We all know how it works. Each year you tell yourself, “This year I will come up with the best New Year’s resolution and this time it will stick.” But come February or March, the resolution is the furthest thing from your mind.
But as successful people will tell you, making and pursuing a goal (or a resolution) is a worthy cause that can change the course of your career and your company. Author Catherine Pulsifer said, “You can set a direct course for your future by defining your goals, or you can take the opposite position and just let the future haphazardly unfold by itself.”
Whether it’s updating the blog every week, posting engaging content to Twitter regularly or implementing a company-wide marketing campaign, here are six tips we’ve found useful for how to make and stick to a business marketing resolution.
- Dream about it
Look back at what you and the company have accomplished over the past year and appreciate how far you’ve come. Consider all the obstacles that stood in your way and how you overcame them. Then think about the areas that need improvement and what you want to accomplish over the next year. Take time to dream about what the company and your position will look like a year from now.
Once you have an idea of what you want to achieve, find your internal motivation to make it happen and fix it firmly in your mind. Why you want to achieve your resolution? Imagine where you will be a week, a month, six months and a year from now if you stay on track. Imagine the difficulties you will encounter. Visualize yourself, or your team, overcoming each challenge. Finally, imagine how you’ll feel if you achieve your goal and what that will look like. Be determined and tell yourself you’re going to make it happen no matter what.
For example, if your goal is to increase online presence, imagine the channels you will use and what makes sense for your company. Will you use Google Adwords, Facebook, blogging, Twitter or a combination? Why do you want to increase your online presence in the first place? Maybe you want to increase awareness of your organization, to engage your clientele or gain new customers.
- Plan it
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” ― Henry David Thoreau
Now that you have your castle, it’s time to build the foundations. Make the goal specific. For example, increasing your online presence may be too broad. You could narrow it down to blogging twice a week and increasing page views by 200 a month.
During the planning phase, you’ll need to ensure your goal is realistic and attainable. What aspects could prevent you from achieving the resolution? Make a plan for how to combat each of them.
This is a good time to contact outside help, either for advice on how to make your goal happen or to help you achieve your resolution. Outside help may include contractors, a business coach or even advice from a trusted friend.
Plan for what you will do during busy months when there aren’t enough available hours to keep the website up to date or post on social media. For instance, will you prioritize your online presence over other work, plan ahead for content during slow months or hire an outside contractor?
- Write it down
Once you put pen to paper, or fingers to keys, you make the goal real. Writing the words and reading them daily will remind you of the motivation you felt when you first made the goal and will help keep you on track. Include why you want to achieve your resolution. Write a short, catchy mantra for your goal such as “Blogging makes a difference!” or “Increased engagement means more loyal customers.”
- Measure it
“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” ― Diana Scharf
Make sure your resolution is measurable, so you know if you are achieving your goals. Making incremental goals with deadlines throughout the year will keep you motivated. You can also demonstrate progress to your team or boss.
As you look back, you’ll see how many more followers you have or the increase in unique visitors to the website. Charts and graphs can help demonstrate the success to yourself and others.
- Achieve buy-in from the company
As Jimmy Dean said, “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Achieving buy-in from your team is like adjusting the sails.
Whether this is a resolution you can achieve by yourself or if you need an entire team to accomplish it, you’ll still need the team to be on board for them to know the full impact. Explain the reasons why the resolution is important to the company. Invite their ideas and contributions. Be sure to recognize successes throughout the year.
One way to achieve buy-in from employees is to offer a reward system. If they achieve their incremental goals throughout the year, they may get free lunch or, for a bigger goal, an espresso machine for the office.
- Keep people (including yourself) accountable
Tell people whose opinion matters to you about your goal, such as your boss or business coach. Set up a meeting for you or your employees to report progress. This will provide deadlines throughout the year to achieve incremental goals and reassess the plan as needed.
Like many companies, contributing to a business marketing campaign may have been on the to-do list for ages. It’s important, but everything else seems to get in the way. This is the perfect time to reassess and prioritize your marketing initiatives. Of course, if you need help planning your New Year’s marketing resolution, we are happy to help. Happy New Year from all of us at the WordsFresh team!