Goal-setting is great. But you know what’s even better? Getting what you actually want out of those goals!
I see it all the time :: amazing, brilliant, talented online freelancers like you, working hella hard… on the WRONG thing. Womp! Womp!
Today’s post is about creating a 90-day plan that will get you to where you + your business are aiming for this quarter, at autobahn speed.
“Growing my followers to 5K.” “Getting published in Huffington Post.” “Aiming to increase – no! double! – my online traffic.” Sounds familiar, right, boss?
You didn’t get into business to get likes. Nah, you’re in this for something deeper.
You want to be financially independent. Or maybe you’re looking to support your itchy feet with a work-travel lifestyle. Maybe you just wanna spend less time in traffic + more time fam-jamming. 👈 These are your GOALS! It’s WHY you started caring about many hearts your Insta-posts were getting.
So instead of creating a mile-long To Do list with targets you’re “supposed” to care about, set each week up to inch you closer to the real goals driving you to do this biz shiz.
With this guide, your next three months can be a scheduled succession of milestones + excuses to pop bottles. Ready?
FOLLOW ALONG WITH THE PLANNER!
ESTABLISH YOUR AVAILABLE RESOURCES
Goal-planning doesn’t actually start with defining your goals or direction. First, you need to know what resources you have to work with.
And your most valuable resource? Time!
Before you figure out what you’re working towards, figure out HOW MUCH TIME YOU’LL HAVE TO INVEST. That’ll be a huge factor in determining what you can get done.
Say you’re a side-hustler with a full-time gig. Thus, you decide that you have 2 hours to dedicate to your passion project every weeknight + a solid 6 hours on Saturday. That’s a cool 16 hours per week to side-hustle. Sweet! ….now what?
LET THE PERFECT DAY GUIDE YOUR GOALS
Replicate what your average week currently looks like on a schedule.
For instance, let’s say Mondays are spent responding to your inbox inquiries + engaging with the previous week’s social media comments. You currently dedicate Tuesdays and Wednesdays to client work BUT! You want your availability on Thursday to also go to client work. Saturday mornings are about being in your PJs all morning, writing next week’s content. You’ve been working on Sundays but you’d like to start taking them off because #selfcarelikeaboss
Oh! And you’re not sure how this fits in but there’s this topic that keeps coming up + you’re itching to create a course for that. In a perfect world, you’d like to be in a position to beta-test this course 3 months from now. P.S. You decide to dedicate the rest of your time on Friday + Saturday afternoon to developing that course material – awesome sauce!
Having a hard time visualizing this? Click the button above to download the planner!
So when you look at this, what differences do you see? What has to happen between the first/current schedule + the second/goal schedule?
At a glance, it becomes clear that you would need to be MORE ORGANIZED ABOUT YOUR TIME. You’ll also need ANOTHER CLIENT to fill that Thursday evening spot in the next 3 months. And, of course, you have to START CREATING THAT COURSE CONTENT you have on your mind. Good to know… now what?
CREATE THE TO DO LIST TO GET YOU THERE
You know how much time you have. You know how you want to distribute that time.
Now you need to figure out what will connect the dots. When it comes to online service businesses, there are 4 key areas you will work on at any given time.
Below is an outline of what they are as well as questions you can ask yourself to assess if this is an area you may need or want to focus on more than others.
#PROTIP :: You’ll likely start reading through this + think “oh! I definitely need to work on this!”. OF COURSE you do – you’re in business + these 4 areas are your jam. HOWEVAH! That doesn’t mean you have to juggle all the balls at once.
Focus on one or two areas + dedicate your time to another area in the next quarter. The idea here isn’t to spread yourself thin but rather to dedicate the time + energy you make one specific area count. Keep in mind that there is, of course, some overlap between these areas. After all, everything funnels towards the one common goal :: your business success!
For each of the areas you’ll work on this quarter, make a list of what you want to work on, improve or complete.
Key Area #1 :: YOUR OFFERS
As an online service provider, this area is your bread-and-butter. Whether you are creating new offers, improving existing ones or collaborating with others on theirs, this will be a common focus for you + the services you offer.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself about YOUR OFFERS to assess if this is an area you want to this quarter to focus on ::
- Am I happy with the nature + content of my products/services? Do they make sense + appeal to my audience?
- Have I asked for feedback about my offers? If so, where is there room for improvement?
- Am I satisfied with the revenue my offers are currently bring in?
- Am I satisfied with the level of interest my offers generate?
- Do my offers accommodate what my audience wants + expects from me?
- Are my sales pages effective? Does my copy communicate what I offer in a clear manner?
- Do I have or could I benefit from affiliates that would complement my existing offers?
Examples of OFFER goals :: Update the content + workbooks for my evergreen course. Hire someone to review my sales copy. Create a new service based on a topic I keep being asked to help with.
