[Updated: December 28, 2016]
It’s definitely that time again where we’re all thinking about our New Year’s Resolutions. I’m making a fresh commitment to get and stay on track, first personally, and then professionally. Exercising, meditation, eating healthy, spending less time worrying, and spending more time contributing to the well-being of others just might be what the doctor ordered.
On a more professional note, however, there’s nothing more empowering than being on top of your game and a marketing calendar, along with some goal planning strategies and motivation to inspire you along the way, are super smart tools to assist you in this objective. With only a couple of weeks left this year, why not get a head start on your plan to pre-plan?
When it comes to inbound marketing, and the endless tasks associated with your goals, keeping a calendar is the smartest way to stay on track. To that end, we’ve compiled a list of tools that should help it all seem a little less daunting. To begin, let’s start off with a little inspiration to NEVER give up! 😉
Inspired? Clap! Clap! Then Let’s Get Started! 😉
“First, have a definite, clear practical ideal; a goal, an objective. Second, have the necessary means to achieve your ends; wisdom, money, materials, and methods. Third, adjust all your means to that end.” ~Aristotle
When it comes to goal setting, it’s a great idea to think S.M.A.R.T.. That is, thinking in terms of Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time based goals. This acronym will guide your process of articulating an actionable plan to achieve the results you desire.
Specific: “Drive traffic, get leads and convert leads into sales” may be at the heart of inbound marketing, but defining specifically what you’re aiming for is what will give you a clear mental focus that will set you on the proper course to get there. “Increase traffic and leads by 50% and revenue by 50% by end of second quarter” is certainly more tangible than the universal cry for “more sales.” Great goals are well-defined and focused, moreover, the moment you focus on a goal, the resources to make it happen seem to magically appear.
Measurable: A goal without a measurable outcome lacks substance and therefore creates ambiguous results. At the end of the day, it’s the numbers that define your results, therefore, put solid numbers in your goals to gauge whether you’re on track. Whether it’s daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly goals, a prominent goal oriented white board posted in your office can help as a daily reminder to keep yourself and your team focused on the targeted results you wish to achieve.
Achievable: Your ability to achieve your goal hinges on some important factors like time and skill level and/or your willingness to ask for help. Begin by assessing these areas and possibly re-prioritizing so you can devote your efforts to your goals, or be willing to delegate these efforts to others who are qualified to assist.
Realistic: While Inbound marketing can achieve significant results in a short amount of time, it’s important to set realistic goals based upon your industry’s cycles and growth, the life-cycle of your customer, not to mention the economy and the impact it has on these. “Dream big and aim for the stars, but keep one foot firmly based in reality” is a smart adage that can keep you grounded in the realistic potential for growth.
Time-Based: Your goals should have a definite (but realistic) time-frame in which you wish to achieve them. Again, this is where ambiguous thinking will hinder your process, so set a date by which you expect to achieve your goal.
Once you’ve defined your S.M.A.R.T. business goals, break down each goal into a specific set of tasks and activities, attach a time frame and decide whom will be responsible for the various tasks as well.
Your marketing calendar then, is the handy tool that will keep you organized and on track…
When it comes to online tools, calendars are one of the few tools that can get me excited. Especially when I have goals to achieve, there’s nothing like writing it down to help solidify my intentions. The specific calendar you use will largely depend on your style and specific needs.
The marketing and editorial calendar we use is geared toward all of our inbound marketing efforts and staying on top of the responsibilities associated with each facet. We invite you to download our marketing and editorial calendar template TODAY and adapt it to YOUR needs to make 2015 your most productive year ever!
2017 Marketing and Editorial Calendar
Successful marketing begins with a plan. Keep track of all your marketing efforts in one customizable marketing & editorial calendar.