Hey! Good morning, afternoon, evening depending on when you’re listening to this. Welcome back to a brand new episode of the Brand, Market, Flourish podcast. I’m slowly but surely starting to get into a routine with recording this podcast and I’m now able to map out how long it will take me which is great!
The past two episodes have been focused around creating first a marketing plan and then a content plan for your business. Creating a plan is great! In fact, it’s a must. But then you need to take action on that plan and maintain your consistency and that’s exactly what I want to talk to you about in this episode today.
So if you struggle with staying on top of your own marketing, finding the time to market your business and also being consistent with your business and your marketing, then keep listening because I’ve created this episode especially for you.
Listen to this episode
Why consistency is important in business
Before I provide some tips on how you can stay consistent when marketing your business, I first of all want to talk about why consistency is important in business.
Just like anything, consistency in business is important to the growth of your business. The more consistent you are with taking action, the more consistency you will see in your results.
Let’s look at a non business example.
Say you have set yourself a goal to run a marathon. You’ve signed up and committed yourself but you’ve never actually run a marathon before. You run regularly but it’s usually no more than 5k a couple of times a week. So how do you work your way up to your goal of running a marathon?
You create a plan for increasing your distance over time and you stick to it. There’s two things here that I want to point out – creating a plan and sticking to it.
It’s no use creating a plan and then not actually taking action on it. And it’s also no use flying by the seat of your pants and hoping things will just turn out for the best.
If you want to do something and you want to do it well, then a plan needs to be had, especially when it comes to meeting goals in both your life and your business.
Let’s talk about what showing up consistently can do for you and your business…
- Helps your audience keep you at the forefront of their mind
- Builds trust with your audience
- Shows your audience you are invested in their growth
- Let’s them know what they can expect and when
- Makes it easier for new audiences to binge your content and get to know you quickly
- Create a consistent stream of leads and sales
As you can see, consistency really is important in business. So now I’ve covered why it’s so important to be consistent, let’s look at some tips on how you can be consistent.
1. Ensure your messaging is clear
The first step to ensuring consistency in your brand is by truly understanding your brand messaging so that you can communicate it effectively throughout your content.
Have you ever dated someone and felt like they were giving you mixed messages? One day it seems like they were fully into you and you’re talking about the future together and then the next, it feels like you’re not on the same page. Yep, mixed messages aren’t fun in relationships and it’s also not the key to a successful relationship either. But I’m not here to talk to you about relationships, I’m here to talk to you about business.
An unclear message means an unclear audience and if your audience isn’t clear on what you do, who you work with and how you can help them, then it’s highly unlikely that they are going to want to work with you.
So, how can you get clear on your messaging?
Messaging is part of the brand strategy process and there are different pieces that play a part in your messaging. The first is having complete clarity on who you want to work with. Who is it that is a dream client for your business? What is the transformation that these clients are looking for? What is stopping them from reaching this transformation? Your goal with understanding your ideal client is to get inside their head. You want to be able to speak to their emotions and from this, create and provide a solution that will help them.
Depending on what stage of business you’re at, it’s okay to have more than one ideal client profile as long as they aren’t too different. If you’re new to business then you’ll want to stick to one ideal client. This means that you can create a solution for this one person and then create a plan focused around this. Sticking to one ideal client and one offer when you’re new in business makes it much easier to effectively communicate what it is that you do, who for and how you can help.
Once you’ve been in business for a little while and you’ve started building an audience, seeing a regular stream of leads and sales, you can then look to expand into other offers and ideal clients. Usually you’ll find that your ideal client is the same person just at different stages of their life and business.
Once you’re clear on who you want to work with and how you can help them, the next step is to identify your brand’s voice and personality. Is your brand formal and serious? Perhaps it’s fun loving and outgoing? The personality of your brand and the voice that you use for your brand will help attract the types of people that you want to work with. It’s also good to ensure that it matches your own personality, especially at the beginning when you are your brand.
Brand messaging can be as simple or as complicated as you make it but my advice is to keep it simple. Keep it clear, simple and consistent and it’s hard to go wrong.
2. Make a plan to show up
Now, if you’ve been around these parts for a while, you’ll know that I love a plan. I’m a brand and marketing strategist after all. I help online business owners to create a brand and marketing strategy around their business goals. This brand and marketing strategy provides complete clarity and after which I support my clients in creating a marketing and content plan so that they can show up, take action, impact others and reach their goals.
Creating a plan is key to being consistent throughout your business and your marketing. But creating a plan and not actually sticking to it is pointless. In order to be consistent in your business and see consistent results, you need to dedicate the time to action your plan and see it through. This is the most common downfall I see – life gets in the way or client work takes over. The key here is to make the time. Just as you make the time for client work, you need to make the time for working on your own business. After all, no one wants to be stuck in the feast and famine cycle of clients > no clients – best start marketing > clients > no clients – best start marketing.
