When you think about setting goals for your creative business, are you thinking in tangible or abstract terms?
The abstract is all about thoughts, ideas and concepts. That’s where we all start our process of designing wonderful crafts and handmade beauties, so it feels like a natural place to start thinking about creative business goals, too. But just like with a craft project, there comes a time when you have to step out of the abstract and start thinking in more concrete terms about the time, tools and resources you need to actually make it happen.
Back in the 80s, management and marketing experts developed the SMART acronym as a tool for setting more effective business goals. It’s excellent creative business strategy to use this acronym for every goal you set for yourself and your business – from sales and marketing to production and expenses:
Let’s apply this to blogging!
Here’s an example of an abstract goal for blogging:
Maybe you’ve just set up a blog, or you have a blog that’s being neglected. You have decided that a good goal would be simply to “blog more often.” That would be thinking in the abstract – you know that blogging is valuable for your business, and it’s a great idea to blog more often. But setting that goal with just three little words will not get the job done. You need to write a goal that has more detailed information about what you want, when you’ll make it happen, and how you’ll know whether or not your effort is successful.
Here’s an example of a SMART goal for blogging:
I want to blog 3x per week and develop each month’s topics and schedule a month in advance. I want each post to generate at least 60 views and 10 social media interactions. I will vary the types of posts on my schedule so there’s a workable mix of posts that are quick to generate (like round-ups and repurposed content) vs. posts that take longer to produce (like video tutorials and book reviews).
Can you spot all five “SMART parts” in this goal? With this goal, you have something you can really work with and hold yourself accountable for. Setting SMART goals for each aspect of your marketing plan is critical so you’re not just randomly shooting arrows in the air without a target.
And guess what?
It’s okay if you realize later that you need to tweak your goals for any reason – because your business or customer is changing, because your needs have shifted, etc. Your goals don’t have to be set in stone and they shouldn’t make you feel guilty or inadequate if you don’t meet them. As you measure and analyze your efforts each month (or week or year), make whatever adjustments are necessary to improve what’s not working and capitalize on everything that is working.
Are you going to make SMART choices?
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