to connect with you – get to know you and get to know your business more intimately. …don’t be shy – invite them in!
The engagement part is where it really starts to get fun. This is when you’ll really have the opportunity to connect with your audience one-on-one, and that is SO important.
Okay, so your consistency has helped you build trust, loyalty, momentum and now you’re really starting to engage with your audience – that’s awesome!
But what if after you’ve already started, you realize that you’ve bit off more than you can chew?
It happens. In any case, just be honest with your audience.
Your audience deserves to know what’s going on, so just tell them. This could also help confirm the trust you’ve been building.
This is true no matter what your content might be. Let’s say you’re starting a daily blog, and you come out of the gates rearing and ready to go. But after a couple of months, you realize that a daily blog just isn’t working for you, not just because it’s a lot of work, but you realize that you’re not producing quality content every single time; plus, your audience barely has the time to read a daily post from you anyway.
As long as you’ve tested and have proof that decreasing your consistency will lead to better results, then it’s the right move to switch it up.
In fact, this is exactly what I did with our blog. I started out daily, and then realized that not only was the content suffering, but our audience just didn’t have the time to read everything.
After testing what would happen if I spent more time promoting the great content I was writing, and publishing just twice a week versus every single day, I quickly found out that my posts got MUCH more engagement, and the quality of my writing was a lot better.
You can check out how I announced changing the frequency of our blog here.
So remember, being consistent with creating valuable content is very important in building trust, loyalty, momentum and starting that engagement.
I encourage you to really take some time to think about what you want your consistency to be, because unless you have tested and proven reasons for switching it up, it could reflect negatively on both your brand and your following.