If you fail to plan . . . well, you know!
Have you heard the adage “A goal without a plan is just a wish”? All the goal-setting in the world won’t lead to success unless you have a plan to achieve those goals. December for the Origin Solutionistas is all about helping our clients reflect on the year’s progress, set goals for the upcoming year, and most importantly, create a detailed plan for achieving them.
Planning Your Marketing Goals Starts with a Look Backward
Before you can set marketing goals that are realistic and attainable, you need to get in touch with reality. Block some time on your calendar to dig deeply into your business’s performance this year. What projects and clients did you really enjoy? Which ones challenged you? What did your profit and loss report end up looking like at the end of the year? Did you make more or less than you projected? Were your costs manageable, or did you feel cash-strapped? On the balance, were you productive with your time, or did you spend hours on busy work that did not make a large impact on your revenue?
Whew! That was a lot of questions! But you need the answers to move forward with your marketing plan for 2018.
Set a Big Marketing Goal . . . Then Break It Down
Now that you have a clear understanding of your progress this year, it’s time to identify and commit to a big goal (or two!) for 2018. Based on your performance this year, how much revenue do you hope to make in 2018? Or, how many new clients do you want to add? Now, think about your capabilities. Are there any that you’d like to bolster or dial back on next year?
Whatever your big goal, it’s important that you feel it’s possible to achieve it. Recently, our Inbound Solutionista Amanda participated in a training on goals. The facilitator explained that not only should your goals be attainable, they should be aspirational. He suggested adding 10 percent to whatever goal you have in mind. So, if you’re hoping to add 100 more clients to your book of business, make it 110.
Once you have your big goal, it’s time to break it down into smaller benchmark goals (yup, we’re still on goals—not to the plan yet!). We like breaking big goals down into quarterly, monthly, and weekly mini-goals. Doing so makes your big goal seem a lot more attainable. So those 110 clients? You’ll need to onboard 28 a quarter to hit your goal. That’s about nine a month and more than one a week, on average.
The Time Has Come! To Plan, That Is!
Armed with your big goal and smaller benchmark goals, it’s finally time to plan. What specific action steps will you take to reach your weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals so your big 2018 goal is within easy reach?
For our inbound marketing clients, this plan starts with framing out a content calendar for every month. We help our clients identify the tools they’ll use (blogging, email, social media, etc.) and establish how frequently they’ll publish, send, or schedule their content. Then, we set weekly tasks to hit those due dates, including who’s responsible for completing each one. Once we have the structure, then we can plug in themes and topics. When we’re done, we have a very clear path forward for the entire year.
Does all this talk about goal-setting have you a little freaked out? You’re not alone! We’d love to learn how we can support you and help you determine your big marketing goal for 2018. And, we’ll work together with you to create a plan to meet that goal. Give us a shout to get started!