How Consistency Can Lead to Trust and Awareness
Something that is common for all things successful, whether that be a chart topping artist or your neighborhood’s most popular bakery, is consistency. The magic of showing up every day, every week, or every year, and delivering what you promised to the people you promised it to, is often a bigger factor to success than what most people realize.
It might sound simple, but it has a lot more to it than what might be obvious at first thought. That’s why in this article, I will explain some of the benefits of consistency and try to spark some thought into what you can do to become more consistent and precise in your own work.
Let’s use the bakery idea as an example. Imagine a bakery that’s not consistent. Every day they have new, freshly bakes products available, and they’re never the same as the day before. Some days they have bread, some days they have only sweets. Some weeks they decide to take Friday off and some weeks they take Sunday off.
Now, imagine a similar bakery next door. They also have new, freshly baked products available every day, and they’re closed one day a week. The only difference is that this bakery has more or less the same products available every day and they’re closed on the same day every week. This bakery is consistent.
If you needed fresh bread every day and liked some predictability in when to plan your shopping, which of these bakeries would you go to? I think the answer is obvious. Of course, you would go to the consistent bakery. Because that’s a bakery you can trust.
How does this apply in music? If you take a look at the discography of any commercially successful artist, you’ll see that they most likely have released a huge amount of music. And if they haven’t released a huge amount of music, they have most likely played a huge amount of concerts or been consistent in their presence otherwise.
Of course, music doesn’t work like a bakery and you can’t release the same song every day, every week. That would be boring. But you can show up consistently and give your bread (music) to those in need of your bread (music), again and again. Because showing up again and again, and giving people what they want and need is one of the key factors to building trust. And trust is crucial in any aspect of life as well as in business.
Now, imagine those same bakeries as in the example above. One bakery is consistent. This means that they, like most successful people and businesses, follow some sort of schedule and a plan. They’re open six days a week and closed every Sunday. They take public holidays off, but otherwise, they’re around.
This other bakery – the inconsistent one, they’re open whenever they feel like it. One month they’re open every day, and the next they’re open once or twice a week. They don’t pay attention to public holidays and just do whatever they feel like when they feel like it.
What bakery do you think would be most noticeable and memorable to you, if they were in your neighborhood? I bet the answer is the same as above, you’d be more aware of the consistent one. Because showing up and being consistent day by day has a profound effect on us.
You might be well aware of the bakery that’s inconsistent because it’s kinda funny and maybe noticeable. But you wouldn’t have the awareness that blinks “my favorite local bakery” in your head whenever you think about it. It’s more likely that you would think something similar to “damn, there’s that bakery or shop or whatever that has these weird-ass opening hours, I wonder what the hell they’re doing”. If you’re trying to sell bread and sweets, I don’t think that’s the image you want people to have of you. If you want to go maybe go viral and get known as “the bakery that is open whenever it wants and sells whatever it wants” you’re right on track.
This has a lot of resemblance in music and the way you as an artist decide to be consistent in order to create awareness. The continuous rise of social media and the power of algorithms have made many artists decide to go with the “open 24 hours” kind of style. Always posting updates, trying to “hack” the algorithms, and always be available. That might be a good strategy if you’re trying to reach out to fans who are looking for that sort of thing.
But there are also people out there who rarely post anything, and seem kind of mysterious and hard to reach. That works well if you’re looking to reach people who are looking for that sort of thing. Being consistent builds awareness, but only for the people who are looking for the consistency you are providing.
To sum it up
Cambridge dictionary defines “consistent” as “always behaving or happening in a similar, especially positive, way”.
The point I’m trying to get at in this post is that consistency is absolutely vital for any artist out there, and I’ve chosen to go into the topics of how consistency can help build trust and awareness because without trust and awareness you don’t have very much else to build on.
But it’s important to note that consistency can’t be defined (other than what Cambridge dictionary did above) in specifics. Consistency does not necessarily mean “post on Instagram every day” or “release a new song every second month”, or “stay open 6 days a week and closed one. Consistency for an artist means to be specific about what change you’re trying to make and be consistent in making that specific change happen.
About Gerhard Tinius:
Gerhard Tinius is a groovy producer, mixer, and audio engineer from Norway. Working as a mixer and audio/mastering engineer while releasing his own music under Tinius. Gerhard also writes his own blog about music-making and the creative process in general. Read it here.