Preserving Your Relevance Through Consistent Marketing

Lessons Learned in a Pandemic

Like many families, ours has been forced to make tough decisions when it comes to life’s big events.

We’ve recorded videos for birthday celebrations. We’ve participated in a Zoom memorial service. We’ve canceled family vacations. We’ve planned virtual bachelor parties. We’ve altered or postponed weddings. We’ve carefully scheduled in-person visits after safe quarantine periods.

Physical distancing and the pandemic have shaken the way we connect.

And the stress and uncertainty around coming together isn’t just affecting our personal lives — it’s having a big impact on how we build and engage communities in business.

All of my clients have been forced to pivot their thinking about gathering since the beginning of quarantine. For some, this is relatively simple: in-person sessions become virtual meetings, or previously planned content or services are updated with a timely twist. For others, not being able to gather in person has driven their existing business model into (temporary) extinction. For all, online content and interaction has become a priority.

It makes sense that service providers and mission-based organizations are prioritizing their digital presence. Our time spent online has increased more than anticipated in 2020, and all age groups say they’re spending more time on social media than they were pre-pandemic.

But in many cases, companies are rushing to employ a higher volume of virtual events, touchpoints and content, rather than pausing to construct a thoughtful or streamlined new strategy behind their online efforts.

A focus on volume rather than strategy is a panic response, rooted in fear. It compels you and your team to over-work and over-produce in an effort to preserve your relevance and relationships with your audience.

Paige and Amy Jacobus. Photo by Whitney Browne Photography.

Not everyone is freaking out. And here’s why: consistency establishes relevance.

If you were rooted in intentional and consistent online marketing pre-pandemic, it’s easier to combat the impulse to create things for the sake of relevance alone. You’re already well-versed in creating, sharing and connecting with clear objectives.

If you see a guilty reflection of yourself in those who are fighting for relevance, there’s an easy way to fix it. Consider these tenets of consistent marketing and learn to employ them year-round, no matter how we can or cannot gather.

Adopt consistency in quality

Quality over quantity all days of the week. Commit to the work you’re doing now just as you would have pre-pandemic. However you pivot your work, take the time you need to develop content and services consistent with your pre-pandemic work. Don’t say yes to clients or projects out of alignment with your services. Don’t cut corners to rush production on a new offering. Find creative ways to bring your in-person standards to virtual offers.

Create consistency in experience

Your client’s experience working with you is still the most important marketing for your business. Excellent experiences encourage word-of-mouth marketing; lackluster experiences spark nothing (or worse, poor reviews!!) If working through the pandemic has decreased your ability to provide a stellar experience, reconsider your capacity for taking on new clients or projects (take a break, it’s OK!) or redesign your marketing and/or services to ensure that great experience for future clients.

Model consistency in frequency

Making a marketing plan requires a commitment to regularly scheduled content and messaging (ahem — we teach all about how to do this in my group course, Confident + Consistent Marketing!) It means determining when your ideal clients want to hear from you and deciding how often you can show up, based on your real capacity and budget. It means scheduling social media posts and emails with regularity, updating your website systematically and finding clear rhythms in your outreach to current and potential clients.

To create consistency is to commit to your business in big ways, for the long haul. Just because the world feels different right now, and so much of what we do has shifted online, doesn’t mean that you have to create or do MORE — this will only lead to you and your audience feeling overwhelmed, rather than comforted by content that is consistent with what you were creating pre-pandemic.

Consistency is something we craft with all our clients at Amy Jacobus Marketing and something we coach participants through as we teach them foundations of online marketing in Confident + Consistent Marketing.

The eight-week course is basically like group marketing therapy, and it will teach you how to create a comprehensive, plan-ahead, execute-with-ease marketing plan. It opens soon, and I hope you’ll join us, to plan for now and everything we can’t even imagine that will happen in the years to come. Learn more and join the waitlist here.

Amy Jacobus is an online marketing strategist who still sends handwritten thank yous. She’s obsessed with helping service providers, entrepreneurs and mission-based business owners increase their impact with smart, human marketing online. Amy teaches workshops and leads programs full of simple, apply-it-now strategies for your website, email and social media, including her signature program, Confident + Consistent Marketing. She has designed courses, facilitated workshops and participated in panel discussions for University of Denver, LEAP at St. Mary’s College, Barnard College, New York Foundation for the Arts, Gibney Dance, The Artist Co-op and Pentacle, among others. Learn more about Amy and her work at amyjacobus.marketing and follow her at @amyjacobus on Instagram.

This article was originally published on her blog, where she shares weekly marketing advice for creatives and entrepreneurs.

Marketing Strategist, Teacher and Speaker. Helping creative entrepreneurs avoid marketing stress and make a bigger impact since 2011. www.amyjacobus.marketing