It's that time of year where everyone is talking about goals and plans for 2015. I've been listening to podcasts and reading articles on every aspect of this annual process. I'm a stereotypical planner - I live by lists and goals and schedules. So I love learning more about what works and what doesn't work. After all the reading and listening, I've enhanced my planning tactics for 2015 and I want to help show you how you can reach your goals in 2015.
When it comes to setting social media goals, your goals will differ from everyone else. So, it's important you know what YOU want to achieve. Whether it's more opt-ins, more leads, more revenue, more followers, starting on a new platform, getting more active on a certain platform, posting more content, creating more content, or whatever else you want to achieve, you need to be clear about what you want in 2015.
Review your 2014 goals
Did you make goals for 2014? How did you do in accomplishing those goals? Whether you missed the mark completely or are batting 1000, knowing how you did this year will help you better plan for 2015.
If you missed almost all your goals in 2014, you need to know why. Were your goals too lofty? Did you just ignore them and push through your daily business chores? Did you come close but not quite make them? Analyze what you did in 2014 and use that information to craft better goals for you in 2015.
If you hit almost all your goals in 2014, congratulations. But, I would also advise you to take more risks with your goals in 2015. Setting easy to reach goals doesn't challenge you as a business or a brand or an individual. It sets you up for complacency. Yes, your goals should be realistic, but they should also push you. For example, if you typically gain 100 new Facebook fans a month, setting a goal to increase by 1200 fans in 2015 isn't a challenge - that just maintains the status quo. Instead, push to get 1500 or 2000 new fans in 2015.
If you didn't set any goals for 2014, that's ok. Now's the time to get organized and focused on your business growth for 2015. Follow the tips below to get yourself going in the right direction.
Post them where you can see them everyday
Your 2015 goals should be right in front of your face. You should be able to see them every single day. If you forget what goals you set, how can you make sure you actually hit them by the end of the year?
I post my goals on a bulletin board right above my desk. I made them pretty and color coordinated so that they enhance the decor of my office. But most importantly, they hold me accountable every single day.
Know WHY you're setting the goal
I heard this tip listening to a podcast by Amy Porterfield and it totally resonated with me. All too often we set this grandiose list of goals at the start of the year. We want a certain amount of revenue, or X-number of followers, or more free time, or whatever else you choose. And this long list develops but we rarely stop and ask WHY we want those things.
Why do you want more revenue (or a certain amount of revenue)? Maybe you want to pay off debt and you need $10,000 in extra revenue to achieve this. Or you want to invest in training for your business this year and need an extra $5000 to cover these costs. These are the "why" for your goal.
Why do you want more followers on social media? Why do you want to publish that ebook? Why do you want to start filming more videos or writing more blog posts?
Whatever your reason, be clear about your WHY and you'll find it much more of a priority to reach those goals.
But make sure your "why" is something you can define. Saying you want to "be rich" is not a why. It doesn't give you a motive. But being able to pay off debt, put money away for your kid's college tuition, buy a house, or other financial incentives are valid reasons that you can aim for. Likewise, wanting to have tons of followers to "be famous" in your industry isn't a why. But, having a larger audience, to educate more businesses, or to get more speaking engagements, or to increase website traffic, and other quantifiable end states make it easier for you to attain your goals.
Set as many goals as you need
Some years I only have a small number of goals. Other years I have long lists of goals. Know what's important for YOUR growth and set the goals accordingly.
Maybe you had a great 2014 and your goals for 2015 are going to be few but significant. Your plan is to take the opportunity to grow on the momentum of this year.
Or maybe you have a lot of small goals that are all going to build on each other to catapult your business ahead in 2015.
Maybe you just have a ton of things you want to achieve in 2015. Whatever, it is, set the goals - and as many as you need - to set yourself up for success in 2015.
Use a sliding scale of success
Another problem with setting lofty goals is that when we don't reach them, we get disappointed. We should be excited about our growth and looking forward to a new year, not dwelling on poorly we did reaching our 2014 goals.
So, instead of simply listing one big goal, create a graduated goal.
Maybe you want more followers on Twitter. Let's say in 2014, you gained 3000 new followers on Twitter. Your big goal would be to get 10,000 new followers in 2015. But gaining 7500 new followers would still be a big improvement and gaining 5000 new followers would be an improvement over 2014's growth. All of these qualify as achieving your goal, without leaving you struggling to reach the biggest goal. And every time you cross one milestone, it amps you up to push for the bigger goal.
Celebrating the small wins along the way encourages you and pushes you harder. And growth is growth. The ability to push yourself ahead of last year should be celebrated in your goal achievements.
Plus, using this sliding scale, you'll find you hit more of the bigger goals than the smaller ones.
Align your goals with your social media strategy
Your goals should be a part of your strategy. Therefore, your goals and strategy should work cohesively to ensure you're staying on the right course throughout the year.
If your goal is to create more blog posts, your strategy should including time and resources for blogging. If your strategy is to build your Facebook marketing, your goal should be to grow your Facebook audience and/or leads from Facebook.
Set timelines for your goals
Some goals may be year end goals - for example, gain 1000 Instagram followers by December 31st. But every goal should have a date for accomplishment.
Do you want to write an ebook? Set a date to release it. Do you want to start a podcast? Set a date to launch it. Do you want to get active on another social media platform? Set a date to have everything established and active.
This is important because it keeps you on target throughout the year. You can organize your goals to realistically span the whole year, allowing you time to focus on each one appropriately. If you don't set timelines, what happens is that in November, you start crunching to get things "done". You end up rushing through and not producing your best work, or you end up giving up all together.
Perform goal analyses throughout the year
Similar to keeping your goals visible every day, you should be doing an analysis on your goals throughout the year. Whether monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually, take the time to review your goals and where you stand. Are you on track? Where do you need to refocus your energy to ensure you reach your goals in 2015?
Your goals should have some level of measurability which will allow you to track your progress throughout the year. With this method, you can ensure that you have reached your goals by the end of the year! I actually keep a spreadsheet (separate but comparable with the goals listed on my bulletin board) which allows me to track my goals monthly. I can see when a goal is completed or how much more of the goal is left until completion.
These are the practices I will be using to set my goals this year. I am really looking forward to seeing where Jenn's Trends will grow to next year and I can't wait to see where you take your business.
Do you have any goal-setting techniques that you swear by? Share them in the comments below!