April 4, 2016

The benefits of consistency

Why success doesn't happen overnight

What do you want to be known for? 

We all want to be known for something great. Maybe you want to be known for being a great icon designer, or a successful entrepreneur. Often, we want to be known for something that we do, enjoy and are passionate about. But success doesn’t happen overnight.

How then, do you achieve success?

By finding the one thing you want to be known for and do that thing every day.

Maybe you have or do something that you want people to notice – a blog, video channel, or podcast. Are you showing up every day yet? Are you publishing on a monthly, weekly or daily consistent output? The only way to get people invested in what you’re doing is by building and grow your audience.

But you already know that, the question you have is – how? You know that you have a unique voice and valuable insights to share. You’re providing valuable and engaging content, and changing people’s lives for the better, but are you doing it enough?

Are you being consistent with your output?

People fear commitment, so much so that the majority of people who create a blog or start a video channel, struggle to commit to a consistent output. Their audience doesn’t grow as fast as they like, people aren’t engaging with them, and they begin to lose that initial motivation they had when they began.

Being consistent is like a snowball effect. It’s going to position you as a more reliable, and more trustworthy creator. People will know to turn up and you’ll be there with new, valuable content. Soon, more and more people will start noticing – you’re beginning to grow your audience. 

Be in it for the long run

Overnight success is a myth – no one wakes up and is suddenly successful without years of preparation. Success is derived from hard work, commitment, a positive mindset and clear sense of direction.

People like Gary Vaynerchuck or Sean McCabe have been showing up every day for years in the niche that they’re known for. They’re consistent output goes all the way back to a time when no one was watching, no one was listening, and no one was paying any attention at all. Sean published his hand letting for two years before anyone really took notice – but when they finally did, his audience skyrocketed.

If you look at any well known or successful blogger, youtuber or podcaster, all you have to do is start scrolling to see the evidence of consistency and how long they’ve been showing up.

They’ve been committed to their output for years and their audience values that investment. 

Benefits of consistency

Why you should be consistent in your output

1. It helps grow your audience

Often, people just want to be ‘seen by millions’.

While it might feel nice to have a snippet of your work seen and appreciated by millions of people – if it’s a one off, these people aren’t committed or invested in you and the value you provide. Being seen by millions is often a one off fluke, a viral miracle thanks to the the internet. This doesn’t get you anywhere. What you should be focused on is growing a loyal audience.

This loyal audience should be made up of the people who are engaging with you and the content you create, and receive value in the things you teach and share. They’re the people who sign up to your newsletter or follow you on Twitter. Your audience is the people who have opted-in, using their own free will, to say ‘Yes – I like what The Apartment has to say and I want to keep listening and receive more.

Having your post featured on Reddit and seen by a million people doesn’t mean those people are your audience. The majority of them probably won’t go further than that one post, or won’t even bother to look up who you are and scroll through the backlog of consistent content you’ve provided.

However – a few will, and of those few, a few become part of your audience.

This is one reason you need to have an email list. An email list is the magic line between someone who read your blog once, and someone who values what you share and wants more – so signs up.

These are the kind of people you want to attract and engage with. Write content for them. Don’t write content for you. Find out what your audience wants to know more of and write about things that can help them.

2. It builds trust and loyalty in your existing audience

People don’t like surprises, they like to know what to expect. Think about it, we’re much more likely to trust a predictable person – someone we know we can rely on – than someone who’s flaky, changes their mind last minute and doesn’t always stick to commitments.

Producing valuable and consistent content will help you build a loyal audience. The more consistent your content is, the more your audience is going to trust you. People are much more likely to continue staying subscribed to a blog that’s consistently filled with content, and much less likely to subscribe to a blog that hasn’t been updated in a year.

Consistency creates habit and routine in your audience. For example, every Monday I know to expect an email from Austin Saylor with some motivational thoughts on freelancing. Every weekend Charli Marie uploads a video and Sarah Dayan publishes a blog post. I know this without even having to be reminded, without even having to check my email I know that I’ll have a Newsletter from Austin.

When you’re consistent, your audience will notice and look forward to the content you provide. Building that habit and routine is the best way to get your audience consuming your content and coming back for more on their own.

3. It helps communicate your message

How many times do you read, hear or watch something before it feels familiar? If you’ve only ever read one of my blog posts one time, the message probably hasn’t really sunk in for you. You probably don’t remember my name, or the name of this blog and would struggle to remember it if you ever wanted to come back.

How many times do you have to hear something before the message really hits home? Three times? Seven?

Do you think T-Mobile only plays one TV commercial one time to advertise their new network deals? No. They play it multiple times in one night, over multiple channels, for consecutive weeks. They do an email campaign, social media campaign, maybe even a new homepage redesign on their website.

People need to hear a message multiple times before they get it.

Attention spans are thin. The internet ushered in a new form of payment: the attention economy. Time is expensive, and people don’t want to give it to you.

If you’re creating your own content, I’m confident that you have something valuable worth sharing. Maybe you’re well experienced in a particular area and want to share your experience and mistakes so others can learn from them. Or maybe you just want to provide helpful content. You could be really good at X and teach people how to be better at X. Yet, no one seems to take notice.

When Paul Jarvis launched his Chimp Essentials course, do you think he only mentioned it to his audience once? Of course not. Paul tweeted and talked about it daily for nearly a month to get the message out there. He promoted it in his weekly newsletters, and even encouraged others to help him spread the message.

I guarantee that there were people in his audience who’d been completed blindsided to all of his messages up until the very last day, when they probably saw it for the first time. There’s probably also people in his audience that never saw any of the message and don’t even know he’s released this course.

There’s always going to be someone reading your message for the first time, even if you’ve mentioned it one hundred times before.

If you want people to notice your message, you’re going to have to be comfortable with tooting your own horn – multiple times. It’s rare that people share your content within the first year of creation, so it’s all on you to get the message out there.

Your audience is not going to notice your message the first 3 times you say it. They’re busy people. They’re being bombarded with thousands of messages a day. Relying on them to not only see your one message, but to digest it and resonate with it, is a risky guess that isn’t going to help you connect with them.


Being consistent is hard work. It requires showing up every day, repeating your message and connecting with your audience. It’s rare that people will start taking notice straight away, but if you commit to being consistent, the right people will notice.

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