When I was first toying with the idea of *starting something* again, I had such mixed feelings about what I wanted it to be. I’ve started projects in the past that I’ve wanted to go from 0 to 100, straight out of the gate. Almost inevitably when I’ve done that, it’s led to disappointment.
When I’m putting in hours in my free time to develop something to share with the world, I’m always expecting that other people are going to be as excited about my project as I am. I remember the first iteration of The Reindeer Club - when I wanted to start an adventure lifestyle blog - or my endeavor before that, “Follow and Engage,” an exploration of the intersection of two of my interests at the time, videogames and theology.
Not only is it unrealistic to expect other people to be as excited as I am about these things, it’s also deeply unfair. It’s unfair to expect people I know to rally around something I’m doing without first demonstrating to them that the thing I’m doing will actually be of value to them in their own lives.
In my first blog, I talked about how I didn’t want to be a hype guy this time. I wanted to simply release my content and keep my head down, working hard to make stuff that other people will appreciate; trusting that if I can do that, my audience will grow naturally.
In my last blog, I got into an idea behind all of this: That no creator can get by with just making stuff that people like, it has to be something people love. Love is at the heart of marketing.
Here, as promised, I’m going to tell you one aspect of how you can, in your own project, create love. How you can foster an engaged audience that wants to tell their friends that they LOVE your brand.
There are a lot of aspects to this, but today we’ll deal with one. Love as commitment.
When I started working on the podcast, I tried to cut a lot of corners. I was trying to get quality recordings without investing into ANY equipment (I have since bought a microphone). I was trying to devise a system to create quality content while investing as little time as possible into each episode. Frankly I was afraid of starting another thing that I would get burned out on doing and move on from. I wanted to make it as easy as possible for myself.
But who on earth would listen to a half-hearted thing like that?
Of course everyone knows that the grail of content creation is regularity. Unless you’ve already “made it” in some way, you can’t just do stuff when you feel like it and expect people to care.
The reason your audience needs to get stuff regularly is because they need to know you’re committed too. Why would someone anticipate listening to my next episode if I wasn’t anticipating releasing it?
One of the biggest aspects of Love is commitment and consistency. Your bff who has never even been in a serious relationship can tell you that. Love is not the butterflies of infatuation, it’s the intimacy that can only exist when trust has been built.
I don’t expect a single person to love The Reindeer Club Podcast right now. They’re still just getting to know it. I’m not expecting a single person to share it besides the guests who are on it.
I hope that people do start to love it though, and I want to foster that love in the simplest and least glamorous way possible: by showing up, week after week with great content.
So the core of marketing is love. And your audience will not love your product until they know you do too. And they’re not going to know you love it just because you’re excited when it releases. They’re going to know you love it if you’re still excited in 6 months.