Have you ever agreed to water someone’s plants while they’re away?

I hope you did a better job than me!

I was looking after someone’s house and forgot the plants in the kitchen.  When I did remember, they were dry, brown and dying.

I gave them water – plenty of it!  But it didn’t work, the next day they looked just as bad.  Fortunately, they were cooking herbs that were easy to replace – but I learnt the lesson, if you want to keep plants healthy you have to water them consistently.

It’s exactly the same with marketing your small business – if you want a thriving, healthy business, you need to be consistent with your watering marketing.

If you neglect your marketing you’ll end up in the feast and famine cycle.  You’ll go from having lots of work to having little, or none.  It’s an incredibly stressful way to run your business.

So how do you ensure your marketing is consistent?  Here are three points to help.

1. Be consistent with your Message

Who is your perfect customer?

You need to have their profile in mind to ensure you’re consistent with your message.  Imagine that each piece of marketing, whether it’s a post on a social network, a blog post, a video, an email is part of an on-going conversation between you and your perfect customer.

Ensure your customer profile has an identity, with a name.  For example, like Jane, who is 31, works at home, with two children and needs you to help her with her book keeping.  Each time you tweet, publish a post or have a coffee with someone, it’s just another chat where you try to teach Jane something useful.

2. Be consistent with your Method

Once you know “what” you’re going to say to Jane, you need to be consistent about “where” you say it.

You can’t be everywhere all of the time.  There are just too many options to market your business.  Try to use too many and you’ll fail.  So, pick a small number that will make up your marketing, let’s say five things.  Five things that you enjoy, that will help you connect with Jane and people like her.

You might choose blogging on your website, guest posting on other blogs, sharing knowledge on Twitter, sharing knowledge on Facebook and networking at Bizmums – that could be your five.  You decide.  But don’t try to do too much, make a success of a small number of things and tweak or change those that don’t prove successful.

3. Be consistent with your Activity

Remember those dying plants?

You need to show up regularly, consistently.  It’s no good posting fifty times on Facebook on Monday and then disappearing for the rest of the week.  If you only have five or ten minutes a day for social networking, plan it in your diary and try to be present at the same time each day – people will get used to seeing you, you’ll start to build relationships and you’ll see results.

The same applies to blogging, guest posting, email marketing, PR, etc – be consistent.  A little water each day is better than lots once a week!

How’s your marketing – like the fantastic looking plants at the local garden show, watered consistently every day, or like the dry, gasping plants I looked after?  Please join me in the comments for a discussion.

Robert Peters

Robert Peters is a small business advisor, coach and consultant. Through his Fresh Eyes Consultancy he helps small business owners grow sustainable and profitable businesses. Sign up for a free copy of his guide on how to avoid the feast and famine cycle and take the stress out of micro business marketing.

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