Marketing is all about being consistent.
It’s about showing up.
Every day. Every other day. Every week.
It’s about building trust with your audience. And to do that, it starts with being consistent.
The definition of consistency as found in the Merriam Webster Dictionary is “Showing steady conformity to character, profession, belief, or custom.”
That’s right folks, slow and steady does win the race.
Marketing isn’t about being first.
Marketing is about building trust with your potential clients. To do that you need to show up every day in your marketing. That consistency helps you achieve long-term success.
It’s about being disciplined and reliable.
It’s about showing up and putting yourself out there.
It sounds so easy, right?
I have found in the past that I have struggled with being consistent on things that matter. Not sticking to my goal because something else comes up. It was easy to find an excuse.
I find the same struggle with my clients. They start off marketing their new business with gusto, but when their business isn’t taking off like they think it should, they start to question themselves. They skip a post or two or stop networking with potential clients. All of a sudden they have stopped marketing or putting themselves out there. They stopped creating value.
But consistently showing up in your business and your marketing can be a game changer.
Being consistent in your marketing helps to shape your identity. It helps shape who you’re being to your client. Your brand.
So, who are you being?
Are you willing to fail at something at first on your journey to be amazing?
Be honest with yourself. Because it does take discipline.
Embracing discipline is the very secret to your freedom and to your success.
To create more discipline, set expectations and rules for yourself ahead of time, and then honor those rules. When you do this, you don’t have to use willpower or restraint. The more you set up all your decisions ahead of time, the less reactive you’ll be in the moment.
For instance, my minimum baseline for posting on social media is every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This is my expectation for myself. If I have extra time or I want to post more that week, that’s great but it’s not required. I will always show up on these days. It takes out the willpower or confusion because I made this decision ahead of time.
Making a decision, following through with it, and being consistent allows us to build a body of work that we can feel proud of and that our clients can trust.
When you make a commitment 100%, no matter what, and then you honour that commitment to yourself by not giving yourself the option to quit, you gain true discipline. That’s what you need to show up and be consistent.
When we work to become consistent at the things that matter to us, we learn how to be in it for the long haul. We learn to accept the “messy middle” and work on showing up every day (even if it’s not perfect).
We just show up. We’re just consistent and steady.
And we keep trying and putting ourselves out there. Even when it’s not perfect.
When you honour your own decisions, you get better at it.
The decision to be consistent and show up for your customers. It’s important. It’s what builds long lasting relationships. It’s what creates success.
And they are waiting.
Constraining your business is key to success.
But the truth is, not many solopreneurs want to apply constraint to what they do.
When I googled the definition of constraint, I got: “Constraint is a limitation or a restriction you put on yourself that simplifies your life.”
The reason this is so important is overwhelm.
Constraint reduces overwhelm because it makes decisions so much easier to make.
I see this all the time with my clients. They are overwhelmed in what they need to do in marketing. They are not sure if they should have a FB page or a FB group or should they do online ads or sponsored content. The list of marketing tactics and different communication channels is endless.
Does that sound familiar?
I totally get it. I have been there my friends.
That’s why you constrain.
And the best marketing and most successful entrepreneurs do just that.
When you constrain your attention to one thing, you can be laser focused and disciplined with your mind.
I have discovered that when I’m focused on one thing, I have more disciplined thinking, and my productivity goes through the roof.
Because constraint helps you eliminate decision fatigue.
You decide ahead of time how you’re going to focus your energy, and you literally don’t have to make as many decisions.
The fewer decisions I have to make, the more willpower and discipline I have for other things (like family time, me time, and lots of books!).
Most of my clients don’t want to constrain in their business.
They want to keep their options open. They are worried they will miss out on something.
And I want to put your mind at ease, it’s human nature. We are hardwired to not miss out on the opportunity.
But keeping your options open is a huge mistake. When we have too many options we don’t have focus and we’re not able to make the impact that we want.
Remember: Constraint is about lessening the decisions you make ahead of time.
When you constrain yourself and make decisions ahead of time, it frees up your mind to focus. That’s when you’re able to tap into your creativity. You can start thinking about how to solve your problems and create what you want.
How can you lessen your decisions ahead of time when it’s your business?
1. Limit the amount of decisions you have to make so it takes less brain power.
Constrain your attention and thoughts (because your brain wants to change your mind). Your brain wants to be efficient.
