At my last visit to the fracture clinic, the doctor was telling me the things I could be doing to help stretch my ankle as it healed. I could move it forward and back. I could start walking without the big boot. There were exercises, and physio, and slow steps.
“But no matter how much you do any of these things, the greatest help to you right now is time,” he said.
I could do the stretches and go for short walks and begin walking without the boot. But doing these things more often in one day is not what brings healing. It’s doing them every day, for many days, while time moves on. Slowly. Oh so slowly.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the Atomic Habits principles as my ankle heals. The small 1% changes, cumulative over time, are far greater than a massive attempt at one time.
Time isn’t the sole healer. If I never stretched my ankle and never moved it at all, it time doesn’t make up for that. But conversely, no matter how much I do, time has to be considered.
The same applies in marketing. When we take on a new client at PF, one of the things we talk honestly with them about is the length of time it may take for their content marketing efforts to bring the drip feed of results – that beautiful place where leads come in and you (and they) aren’t even quite sure where they came from. The average length of time for this to happen is 30 months.
It doesn’t mean you get no results during that time: but what it means is, no matter how much you create, you need that amount of time before all these blog posts and videos and social posts and emails and website pages you’re creating come together, stitch together, result in the growth you want and need.
You don’t simply sit there and wait for 30 months. And if you wrote 30 blogs and posted them tomorrow, that wouldn’t have the same impact. It’s consistency in small ways, and time, which need to work together.
I’m in that place with my ankle right now. It’s stitching itself together, like magic, day after day. I’m doing the work and seeing small victories every day. Now I can walk on it. Now I can put on a shoe. Now I can go down stairs without having to hold the handrail. Now I can carry the laundry hamper. Now I can lift the Christmas tree from its stand and take it outside to be recycled. Small things. Resulting in big change. Over time.
It needs to be good content, too. Created by you and your team to answer the questions your clients have and the needs they express. To answer the questions and doubts and fears your prospects have.
As a side note (and I’ll be writing about this from PF soon), you can use something like chatGPT to help you get started, or tweak, or adapt, or get ideas, or move faster. But ultimately the best content and style and tone of voice comes from you and your team, because you are not merely the accumulation of lots of other people’s content. You are yourself. And what you do every day, 1% by 1%, matters.
Just keep going.