The age old conversation over what consistency is and what it looks like for everyone can be tiresome and overwhelming. But, we have to have it.
Recently, I was contacted by a client, who wants more social media coverage. I said, "Okay, we can definitely do that. Let's start with your content."
She in turn said "alright", and we were off to a good start, until we began discussing how often she would need to post. When building your brand, and really trying to get it to take off, you need to give yourself room to watch how your engagement moves, and sometimes, that can only happen through trial and error. My first piece of advice was to post every 2-3 hours, each day. Weekends excluded, because come on... it's the weekend. Her response was a very, long, excuse-filled piece of shit.
"I work a job."
"I have kids."
"I hate social media."
"People act like they don't see me."
"Nobody engages with my posts."
"Nobody likes my pictures."
"I share everybody else's stuff, and nobody ever shares mine."
I wanted to tell her to stfu, but instead, I broke it down to her like this :
We live in a digital age. Everything we do, whether we want to or not, comes through social media, even if we didn't put it there ourselves. It would be very difficult, for an author to push paperbacks out of their trunk ONLY in this day and age. That's not to say using social media isn't hard, because between trends, personality issues, popularity vs talent, drama, and everything else, the internet and social media can both be draining.
But, if you're selling a digital product, how are you going to digitally get it in front of others if not for the internet and/or social media?
She then went on to say that she "gets on social media and gets off". Okay, I'm here for handling your business and going on about your way, but you don't have engagement because you're not encouraging people to do so. You don't have engagement because you post something on Monday and then nobody sees you again until next month. Your target audience has no clue who you are because they're demanding a certain level of consistency. Even worse, the people on your friends list find it easy to forget you because you haven't posted anything in so long, or anything that was memorable.
I say all of that to say this; if you're an e-book seller, and I don't care what type of e-books they are, you've got to become a part of the digital age and go where the readers are, which is on social media. You have to post things they want to read about, things they want to engage with. Now, that doesn't mean you'll get 1,000 likes every post, but it does mean that you can at least start and tweak your process and build as you go.
Now, consistency doesn't look the same for everyone. For one person, consistency might look like posting on their account every few days or once a week, but if you're not going to be consistent, then why are you doing it?
As an author, consistency is so important, and you're the only one in control of that consistency. For example, consistency as an author for you might look like you releasing a book twice a month, while it might look like every three months for other people. I hate to use this word, but "consistency" and what it looks like for you, has a lot to do with your brand. Your brand should dictate your level of consistency. Your target audience can dictate your level of consistency. It's the exact reason why when you release a book on January 1st, your target audience might begin hounding you January 5th for another book or part two, if they're used to it, whether it be from you or other authors in that same genre.
Switching consistency levels can tremendously effect the flow of everything you've got going on, so be careful how you choose to define consistency in your brand. Whether you release every month, only post once a month, make sure you provide quality to your customers/clientele base. They're counting on you to consistently deliver messages that are worth their time, whether it be through your books or through social media.
Imagine trying to save money, but every time you get some money, you spend it? The only thing you're consistently doing is spending--not saving or putting yourself in a position to save. Here are a few tips for building consistency:
Make realistic goals that are easy for you to reach. Once you've reached your first set of goals, consistently, make another set of goals and strive toward them.
Keep the momentum. This is why it's important to set realistic goals for yourself because you need to be able to keep up the motivation. Anything too "different" or "too hard" too fast, might send you spiraling.
Praise yourself/give yourself incentives. If reaching your goals is important, reward yourself when you reach a milestone. Your milestones can be anything from consistently posting for a week, to releasing in the timeframe you wanted to. Positive reinforcement isn't just for children. <3
Don't let the fear of the unknown get in your way. Face your fears head on.
Get an accountability partner. And be clear, the only type of person who can hold you accountable is a person who's already accountable themselves.
Thanks for reading! Leave comments/questions, and describe your experience with consistency in the comments section! We'd love to hear from you.
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