How to Set Goals and Achieve Them
As we’re heading towards the Summer and the whole COVID thing is taking a turn, I’m starting to see LinkedIn posts, pins and Instagram stories about reworking your business’ strategy plan for 2020.
People are back to promoting datebooks, life planners and personal organizers. And don’t even get me started on the tons of free printables out there to help you plan everything from your weekly schedule to goal setting to tracking your blog’s page views.
Before you start to sort through all your planning options on what to buy or download, you need to ask yourself this, “What do you want to accomplish with your marketing strategy? What goals are you trying to achieve to grow your business?”
It’s good to have monthly goals and even better to have a plan for how your business uses social media. All of that stuff is important for a strong strategy to some real results.
But where do you start?
Of course, there’s the obvious – your social media options, goals and online opportunities. But is that really the best place to get this strategy thing pulled together?
No, not really. The best place for you to start is to focus on what I call your final outcome.
Your final outcome is something like this:
- a goal to get more clicks to your website
- a plan to set the foundation to launch your new coaching program or online product
- increasing your reach of the number of people who know who you are and what you do
The Strategic Planning Process
Think about your goals for your strategy plan and let’s walk through the 7 steps you can take to work through to create your own strategic planning process.
First, find a quiet spot and place to write out all your notes. Now work through the strategy planning steps:
1.What’s the final outcome for your goals?
What do you want to achieve when you’re reached this goal?
Describe in detail your goal – how many people do you want to sign up for your course, how many sales you’ll make, page views you’ll get every month. What do you want to see happen with your business or blog to get to your final outcome?
Whatever it is. Just write it out.
2. Review where you are right now.
Look at your marketing plans and see which social media sites makes sense to make your goals happen:
- Which one of your social sites has the most engaged community?
- Which social site do you realistically have time to grow and build on to connect with more people?
- And out of all the social sites where you spend your time, which social program is bringing you the most website traffic?
Don’t spend time worrying about your total number of followers. Those are just vanity numbers and it’s going to take more than a bunch of random people following you to make your goals happen.
This step is more about getting an assessment of where you are right now and what you need to do to get you to where you want to go.
3. Next do a brain dump of ideas that could help you reach your goals with your top social sites, your email list and the content on your website.
When you’re writing out your ideas, don’t judge them based on money, time or whether you’ve seen others do this before. These initial ideas are just to get your mind thinking about the steps you’ll take to reach your goal.
If you find yourself struggling with this step, set a timer for five minutes and just write whatever comes into your head. The five minute brain dump doesn’t give you any time to make any judgments about your ideas.
You only have time to write.
4. Now give yourself some distance from the brain dump and the time you’ll sort through your ideas.
I usually give myself at least 24 hours between the time I do a brain dump and when I pick it back up. I often find that during that downtime, my mind starts to fixate on one or two of the ideas and I find myself working through all the angles.
And when I come back to my ideas, I have a better understanding of what will work, what’s feasible for me to handle and what other things I can do to compliment my ideas.
5. Develop actionable steps for your top ideas from the brain dump.
Each action should have a specific outcome as an indicator of success. You’ll also want to define how each step will be measured.
Will you monitor your Facebook Insights? Run reports in your Google Analytics? Use a specific social site monitor program?
Make sure each step can be measured so you can assess whether it’s working or not. Add a note to each idea about how you’ll measure it’s effectiveness.
6. Starting with the end point of your goals, get out your calendar and work backwards to schedule timelines about when you’ll do each action step.
You may need to break your steps down even further into smaller actions so write out those extra action items that you need to work on. Type them out, write it out on a piece of paper, create a note in Evernote or whatever productivity tool you use.
It doesn’t matter what you use, just write them down!
Block off the time to work on your action steps just as you would for a client project or coaching session. Make these steps an important priority in your calendar.
7. Regularly assess your challenges and review what’s working.
Schedule time in your monthly calendar to review what’s going in with your goals and your social sites. Be willing to adjust your strategy when things aren’t working.
I usually breakdown my plan into quarterly chunks of time.
Three months gives me enough time to see a pattern of what’s going on – are the content of my posts connecting? Can I streamline these steps to make it more efficient?
Be honest with yourself when things aren’t working. Spend the time trying to tweak the copy or reworking your images.
And if you’re seeing your content or your live stories resonating with your community, assess those as well. What can you do to expand on this idea or add to that content with a blog series or testing out IGTV?
What really works to reach your goals
Be careful when you’re reviewing your options and opportunities!
Sometimes when we get wrapped up in our goals, we tend to over analyze what we’re doing in our social sites. We log into our Google Analytics looking for answers instead of making the decision about what to work on to reach our goals.
How do you know when you’re fallen down the research rabbit hole? When you’re reading way too many blog posts or, worse, you’re signing up to a bunch of DIY online courses because you’ve convinced yourself that this one will be the quick fix to make this stuff work.
When you catch yourself in this place, take my simple advice – just make a decision.
Stop thinking about what’s the perfect solution and just make a decision about what you want to work on and move forward with that plan.
Remember, your decision isn’t set in stone. It’s just a direction for you to stop cycling all those ideas in your head and keep you moving towards your goals.
There is no such thing as the perfect strategy plan to reach your final outcome.
With social media’s ever changing landscape, you’ll always be changing and shifting your strategy to keep up with what’s new and what’s changed. Accept the fact that you’ll keep working and adjusting your plans.
There really isn’t some secret formula that makes a perfect social media post or the perfect social image that always works. Social media just isn’t a place for perfection.
Perfect is stressful. Perfect is time consuming. Perfect isn’t achievable.
Do you want to know what does work? Consistency.
Consistently posting in your social sites is a better strategy plan to reach your goals than perfection.
Consistency is the key to a strong social media strategy. Consistency is what works.
Seriously, why does this have to be so freaking hard?
- Does your social plan feel scattered?
- Are you spending hours online and not seeing results?
- Are you lost in the sea of information from one expert’s webinar to another top blogger’s post on how all this social stuff should work together?
It really doesn’t have to be this hard
I’m going to show you with the process in the Create Your Business program how to make sure that you’re not wasting your time online.
As you work through the worksheets that come with your monthly box, you’ll figure out where to spend your time to reach the right customers. And the creative exercises will help you learn a process you can easily reproduce to help you grow your business.
If you’re ready to do this social media marketing stuff differently, it’s time to subscribe to the Create Your Business subscription box.