The 20 Percent Edition Nr. 14: The Power of Consistency Over Time

Hello friends, and welcome to this edition of The 20 Percent.

Consistency is one of the most important factors contributing to the success of an online business. And like any good piece of advice, it’s also deceptively difficult to put into action.

Sometimes I feel that “being consistent” is the business equivalent of “carbs are bad for you.” True enough, but you won’t be able to cut down on carbs unless you first understand how nutrition works. Just like with nutrition, consistency is now part of our read-only culture. It has become an axiom. A fact that we learn to accept as true, but we have forgotten the why.

Understanding Why Consistency Matters

Our world experience is recorded in long-term memory every moment of every day. Such memory formation occurs continuously and incidentally, resulting in a potentially astronomical number of memory traces.1

Memory pruning is how our brains clean up everything that doesn’t appear to be important to remember in the future. As humans, we remember what we rehearse, what made us an impression, and what we come across frequently. We tend to forget the rest.

Because of this, storytelling needs frequency. Effective marketing requires that your target audience be repeatedly exposed to your message and brand. Our brains are wired to associate “trust” with the events and stories that happen repeatedly.

Why Consistency Is Difficult to Attain

Staying consistent in your marketing is difficult because we all live in our heads. We are our own audience 24/7, constantly thinking about our business and story. Eventually, we get fatigued and want to try new ideas or give up altogether.

At the same time, your audience’s perception of your business is different. They’re only reminded of it for a few seconds after they see an ad or read a status update. Inconsistency is the failure to realize the communication gap between how we perceive ourselves and how our audience perceives us.

How to Optimize Your Marketing Consistency With Spaced Repetition

Spaced repetition is a learning technique. As the name suggests, it involves spacing your revision and reviewing topics, ideally by active recall, at specific intervals over a period of time.

In other words, there is an optimal frequency of recalling something to remember it. This is particularly useful for optimizing your older blog or vlog content memorability.

A core idea in spaced repetition is that the harder our brain has to work to retrieve information, the more likely it is that we will remember that information afterward.
Thus, a great way to induce active recall is by making mentions and linking to previous pieces of blog or video content every 10, 30, and 60 days from the day they were published. By making these connections, we prompt our audience to recall older content, which increases the chances to remember it long-term.

Final Thoughts

Consistency in marketing is important because we normalize and trust the familiar. Matching your perception of your business with that of your audience is how you defeat inconsistency and build credibility.

Stay inspired,