We are now two months into the New Year. And if you’re like most people any new year’s resolutions you made have been abandoned.
Why? Because those resolutions mean change.
And let’s face it, change is hard. Anytime we step out of our comfort zone by trying something new or attempting to be better at something we will face resistance.
Resistance is that voice in our head that stops us when we set a goal or intention causing us to not follow through. Resistance keeps us from doing the work necessary to achieve our goals.
Resistance affects all of us. The more resistance you feel, the more important the change is to you.
So to get things done, move forward or implement change, you must combat resistance.
Resistance can take many forms such as:
- Worrying about the opinion of others
- Over analysis
In the book, Switch How to Change Things When Change is Hard; the authors Chip Heath and Dan Heath offer this explanation for resistance.
Resistance is actually ambiguity.
To illustrate this point the authors discuss a research project that was conducted by two professors at West Virginia University. They were contemplating ways to persuade people to eat a healthier diet.
Think about how broad that goal is. Ask someone what it means to eat healthier and you’ll get all sorts of different answers.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Eat less sugar
- Reduce fat intake
- Eat less processed foods
- Take in fewer calories
- Eat less red meat
And that’s just a list I rattled off in about thirty seconds. There are many ways to eat a healthier diet. But that vagueness is exactly what dooms the goal.
People are more likely to change when the new behavior is crystal clear.
The researchers answer? Milk.
Most Americans drink milk, but it is the single largest source of saturated fat in the typical American’s diet. So they launched a public health campaign to get people to buy skim or 1% milk.
That’s it. They didn’t ask people to change their drinking behavior, just their purchasing behavior for one item.
Results were measured by the increase of market share for low-fat milk, which six months after the campaign was 17% higher.
This worked because people weren’t spinning their wheels to “get healthier”.
What Does This Have to Do With Your Marketing?
Let’s say you want to improve or even start online marketing. Well that goal is too vague. Just as there are many choices for eating a healthier diet, there are many choices for implementing online marketing.
And all those choices may have you spinning your wheels when it comes to marketing your business.
What should you do?
Decide what you are trying to achieve and choose one action that will help get you there.
- If you haven’t established any type of online presence, then your first step should be a website for your business or practice.
- If you need a consistent way to stay in touch with your customers, clients and prospects you could start an e-newsletter.
- If you’d like to build your email list you could offer a free report to people in exchange for their email address.
- If you have content to share but aren’t active on social media, you could choose one or two social sites where your ideal clients are and begin participating in the conversation.
Your overall marketing plan should be cohesive and fit together. But avoid being overwhelmed by focusing on one action at a time.
Start where you are and implement one marketing technique. Once that strategy is in place you can move on to the next piece of your plan.
Clarity dissolves resistance.
Being clear about the one action you need to take makes it much easier to actually do it rather than procrastinate, over analyze, or succumb to any other form of resistance.
Remember it was easy for people to get healthier when they knew the one action to take was to drink skim or low fat milk instead of whole milk.
And once you take action you build momentum. That momentum helps you reach your goal.
So if your goal is to reach more prospects and customers through online marketing, you need to determine a clear action to take. Being clear will dissolve your resistance and you’ll make significant progress in your marketing or any other goal.
If you’re not sure where to start, I can help you get clarity. Contact me for a marketing consultation.
By the way, I always knew cookies and milk went together but who knew milk and marketing could go together?
If you have any tips on how to overcome resistance, leave a comment.