Consistency is one of the simplest, yet most under-utilized techniques in existence for building trust and loyalty with your audience – an integral step in the process of moving your leads from not knowing who you are, to eventually buying from you.
How to build trust and loyalty through consistency
Wait – if consistency is really that simple, then why don’t more people just do it?
It’s because we’ve become really good at making excuses.
Being consistent with creating valuable content that serves your audience takes a lot of planning, researching, listening – and above all, it takes time.
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.
That’s why more people don’t just do it.
Good news is, 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.
What’s consistency for you?
Not everyone’s consistency is going to be the same. What’s consistent for one business might be very different for another.
The best way to determine what your consistency should be is to:
1. Be honest with yourself about how much time you’re willing to commit to creating valuable content, and
2. Ask your perfect customer what they want.
Remember, you’re creating this for your perfect customer – do they want to consume content daily, or is one time per week enough?
Whatever you decide, consistency is defined by repetition on a specific basis: daily, weekly, bi-weekly – it’s up to you to decide.
Let’s look at how consistency in your business can help you build trust and loyalty by walking your potential customers through 4 stages.
Consistency’s 4 Stages
1. Consistency builds trust
Once your perfect customer discovers you, they’ll grow to expect whatever you’ve established as the norm: your consistency.
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.
Conversely, if you continue to provide content on a consistent basis, then your audience members will start to make coming to you a habit based on what you’ve promised them.
They’ll trust that you will continue to provide.
2. Trust easily funnels into loyalty
If someone can’t trust that you’ll provide him or her with the content they’re looking for, then they aren’t going to continue coming back for more.
But if you’re consistent – and let’s say being consistent means you launch a weekly podcast – and you continue to publish an episode every single week on Wednesday’s, 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 coming to your site a part of their routine, and in doing so will become loyal followers.
3. All the while, you’ll be building momentum
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 – they’ll 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.
Notice I continue to refer to your content as valuable content. This is, of course, an integral piece of the puzzle. And just because YOU think it’s valuable, doesn’t necessarily mean that others do, too.
Knowing these two things is how you’ll also KNOW that what you’re providing is valuable.
4. Enter: engagement
Once word starts going around about your content (whether it be a podcast, a blog, or videos), people are going to want to start engaging with you. With that solid platform you’ve been building, it’s going to very easy for them to do so, right? =)
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 have the opportunity to start connecting 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 starting to engage with your audience.
But what if after you’ve already started, you realize that you’ve bit off more than you can chew?
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 that trust you’ve been building with them. 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 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 because you realize 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 the EOFire blog.
I started out daily, and shortly thereafter realized that not only was my 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 found that my posts got MUCH more engagement, and the quality of my writing was a lot better.
You can check out how I announced this change to our audience as an example.
So remember, being consistent is very important in building trust, loyalty, momentum and getting that engagement going. This is what will help spark your business growth.
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.
Consistency – check! What’s next?
Well, I’m excited that you’re fired up about our next stop, because so am I!
Keeping in line with our theme of growing our audience, let’s take a look at 5 ways you can start building your email list.