National Organization Month: Hit The Ground Running In 2023
ORCA COMMUNICATIONS INVITED CONTENT MARKETING DUO TRACY ROBERTS & SUSANNE MYERS FROM PIGGY MAKES BANK TO SHARE A GUEST POST FOR NATIONAL ORGANIZATION MONTH. HERE ARE THEIR TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR SMALL BUSINESS ORGANIZED AND ON TRACK FOR THE YEAR:
Let me tell you a little story. A few years ago, Tracy Roberts and I (Susanne Myers) had a tiny little business called Piggy Makes Bank. We created and sold pre-written content to a small group of loyal customers. We did okay, but it wasn’t enough to support both of our families. December in 2016, we set out to change that. And we did it using a pretty specific process that I thought I’d share with you today.
Step 1 – Look Back
The first thing we did was look at where we came from. It’s hard to figure out where you should be going and what you can accomplish if you don’t know where you’re at right now and what you’ve done up to this point.
Take some time to review what you’ve done in the past year. What’s worked? What hasn’t worked? Where do you need help or additional resources? What do you need to learn before you can level up? These are all important questions.
Don’t just sit here, thinking about them. Get out a notebook or open a text document and answer them in writing. Go look up your sales for the past year. Look at your mailing list. How many subscribers did you have at the beginning of last year? How many do you have now? Dig into the data and use it to guide you about what’s working and what isn’t.
Step 2 – Dream Big
Once you know where you are, it’s time to think about where you want to be. Our biggest advice here is this:
Don’t Play Small
Don’t try to set some realistic goals for yourself. Don’t start with something that you know you can accomplish. Now is the time to stretch. To think big. To shoot for the moon.
It doesn’t matter if you reach the dream by the end of the year. That’s not the point. The point is to come up with something in your mind that will make you stretch and think outside the box. The brain is an amazing part of the body that science doesn’t understand yet. Not even close. By dreaming big, you put your mind on a path to greatness. And it will surprise you. It will open doors you didn’t even think of until you started dreaming big.
If this feels uncomfortable, that’s okay. We’ll dive back into reality next.
Step 3 – Set Smart Goals
Got your big dream, your big lofty pie-in-the-sky goal? Great. Now it’s time to turn it into something you can work with. We do this by setting SMART goals.
What are SMART goals? Great question. They are a specific way of formulating a goal that helps you reach it. These goals are:
Specific – Don’t be vague. Write down exactly what it is you want to accomplish.
Measurable – You need a way to track your progress. Otherwise, how would you know if you’ve achieved your goal?
Attainable – Is this something you can do right now? It’s okay for the goal to be something that makes you stretch, but it shouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.
Relevant – Does the goal make sense for where you are and where you want to be? Check it against your big dream from earlier. If it doesn’t support that vision in some way, this probably isn’t a good goal for you.
Time-Bound – I hate deadlines. I don’t like the pressure they put on me. But boy, do they help me make sure I make progress and get things done! Set yourself a deadline. Give it your best guess. You can adjust as needed (more on that later).
A great example of a SMART goal is something like this.
I want to grow my YouTube audience organically to 1,000 subscribers by the end of March by posting regular content and encouraging viewers to subscribe to my channel.
You can google SMART goals for lots of great content and posts that go into more detail on what exactly SMART goals are and how to set them for yourself.
I’ve been using the word “goals” because we tend to work on three big goals per quarter in our business. If that seems overwhelming, pick one and work on that. Or maybe you choose three big goals to work on for the rest of the year. Overall, I don’t recommend stretching yourself too thin. Three is a good number for us. I don’t recommend working on more than five things at a time. Play around and find your own magic number that helps you stay motivated and feel like you’re making progress.
