In the first Become a Media Maven podcast episode of 2019, I’m talking about goal setting. SMART goal setting.
I’m breaking down how I set my goals and break them down to ensure every last task gets put in my calendar… because if it’s not in the calendar, it’s not getting done.
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- Christina’s Bookshelf
- SMART Goal Setting Worksheet
- The spreadsheet I use for goal setting and tracking
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I’ve learned a lot about goal setting these past few years of business and one big thing that I learned is that my goals used to be very general and very vague. The more specific I got, the more they actually came to fruition and I actually achieved my goals.
SMART Goal Setting
So first, I want to talk about SMART goals. If you are Michael Hyatt or if you followed his Best Year Ever… I know a lot of people just finished up his five-day program to set your goals for your Best Year Ever. He calls them SMARTER goals because he adds something to the E and the R at the end of the SMART.
I’m going to stick with SMART goals. So if you haven’t heard of SMART, I’m going to break it down for you.
The s stands for specific.
When you set a goal, and this is something that I wasn’t doing very well when I first started my business, and a lot of people don’t do this very well, either. They say, ‘oh, I just want to make more money, or I want to work out more.’
Instead, you need to say how much money you’re gonna make. For example, I want to make an extra $2,000 a month. I want to go to the gym three days a week. That’s a little bit more specific.
And when you get more specific, it becomes more attainable.
The m stands for measurable.
How do you know if your goal is being achieved or if you’re working to achieve it if you can’t even measure it?
For example, if we’re going to go the weight loss angle, I mean everybody likes to do that this time of year, right? So we’re going to say, my goal is to lose weight. Okay? So obviously you measure that by getting on a scale and seeing how much weight you’ve lost or if it’s to build muscle, then you do that by counting your body fat. If it’s to drink more water, you are measuring the ounces of water (like I do with my FitBit) that you drink every day.
So you need to make sure that the goal that you’re setting can be measured.
The a stands for attainable.
This is just like, come on people, be realistic. Some people, they start a business and they say, ‘I want to make a million dollars this year,’ which is a lovely goal, but if you’re starting your business from scratch and you have no experience in your business and you literally are just, like hopeful, it’s all going to happen and it’s going to work out and it’s gonna be amazing and you’re going to make a million dollars in your first year in business… that’s not very attainable. It’s just not realistic.
So you want to make sure that you have access to the resources to actually attain your goal. For example, I don’t think I could ever win American Idol. That’s just not an attainable goal for me. I am not a singer.
I actually have tweaked the r. And let me just say that SMART and SMARTER goals, everybody kind of tweaks some. There’s no right or wrong way to assign a word to a letter. But with r, I have two.
The r is for relatable.
Is this goal relatable to your final outcome? So for example, something that drives me crazy is when people like to talk about how many Instagram followers they have when they reach a certain number and I’m always like, ‘well how relatable is that to your goal?’ Because like we could all have 100,000 Instagram followers. I mean, I see people on Instagram that throw these big parties when they reach a certain number of Instagram followers and then you look at who their followers are and they’re all robots out of the Middle East. And what does that do for your big goal in life?
Are you using Instagram to build your email list or are you using Instagram as a lead generator for clients? I mean, unless your avatar is a robot in the Middle East than all of those fake followers are not relatable to your big goal.
So you want to make sure it’s relatable.
The r is (also) for risky.
I put this in here because I was not risky, or what I referred to as risky, when I started my business. I didn’t want to take any risks, I didn’t want to spend any money, I didn’t want to invest anything.
I wanted to just do what I liked doing to grow my business, and then I would wonder why it wasn’t growing as fast or as successful as I wanted it to be… and that’s because I wasn’t being very strategic and I think all of these words in SMART, all equal strategy. So you have to be risky, which means you have to go outside of your comfort zone.
I think the biggest thing that I did, the first step in going outside of my comfort zone and being risky was when I put $15,000 on a credit card to hire my first business coach… and that was almost two years ago now and everybody tells me, not everybody, but a lot of people who are afraid to invest in their business, tell me, ‘I don’t have $15,000.’ Well, when I put it on a credit card, I didn’t either. That’s why I put it on a credit card and I didn’t go to the bank and take $15,000 in cash out!
But now I could do it… and I could do it now because I invested. So, that just means step outside of your comfort zone.
The t stands for timely.
You need to put a timetable on these things.
So for example, if it’s to make an extra $2,000, then when are you going to make that extra $2,000? Is it going to be in the whole year? Is it going to be in six months? Is it going to be in a month? Is it going to be this week?
You need to time this stuff.
If it’s losing weight, how much weight are you going to lose by a certain day? You’re going to go to the gym more? Great. When are you going to the gym? How many times a week are you going to the gym?
You need to be timely because when you go to measure, the m – remember m stands for measure… when you go to measure, how do you know if you’ve achieved that goal?
If it’s to lose a certain amount of weight and this month, then you’re going to measure that at the end of the month.
So all of these kinds of work together and they all equal strategy:
I usually was setting goals for just my business, but I did do Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever and I’m in a mastermind and we are getting away from doing everything business and also doing some things personally because, let’s keep it real, your business, cannot operate without you, so you do need to take care of yourself.
And this is something that I was not very good at my first few years of business but I’m getting so much better and I am going to break down some of my goals for you so you can see how I am implementing my personal goals with my business goals and how they all kind of work together.
12 Week Year
But first, I want to talk about those 12 weeks I opened up this podcast with. I read a book last year.
I’m a big book reader. If you know me, you know, I love my man James Patterson and he comes out with a new book like every other day, so he keeps me busy.
