Consistency is probably one of, if not the most important aspects to running a business. I’m not just talking about marketing here; I’m talking about how you show up online, your messaging, your self-care, and your sales. Consistency is really one of the most important aspects and habits that you can cultivate as an entrepreneur. That is why I spend a lot of my time reading books about productivity, habit creation, and how to transform so that you can be more consistent.
However, I often find that it’s one of the most undervalued, underestimated, and first things that people give up on. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Well, I’ve been posting on social media for 30 days, and I haven’t gotten results yet!”
When I talk about consistency, I’m talking about committing to something for six months, or a year. Consistency over time has a compounding effect that ultimately creates your trajectory for success. The problem is, most people have this expectation around consistency in results that is completely unrealistic. I’ve had conversations with people, especially about marketing, where they’ve had the expectation that after posting for seven days, they would see sales.
Generally, though, people’s expectations are around 30 to 90 days. Yes, you can see results in that timespan if you make it a habit where you are establishing some level of consistency. When you think about it, in the way in which people frame consistency in marketing, and you think of it from the perspective of going to the gym, if you were to say, “Oh, yeah, I went to the gym for 30 days and I lost 30 pounds”, most people will tell you that you’re crazy. For the vast majority of people, that’s not realistic.
Consistency in business
So when we think about consistency in business, when it comes to sales, marketing, or social media, we have this warped sense of expectations and results. I want to truly challenge you to think about your relationship with consistency and with your business. If you have said “I’m doing this thing, but it’s just not working”, ask yourself
- How consistent have you been?
- Are you being strategic with whatever it is that you’re doing OR are you doing it to simply check off a box?
- Is this something you’ve been consistent with 90% of the time over the last six months or a year?
The vast majority of people that I speak to can’t answer yes to those questions.
What is consistency for you?
When I think of consistency, I think of consistency through the lens of over the past year. Am I perfect? No. Do I beat myself up when I miss a day or I’m not as consistent as I’d like to be? No. I simply start being consistent again.
Let me give you an example of my YouTube videos. I started doing YouTube videos in 2019 and for the better part of the last year, I have questioned myself if this is the right avenue for growing my business. It wasn’t until the last four months of 2020 that I started seeing tangible results from YouTube.
Why do I share this? Because I’ve created over 100 YouTube videos! You would think that by the time you’ve created 100 YouTube videos, you’d be able to see some semblance of results. The fact of the matter is, it takes time to really establish this as part of who you are and as part of your habits and your routine.
Then there is a period of time where you have to actually make it your own. You have to get your voice to come alive, be truly authentic, and you have to find your space in whatever that habit or practice is.
And finally, you have to let, in this particular example, YouTube, have the time to do its thing. YouTube’s a search engine and it takes time for stuff to show up in a search engine.
Don’t give up too early – Give it time!
Many people will just give up. They give up on something that they’re trying to establish as a habit or a practice, before they’ve even given that consistency enough time to even be successful.
I can’t even tell you how many times in my agency, we’ve worked with a client for three or six months, and they would sell a $10,000 or $15,000 product, and say, “Oh, we’ve been doing this for three months and we haven’t gotten any sales. It’s not working, we’re just going to stop.”
That is being short sighted. You’ve gotten new emails on your list and you’ve had new followers. Most people don’t make a $10,000 or $15,000 buying decision that quickly. You have to establish trust and show value and build a relationship.
Especially in the lens of business, establishing habits and practices, we give up before we give ourselves a chance to be successful.
A consistency challenge
I want to challenge you to make a commitment to being consistent over time, despite the results that you’re getting. I don’t want you to pick 10 different things to be consistent with.
I want you to pick only one thing. Then I want you to commit to it for the next year. It’s in that commitment to that one thing that you’re doing over time, that you will then begin to see the results you’re hoping for.
When you’re thinking about what this habit is I want you to cultivate, you have to understand that in many instances, you’re starting out as a beginner, and to become an intermediate or an expert, it takes time.
I want to reframe your thinking around results and consistency. I want you to think about this as part of something that is for the greater good in your one-year, five-year, 10-year plan, versus thinking of it as something that is going to quickly, miraculously create results immediately.
When you start to shift that thinking and shift your relationship with consistency, it really changes the way in which you show up.
Trends come and go
In the 18 years that I have been working in the online space, I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go. Yes, you can hop on the trend train, and you might get results. But it’s typically only 1% or 2% who do see them. They just happen to get lucky and jump on something at the right time.
Think about how you can pick something. Pick a practice that you’re willing to commit to for the next year and get consistent. Whatever it is, I want you to write it down and I want you to pick one thing and decide with what frequency you want to do it and stick to it. I would contend over the course of the year, not only are you going to improve, but your relationship with it is going to improve, the way in which you show up is going to change and you will become more authentic over time with that practice.
That is where your results will happen!
If you’d like some accountability in this challenge, come join me inside the Making Marketing Simple for Entrepreneurs with Jamie Palmer group and share what practice you are going to commit to getting consistent with over the next year.
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