Key Area #2 :: MARKETING + PROMOTIONS
The interwebs is not the field of dreams. Just because you build it doesn’t mean anyone is going to come. Whether you are just trying to grow your audience or you’re preparing to launch something, marketing + promotions is a big factor. You need to get in front of as many eyeballs as possible, put your name out there + be visible to your ideal clients.
Questions to ask yourself when MARKETING + PROMOTIONS are on your agenda ::
- Are you launching a new or existing offer that requires a higher level of visibility?
- What activities are you doing/could you be doing to improve your online visibility?
- Is your social media presence growing? Are you using your platforms as efficiently as possible? Does your ideal client use other platforms that would be worth investing your time towards? Are you using social media passively or are you able to make connections with people? Is there anything you could do to extend your reach?
- How are you getting your content shared? What can you do to boost your exposure? Do you share other people’s content? Are you engaging/commenting/getting noticed by + with others in your community?
- Are your satisfied with your list size + growth? Is your list engaged + responsive to your content?
- What advertising or collaborations are you undertaking to increase your exposure?
- How would you describe your web traffic + how can you capitalize on it?
- Do you have a plan to campaign? What is the duration + how will you maximize the results for your marketing campaign?
Examples of MARKETING + PROMOTIONS goals :: Write 3 guest posts. Start doing live video sessions. Join Pinterest groups + Tailwind tribes.
Key Area #3 :: GROWTH + THE BOTTOM LINE
If you have goals, I’d bet my Spotify subscription that you have numbers to accompany those goals. While employees have performance reviews, freelancers use metrics to assess how they’re doing. Since you’re probably using them to validate your entrepreneurial worth, Imma bet you want those numbers to be on the upswing.
Some of the metrics you want to track as they relate to your GROWTH + BOTTOM LINE include ::
- Sales made;
- Client list;
- Subscriber list/size;
- Number of views/downloads;
- Number of social media followers;
- ROI on advertising;
- Affiliate sales;
Examples of GROWTH + BOTTOM LINE goals :: Increase podcast downloads by 10%. Grow list size by 1K. Make $100 from YouTube views.
Key Area #4 :: BRANDING + ONLINE PRESENCE
Just as you’ll take a time-out to spiffy yourself up for a conference – rehearsing your elevator pitch, getting a new outfit, doing something with your hair that goes beyond your usual messy bun look – there will also be times to do the same for your website + online presence.
Some of the questions that can help you assess the BRANDING + ONLINE PRESENCE to focus on ::
- Are your imagery, messages + links consistent across all of your social media outlets?
- When a new person lands on your web page, is it clear in 3 seconds or less what you + your site are about?
- How is your website performing? What is your load time? Is there traffic going to 404 Error pages that you can correct?
- Are you satisfied with your copy + messaging on your About page? Your Work With Me page? Your product descriptions/sales pages?
- Are the above pages SEO optimized to your keywords? Are your top 10 posts optimized to your keywords as well?
- Is your message consistent? Images, pricing, overall appearance – does it all flow?
- Do you have updated URLs + links posted? Office hours? Copyright information? Privacy Policies? Terms + Conditions?
- Are you familiar with how people navigate your website? Are you satisfied with the way they funnel through your site or can this be improved towards more sales or sign-ups?
- How is your online engagement? Do you respond to comments regularly? What is your response rate?
- Are you aware of which social media platforms are driving the most traffic to your website? Which posts? Which online influencers? Is there a way for you to capitalize on these?
Examples of BRANDING + ONLINE PRESENCE goals: Update my 10 most popular blog posts with content upgrades. Delete plug-ins that are slowing down my website load time. Create images promoting your current opt-in fit to each social media platform.
MAKE YOUR TO DOs “DO-ABLE”
The final piece of the puzzle is to look at each of the key areas + list all the steps to get you to that desired outcome 3 months from now. Once you know the steps it will take, divide them up among the next 12 weeks.
You’re basically giving cumulative deadlines to achieve your end-goals on a quarterly basis. By tracking the timeline of what there is to do, you are better able to stay on-track. It is like a mini-milestone that keeps you aware of whether you fall behind, if you’re ahead of the curve or if maybe you got distracted by something you shouldn’t be focused on now (squirrel!).
This methodology allows you to take what really matters (see :: the hopes + dreams you have for you + your business) to keep your eye on YOUR prize. Not the prizes that other people value, not the things you think you should be doing, but instead…
Doing the things that align you directly with the path you want to be on.
Another thing I love about this method of goal-setting is that it isn’t about some imaginary destination you’re working towards. Rather, you are actively CREATING THE SPACE FOR YOUR POSSIBILITIES by putting placeholders for your future self to fill. Just as you can’t manifest a $100K business by using a $10K mentality, you can’t have the business you dream of having until you give your business the room it needs to do that. It’s not an idea in your head anymore, it’s something you have scheduled!