February 11, 2021

Annette Densham

My tea has gone cold again. I stand in front of the microwave to give it a 30 second zap, beseeching, urging, and demanding it hurry up.

Thirty seconds is too long to spend in the kitchen when I have a deadline to meet.


Back at my desk, I realise I have become one of the ‘those’ people. The great unwashed inpatient demanding folk who expect everything to be done yesterday and that their one post or media win will score oodles of sales and a tidal wave of new business.

Us humans have forgotten Rome wasn’t built it a day; it took time to get it right. We’ve become so fixated with instant gratification, fast fashion, and immediate results that when the universe plays out the way it always has, slow and steady wins the race, we get cranky and look for someone to blame.

In business, this is the death knoll of success. Expecting instant results with little effort is just a pathway to frustration and pain. Think about all the things that take time to produce excellent outcomes – having a baby, losing weight, reading a good book, developing a new relationship, building a house…

There are no shortcuts to get outcomes for these things, yet so many expect to start a business from scratch and then boom … riches and accolades rain down like mana from heaven.

Building a brand and a profile takes time. The average time to build a rock solid, trusted brand is three to five years. That is almost 1,900 days of dedicating time to building relationships, cementing trust, and consistently marketing and promoting what you do. Over and over. Rinse and repeat. Rain or shine. Yes or no.

Sadly, many go into business with unrealistic expectations, little understanding of strategy, and the need to be consistent with messaging, communication, and content.

They are stunned when they send a one-off media release and it doesn’t get traction or why others who have less skill than they do (but show up consistently online) get all the business. They think hanging out their shingle and a website should be enough to sell, sell, sell.

Building a solid brand is all about repetition and building a cascade of influence. People buy from those they know, like and trust … and that is built by being seen EVERYWHERE. Advertising agencies and those who advertise get this; that’s why you see the same ad over and over, almost to the point of being annoying.

But it locks the brand into your brain. While you may not be ready to buy right now, when it comes time to buy whatever it is you need or want, pop, into your brain goes that brand. They have done their job. That requires commitment and an understanding of delayed gratification.

Delayed gratification is knowing you have wait for results. It is knowing to build a profile, you must tap into PCR – persistence, consistence, and resistance.


When you get no for an answer or feel your content is not getting cut through or the engagement you want, you keep going, You don’t give up because you are not famous overnight or your workshop is not sold out in seconds. It takes time to build relationships and this means you must get friendly with …


When you are tired of posting content, showing up in Facebook groups, writing blogs or pitching to the media, you step it up and keep going because you know the more:

  • content
  • backlinks
  • awards
  • podcast interviews
  • articles
  • social media posts

The more people see you ALL OVER THE PLACE. This is the ultimate in brand seed planting. By consistently being seen, you go from the best kept secret to front of mind.


This is the hardest one. When you are doing all the right things and the wins seem few and far between, it is easy to throw in the towel and give up. You’ve invested time and money, and still have little to show for your efforts.

But if you keep going and resist the negative nellie in your head and understand delayed gratification, you will cement your place as the ‘expert’ in your space, becoming well know, well paid and wanted.

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Annette Densham

Annette Densham is an international award-winning publicity expert with a 30 plus year career in newspapers – The Australian, Financial Review, and Daily Telegraph, magazines (print and digital) and corporate communications. She uses her expertise to teach small business people how to use their stories to connect with the world and build influential brands.

Annette is also a stand-up comedian, and as an author, trainer, mentor and speaker, she weaves her story magic everywhere.

annette densham

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