Every smart entrepreneur knows the importance of goal setting. Sure, most of us set goals but how many set goals smartly, using the SMART goal setting formula? By now you’ve learned that without a carefully researched target – either a specific population you market to or a targeted need you’ve found to fill – your marketing efforts will fail. So, let’s look at a basic goal setting model, the SMART model to maximize your potential for realizing your project’s goals.
SMART is an acronym for:
Specific – When Japan decided back in 1980 to make the production of computers and electronics their number one goal, they were very specific. They did not say they wanted the #1 spot in the field of technology and they did not aim for something generic like “high-tech products”. No, they targeted a very specific product, aiming for the top spot in the computer and electronics niche. Now the Japanese consumer electronics industry is one of the most prominent industries in the world, and Japan is the world’s largest computer and electronics manufacturer!
Measurable – As you embark upon any business project and build a website for your services or products, you need to easily track who is viewing your pages, where they are coming from and which pages visitors view the most. So, instead of putting a simple website up and just “hoping for the best” results, you need to have an automatic way to track these “site stats” which tell you about your site’s visitors. One of the ways I do this is by setting up my blog website using WordPress. WordPress is a free blog tool and publishing platform which offers your site’s visitors statistics and will give you insight into your marketing effectiveness.
Achievable – Attainable and actionable are the key focal points of this smart goal. Think about it – if you are setting the bar either too high or too low, you end up being disappointed with your results and can get bogged down with taking action. A great way to help set goals that you can realistically do is to start with something you know you can definitely achieve. Let’s say you have accomplished something like this goal on an earlier project. If so, you now have a working template and can transfer those skills to your current project. But, if you’ve never set up a website presence for your offline business you probably would not begin by trying to set it up without guidance and research of some sort. You will need to use people you know with skill sets you don’t have, or research online to find information related to starting your first website.
Realistic – This is the part where you Reflect on your own abilities, free time, energy level, and overall “reality testing”. Doing a self-assessment and then getting feedback from others who have embarked upon similar projects is helpful. Try not to assume that just because you think you might like to meet a certain goal, that it is realistic that you can reach it! If you do not enjoy what you have chosen as a topic to write about on your blog how realistic is it that you will continue taking the time and exerting the effort it takes to keep your blog updated. So, check your assumptions about your ability to meet your goals against the reality of your own history with projects of this type and size. If necessary, size down and tackle your project in smaller chunks, then Reward yourself for your completion and move on to the next realistic part of the goal, always assessing and doing reality checks before wasting your time and getting frustrated with your efforts. Remember, once you’ve accomplished the smaller tasks, they keep adding up and eventually you will have completed the basic tasks of your goal. Then, if you wish, you can begin to scale up, ‘rinse and repeat’ and expand into other related markets, even partnering with others who can do some of the easier, monotonous work for you.
Time Limited – The mantra here is set , write down and stick to a deadline. Make smaller deadlines to reach your larger deadline on time. Let’s say you have a goal of writing 50 blog posts per year. This sounds easy to me. Do you think so? Sure, you say. But if you are not writing at least four posts per month or one post per week, you will have a hard time reaching that goal. And if you are monetizing your blog and have a goal of earning income from the sale of products, you have to either create your own products or, as many beginners do, become an affiliate marketer. This means you must include your affiliate links either “contextually”, on the content of your blog post, or on the sidebar with an image of the product. You need to have a time line for when you are going to have these components set up on your website. So starting with maybe installing one new “widget” per week would be easy enough until you have just the right amount for your needs. Of course you will need to drive traffic to your site and you will need a time-line to follow for this activity – perhaps you could publish your posts in at least one article directory per week. That would be an easy, realistic timetable to set up, don’t you think? Article directories such as EzineArticles.com, GoArticles.com and ArticleCity.com are examples of popular directories to get you started.
So, keep your eye on your SMART goals – and each time you meet every smaller goal, say out loud something to acknowledge your own right efforts, such as , “Great job, mission accomplished!” when you reach each small target. Then remember to reward yourself to anchor in your accomplishment and push yourself beyond the last goal, always going forward, step by step! The result will be that you will start to improve on reaching your goals. This will happen more often without a lot of effort because you are keeping an eye on your goals and are solidifying your achievements in a very positive, upbeat way.