Building your online marketing muscles

Image by svanes

Image by svanes

I’ve been working out for two hours every morning with a friend these last few weeks. It feels great.

It also takes a whole two hours every day. So why do I do it? I’m a busy woman!

OK, you probably know why I work out.

But it’s made me think about the time commitment that scares off a lot of people from getting their businesses going online.

It’s a lot like starting a new exercise program. How you justify it has a lot to do with how much you plan to get out of it.

Practice makes better

If you do something every day, it gets a whole lot easier to do that thing. When I first got back on the treadmill a few weeks ago, it was harder than I wanted it to be. I was (am) pretty out of shape. Let’s be honest.

But I never for a second thought that it would always feel that way, not if I stuck to the plan and dutifully showed up at the gym every day and did my thing. It gets better! Right? You know that.

Same thing with blogging — actually, with writing in general — and with anything else you do online. Practice — regular, consistent, diligent practice — makes you better at that thing. It gets much, much easier, lots more fun, and a whole lot more effective.

Focus on the rewards

What do you think about when you’re on the treadmill, on your bike, on the jogging path? Sure, I spend some of my time thinking about stuff I have to do that day, and about how I’m feeling at that moment (sweaty, sore, strong, powerful, superhero-esque, etc.), but for the most part, I try to think about how great the results are going to be. I think about short-term and long-term results.

Short-term results include how much better I’ll feel that day — sharper wits and faster reflexes and all that — while long-term results are more about the ever-so-slightly-show-offy clothes I’ll be able to wear in six months, the public speaking events at which I’ll feel less self-conscious about my suit size, etc.

Can you think about the short-term and long-term results that you are driving towards with your online efforts? If you don’t know what your short- and long-term goals are for all this, STOP RIGHT NOW and figure them out.

Learn to enjoy the costs

The other side of the ROI equation is, of course, the investment. And while I’m thinking about my expected returns on my exercise investment, I am also trying to learn to enjoy the investment itself. When I’m really deep into a long-term exercise and fitness regimen, like months deep into it, I love it purely for the experience. The sensation of feeling my muscles work in fluid symmetry, my lungs filling deeply with oxygen and powering my limbs with energy, my skin efficiently cooling me down with a salty sheen of sweat…

I dig all of that. And I don’t have to think about the reward all the time, because the experience is the reward.

But you don’t get there without the practice. Without the diligence. Without the repetition.

Like with everything else in life, more than half the battle is simply suiting up and showing up, every day, without fail.

It pays you back a hundredfold. Now. And later.

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