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Routine is good. You might not realize it, but many of your favorite things are predictable. What do you look forward to? Whether it’s football on Monday night, Taco Tuesday, Friday Happy Hour, or family dinners on Sunday, you plan your week around regular events. You work hard to get to those special moments and hours. You rely on them to be there for you.
When they don’t happen, you’re twice as disappointed as you would have been happy. You have to work late and miss the game? You show up at the pub and none of your friends made it? You’re out of town for mom’s rack of lamb? You’re crushed. Life sucks.
You provide fun and informative content you want your audience to rely on and look forward to, right? You need to be consistent. Be one of the things they look forward to. Become part of their routine and never disappoint them.
Image via Flickr by jronaldlee
What content do you consume routinely? Television shows are an obvious choice. What if your favorite show aired randomly and sometimes skipped a week? You’d no longer bother with it.
When eating breakfast, do you go to the same webpage daily, expecting new material? Do you listen to the same podcast while commuting? What if they weren’t there for you one day? You’d find something new. “Just this once,” you’d say, but you might form a new habit.
You want to be a reliable provider, source, brand, product, or whatever. You need to be there for your audience and customers.
When you post is important, but so is what you post. You need to know two people: you and them.
You know yourself, but the face, voice, and character you project is not you. It is the version you want them to see. What does your brand stand for? What are your values? What is your personality? You should already have established this. If not, build a character profile for the face of your brand. Refer to it before creating content.
Now, to whom are you broadcasting? Who is your essential audience member? Create another profile for the person you are selling or speaking to, right down to age, gender, job, family, pets, and politics. Remember this every time you post.
Producing content regularly is a big job. You will rely on a team, but it should never appear that a diverse crowd of random folks is creating a disjointed scattering of noise. Everyone has a clear image of who the company is and to whom you are communicating.
Image via Flickr by cinz
The easiest way to be inconsistent is to make today’s content today. Even yesterday is not soon enough. Things happen. Emergencies pop up. Soon you’ll be days behind.
Once you become several days late, you feel you owe your audience something extra. Now today’s content must be bigger and better. This is a spiral that ends with an apology. “I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last post…”
You need to look at next month as a whole unit. Plan the entire thing and delegate. Check on your team’s progress, set deadlines, and make sure they’re met.
Does this feel like a monster task? Start with one day. What’s your day, anyway?
If you’re a leisure brand, maybe it’s Friday afternoon. Celebrate that everyone made it to the weekend together. Now let’s party, barbecue, hike, or whatever your weekend thing is.
Do you provide services to offices? Maybe Monday is your day. Your audience arrives, looks at their workload, and is intimidated. You slide in and show them how they can conquer this week.
Produce a big piece for your big day. Then add complementary content to the rest of the week. Once you’ve built one week, make three more and you have a month. Boom.
Don’t forget to consider holidays and other important landmarks on the calendar.
Remember, your content is your audition. It is your first contact with potential customers. You are showing them what it will be like to work with you. Put your best foot forward, or it will be the only foot you’ll ever get to show.
Don’t invite a date back to your messy apartment and tell them: “Oh, I’ll clean it up once we’re married.” They already know your nature. It’s not going to happen.
You may think your job is to sell product and provide service. That’s what feeds the bank account, but your first job is to market consistently. Treat every post like it’s for your best client. Be polished and punctual.
Don’t forget, your content is not only a broadcast. It’s a fishing line. Bait with no hook will leave your stringer empty. Every post should include a way for them to reach back. Give them a portal to connect via email or social media sites. Build an email list and routinely send the list your best content.
Perhaps that’s elementary, but also give them a reason to reach back. Ask questions. Incite feedback. Start a conversation. Don’t be an expert all the time. Admit weakness or ignorance and solicit help from your audience. After all, they’re awesome people, aren’t they? Empower them. They have much to contribute to the dialogue.
Sure, the humans will respond to your consistency, but what about the machines? Frequent posts rich in keywords will build your online presence. Search engines love consistency. A steady, persistent flow of content proves to the search monsters that your site is for real and of high quality. Knowing this, it will readily recommend you to searchers.
The web is full of intermittent bursts of light. If the search engines think you are only a flash, they will ignore you.
Don’t be sporadic with your content. Be reliable and professional. Search engines will like you. Your audience will rely on you. Your customers will trust you.
You’ll be as steady and profitable as the evening news.