January is a great time to start a good habit or stop a bad one.
Unfortunately, most of us quit forming good habits after only a few days.
Drink less coffee? Ha.
Go to the gym every morning? Ha ha.
Eat more kale? HAHAHA.
Good habits can be hard to form.
Which is why I’m always looking for ways to do it.
And the best book on the subject I know is Atomic Habits by James Clear, which I’m now reading for the third time.
Clear offers 4 “laws” for creating a new habit that sticks:
1. Make it obvious — easy to be aware of
2. Make it attractive — something that tempts you
3. Make it easy — reduce the friction of doing it
4. Make it satisfying — an immediate reward for doing it is best
You can see these laws at work in the habit-forming apps on your phone.
1. Obvious. Duolingo sends you push notifications to remind you to practice.
2. Attractive. It gamifies language learning and makes it fun.
3. Easy. I don’t have to drive to a class or get on Zoom. Point, click, listen, learn.
4. Satisfying. It shows me how many days in a row I’ve learned.
The 4th law — make the new habit satisfying — is key, according to Clear.
The first 3 laws increase the chances that you’ll do something once.
The 4th law increases the chances that you’ll do something again.
When you make something satisfying “it completes the habit loop,” says Clear.
See that picture of a 21-day streak below?
I’ve been re-learning Irish on Duolingo for 21 days in a row, after first studying it back in the ’90s.
(Tá mé Caoimhín. Is maith liom caife!)
How likely am I to keep that streak going tomorrow?
Now, here’s how to apply this to your marketing.
Take a look at that picture of a 3×5 card below …
Each of the 3 boxes stands for a marketing task I want to do each day.
They are: write a post for LinkedIn, send an email to my list (you’re reading it now!), and add 5 prospect names to my direct-mail list.
Those 3 tasks are important for growing my business. If I can do them each day, it’s a good day.
Five good days make a good week.
Good weeks add up to good months … which add up to revenue.
As you can see, I’ve being doing my marketing tasks for 3 weeks in a row.
How likely am I to keep that streak going next week?
That 3×5 card works just like a high-tech app to build my new marketing habit.
1. Obvious. It sits next to my keyboard, where I always see it.
2. Attractive. Looking at all the X marks is like looking at a trophy.
3. Easy. My brain hates to think. But I don’t have to. Just do the tasks and mark an X.
4. Satisfying. Checking the boxes feels good. I want to do it again tomorrow.
Bottom line: You probably know what you need to do to improve your marketing.
It could be sending a daily email, writing content, mailing letters, giving referrals, etc.
Once you know what you need to do each day, you can turn those marketing tasks into a habit — with a 3×5 card.
Now it’s your turn.
What marketing habits do you want to form?
Comment below to let me know and I’ll help you if I can.
Meanwhile, if you’ve got questions about marketing your business, especially direct mail, learn how I can help you here.
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