And how to beat them so you can build that business NOW
All too often, I see passionate high-achievers start to show up consistently on social media, sharing their business and their message, and just as they’re starting to gain momentum, they disappear…until something reinvigorates them and they reappear with a bang.
And the cycle repeats.
Has this ever happened to you? If so, you’re in good company!
But here’s the problem: Just like quitting the gym for months and losing our cardiovascular fitness or muscle mass, now, we’ve got to start rebuilding that momentum again.
I’ve been there. Earlier in my business, I used to get really gung-ho, and go all-in on [insert shiny strategy/course/teacher full of promises of exponential growth] being the one that would work for my business, show up for it for a period of time, posting in ALL THE PLACES, seeing other people say how they got 5 million clients just from [insert strategy above] wonder why it wasn’t working for me and what was wrong with me, then get discouraged and say “forget it,” and head back to the couch for Netflix, chips & cheese.
It was so frustrating that there were times I almost gave up on my dream business, figuring there was something wrong with me when everyone around me seemed to be succeeding and I was still struggling.
Turns out, it wasn’t a fatal entrepreneurial flaw; it was just a pattern I needed to shift.
Once put the pieces in place to overcome this maddening cycle, I was able to scale my business to 6-figures working part-time, and now, I’m one of the most consistent entrepreneurs in my niche.
I reverse-engineered my success and began working with my clients to help them achieve the same success, overcoming the 4 biggest consistency saboteurs I saw in the online space.
Here are those 4 common problems causing inconsistency with entrepreneurs, and how to reframe your approach,improve your consistency, and increase your income — without burning out.
Problem #1: Online Communities Are Cluttered and Busy
Whether we’re talking about Facebook or LinkedIn groups, or your community of choice, this is absolutely true, but that doesn’t make them an impossible place to get visible. I’d like for you to think about these groups like your favorite local coffee shops.
In your local joint, hundreds of people come in and out every day, stop by for the first or only time, pass through on their way somewhere else. There’s also a smaller group of regulars who show up, start to get recognized, and build relationships. The baristas learn their drink before they order it (Mango India Tea Au Lait with almond milk for me, please!).
They slowly get to know each other, starting with a casual conversation, and building from there if the connection is good. Maybe people who use it as their office, like me, might ask each other, “I see you here a lot. What are you working on?” This might turn into an opportunity to explore each other’s businesses and perhaps a new client or referral. I’ve booked a pay-in-full client this way before!
Last night, I was out writing at my coffee shop, and because I’ve never been there at night before (I usually create in the mornings!), I asked the barista what time they closed. She told me I could stay as late with them as they were cleaning up the store — because she knew me.
The people in your favorite online groups need time and proven consistent visibility from you to know, like and trust you, just like I was invited to stay past closing time with the staff because the barista knew me, liked me and trusted me.
So find an online group where you like the vibe, like you would at a local coffee shop, and start becoming a regular! If you can’t find one, start your own that has the feel you want!
Time, consistency, and familiarity build connections and relationships that lead to long-term, high-paying clients.
Problem #2: Social Media Can Be A Distracting Black Hole
Here’s the thing about your platform of choice — and it doesn’t matter if it’s Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, or the next new thing — consistency is key, but clarity on how to use it is also very key, or else you will likely disappear into the black hole vortex of scrolling and zone out and waste time and get depressed and frustrated.
“Excessive use of social media gradually erodes our attention and shifts it from rewarding activities like expressing our creativity and doing deep work to comparison, envy, and status anxiety.”
I often say that social media is like a casino — they don’t want you to leave and they make it hard for you to by designing platforms that incentivize sticking around, checking notifications, and scrolling.
Here’s what I recommend for ousting the overwhelm every time you need to use social media to grow your business:
- Write your content ahead of time
- Choose 2–3 groups (at most) to post in
- Check in 2x a day (at most) while using a timer
- Stay off social media (for business) the rest of the time
I recommend you be strict with yourself about this, especially in the beginning, because scrolling and refreshing drains your energy and causes decision fatigue, which causes lack of consistency.
If I’m feeling tired, or overwhelmed or in any way vulnerable, annoyed, or triggered, I make a point to stay off of (or close out of) social media. It doesn’t do anyone good if I show up from that place.
Protect your precious energy and time, and you will find yourself more consistent!
Problem #3: Lack of Time
So often, what I find is that the actual, money-making tasks in our businesses don’t actually take that much time on a daily basis.
Those things that all-too-often DO take unproductive time are:
- Taking mindless action that makes us feel busy because we haven’t actually done the work of figuring out what our money-making tasks are
- All of the OTHER things we feel like we should be doing because someone else is, and we’re afraid that otherwise, we’re going to miss out
- Ruminating about our to-do list, hoping we’re going to find time to get to them, procrastinating because we’re not sure how, getting overwhelmed and losing momentum and then getting stuck and having to find a way to dig ourselves out of that stuck place
So what does work?
My business model is very simple and I’ve only expanded it as it’s grown. But basically it comes down to these 2 things:
- Connecting with my community (my private Facebook group is the primary one), providing value and offers
- Serving my clients & community well
The most basic money-making tasks that come out of those tasks are:
- Daily relationship-building through value-centered posts & comments
- Email Newsletters (minimum 1/week)
Seriously, that’s it.
Yes, I include offers in both occasionally. Yes, there are a lot of different ways to connect with people and help them decide whether you’re a good fit to help them. But the truth is, if I don’t do anything but these things, I still get clients.
So, stop telling yourself you need to optimize every profile, post everywhere, have this or that perfect or updated because you just listened to this person’s training or livestream and you now realize your thing is still not good enough.
Instead, take a deep breath and ask, what are the most basic money-making tasks in your business? And where can you carve out the few minutes it will take each day to complete them?
Problem #4: You’re Giving Your Leftover Energy
When do I feel most motivated to work on my business?
At what time of day, or what time in the week? Observe and note.
For me, it’s mornings. I can crank out content like a copywriting queen, set my priorities, simplify, and head into the day feeling like a rock star. But, if something or someone gets in the way (like my toddler, or chores, or my spouse), the later in the day it gets, the longer it takes me to write something.
I’ve noticed this pattern, so nowI do my best to protect even a bit of that early productivity time for my business. I’m out at a coffee shop right now, and even though yes, it requires drive time and a bit of expense to buy a drink (reasons I used to talk myself out of going), what I’ve found is that I’m still far more productive in the limited time I’m here than I would be if I stayed my home office with distractions galore.
Whether it means:
- Getting up a bit earlier so you have that precious alone time
- Not checking email until later in the morning
- Locking myself away in an unfamiliar place without chores to do
- Voice dictating things to my phone as they come to me
…there are a lot of different ways this looks, and the same can be true for you.
Instead of just thinking all day about how you need to be working on your business, or you should be working on your business, but you’re waiting until you have a big chunk of time like a half day on Saturday (which, hint, will never come, or if it does, you’ll find yourself so overwhelmed when you sit down that you’ll wind up scrolling Facebook again….), work on scheduling even 5 minutes of time in your most productive period to sit down and work on your business.
Then, little by little, all that pressure and chatter of “needs and shoulds” in your brain will decrease, and your confidence in yourself, your ability to succeed, and your visible success, will grow.
Figure out your own best time, then make a plan to protect a small amount of your BEST time of day for building your dream business.
Ready for more simple productivity hacks to get out of your own way, replace your income and build your dream business?
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