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How to set SMART Goals

Goal setting is probably one of the hardest things marketers have to do.


Goals are great -- they help us prove how effective we are, keep us focused, and push us to be better. The thing is, though, goals are totally useless if they're not grounded in reality. That's why it's critical to set SMART goals.

  • Specific -- Set real numbers with real deadlines. 
  • Measurable -- Make sure that you can track your goal. 
  • Attainable -- Work toward a goal that is challenging but possible. 
  • Realistic -- Be honest with yourself, because you know what you and your team are capable of. 
  • Time-bound -- Give yourself a deadline. 

For marketers implementing brand new activities, picking the right goals (and then tackling them) can feel like a guessing game. Here's a step by step guide on how to set SMART goals. 

Step 1: Summarize Your Goal

The first step is to write down a summary of what your goal is. Goals are not always clear for marketers, so this may be harder than it seems -- but forcing yourself to write it down here lends clarity that you'll find very helpful.

Step 2: Categorize Your Goal

Most marketers need to do one of three things: get more visitors to their site, get more visitors to convert into leads, or get more leads to convert into customers. Decide which best fits your current situation.

Step 3: Set a Specific Numerical Goal

Setting a value to work toward can be the hardest step of all. Use your current percentage of conversion as a guidline. The average conversion rate for leads and cusotmers is 30%. 

Step 4: Select a Completion Date

A goal is just a dream until you add a deadline. Decide on the length of time you think it will take to reach your goal. This will help you figure out how aggressive you need to be with your marketing efforts.

Step 5: Commit the Time

Now that you got all aggressive lol, it's time for a reality check. Are you able to commit to putting in the hours it takes to achieve your goal?

Step 6: Be Aware of Potential Obstacles 

There are always going to be things that may stop us from reaching our goals. State those now so you're aware of them, you can start planning ways of getting around them, and you can prevent them from turning into excuses for not reaching your goal. Preparing for the hurdles now will make it that much easier to reach your marketing goals.

With a clear goal and a timeline, you can start to put together an inbound marketing strategy to make your best year yet. Just don't forget the most important part of any goal strategy: planning the celebration when you reach your goal! 

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