Habits. They are little micro movements that we do over time that our brain realizes, “Hey, if I keep doing this, I’ll get the results that I’m craving.” So our brain turns these habits into our daily actions and, without us knowing it, we have a routine that keeps us moving toward our goals.
- For instance, I am prone to cavities (UGH! Not fair!) So I have the healthy habit of brushing my teeth twice a day and flossing. Go me!
- I’ve created a habit of reading. (Another healthy habit, in my humble opinion!) And I have found that I can’t blow dry my hair in the morning if I don’t have a book in front of me to read at the same time. Call this girl the queen of multitasking! This habit fills me up, charges me for the day, and always leaves me ponding opportunities.
- Some habits I have aren’t as amazing, if I’m being honest. For instance, when I open my phone, I have the immediate habit of checking my social media notifications. I don’t even know that I’m doing it. But alas, regularly throughout the day, I’m checking. UGH! This is a habit I’m working hard to break.
Habits can create freedom.
I’ve been reading James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, and the message I read today hit home for me. He was laying the groundwork for why we create habits and how, in the long run, they give us freedom. I don’t have to stress daily on if a cavity is lurking; brushing my teeth and flossing lets me know I’m doing what I can to prevent it. I don’t have to worry about where to get inspired; opening a book has that covered. And, if I’m looking for some validation, I’ll find myself on social media checking notifications (that is until I break that habit! But that’s a story for another day!).
This morning, however, I realized that these habits that we create aren’t limited to our personal behavior by any means. In fact, if used methodically, they are brilliant additions to our business efforts, especially our marketing strategics and tactics. Let me explain with an example.
As I prepare for an upcoming speaking engagement, I find myself reviewing my content and identifying marketing tactics to ensure that I’m delivering A+ content in a way that provides immense value. (If you don’t know anything about me or the emPower PR Group, value is a priority in our book.) I have a system that I’ve found effective in providing a free downloadable to align with the speaking engagement and build my email list and client database at the same time. It’s not salesy. It’s not pushy. It’s all value-add focused. And it works.
This system has become a habit in my business. I know the specific steps to set up the system. I know the content that I need to build it (and many times I’m able to leverage content I already have). I know the email nurture sequence that works best. And because this has become a habit in how I prepare for my speaking engagements, it gives me freedom to focus on other efforts in my business — from client work to collaborations to new opportunities and ideas!
Habits aren’t just limited to your personal life. They can have professional impact, too!
The more I reflect on habits and how they pertain to book marketing efforts, the more I realize that they are not only baked into my processes, but they are a part of how I coach nonfiction authors and authorpreneurs to work smarter not harder (hey, that’s the basis of habits anyway, right?!). Here are a few things we work on:
- Creating a cadence for inbound marketing efforts which includes providing immense value to your target audience and readers. One way we do this is through content creation. Identifying and sticking to a content creation strategy — both in creating the content, sharing the content and promoting the content — is so important! (If you’d like some direction on creating a content marketing strategy, I’ve got you covered. Take a listen into this workshop for some insights!)
- Setting up automated marketing systems — whether it’s for social media posting, email nurturing, or more — to allow your marketing to work for you and not the other way around. This habit makes your life easier and still allows you to create the visibility and engagements efforts you are seeking.
- Relationship marketing is all about follow-up, engagement, and meaningful interactions. I’m a huge believer in setting up systems to support relationship marketing, and, you guessed it, over time these efforts become habits! What do you do after you are on a podcast or a media interview has the power to set you up for even more marketing success!
- Time batching, key messaging development, SOPs, best practices and more become standard in the work I do with my clients and in their authorpreneur efforts, too. These may take time to turn into habits, but once they do … OH MY! Great things come from them!
When you think about habits … don’t gloss over them as annoying behaviors you can’t seem to break free from (nail biters, I see you!) but instead, see them as opportunities to create meaningful patterns in your personal and professional life. And, author friends, when you embrace healthy marketing habits, you can turn what may have overwhelmed you before into what just very well may set you apart from your competition!