Show up. Build. Create. Repeat.
Since we focus our own business efforts on audience builders, we primarily work with clients who are continuously working to create great content. It's not easy to produce new and innovative ways to capture the attention of your audience on a consistent basis.
It's especially difficult early on when the hard work has not yet paid off. Initially, it feels like you have taken two baby steps forward, followed by five giant steps back. You may not know yet exactly where you fit. You're still building trust. You're in the process.
Keep showing up. Keep building. Keep creating.
Do the hard work. Come to the table every day, working on content and building relationships.
It's in your dogged persistence that your message becomes clear and you can confidently narrow your audience down. Each experience gives you more information about which content resonates. Before you know it, you will see the fruits of your labor.
So what is the secret to dogged persistence?
1. Set goals. Review regularly.
Goals run the gamut of helpfulness for different personality types. From the Type A personality who naturally gravitates toward structure and goals to the free spirit who may need help focusing on the next step.
Goals are easy for some, harder for others. But goals matter.
In an interview with Joe Pulizzi on goal setting, Pulizzi talks about the need for figuring out personal, spiritual, and family goals first because building an online business requires sacrifice. So you've got to have the big picture in perspective before getting started.
“Goals run the gamut of helpfulness for different personality types. From the Type A personality who naturally gravitates toward structure and goals to the free spirit who may need help focusing on the next step."
In his book, Content Inc., Pulizzi lays out six goal areas:
From this list, Pulizzi says to write two actionable goals with specific numbers and timetables.
As an example, a mental goal could be to read one fiction and one business book per month. It's actionable: there's nothing ambiguous about this example—you're committing to reading two books. It's time bound—your reading will happen over the course of each month. Since it is actionable and time bound, it is also measurable.
Keep your goals in a notebook that you keep with you. It's key to review these goals on a regular basis. I review mine daily.
2. Now, Decide if You're Working on the Right Tasks
I can be a great procrastinator under the guise of "entrepreneur hard-at-work." My procrastination looks like this, "Let's create a new process." Or, "Let's launch a new product."
I feel productive when I'm working on the above tasks, but, right now, those things aren't moving me toward my goals.
Since you're keeping your goals nearby, make them the filter through which you decide what tasks to do next, asking yourself the question:
Does this task move me forward in my goals?
3. Find a Motivator Who Will Support You in Achieving Your Goals
Do what is necessary to learn, grow, and stay motivated to accomplish your goals. Sometimes reviewing your goal is not enough. You need new ideas or an infusion of enthusiasm, or encouragement from someone who has done this work longer.
Make sure you find multiple supporters and role models you can turn to for motivation and encouragement. Your personal community of people is a good source; just make sure you spread the wealth so that no one person carries the whole load.
Here are additional potential sources of motivation:
- Subscribe to podcasts or YouTube channels devoted to the marketing craft you are looking to learn and grow.
- Find a business coach, online or off. You can do this much cheaper through online options that offer training plus a Facebook group for ongoing support.
- Take advantage of other business groups on Facebook where people share wisdom, insights, and encouragement with one another. In my experience, the best groups require a small cost—usually a monthly subscription. It's worth it to get to the people who are serious about their business and goals.
- Find ways to get involved in your city. There are likely more resources than you realize right around you.
As the wise person once said, 95% of the success in any endeavor is found in showing up. You don't have to be the most talented or best qualified—being there is key.
Keep showing up. Keep doing the work.
Don't give up!
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