Start Working That Marketing Muscle
Sometime back I had let my fitness levels completely drop. I knew I needed to ‘get back into it’, but every time I started exercising it simply hurt, and of course I was frustrated that things weren’t happening fast enough. I decided to take up running again, but the thought of getting out and pounding the pavement, while my lungs felt like bursting, wasn’t very appealing!
I came across a simple app for my iPhone, ‘C25K’, which was short for Couch to 5 km runs. There was, and still is, so much to love and learn from this very simple app. The first thing I learnt was the key reason why most fail in their attempts to start running – they simply try and do too much, too soon, with expectations that exceed their current fitness levels. This is one of the most profound statements ever!
How many times have you tried to do too much, too soon, with expectations set too high? Only to result in disappointment and quitting too early?
The idea of the C25K app is to take you through a series of regular running programs over 8 weeks. You start with a really simple routine of running for 60 seconds, then walking for 90 seconds, repeating this eight times for a total of 20 mins. Yes that’s it, you only have to run for 1 minute at a time – almost sounds too easy.
So why is this so important?
It starts off at a pace that you can reasonably achieve. It breaks down the goal of exercising for 20 minutes into simple chunks that you can focus on, rather than the full 20 minutes load. As each block of run/walk passes you start feeling a real sense of achievement as you mentally tick them off. And before you know it the 20 minutes has passed and you’ve achieve your first goal. You’ve worked those muscles to a level that is making them stronger and ready for the next progression, without causing injury.
So let’s look at what the program does. It breaks down a goal to have you running a 5 km run, into a series of gains over eight weeks. It then breaks each week into 3 sessions, and then each session into a sequence of activities. It takes your major goal, and breaks it down so that you have just one simple thing to achieve at each moment.
People often fail and quit as they expect to do too much, too soon with too high expectations
Now I started by saying that most people fail by trying to do too much, too soon, with too high expectations. So we try to do something expecting to achieve more, and become disappointed when it doesn’t happen fast enough. So we give up. And yet if I was to say, with no previous running training you could prepare for your first 5 km race in 2 months, you would think that almost impossible. So we over-estimate what we want to achieve in the short term (read ‘immediately’), but significantly under-estimate what we can achieve over a reasonable period.
This is the same when we start our online marketing journey. We may have expectations of how much money we want to make (which in itself is the wrong thought process – and a completely new topic to discuss!). Or we may see the results of others and wonder how in the heck will I ever get to that level, it just feels so far away and unachievable. But if we were to take the exact same approach as our C25K app, imagine what we could achieve.
So what would the steps be?
Have clarity on your goal. Now you need to be careful here. The goal needs to be ‘reasonable’. It should challenge you, and slightly scare you, but shouldn’t be so huge that you can’t even perceive achieving it. There is something to be said about having a ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’ (or BHAG for short), and you should never lose these. They inspire you to continue to grow so that one day you will achieve it. But for this exercise you need to break the BHAG down to something you at least have some idea how to achieve. It would be the difference between a goal of running a 5km race versus a marathon for example.
Break the goal down to a series of steps. So what is a reasonable time frame you want to achieve the goal? Again don’t be unrealistic, but also don’t underestimate what you can achieve in a reasonable time. Divide your progress across this time frame. If your goal is to be hitting 10 leads a day in 3 months, then aim for 2 per day in your first month, 5-6 in your second and meeting your goal of 10 leads per day in month 3.
Break the steps into a regular ‘cadence’ or actions. What do you need to do every week to progress? What actions do you need to take, and new things to learn so that you can move from 2 leads per day to 5? This now sets out your daily actions to build that marketing muscle.
Measure your progress. This is so important, for many reasons, and yet it is probably the key area of failure. We have the goal, take the time to break it down and build our daily plan – then life get’s in the way. And that 3 months begins to fly by. Your progress will not be even. Some weeks you will smash it, and others you may even go backwards! But by measuring your steps, and reviewing what you have achieved, will allow you to make simple corrections in course.
Celebrate your success! This is a huge one of mine, and if you hang out with me enough, you will hear me talk about it a lot. We are creatures of habit, and we naturally tend towards things that make us feel good. By celebrating your success along the way, not only locks in positive energy, but makes you want to repeat the process.
What we have done is taking a significant goal of ours and broken it down to simple steps or actions everyday to achieve it. In doing so you will build and strengthen your marketing muscles, so that what once felt hard becomes easy. And you can prepare for the next challenge.
Oh and by the way, getting involved in a community of support, with the right mentors is very important. A solid community, whether that is one or two friends on a similar journey, or hundreds of people in an online community, allows you to share your wins, help support in your failures and perhaps most importantly keep you honest in your progress.
So what goals do you have and what steps do you need to take to achieve them?
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