“The key to producing good work is to write something for my comedy act every single day.
Don’t break the chain!”
~ Jerry Seinfeld
The Science of Streaks
Streaks are a well-observed performance enhancer. Olympic athletes have used streaks to enhance their performance for years.
When you listen to Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic talking about the secrets of their success you’ll hear about their consistent practice habits… Getting out on the court every day, practicing the same stroke over and over until it becomes part of their muscle memory.
The same principle applies in every area of life:
When you commit to doing something every day, there is a subtle shift that takes place in your psyche. As a consequence, your unconscious mind recognises that this is important and somehow supports your efforts. Jerry Seinfeld made the remark that although he was committing to the activity of writing a joke every day, not the quality of that ‘something’, his jokes quickly did get funnier (most of the time).
There’s a book coming out soon called “Streakology” by Troy Broussard that goes into detail about the kinds of activity that benefit from streaks, and those that don’t. One of the points he makes is that it’s critical to focus on the activity that you control, not the outcome that you cannot control. For example,
- You can commit to emailing your list every day… However, you cannot control how many people will open the email or buy your product.
- You can commit to writing every day for an hour… However, you cannot demand that every word will be worthy of publication.
- You can commit to making ten prospecting calls every work day… However, you cannot control how many appointments or sales you will get.
With that said, I’ll guarantee that if you make that commitment your outcomes will improve – probably in a shorter amount of time than you would have believed possible.
Unconsidered Virtues of Consistency
The following is an extract from an email to one of my lists:
To paraphrase Jerry (Seinfeld), if you do something often enough, you get better.
Eventually, you may even get good.
Maybe you will miss the target sometimes, but you’ll hit it far more often than you would if you only worked on it occasionally.
Excellence in your craft may be the most observable result of consistent practice, but it’s not the only one.
Here are a few more for you to consider:
- It takes commitment to do something every single day even if no one sees. That commitment builds character which communicates itself to your prospects and clients by some kind of hidden energy. It’s hard to define, but it’s noticeable.
- Trust and Respect. Building on the element of character I’ve just mentioned, your prospects and clients will know that they can trust your promises and respect your advice because of your character.
- Practice may not always make you perfect, but it certainly helps you get to a great outcome faster in almost every area of life.
- Consistency pays off (especially in marketing efforts). When any of my clients commits to consistent quality outreach they quickly discover that their investment returns grow steadily at first and then accelerate. One client was getting a 3:1 return on his investment within a few weeks and that has climbed over the past 6 months to over 11:1 return.
When you commit to consistent effort, at first it’s hard work with little obvious profit. However, it doesn’t take too long for the results to show.
Automation Turns Transactions into Relationships
When I’m talking to consulting clients about marketing strategies, the subject quickly turns to automation.
Because consistent follow up and outreach takes work. It also takes time, and time is a scarce resource for most people. I won’t back down on this one. If you are willing to entrust your business to what I call ‘Random Acts of Marketing’: the chance that today you will speak to someone who has the need, money, and authority to buy without any further follow up, then you’re in dangerous waters. In reality, your business only exists because there are people who need what you offer. If no one walks in the doorway, then you don’t have a business.
BUT… we’re all busy and it’s hard to remember all the things that need to happen to turn a ‘chance encounter with a stranger’ into a ‘customer for life’. That’s why it makes sense to automate as many of the transactional elements as possible so that you have time and energy to add personalised interactions as often as possible.
Most of the people who have automated significant parts of their business have commented that they now have time to go ‘over-and-above’ and add personal touches that set their service apart from their competitors.
Never Take Loyalty for Granted
I know your customers love you, but do you really think that they are going to stay with you forever if you ignore them or treat them casually?
One reason that email open rates are not a good measure of engagement is that your customers may ‘notice’ your emails, but not have time to read them. Just because I didn’t open today’s email from 2XU doesn’t mean that I don’t want to hear from them, it may mean that I’m busy or that I have all the gear I need this week. If you’re not in retail, however, you may want to make sure that the reason your emails don’t get read isn’t because they’re drop-dead-dull!
A few years ago, someone was complaining about her newsletter unsubscribe rate… She showed me a sample. The title was: “Newsletter #103”. The Preview text read, “Heya Firstname, your newsletter is her…” It didn’t even say the company name, and the merge field wasn’t personalised. The rest of the letter didn’t get much more interesting, yet, given the beauty niche this business was in, it’s a seasonal industry and with just a little effort people would have stayed on the list and been reminded when they needed a suitable birthday or other special gift for someone.
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