I’m three weeks into an eight-week running program – clearly I’m no expert, nor will I be entering a marathon anytime soon but today, I learned a valuable lesson.
On Saturday I skipped a run. No big deal you might say, but to me, it turned out, it really was a big deal. I’d previously tried to start new training routines, but within a few weeks, it would be the same old story… My inner chatter would subtly start telling me that staying at home was far more inviting, or that I was too tired to run, or that I could do it tomorrow until eventually, I’d give in and stop! Routine broken, training ended.
Despite my previous attempts, this time I was determined that it would be different. I just needed to approach it differently. You see, this new running program – one that I was motivated and enthusiastic about, was going to take commitment and consistency, but for the first time, I had a goal in mind and with every training session, I’d be able to keep moving towards my goals, slowly but surely.
CONSISTENCY AND COMMITMENT: THE KEY INGREDIENTS FOR MAKING YOUR GOALS A REALITY
I wasn’t used to running regularly and so it wasn’t long before my mind began to tell me that I really didn’t need to go out again and on Saturday, I gave in and decided not to do my morning run. As a result, I got out of routine, today’s run was twice as hard and most of all I had little motivation to do it. I felt as if I was starting again and more importantly, I started to notice that I was questioning whether or not I was really able to achieve this goal at all.
Now ordinarily, one day off would’ve quickly turned into 3 days, into a week… you get the picture. This time, it was different. I was committed, I had a goal and I knew the signs that signalled I was resisting getting there. From my work, I know only too well that consistency is king, so I focused on the goal I had set for myself, remembering why I wanted to achieve it and why that meant I had to go out today and to find a way this week to make up for the missed run, so I stayed on track.
WHEN YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WANT, BUT DON’T HAVE A PLAN
This experience got me thinking: So often we have a similar pattern when we’re marketing our businesses. We have a goal, but we don’t set out a clear and realistic plan for working towards it.
If you own a small business, you’re likely to be responsible for creating your content and posting it. With so much else to do in your business, any form of marketing can become an inconvenience or a chore and with no set plan, it can feel overwhelming.
This is especially applicable when trying to be consistent with social media marketing, as they can be a lot to do. Without a plan, it’s easy to lose motivation, to get distracted and to procrastinate over where exactly to start. In the end, this all adds up to the strong likelihood of not achieving your goals.
So what happens when marketing is inconsistent?
Lost momentum. People don’t who you are, or why they should be talking to you. Lack of trust and rapport. Lack of engaged audience… the list goes on. I could preach all day long about the importance of regular, consistent communication but I’m pretty sure you already know it’s important!
WHY AREN’T YOU BEING CONSISTENT WITH SOCIAL MEDIA?
It can be all too easy to blame external factors for why your marketing isn’t working. Although actually, it’s likely that you’ve set yourself up to fail by being unrealistic, inconsistent or failing to plan. And that’s ok! With so many moving parts to running a small business, it’s natural for some parts to be stronger than others.
However, if you truly want to start seeing success, you need to be consistent with your social media marketing. Like my running dilemma – you have to make a choice, to plan where you’re going, to set goals and most importantly of all, be consistent in executing your plan!
This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be incessantly posting on social media every day. However, it does mean thinking through the options and creating a plan that works for you and your business. And allows you to keep yourself on track and your audience to know what to expect from you.
MAKING A PLAN
Take some time to think about:
- Your ‘Why’ and how you can deliver real value to your audience.
- Goals for delivering ‘said’ value and alongside this, the potential return – this may not be revenue, it could be a simple as building a list of engaged people that you can communicate with on a regular basis!
- The best platform(s) for getting in front of your target audience. The must-haves and the nice-to-haves. For example, if 70% of your audience is on Facebook, then Facebook will be a must-have for your core marketing activity.
- How often you want to (and can realistically) communicate? Daily, weekly – the frequency is less important, the consistency is key here.
Once you’re able to answer these questions, you’ll be a huge step closer to creating a plan that can be consistently implemented, without absorbing vast amounts of your time. What’s more, with a clear focus and direction in mind, you’ll also be taking inspired action towards achieving your financial goals.
HOW TO BE MORE CONSISTENT WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
Use the questions above, to help you decide what to post and when. With some prior planning and an eye on why you’re doing what you’re doing, you’ll be surprised how well you can stay on track and delight your tribe!
Right, consistency is calling – I’m off for a run….