In this blog, I often talk about how you can start to achieve more once you focus on a single task. In the online marketing business, we all tend to be guilty of trying to do too much at once. We don't often focus on goal setting as much as we should, in fact, I know some people who have never set goals.
Specific goals don't feature on our radar as much as they should. Effective goal setting relies on choosing the right strategic goals and not choosing vague, short-term goals that we have no intention of keeping.
I like to call this the shotgun approach.
Imagine shooting a juicy watermelon with a shotgun from about 10 feet. A lot of the buckshot will hit, but some will miss.
Now let’s move to 50 feet, once again some will hit, but a lot more will miss.
Now move to 100 feet, a few will hit, but a lot more will miss.
What if you used a sniper rifle rather than a shotgun? It doesn’t matter if you are at 10 feet, 100 feet or 1000 feet, the chances are that every shot will hit.
The sniper rifle is our achievable goals.
Very few of us have a clear focus on what we want to achieve. Most of our thinking is wooly to say the least with no firm plans or ideas. We lack specific direction and focus.
When I am coaching the first question I always ask is: “What do you want to achieve with this project?”
The answers I get are generally vague with no real defined goal.
I want to build an income.
I want to grow my list.
I want to drive traffic to my blog.
Don’t worry if you think this way, we all do. However to be successful, we need to refine that thinking into clear, concise goals.
I want to generate $100 a day within the next 60 days.
I want to get 1000 more subscribers this month.
I want to generate 10,000 visitors a month by July 1st.
There has been a lot written in recent years about goal setting theory and how goals and objectives impact the subconscious mind. I prefer to take a simple approach and create Smart Goals.
These kinds of smart goals are based on the mnemonic SMART.
Specific – Give yourself a specific goal: I want to add subscribers to my list.
Measurable – You should be able to quantify your success. How will you know when you’ve reached your goal. I want to add 1000 subscribers to my list.
Attainable – Your goal should be a target you can achieve. It should be challenging but not impossible. You should also have access to all the resources you need.
Relevant – Make sure your goal is applicable to your long-term aims. If you don’t intend to send emails, then having a list is pointless. If your long-term goal is to generate $100,000 a year, will having a list help you?
Time-based – Set a time limit for yourself. This will give you a level of urgency and help you manage the task better. Specify a time when your goal needs to be attained. I want to add 1000 subscribers to my list in the next 60 days
Sticking to the 1000 subscribers goal example, you can now break that down.
1000 subscribers over 60 days is 17 subscribers a day.
Your vague goal of getting subscribers is now something you can easily measure and apply yourself to.
Let's look at this is a little more depth:
Although setting a goal is good, it's more important to be specific about your goals. Now is a good time to consider the big picture.
What is your ultimate goal?
Think of this as planning a road trip.
Let's say we are in our car near Central Park, New York and it’s 7 am on a Monday morning. We want to get to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco at 8 pm in 7 days time.
You wouldn’t just start the car and drive; you’d grab a map and look at where the Golden Gate Bridge is and then trace your route between the start and finish point.
You’d plan your stops, and you would have a rough idea of where you want to be on any given day so that you’d arrive at the right time.
Our goals should be no different. When you know where you want to be sometime in the future, it’s much easier to plan the steps along the route.
Get 100 subscribers in a month. Get 1000 subscribers in 2 months. Get 10,000 subscribers in a year.
Set Measurable Goals
I know most people find stats and data boring, but they are vitally important to you. With the right stats, you know what’s working and what isn’t. This information will allow you to set your goals and ensure that they are realistic and not ones that you'll struggle to achieve.
To get an extra 1000 subscribers in the next 60 days, I need to get 17 subscribers a day. I know that my welcome mat converts at 10% so I need 170 new visitors a day.
The last time I ran a giveaway, the conversion rate was 70%, so if I ran a competition with a relevant giveaway, I could easily get those 1000 visitors in a week rather than a month.
What about a content upgrade? Well, they convert at around 30%, so I need 60 visitors a day to an article with a relevant content upgrade.
Having measurable stats are vitally important to your success. They allow you to see how you are progressing towards your goal and if you need to take any additional action.
Make it Achievable
Choosing an achievable goal doesn’t just mean choosing something that you think you can achieve on paper, it’s about choosing a goal that will challenge you but won’t disillusion you.
You probably won’t get your goals right when you first start, you’ll either overestimate or underestimate. Just adjust as necessary. You’ll soon get the hang of finding the right balance in your goal choices.
Plucking random figures out of the air isn’t going to help you in the slightest.
If you’ve never built a list in the past, you have nothing to base your goal on, so don’t be over ambitious.
Start with 100 visitors a month for your first month.
If you’ve built a list, then 500 or 1000 subscribers would be a more challenging goal.
Relevancy is Key
It would be pointless for me to set a goal of a getting 1000 Snapchat followers. I don’t use it, and I have no idea of how to market using it.
It’s just not relevant to what I am doing at the moment, nor is it relevant to my long-term goals. Maybe later it will be very relevant, but not at the moment.
However getting 1000 new email subscribers is very relevant for me as I use email marketing on a regular basis. Getting new blog visitors is also relevant as my blog is the top of all my funnels.
Not only that, I have all the tools I need to build a list or to drive traffic to my blog.
Having the tools or resources you need should play a part in choosing your goals.
There is no point in trying to get 1000 subscribers if you don’t have the tools you need to build a list. You’ll spend the first half of the month learning how best to use list building tools before even getting one subscriber.
Use Your Time Wisely
Time should be a major consideration when choosing your goals. Not only the time constraints you set for your goals, but how much time you have to spend on them.
Do you have enough time to work on achieving your goals? If not, then revise them.
You don’t need to spend 8 hours a day, but you should be able to set aside a specific amount of time every day to work on them.
Having 30 minutes – an hour a day where you do nothing but work on a set plan designed to fulfill your goals will usually have a more beneficial effect than trying to fit in 2 or 3 hours a day with no plan.
Setting a finite amount of time to complete your current goal will allow you to stay on track and will force you to take steps to reach your goal.
If your goal is to build a list, I highly recommend Bryan Harris's (Video Fruit) List Goal Chrome extension. You set a goal and it tracks it in real time for you, right in your browser tabs. Best of all, it's free
So there we have it.
Setting and achieving goals is important in driving your business forward. You can make this easier by setting the right goals and challenging yourself to achieve them.
I've prepared a goal setting worksheet that you can download and use; it will help you to set goals and focus on those specific goals. You'll find it at the end of this article.
What You Can Do Next
- Get accountable, leave a comment below and tell us what your first SMART goal is.
- If you know anyone else who could do with some help setting goals, share this post.
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