Step 4 – Craft A Strategy & Break It Down
With your smart goal and the research you did earlier on where you’re at now, you have what you need to start crafting a strategy to reach your goals. It’s like connecting point A to point B. Let’s use our goal from the example above of growing our YouTube channel to 1,000 subscribers. Part of the strategy is in the SMART goal. It’s the part about uploading regularly and using SEO on the videos. Other strategies could be to make better use of tags, encourage liking and commenting, etc.
You may not know everything you need to reach your goal at this stage, and that’s okay. Part of your strategy could be to take a course, read a book, or do some research on how to best do something.
We like breaking bigger goals down into smaller milestones. For example, a goal could be to gain 60 new subscribers per month. That’s two per day. Then I just have to ask myself what I can do to get two new subscribers today. I can upload a video one day. On another day, I might share the video on another social media platform. I can mention the video and the channel in an upcoming email. It’s all part of the overall strategy, but also breaks it down into smaller, actionable steps.
Step 5 – Get To Work
Those steps and small tasks are what go on your daily or weekly to-do list. Again, writing them down helps. We like pen and paper, or a paper planner. Not only does it make it easy to remember to work on it throughout the day, but this planner or notebook sits on your desk.
There’s a second reason why having this written record is important. It shows you the progress you’ve made. All of us struggle with big goals. It can get discouraging at times. You will feel like nothing’s working and you’re not making any progress. But you do. And those written task lists are proof of it. Use them to motivate yourself to put your nose down and get the work done.
Step 6 – Revisit Your Goals And Track Progress Regularly
Tracking your progress by looking at your daily to-do lists is one thing. Tracking how much progress you’ve made toward your goal is another part of the puzzle. That’s why it’s important that your goals are measurable. You need to know if you’re getting closer. It’s the only way to judge if what you’re doing is working and if you’re doing enough.
Let’s look back at our YouTube example. After a few weeks of working on growing the channel, it’s time to look at how many subscribers we’ve gained. Is the channel growing? If not, it may be time to either revisit the goal or the strategy. Maybe it’s taking a lot longer to reach that subscriber goal. Or maybe the opposite is true and we blow our original goal out of the water. If that’s the case, it may be time to think bigger.
Setting goals is one thing. It’s a step in the right direction. The real power is in looking at your goals and your process regularly. Think of it as your compass and your map toward success.
Step 7 – Adjust As Needed
Here’s the thing. Stuff doesn’t always work out the way we think it will. In the planning and strategy portion, there’s a lot of guessing involved. We give it our best shot, but sometimes we’re wrong. Think of it as formulating a theory and then putting it to the test by putting it to work. Often, we get things right. Sometimes we get things wrong. Almost always, things don’t work along the timeline expected. That’s when you go back and adjust your goals, your deadlines, and, yes, even your strategies and tasks.
I’ll give you an example. One of our goals for this year is to build a YouTube channel. We got started on it in December. Since we have a pretty extensive list of subscribers and customers, we assumed it would be a breeze to get to 1,000 YouTube subscribers. Turns out that isn’t the case. This has us going back to the drawing board and the new strategy involves SEO and getting those subscribers organically. It’ll take more than a couple of emails to our list of email subscribers, but that’s okay. The YouTube subscribers will be more targeted and more invested in consuming the content we create there.
Make a note right now to check in on your goals regularly. Revisit and revise your strategy and adjust your to-do lists accordingly.
It’s amazing what we can accomplish over the course of a year. I hope this post encourages you to set big goals of your own and hit the ground running in 2023. Leave a comment and let us know what goals you’re setting for yourself and if you think we can help you reach those goals, head on over to PiggyMakesBank.com and check out pre-written content and courses to help you up your content marketing and list-building goals.
Tracy Roberts and Susanne Myers run Piggy Makes Bank, a one-stop PLR shop for all your content needs. They practice what they preach and between the two of them, they have over thirty-five years of experience making a living online. Both have busy family lives and manage to run a highly successful six-figure business working about two hours a day, which makes planning ahead crucial to their success. Learn more from these smart and savvy women at www.PiggyMakesBank.com