A few years back I travelled to the States for an email marketing event. One evening I got talking to a guy who told me he emailed his list most days, but that he varied the send time to “keep people on their toes.”
I don’t know why that particular conversation stuck in my head. Perhaps it was his delusion.
Some bad news: nobody sits there looking at their email inbox waiting for your email to come in.
You can however train people to expect your emails at certain times of the day or week. That’s what I’m doing right now! At 9AM UK time every weekday, you’ll get an email from me. If you’re in California and it’s 2 in the morning, that doesn’t matter. If you’re in Brisbane and it’s 8PM, that doesn’t matter either. What matters is showing up at the same time.
We’re all creatures of habit. If somebody shows up consistently in your inbox with insight and value, then you’ll factor that into your regular reading schedule. Every email you read increases the likelihood of you reading tomorrow’s email, due to the RFM principle.
So the drill is this:
8.50AM: put the kettle on.
8.55AM: fire up the inbox in expectation!
8.58AM: push plunger on cafetière
9AM: receive email from Rob!
(That’s how it works in my head, anyway…)
But the point is you could follow the daily schedule above if you wanted because I’m not emailing you at random times trying to keep you ‘on your toes’.
The principle of consistency applies to your content, too. Are you consistently speaking to the problems your ideal client is experiencing? Are you consistently helping them to see those problems in a new way?
You’re only as good as your last email. Each useful email you send adds credit to the emotional bank account with your reader. Each email that misses the mark or nags them decreases your emotional bank account!
Even your ‘sales emails’ should add value. Your reader should always be glad they took the time to read your email and even your sales page, even if they don’t buy.
Consistency is a small hinge that over time compounds into big results. It looks for a while like nothing is happening, so the temptation is to give up.
Consistency also builds across channels. Email currently is the only channel where I’m consistent. I used to publish podcast episodes on a weekly basis, but currently those run in fits and starts. My YouTube videos only appear ‘as and when I feel like it’. My print newsletter used to go out every month, but currently is on ‘long term pause’.
So in short, don’t feel bad if you don’t quickly achieve consistency in multiple areas! You have to find a groove that works for you, and you will only initially achieve consistency in one channel.
So start with the most important one. For me that’s email, because these emails are a demonstration of what I do. For you, a podcast or YouTube channel might be the main focus.
It could also be posting consistently on LinkedIn. Although I’d argue that organic LinkedIn posts are an expansion tool and not a core channel. You’re at the whim of an algorithm if you rely solely on social.
But whichever one you choose, set a schedule. Tell your audience to expect to hear from you at certain times, even if that’s twice a month. Nothing focuses the mind like a public schedule.
See you at 9AM on Monday!