We all have good intentions to be consistent in our output. You know that to successfully build and grow your audience, you have to be consistently providing valuable content to your audience.
We all want to be at that finish line – in the position of having achieved success in growing our audience But to success begins by taking action.
As Lauren Hooker from Elle & Company said in her recent newsletter:
If there’s one overarching lesson I’ve learned during this season of business, it’s been that success starts by taking action. Broad business theories sound great and can be helpful from time to time, but you can’t profit from ideas unless you act on them.
You need to turn your intentions into actions.
Don’t intend to write a blog post – just do it. Don’t intend to create a case study for your recent client project – just do it. Make it part of your process. Make it so ingrained in your process that you don’t even consider doing it, you just do it.
You do it by showing up every day.
Schedule and put aside some daily time to focus on you and your mission. You may be doing client work during the day or working at your day job, but even at the end of a long day you have to make time for your business.
Not for your clients or your employer, but your business.
Showing up every day is not an intention. It’s an action. It’s requires your effort, commitment, dedication and patience.
Even if you only show up for five minutes that day, that’s five minutes more than millions or even billions of other people, who only ever show up for their employer – never for themselves.
Showing up everyday starts with a Plan
Now that you know you should be showing up every day, how do you achieve it?
Commit to regular content
People don’t like change – they value consistency in their lives.
They like knowing that the Postman comes at 4pm and the trash gets collected on Thursdays. People appreciate the comfort of being able to predict what’s going to happen and not being caught off guard. It allows them to plan their lives around it, make time for it and prepare.
We take comfort in knowing two things: what to expect and when to expect it.
To help provide consistent output – commit to regular content.
The best content output to begin committing to is weekly. People’s lives work in weekly cycles. On Monday’s they go to the gym, on Tuesday they take their child to swimming lessons, and so on. Working your way into people’s weekly cycles is the best place to be as they’ll remember you, anticipate your content and look forward to more.
People will start to notice your regular content output and show up for it. Don’t disappoint these loyal members of your audience.
Don’t expect quick results
No one is going to notice your output in the first year. You may have friends and family engaging with you, but no one else. Why? You haven’t been consistent long enough yet.
People trust the others who commit and show up for a consecutive period of time. If the postman only arrived at 4pm one time, there’s no reason for us to expect he’ll show up at 4pm again next time. It’s only once he starts showing up at 4pm every day that we take notice and rely on that fact.
Look at Charli Marie who hasn’t missed a weekly video upload in 2 and a half years, or Paul Jarvis who sends an email to his audience every Sunday. These are people who have been showing up every day for years and never missed a day.
We are far more likely to sign up to a blog that’s been going for a couple of years and holds pages and pages of consistent, valuable content, than a blog where the blogger showed up a few months ago, wrote a couple posts and then went radio silent.
You need to start thinking of your future audience. Two years from now, someone is going to stumble upon your content for the first time. What impression do you want to leave them to have?
Start working now towards putting yourself in the position where this person who’s stumbled across your content for the first time will have an abundance of resources and value to consume.
They’ll be able to scroll endlessly and see the evidence of consistency and be much more likely to sign up or take notice of what you’re doing. This future visitor will position you not only as someone who knows what they’re talking about, but someone who they can trust and rely on to continue providing them with valuable content.
This build loyalty.
Schedule in advance
As much as we like to think we can control it, life is an unpredictable series of events. You can’t predict now, how you might feel or what might happen tomorrow or next week.
To ensure that you’re meeting your deadlines, creating content now for the future is a great way to schedule your output.
Having a small buffer lets you create and schedule content in advance. Writing a blog post on the day that it’s due to be published can be risky and also cause you to rush. You need to respect the value of the content you’re producing and give it the opportunity to reach it’s full potential.
Writing a blog post a week in advance will be a more efficient way to help manage your time and give you a bit of extra flexibility on the day of publish. This also leaves you time for drafting, proofing and revisions to your post over the course of a few days. A fresh mind and break between writing sprints always bring extra clarity.
Scheduling content means you’ll always have content to provide, even on a day where you’re too sick or something personal stops you from being able to show up that day.
The key to scheduling effectively is to not plan too far ahead. You want to ensure that your content stays recent and relevant to make sure you’re creating engaging content.
Writing about events that happened today but not publishing it until a month from now isn’t going to have anywhere near as much impact as it would have if you published it today.
Having good intentions to show up everyday isn’t enough – you need to be taking action. A great way to encourage yourself to take daily action is to make yourself accountable to your audience.
Don’t’ take the risk of skipping one day, only for that to snowball into not showing up again and again to the point where you’ve lost the consistency in your output and your audience starts dropping off.
Find an accountability partner. This could be a friend who has similar goals of consistent output. Having an accountability partner can be a great way to get that final push of encouragement from them when you’re having doubts. Finding accountability can be the difference in showing up and skipping a day.
If you don’t have someone to be an accountability partner for you, make it your audience instead.
Commit publicly and openly to them the weekly scheduled output that you’ll be providing. Publishing your schedule may even be a good way to encourage people to start taking notice in what you do as they can see upfront when and what value they’ll be getting at which points in the week.
Showing up every day is a challenge but the best way to grow your audience and be known for what you do.
While showing up everyday is an ambitious goal, it’s ok to take occasional scheduled sabbaticals or breaks. Everyone needs time to refuel and recharge.
Try working towards a position where you have enough content to take those breaks and still be providing daily value.