Time is a valuable asset to most, and yet the majority continually waste it on inefficiencies and mistakes.

If we were to think of time as currency, do you think we would be more frugal with it? Do you think productivity would rise? Do you think we would be smarter with our marketing plan?

Being intentional in everything we do as business owners is extremely important. But more importantly, we must have very specific goals behind our marketing strategies. Shooting from the hip will not get you to where you would like to be, and certainly will not reach your goals.

More importantly, the whole goal here is to see and feel success in your marketing efforts. It’s so easy to stray away from the path by throwing ads and collateral out there without really thinking our plan through.

What exactly are your goals?

I’m sure you have goals for your business. However, let’s take a step back and evaluate these goals. Are they lofty? Broad? Generic?

When you think about your time, the best way to invest it is in the detailed planning of your business, specifically your marketing goals.

In this article, you are going to get a taste of complete marketing strategy planning. It’s essential you know how you should look at each marketing goal, and what a real vision looks like.

SMART Marketing Goal Planning

Any time you begin to strategize your marketing campaigns, it is vital you begin in the correct place.

So let’s take a little adventure together to see the practice of goal planning. I like to say that we are simply making SMART decisions.

1.) Specific

With everything you do from this point forward, you will do with a very specific goal in mind. It does you no good to have broad goals. Why? Because the majority of the time you are chasing your tail due to the vague direction that you gave yourself.

This is where the who, what, where, when which, and why comes into play.

So look at these two examples:

Example Goal 1: I want to make a lot of money in my business.

Example Goal 2: I want to make $5000 within my first month of business from suggestive selling techniques.

Do you see the difference? In the first example, we generalize what we want to achieve. However, there is no measurement, no timeframe, and really no direction. In the second example, we see direct and specific information that makes our goal A.) realistic, B.) measurable, and C.) intentional.

2.) Measurable

We are all guilty of creating a task or goal, but as we truck along we notice that it seems as though no progress is being made. I do this all the time.

It happens in our personal lives (diet, exercise, saving money) as well as our professional lives (planning, projecting, execution).

Let’s look at a simple marketing campaign… I choose Instagram. You, the photographer, come up with a fantastic idea to give one 4x6 photograph away as an incentive for clients to book with you. Your ad says “Wanted: Beautiful Couples”. You send it out to the world…

So how do you know you are successful in this campaign? Is it the number of hearts you get on your post? How many calls do you have to have? How many bookings do you want? What is the breakeven point for your time plus product?

THIS IS THE #1 MOST MISSED PORTION OF ANY MARKETING STRATEGY!!!

For your business, your wallet, and your sanity, you must understand that there must be measurable portions of any goal or plan in order to claim it successful. Success is always measured somehow, correct?

So ask yourself these questions when trying to determine the measurability of your goal:

How much?

How many?

How do I know that the plan was accomplished?

When?

The ultimate goal here is to establishing valuable criteria that will keep you on track, reach your specific date, and give you the satisfaction of checking a box or the feeling of success.

3.) Attainable

Being in the middle of our acronym, this one seems to be lost in translation. Remember when you were a kid, and you had the great, oversized goals that were amazing ideas… but never came to fruition?

When we speak about attainability, we want to truly consider all factors here: money, time, effort involved, etc. With any goal or plan, you must be reasonable with your request to yourself.

For example, you can’t expect yourself to make $1 Million out of the gate, right?

Creating a goal or plan that is not attainable is a recipe for disaster. We’ve all done it before, right?

Set an unreasonable goal, gave it our all, and didn’t even come close to succeeding. When planning your strategy, use common sense and realistic expectations.

Disappointment is a killer when it comes to anyone’s motivation to do something you love.

Now hold on… I don’t want you or anyone else to take this the wrong way either. It’s unacceptable if we aren’t setting a big goal! But as the old saying goes… shoot for the stars and aim for the moon.

As an example of expectation, you say that you are going to increase last month’s revenue by 10% year-over-year from your current marketing campaign efforts. You come in at 7%. Isn’t that a win? Not to shabby if I do say so myself!

4.) Relevance

Have you ever watched tv, and the commercials never ended? This leads you to start critiquing each one, visualizing yourself using or participating in your mind. And then it happens…

The most random commercial comes on. You know… the one where there is a woman and a miniature donkey? And you are befuddled. None of it makes sense. Confusion sets in, and then disappointment that you lost about thirty seconds of your life.

Ladies and gentlemen, you must make any goal or plan relevant to your brand, your personality, and your beliefs. Where do you see your business? Do you see it as a corporation or a local supplier that helps the community?

So here is the ultimate question that you must ask yourself with each and every goal that you begin to generate:

Why do you want to achieve this goal?

It seems so obvious, however the majority never even think about this piece. You must have a transformational moment with everything you do. An impact in the lives that you serve. Epic content and value.

When you think about the goals and strategies that you’re formulating, remember why you do what you do. More importantly, think of who you are serving and why this goal will help them.

5.) Time-Bound

Let’s think about the last time we set a goal for ourselves… I can see mine very clearly. I set a goal to landscape my backyard. I was so stoked to begin! I built a deck and began ripping bushes out and cleaning up brush. I even took yard chalk to mark off where I was going to put features in.

Do you see what’s missing here? I set a goal, and began immediately. But I lost interest! There were no restrictions, boundaries, or timelines. So it’s now become an ongoing project.

I laugh at myself every time I let the dog out. Junk is everywhere, and I could have easily motivated myself by simply putting a timeframe to specify when I was going to finish it.

Switching back to you, we can pull one relevant aspect out of this point: TIME IS MONEY!

Establishing a deadline for any strategy in your business is key to ultimate success. You must establish these boundaries, while keeping the timeline realistic. Yes, I’m sure most deadlines are flexible… but you must not begin any campaign with the mindset that the dates can be moved.

But… if you must be flexible, make sure it benefits your business, your team, and your customer. Try not to set too stringent of a deadline… it ultimately defeated the educational experiences that come with any goal path because everyone is in a race against time.

WAIT!

So we’ve talked about the SMART way to plan your next marketing campaign, strategy, or even apply to your business plan. Everything seems great in theory, but we cannot forget the most important focus:

POSITIVITY

Next time you are planning something, focus on the positive aspects of the situation. For example, we all have weaknesses.

No one is perfect. Instead of focusing our efforts on how we can improve on our faults, play to the strengths!

We are all experts in something, and if you do not know something… find someone who does.

Best of all, focus on how you will achieve your success. Positive thinking is contagious, and will lead to positive results.

If you focus on the negative side of how you may not achieve a specific task, that will always be what you consistently think about. It gets in your head, and will not leave.

So next time you’re looking to create a marketing campaign, remember:

POSITIVELY FORMULATE THE:

SPECIFICS

MEASURABLES

ATAINABILITY

RELEVANCE

TIME CONSTRAINTS

So let’s go practice this in our business today!

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