Goal setting is an important part of the success you see in your personal life and in business— They give you a focus and help you determine what is a priority to you and your success.
Proper goal setting is much more than writing, “increase revenue” or “gain more prospects”. While these are good starting points of what you resolve to do, they don’t provide you with a road map, or an indication of what accomplishment of that goal looks like. But a S.M.A.R.T goal will provide you with the structure, accountability and trajectory needed to complete even the most ambitious of goals. To make a goal S.M.A.R.T, it must go through a careful consideration process, and meet the criteria of being specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time sensitive. At Everbrave, we highly recommend making S.M.A.R.T goals to help you succeed and track your marketing efforts. In fact, we work S.M.A.R.T goals into each and everyone of our inbound marketing strategies.
Try it out for yourself, work through this 4 step process and start setting S.M.A.R.T goals for marketing:
Step 1: Determine What’s Important to You
The first step in the goal setting process is reflection and figuring out what’s important to you and WHY. Take time to look at your marketing from a bigger picture perspective and find a high-value goal that gives you that warm, fuzzy excitable feeling in your gut, you’ll feel like your goal is practically screaming at you— “this is it, the goal you are looking for!” Our advice, write down WHY this goal has high-value. Seeing that reward written in ink becomes a motivating factor, and becomes the first step towards accomplishing what you’ve set out to.
Step 2: Write your Goals S.M.A.R.T.
So back to this whole idea of S.M.A.R.T goals. Each one of your marketing goals should be defined as specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time sensitive and written or typed out in ink so you have something to refer back to.
In clear, uncomplicated words, what do you want to achieve? Define that goal in the simplest yet most detailed terms—the more detailed, the clearer you will be able to visualize yourself reaching the end-goal. Ask yourself the who, what, where, when, why and how to really chisel out the specifics of your goal.
A measurable goal allows you to realize when this goal has come to pass—it’s a marker that allows you to know when to celebrate that win. It’s not enough to just say “to grow my business.” You need to pare it down to the core and find out what that growth looks like, is it to grow by 2.5% in the first quarter, or by hiring three new sales employees to cover new territory, or maybe it’s to close ten new accounts in the real estate, oil and gas, or medical industries. Without a set measure, you will loose sight of what it is you’re working for, and could end up sabotaging your own progress and goals.
Creating an attainable goal requires balance. The goal needs to be challenging enough that it’s not too easy to achieve, but also not too hard that there is no way to meet that goal’s expectation. While some believe there is nothing wrong with shooting for the stars with an overly ambitious goal, it’s important to evaluate who will be tasked with attaining that goal and how you expect them to achieve it. For example, if the C-suite of your business develops a goal for its sales team to bring in $36 million in sales over the next four months without a clear plan of action, or set of helpful tools for your employees to meet these robust goals, you most certainty will end up with a demoralized, resentful workforce.
Your goals need to be in sync and relevant with the traction you’re looking to gain personally and professionally. You will find that aligning your goals will end up giving you a laser-sharp focus, and get you on the fast-track to success. That’s why step one is so important, it allows you to hash out what’s important and why. Then you can see what fits and what does not fit your vision.
Set a date! Setting a date of accomplishment is more likely to catapult you into action, then leaving the time line open-ended and undefined. Be sure to keep these time lines realistic, so you don’t find yourself or your company in an unpleasant time race.
Step 3: Plan Your Road to Success
So now that you have these great goals set and ready to go. The next question is HOW. How are you going to achieve them? Do you think an athlete wakes up one day and says, “I am going to compete in the Summer Olympics next year”, without a stringent course of action, training schedule and competing in a host of qualifying tournaments prior to even thinking of becoming an Olympian? No! It takes years of preparation, commitment, time and constant check-ins against benchmarks and milestones to make it to that final goal of Olympic Gold. It’s the same with your marketing goals—you need to set out how you are going to reach these unique marketing objectives.
Step 4: Review, Revise and Reinvigorate
- Block out periods of time to review your goals—what are we working towards, and why? What’s the pay off for me, my business and the people that work with me? Make sure that 6 months’ from when you’ve set your goals they’re still relevant, and highly-valuable to you and your business.
- Revise when appropriate—perhaps your end goal has not changed, but significant circumstances have occurred that require you to revise the plan of action or key people involved. Be sure to take the time to make adjustments where necessary to stay on track for success.
- Reinvigorate—has it been 6, 8 or almost 12 months since you last looked at your goals? Reviewing and revising your goals can help boost morale, motivation and reinvigorate the ambition and excitement you felt when you first set your goals. Use it as a motivating factor to keep moving towards your goals.
But don’t take our word for it! Dive right in, and start creating your own S.M.A.R.T goals and watch your marketing efforts take off! Need a little help getting started? Download our free Setting Your S.M.A.R.T Marketing Goals guide today, and you will easily learn how to set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time sensitive goals. Get started, and good luck!