2. Decisions ahead of time.
Make decisions ahead of time and stick to it! Sticking to these decisions is honouring our commitments to ourselves. The more you do this the more you’re going to create for yourself.
Once you have constrained and committed to that decision ahead of time, now you need to prioritize. Pick 3 items that you’re going to focus on. Understand what it is and why. Then never turn back.
EXAMPLE: Constraining your niche is a great idea. One of things I really teach my clients is to stick to one niche and get as specific as possible. By picking and identifying one customer, you make that decision ahead of time, it takes away the overwhelm when they have to decide what program they will build, what their offer will be and what marketing channels they will select.
Constraint has completely changed the way I do business and has completely changed my life. Focus on one thing at a time.
I want you to challenge you to go after just one thing in your business.
And go all in. But do it with all that you have.
Constraint simplifies your business.
Do you want more customers, more revenue, and more growth? Of course you do, we all do. Then you’ll probably need an excellent marketing strategy. But a strategy without a plan won’t get you far.
One of the most important aspects to growing your business is your marketing strategy. But first, you need an effective marketing plan in place. Having a plan means understanding opportunities for new growth, who your actual customers are versus what you thought, and how to attract and gain new customers. Not to mention, where to best spend future marketing dollars.
The challenge that most companies face is that they fail to create a marketing strategy. No strategy means a future destined for struggle (and maybe failure). Think of it like turning on your GPS without plugging in a final destination. You’re going do a lot of driving but won’t get anywhere.
One could argue (and I may be biased here), that marketing is one of the most important functions of your company and a vital part of your entrepreneurial success. Without marketing your business you can’t attract the right customers. Without attracting the right customers means not generating sales. And no sales means no revenue or profits.
Do you see a pattern here?
Marketing presents a continuous process that every business needs to perform BUT you need a roadmap to get there. That is where a marketing plan comes in.
A marketing plan is a blueprint or roadmap for your organization. It’s short-term in nature, specific in scope, and combines strategies and tactics to get your desired results. Writing a marketing plan is not a simple task. But, once you have one, it will help you and your business with the action steps you need to take in order to attract the right customers.
Here are three key factors that must be in your next marketing plan:
1. Customer are the heart of your plan.
The marketing plan revolves around your customers. Think of the customer as the sun. Your business and the tactics you execute need to be focused around your customer, not your boss or the competition. This is an essential ingredient to your plan. You want to figure out key information about your customer – demographic, geographic, and psychographic characteristics – to begin with. Once you have that outline in place, you can create a buyer’s persona.
The buyer’s persona is a secret weapon used by many successful companies. The buyer’s persona paints a picture about who you’re targeting as it relates to your product and service. The information you gather can make it easier for you to target your marketing and communication efforts, and create loyal customers. It’s often said, “knowledge is power.”
2. Communicate your value.
Yes, communicate your value. But that does not mean communicate your product features or list all your fancy features. You must communicate with your customer or potential customers where they are at and what they want to know. So, ask yourself the following questions: What matters the most to them? How is your product or service going to make their life easier?
It’s so easy to jump into the ‘what’ of your product and much harder to capture the “why” (as said by the very brilliant Simon Sinek).
When you’re positioning your product or service, your selling a concept that motivates a purchase. The position statement needs to clearly articulate your value and identify how you want your company or product to be portrayed in the buyer’s mind. Not to mention, it also helps guide your entire marketing plan. Without it, your marketing strategies and tactics fall flat.
3. Set really, really clear objectives.
Objectives help you stay focused. Really focused.
Objectives help you identify what you’re going to accomplish in a one-year period. If you stay focused, and ensure your objectives are about your customers, you’ll be setting yourself up for success.
“Help your customers and you help your business.” ~ Leo Burnett
The practice of creating objectives is important. You want to set objectives that are qualitative in nature. Remember the SMART principle? Make sure your objectives are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely. This will ensure your entire team knows where you’re going and how you’re getting there. Not to mention, it will keep you accountable to reaching those objectives as you execute your marketing plan.
To achieve this kind of focus, be sure to include your entire team and find other ways that you can create objectives that add value to your customers’ lives. This will also keep your marketing team focused on the real mission of your business.
Get started. Now.
Of course, the first step in ensuring the success of any marketing plan is to get all those ideas down on paper. Bring your team together, facilitate a brainstorm session, do your research, and start with these three simple steps. The rest of the plan will start to fall into place.