12 Week Year basically tells you how to set goals and to plan them in a 12-week span. Lots of people want to set five-year goals or yearly goals. But honestly, like a year is so far away.
I don’t even think I could fathom… I mean, obviously I have some things planned, right? Like I am speaking at the Mom 2.0 Summit in April. That is four months away. But then in September, I’m going to Podcast Movement, so yes, that’s also far away, but I’m talking specific goals, SMART goals.
12 weeks can be short-term and it can also be long term and it can set you up for long-term so you can think about what you want to do for the year. But let’s focus really on those first 12 weeks. And this is how I do it.
Setting Business Goals
We’ll start with the business goals. So with a business goal, I’m always setting a financial goal. That’s it.
I don’t worry about Instagram followers. I don’t worry about anything else. It’s always a financial goal.
So, that financial goal then breaks down into tasks to achieve that goal. And every single task to achieve that goal will be put into my Google calendar.
So let’s talk about my Google calendar for a minute because my life could not be functional if I did not have a Google calendar telling me what to do every day. If it’s not in the calendar, it is not getting done… and my husband is slowly starting to understand this. He’s not a Google calendar kind of guy, but I will include him on things, on the Google calendar if he needs to know about them because it’s just not getting done.
I used to time block, I still time block, but I used to time block different things on different days and that’s how I knew what I was doing, but in the past month or two, I have actually… I guess we could call it day blocking.
Every day of the week has a certain theme, so for example on Mondays, those are my Media Mentoring days. Those are the days when I take calls from mentoring clients and we talk about their public relations strategy and all of that jazz.
Tuesdays are my podcasting days. I record episodes for this podcast on Tuesdays and I pitch myself to other podcasts on Tuesdays. If I can record as a guest on other podcasts on Tuesdays, then that’s my podcasting day and it makes me feel so much organized. I know going into the week what I’m doing.
I mean, obviously, some of this stuff isn’t completely set in stone. I do a lot of local and national TV hosting jobs, which I mean, they’re not going to cater to my daily schedule, but it’s pretty consistent and it makes me feel more organized and honestly it makes me get more stuff done when I go into the day knowing exactly what’s happening that day, the day before, even the week before and the month before.
Money Math for Goal Setting
So let’s break down how we can achieve a goal in a 12-week span.
I have some bloggers in my audience who listens. So I’m going to use a blogging example. If in the next 12 weeks you have set your goal to make $6,000 in your business… maybe this is a side hustle. You’re a blogger and you want more sponsored posts, so you want to make $6,000 in your business over the next 12 weeks. We’re going to break that down to $2,000 a month, right? There are three months in 12 weeks, so we’re going to break that down to $2,000 a month based on that goal.
We have to figure out what we’re going to do each month to make that $2,000. So if you want to theme your days, we could make Monday pitching day. If you are still working a full-time job and you can’t theme a day, then let’s do one hour a week to pitch, so one hour on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday to pitch.
But how many brands do you pitch? Because remember, we’re not just going to say, ‘Oh, we’ll pitch people once a day and hopefully we’ll get enough to make $2000 a month.’ That’s not specific enough. That’s not being very strategic, so this is where we’re going to get into math
So we’re going to take that income goal of $2,000 and we’re going to divide it by your rate. So let’s say hypothetically speaking that your rate is $500 for a sponsored blog post. That means you need four clients. You just need four clients at $500 a client to reach your $2,000. Now you need to look at your conversion rate.
(It includes this money math exercise!)
Finding your Conversion Rate
How many brands say yes to you when you pitch them? Now, when I started doing this, I had no freaking idea what my conversion rate is because I wasn’t keeping track.
So to be safe, we’re just going to go with 25 percent right now. So if you need four clients and you close at 25 percent, then you take that four and you divide it by 25, that’s 16. So that means you need to pitch 16 brands because 25 percent of them will say yes to you.
But guess what? 16 brands. I mean, you’re not going to get lucky that the first 16 you reach out to actually want to hear from you.
I’m on LinkedIn a lot. LinkedIn is a big lead generator for me and I have people messaging me every day… and I don’t want to have a conversation with most of them.
Using a Real Life Multiplier
So when you’re pitching a brand, they’re not going to want to have a conversation with everybody pitching them. So you’re going to need to pitch more than 16 people because remember you need to have conversations with 16 people. So we are going to use the real-life multiplier of three. So we’re gonna assume that one out of three people will agree to talk to you. That’s 48, so you need to ask 48 people to sponsor a blog post to get to that $2,000.
So we’re going to go back to your calendar and we’re going to mark off for Mondays because Monday’s pitching day or we’re going to block off an hour every day to do those reach outs. If Monday is your pitching day, you could do 12 a day, 12 a day for the month. We’ll take you to asking 48 people for that sponsored post and if you’re doing this for an hour a day, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, then you just need to pitch two to three people, two to three people a day to reach that 48 number by the end of the month.
And if you do this, if you follow this formula every single month to hit your numbers, it will work. Not only will it work, but you will get a lot of practice reaching out to people. You will learn what works and what doesn’t. So that conversion rate that is 25 percent now, that’ll move up to 30 and then 35 and then 40 and then you won’t have to ask as many people to hit your goals because you’re converting at a higher percentage.
(It includes this money math exercise!)
Happy Goal Setting!
That is how I do sales in my business, both with my Media Maven Public Relations Agency and my Media Mentoring Program. I have a financial goal and then I break that goal down into how much money I need to bring in each month. I look at my conversion rate and I look at how many people I need to ask to have a conversation to convert them into becoming a client.