I often use health and fitness analogies for online business problems because the obstacles faced in both industries are so similar and yet, by looking outside of your own business, it becomes easier to see the problem for what it is.
As you might remember, Kristen is a nutritional therapy practitioner and we've spent countless hours studying health, nutrition, and exercise.
I truly believe that you can't optimize your life without maximizing that side of things. But that's not today's topic.
Yesterday Kristen and I were talking about someone who was looking for a supplement for her daughter who had recently developed some deficiencies as a result of going vegan.
Her daughter wasn't getting enough nutrients from her diet, so she needed to supplement to maintain her health.
This is common, but suboptimal. Where I live, its common to supplement with vitamin D because we don't get much sunshine in these Seattle winters. Vitamin D is absolutely essential to many of the functions that your body performs every day and you simply can't live without it.
So we supplement.
But that doesn't mean that we purposefully avoid getting out in the sun. We have an app called "dminder" that tells us how much vitamin D we've absorbed by being in the sun for a period of time. This helps us to track our vitamin D levels over time between blood tests.
This doesn't give us permission to eat McDonalds every day. Or to go Vegan, like the example above. It's still important to have the foundational nutrition in place before resorting to supplements.
Anyways, what does this have to do with your online business?
Let's take engagement for example. Your business needs it. But it doesn't always get it naturally.
So you decide to supplement with a tactic that is "proven" to increase engagement. Maybe you throw in a poll or ask a question.
That's great. I hope it works. But what if it doesn't work?
What if no matter how many tactics you try, you still aren't getting more engagment? You're sitting around wondering why everyone else is getting traction and you're stuck there not improving.
It's because the foundational strategy isn't in place. Tactics without a sound strategy is simply putting lipstick on a pig.
This is why I come off as so anti-tactic in most of my content. Most people already know all the tactics. The reason why you aren't progressing is because you haven't laid the fundamental foundation for your content.
As Ben Settle says (paraphrased), "the easiest way to get your content read is to write content that people enjoy reading."
So if your engagement is low, it stands to reason that you could make a much more significant improvement by writing better content than by trying different shades of lipstick.
Easier said than done, am I right?
The key is to consistently reveal new insights to your prospect through storytelling and analogies. They don't have to be brand spanking new ideas that the world has never seen before, just new to your prospect.
A new way to view the solution to their problems.
Take this post for example. Most marketers will tell you that you need more tactics to succeed. My goal is to give you a new way to view this engagement problem.
When you consistently bring these insights, people will look forward to your content every day.
You can't replace strategy with tactics. You can supplement tactics, but you must have the strategy in place first.