Explaining highly effective SMART goals and how to apply them
It is said to “Set your goals high and don’t stop till you get there” It is also said that “A goal without a plan is just a wish” Both of the above quotes are absolutely right, but in order for them to work, they need to support each other. Often we set … Continuedget in touch
Explaining highly effective SMART goals and how to apply them
It is said to “Set your goals high and don’t stop till you get there”
It is also said that “A goal without a plan is just a wish”
Both of the above quotes are absolutely right, but in order for them to work, they need to support each other.
Often we set our goals high, but get lost on the way to achieve them. The finish line seems too far to reach, so we become demotivated and unsure of what to do next. We lose track of the goal and get distracted by other issues.
For this exact reason, it is a good idea to put SMART goals in place. SMART Goals is something from the Inbound marketing methodology, and it has proven to be very successful as Inbound Marketing is taking over the world.
SMART goals stands for:
Making sure you are covering each of these critical elements, will keep you on track and make it more realistic for your goal to become a reality.
Let’s go through this from the top and cover each element of the SMART goals.
“I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize, I should have been more specific” – Lily Tomlin.
To make your SMART goals specific – When determining your next goal, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is it that you wish to accomplish?
- What will change once this goal is achieved?
- Who is involved, is this an internal project or are there clients involved?
- Where is it located – is it digital or a physical project, is it happening overseas or close to home?
- Which resources or limits are affecting the task?
Imagine that you started a new business, and would like to increase your online presence and traffic to your website. A specific goal could be, “I want to improve my digital marketing strategy, and learn about Inbound Marketing so that my content reaches the relevant target audience and brings traffic of at least 1000 new visits per months to my website”
“How long is a piece of string?”
To make your SMART goals measurable, you need to be able to measure your goal. You should be able to answer the below questions:
- What is the scope?
- How much effort does the task take?
- How many different elements does the whole project include?
- How far along in progress am I?
Put a plan in place for how you are planning to keep track of your progress. You will need to measure your success to stay motivated and on track. This element goes hand in hand with the next point – achievable goals.
When dealing with goals related to your digital marketing efforts, you should ensure you have tracking and analytics attached to your campaigns. This will enable you to measure the effectiveness of your strategy and tweak it if required.
You can also add reminders, to check on your progress weekly or monthly depending on the project. This way, you will know exactly how far along you are in progress and if your plan is successful.
“A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot.”
If you set a highly unrealistic goal, you will soon lose the motivation to work towards it and give up.
It needs to be attainable and believable to you.
Even if the primary goal, in the long run, seems impossible to achieve at this point, break it into smaller pieces.
To get started, answer the following questions:
- How can you best accomplish this goal? – We advise you to break the task into smaller steps and start from the top.
- What is the first milestone? – use targets to determine when you have achieved it.
- How realistic is the goal, based on other constraints, such as financial factors, time and expertise?
You may need to look at your goal at “increasing traffic to websites” a bit closer.
What steps and areas does this include?
Without breaking this big and broad task apart, it can, and probably will overwhelm you. List out all the details that are affecting website traffic and analyse what you will need to work on and prioritize it.
If you don’t know where to start at all, perhaps consider an online health check, as it will point out all the areas of improvement and often even prioritizes them for you.
“People will only want to engage if it is relevant to their needs or helps them solve problems” – Jane Hart
Do a little check to ensure this goal aligns with the bigger plan you have for the project. Sometimes we get carried away with a thought or an idea – that seems like a perfect solution at the time, but sometimes our impressions can be deceiving, and it is not the best option at all.
It’s a good idea to do a bit of a reality check and ask the following questions:
- Is it worth the effort – what will it change?
- Is this the best time to focus on this goal, or are there other priorities at the moment?
- Is this aligned with your other, bigger goals and will this bring your company closer to its Brand mission?
To Increase your social presence, you might want to gain 2000 followers on Facebook by the end of the month. You may need to consider if this is the best thing to focus on. Getting a lot of followers in a short amount of time is possible, but these followers may not be genuine supporters of your brand, and you may still end up with low engagement and conversions.
Therefore, this approach may not be relevant or in line with the bigger goal of increasing traffic to your website. You should adjust this to getting more engagement, rather than big numbers of followers who are not interested in your brand.
“The main difference between a goal and a dream is a deadline.”
Goals need a deadline so that you have a set date to focus on and work towards a clear finish line.
As said above – otherwise, it will just be a dream, and possibly will remain a dream forever.
Timeliness is an essential part of the SMART goal criteria, as it ensures your everyday tasks won’t take priority over your longer-term goals.
It will make you prioritise a bit differently. Urgent versus important, does not always mean you should do the next urgent thing.
A time-bound goal will usually answer these questions:
- Does my goal have a deadline?
- What can I achieve in the next six months?
- What can I complete by next month?
- What can I do today, even if it’s just a small task?
Once you have clarified the above – create a detailed timeline breaking the project into smaller parts. Example
Your goal of gaining more traffic of 1000 new visits to your website has a definite ending point. You determined that by being specific.
You have also pulled the task apart and have a clear understanding of all the sub-tasks you will need to achieve to make the main goal happen.
Now you need to create a timeline including sub-goals, determining what needs actioning first, what tasks can be worked on simultaneously, how long will it take when you add this all up?
It’s important to give yourself a realistic time frame for accomplishing the smaller goals that are necessary to achieving your final objective.
We hope this little insight to SMART goals will prove helpful for your future goal-setting, whether for business success or growth and improvement in personal life.
Other articles you might be interested in:
- Digital Marketing Solutions that help your business grow
- Working with Agencies
- An introduction into Buyer Personas and why its essential to create them
- A Detailed Insight Into The Buyer’s Journey and How It Will Help Your Business Thrive
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