"Consistency is more important than perfection" When I think of this statement, I think of Mattie James. Her voice, her posts, her captions, and her IG lives all resounding in my ears like a mom's voice in her child's ears.
I don't mind that Mattie and I probably in the same age range. One of the things I always say I am grateful for when it comes to social media is seeing people like me doing great things, and the opportunity to learn from them.
That's what I have been doing! So after following Mattie a bit closer for the past few months, if I haven't learned anything at all, I have learned the importance of consistency in accomplishing my social media goals.
I have taken this idea into practice this month of July by being part of her July consistency challenge. In this challenge, we were required to write a new blog every weekday for 20 days. I didn't let personal, physical changes like pregnancy stop me from participating in a challenge that I knew right away was going to be beneficial to me.
When I entered this challenge, I was about 31 weeks pregnant, with an 11 yr old, a 6 yr old and a small business to care for—not forgetting caring for my pregnant body and the ever kicking baby inside of me.
It has not been easy, but I have made it to the end; I felt like quitting a few times, but I know better. I know how important it is for me to finish the things I start.
Even Mattie herself told me that "3rd trimester is for resting" As much as I have tried to rest (I promise I did), I knew I didn't want to miss out on this challenge. I also saw that $1000 was at stake, and after losing so much money due to COVID bringing my newly opened yoga studio to a halt, I thought to myself, a $1000 would be helpful!
More importantly, I knew I had to take this challenge because I have struggled with consistency on social media for years, even after signing up for scheduling and automatic posting platforms. The puzzling part is that I have been able to apply discipline and consistency in other areas of my life, and I have seen the results. But for some reason, when it came to social media, I could not get myself to show up consistently.
In 2016, I made a list of all the things I wanted to accomplish and started going down the list one by one. That December, I founded a charity organization that helps to provide a basic need for children who are HIV positive in Ghana West Africa. In 2017 I filed for my 1st patent of an idea i had had for a long time, and then in 2018, I participated in my first pageant ever, a dream I had had since childhood. I also launched a Youtube channel, attained my yoga teacher certificate in 2019, and begun pursuing my dream of opening up a yoga studio.
Amidst all this, I had begun a plant-based diet somewhere between 2016 and 2017! and started working out at least 3 times a week.
I was doing quite well, accomplishing some of the goals and dreams I had, and when I look back, all of it required a lot of discipline and consistency. So Why wasn't I able to bring the same grit to my social media? Here are some of the reasons/lessons I have learned after this July challenge.
- Don't wait for perfection - Mattie never lied when she continually preaches this to her followers. I was not showing up because I didn't think my content was good enough. Well, being that I had to post every day for this challenge, I posted whether it was perfect or not. And I found that the more I posted, the more confident I got, and the better my content became. So, start where you are with what you have. Just show up!
- Know the value - After this challenge, I have realized that part of the reason I could not be as consistent on social media is that I didn't know the full value of posting. Your content is your ad; it is your big signboard telling people what you do and what you care about. In this challenge, my first post, which was about how I teach my 6 yr old to eat very healthily, gained me a coaching client. If you don't post, no one will know what you do; there is so much value in this free marketing of yourself on social media.
- Have clarity - The 2nd point leads me to this 3rd one because you have to know what to post to get the right audience's attention. I realize now that many times I didn't post anything because I didn't know what to post. Being clear about what you want to be known for how you want to serve and the community you want to build. Will lead you to know what to post.
- Do the work - Hard work is a requirement in the world of social media. As Mattie says, there are no short cuts. You have to pay your dues! I remember signing up for an automatic posting platform and thinking that I was about to post every day. But what I had forgotten to realize is that even those platforms cannot post anything automatically for me unless I create the posts in there. From taking the pics to researching to writing the caption, I have to do all of that. No one is going to do it for you if you want it to go and get it. And you get it by working!
- Get help - I know I just said you have to do the work yourself, but you don't have to do it alone. Invest in getting help and guidance! Experienced social media users or influencers like Mattie are here giving very beneficial and dependable information for FREE! all you have to do is plug in and invest your time in these cases. But there are also paid content like ebooks, workshops, conferences, webinars and so on. I have purchased some of these resources, and I know firsthand that they make a big difference in getting you to the next level.
Making a difference and an impact is simple, but it is not easy; it requires humility to be a follower and a student willing to learn from others. It requires your recognition of where you fall short, even if you are doing well in other areas, and it requires challenging yourself to do some difficult things regardless of the possible hindrances.
As I have done in July, I may be tired, but I have no regrets. I am actually very grateful for the opportunity, and even if I don't win any prize, the experience and habit I have built is priceless.
Now let's STAY CONSISTENT!