Here are some ways that you can ensure that you create a plan that you’re going to stick to.
1. Set a realistic schedule
There’s no point in saying you’re going to post every day on Instagram, blog once a week or send an email to your list twice weekly if you don’t have the time to do this. Being consistent doesn’t mean needing to show up everywhere, every day. It means choosing how often you plan on showing up and sticking to it. It’s best to start small and then you can gradually add more days or platforms as you feel more confident.
It’s best to ignore the content out there telling you that you need to post to your Instagram feed five times a day AND post three reels a week AND add 50 new pins to your Pinterest account daily AND post a new blog post or podcast episode every week. It’s much better to do what you can realistically do consistently rather than do three blog posts and then not do one again for months because it all got too much.
2. Batch create your content
Batching content is the key to staying on track with your plan and being consistent. You get to decide how much content you batch at once. If more than a week’s worth of content feels overwhelming to you then batch a week’s worth of content at a time. If you’re comfortable with doing more, then do more. Can you see a pattern here? It’s about finding what works for you and then sticking to it.
3. Break your plan down into smaller action steps
Plans can seem overwhelming at first because they are very much focused on the bigger picture and not what’s really involved in hitting each goal or to complete each task. I recommend breaking your plan down into smaller tasks so that you know exactly what you need to do and you can take smaller steps to meeting a bigger goal.
4. Create processes and systems
Processes and systems can be time consuming to set up but I promise you they will save you time in the long run. It can be as simple as having a checklist that you reference each time you create a blog post or record a podcast episode to adding everything into a project management system with date reminders. The key is knowing exactly what you need to do and when and to ensure you don’t miss any steps.
Everything I’ve mentioned here may seem simple but when it comes to actually doing the work, it’s not. It’s so easy to get stuck in the planning phase and not take action. It’s easy to take action and then stop suddenly because you’ve made it too hard for yourself. It’s about building habits, structure and routines.
I talk more about creating a plan in episodes 6 and 7 of this podcast so I won’t repeat myself about what actually goes into the planning stage as there is a lot of goodness in those episodes. If you haven’t already, go back and give those episodes a listen.
3. Maintain brand consistency
Consistency isn’t just around showing up. It’s around how you show up. You want to ensure that your brand visuals are consistent.
Showing up with graphics that use different colours and fonts each time isn’t going to give off a good brand experience to your audience. This is why your brand identity is an important part of how you show up with your brand.
1. Develop brand guidelines
The first way to ensure consistency with your brand visuals is to have clear brand guidelines. Even if you’re just starting out in business, brand guidelines are a good thing to have in your toolbox. It doesn’t need to be an extensive or complicated document, especially if you are just starting out. But by clearly setting out the colours, fonts and logos that you associate with your brand, this ensures that your brand visuals are consistent and that if you have team members, they are on board with what needs to be used to maintain that consistency.
2. Create a bank of templates
There’s nothing worse than sitting down to map out your Instagram feed or create graphics for Pinterest and starting from scratch every time. Not only is it not a productive use of your time, it’s also a sure fire way to… you guessed it… ensure your brand isn’t being consistent.
By creating a set of templates that you can use over and over again, you’re saving time and helping to build a consistent brand visual experience.
4. Get support and accountability
My last tip for being consistent in your business and marketing is to have a person or persons who is going to provide support and accountability.
We weren’t meant to run businesses all by ourselves. Even if you don’t have plans to create a huge business or manage a large team, it’s important to have outside input in your business. External perspective and advice can be extremely powerful. Let’s take a recent example – I’ve just invested in a high-level 12-month mastermind. I invested because I’m at the stage in my business where I can feel that I’m reaching a new point of growth. I wanted support, guidance and accountability from someone who is further ahead than me in business but also from women who are all heading towards a similar vision and goal. By being a part of this mastermind, I’m hoping it will provide external perspective as well as empowerment and inspiration from the other ladies in the group. I’m also in it for the accountability. I know that if I’m not showing up then it’s going to get noticed.
Let’s look at another example – this podcast. I have someone who helps with the podcast every month. Every time an episode is recorded and before it goes live, they have set tasks that they need to complete. If I don’t record this episode when I say I’m going to then some weeks it might not get done. Especially at the beginning like this where I’m still finding my flow with it all and adjusting to a new schedule.
Now I’m not saying that you need to join a mastermind or hire a team member for everything that you do. These are just two of my own examples.
What I am saying is that you should find someone who is going to support you. Find someone who is going to hold you accountable. If you’re in the early stages of business then this can be an accountability partner which doesn’t have to cost anything.
If you’re at a growth stage in your business or your business is heading in a new direction then a form of paid support and accountability such as a 1:1 coach or a mastermind is a worthwhile investment.
So there we have it, why consistency is important in business and my four tips on how to stay consistent when marketing your business. As always, I really hope you’ve found these tips useful and that you’ll take them and apply them to your own business.
I’ll be back in two weeks with a brand new episode!