Setting goals can sometimes quickly become a cruel lesson in futility. Like New Years’ resolutions—you set goals with great motivation and vigor—only to have your best intentions sidetracked by company requests, family life or other distractions. That is unless you’re a part of the only 8% who keep them.
To stay focused on your initiatives—here are three points to help you organize your thoughts and make a plan to achieving them.
1. Create a Vision
If you were given a 50,000 dollar budget to spend on marketing—what would you do with it? Build a better website? Write more content? Produce more videos? Upgrade your photography? Increase sales by 20% within 9 months? The first step to creating a goal is to figure out what you want. If you don’t know what you want, you don’t know what you need to achieve to get there. What do you really want to create for yourself, your business or your brand? How will this benefit you personally? Don’t be afraid to think big. Take fifteen minutes and document your vision. Take note of the details. Try to incorporate all the different angles into your vision to make it effective. (Source: Forbes)
2. Use the SMART method to set your goals
SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely – think of these as the ingredients of success. Here’s what they mean and how to apply them:
Specific: Set real numbers with real deadlines. Don’t say, “I want more website visitors,” or “I want to dominate my category.” Look at your website metrics, sales numbers or anything else you have tracked in the past in the form of visits, leads, sales or customers to establish benchmarks. These metrics work, because they are measurable, and they can be used to understand how they affect your bottom line now and in the future.
Measurable: Make sure that you can track your goals. Don’t hide behind buzzwords like “brand engagement” or “social influence.” If it’s leads, how many leads do you want? Don’t pick something out of thin air, pick something you can measure correctly and track.
Put the right tools in place to measure like Google Analytics or other web tracking software like HotJar, Databox, or HubSpot. You can’t measure what you can’t track.
Attainable: Work toward a goal that is challenging but possible. Don’t try to take over the world in one night. How much time is it going to take? How much budget and resources do you have?
Realistic: Be honest with yourself, because you know what you and your team are capable of. Don’t forget any hurdles you may have to overcome, e.g. competitors, economy, changing regulations, talent, etc.
Timely: Give yourself a deadline. Don’t keep pushing towards a goal you might hit “some day.” How long is it going to take? 6 months, 1 year? Set a realistic timeframe. Give yourself enough time to reach your goal, but not too much that it drags on.
By utilizing the SMART method—your goals are much more attainable and measurable. (Source: Hubspot)
Here’s an example of a SMART goal:
Increase visits by 25% (2,250 per month to 3,000 per month) and make $150K in additional revenue by EOY.
According to a study done by Gail Matthews at Dominican University, those who wrote down their goals accomplished significantly more than those who did not write down their goals. Who doesn’t want to accomplish significantly more? If you don’t write it down, it doesn’t exist. We all know that having a plan is one thing, but accomplishing that plan is something different.
Get out a big pad of paper and a sharpie and begin writing down your goals and post them on your wall. That way you can refer to them every day and track progress as you cross them off the list.
As marketers and business owners in the hunting and firearms industry, we are always being pulled in 10 different directions. We’re constantly trying to find ways to keep the train on the track. By establishing the above SMART goals, you can alleviate a lot of stress when you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing. SMART goals keep you laser-focused and on task. Now that your goals have been set—plan it out and get moving. Don’t forget to celebrate each goal as you achieve it!