An often-overlooked key to success is consistency. Though there are many important factors involved in the creation of a successful business, applying consistency to any area of your work will most certainly help you improve.
Consistency in the speed of your work, the reliability of your services, or the quality of your products is what will help you make a name for yourself.
By being consistent, you will be able to build your tribe and develop a trusting relationship with your customers. Consistency will help you reach new levels of authority and create a reputation that will gain you new followers, customers, and fans.
Why Consistency Matters
If you hadn’t noticed, I’m really encouraging you to apply consistency to your business. Not convinced yet? Consider this example:
You go out to dinner at a restaurant and fall madly in love with your entrée. After raving about this meal to your friends, one finally agrees to go with you and you return to the restaurant a few weeks later.
You and your friend order the same meal you did before, but this time it tastes different and you send it back to the kitchen. Because the restaurant lacked consistency, you now aren’t sure whether the dish you tried is actually good, or if it was just a fluke. Maybe the restaurant itself is no good?
Maybe it’s the chef? Plus, now your friend has a bad impression of this restaurant and probably won’t be returning. Regardless, you now have a seed of doubt in your mind.
Doubt in a customer’s mind means you will have to rebuild that trust to prove to your customers that they should continue doing business with you. Though it isn’t impossible to re-earn the trust of a lost customer, starting from square one is a real pain and something to be avoided at all costs.
Here’s another example…
Have you ever felt happy with how your healthy living plan has been going, then find yourself indulging a little too much over a holiday or long weekend?
Once the fun is over, you find yourself trying to lose those 5 pounds you already lost a few weeks ago, putting you right back at square one. If you had consistently continued to work out and eat healthily you would be much further along.
In the same way, keeping the quality of your work, products, and customer service consistent will help you retain customers and continue growth rather than being forced to backtrack.
Consistency also helps to keep you fresh in your customer’s minds. Imagine you opt-in to an email subscription for a company you find interesting and think could have a lot of potential.
You receive and enjoy their weekly emails for a few months, then suddenly they stop. Crickets. A few months later you receive an email from this company again, except this time you don’t remember who they are.
By neglecting to maintain a consistent emailing schedule they have lost your trust and interest. Who are these people, anyway? Why did I sign up in the first place?
Why do these people want my money? By neglecting to stay consistent, that business owner just lost a ton of interested potential customers.
Consistency in Marketing and Brand Image
One of the most important things to keep consistent is your brand image.
Have you noticed how many gurus there are, each proclaiming to have the answers to earning 6- or 7-figure incomes? Each of these self-proclaimed experts has a different method, a core and consistent strategy for reaching a particular goal.
If these gurus combined many methods, preached conflicting theories, or practices too many methods to keep up with, their audiences would become confused and completely lose track of the core message.
Instead, these individuals stick to their messaging, stay true to their brands, and commit to their belief systems, portraying authority and expertise to their fans and followers.
When it comes to branding, consistency, and repetition will help you to develop name, product, and company recognition. If you are never seen without your company logo on your clothes, people will begin to make the connection.
If your personal trademark is a purple stripe in your hair, don’t go changing it to fire engine red or your followers won’t recognize you! Be consistent with your brand image, colors, and messaging both on and offline.
Consistency is the best way to make yourself and your brand readily recognizable and memorable to your audience.
Similarly, marketing materials should remain consistent with your overall branding. Not only will on-brand marketing help you to attract customers that are already interested in your products, but it will also help you target customers who are most relevant to you.
Straying off the beaten path and portraying a new image will only confuse loyal customers and repel customers that might otherwise have been interested in your products.
A marketing campaign that suddenly veers off message or does not fit the tone of your brand can do more than lose you a few sales today, it can impact how your company does tomorrow, next month, and next year.
A diversion from your regularly scheduled programming can cause customers that once were loyal to doubt your company, taking their sales elsewhere and leaving your brand in the dust.
How to Be Consistent
Consistency is all about routine, and one of the best ways to get started is by making simple guidelines for yourself and your team. Make sure little things like font types and sizes are always consistent to create cohesion throughout your website and in your marketing materials.
Choose a color scheme to be used throughout your brand on employee/team member uniforms, in marketing materials, or on your website. Create consistency amongst your team members by ensuring everyone is given the same training, held to the same standards of service, and offering every customer the same high-quality experience.