This week I worked with a young woman who is in the very beginning stages of her business. She has huge dreams, and wanted to work with me for content strategy, blog posts and web content. At this point, she’s early enough in the process that she’s not sure where her business is going. So I gave her a homework assignment: Put together a fairly detailed business plan, which implements your goals for the next five years.
Many business owners jump into their business without setting goals. When you finally get that one idea or business proposition that you just know will be the one that will be successful for you, the excitement tends to send you running headlong into putting together a website and setting up a Facebook page and starting to build an email list. The problem is, if you don’t have some goals set down, you could end up doing a lot of work that doesn’t advance your ultimate goal.
You may have a general goal in your head, but setting that goal down on paper, with at least a rough idea of how you’re going to get there, may seem time consuming today, but it could save you hours, or even months of time down the road. Consider it your road map to success. Let me give you an example. I often work with authors. I always tell authors that while there is a chance that they could be the next J.K. Rowling, the truth is that most authors don’t see a lot of return on investment (both time and money) until they’ve got at least six books published. Often, this changes the content strategy and marketing plan. After all, why spend $1000 on marketing, after you’ve already spent $1200 on an editor and $300 on a cover designer, when you’re not going to make that money back for a few years. I tend to design marketing plans for authors to spend the smallest amount of money possible for early books, with a larger expenditure in a few years, once they’re getting ready to release that sixth book. It really is a game changer, and saves the author not only money, but time spent marketing a book that will sell better if we wait awhile to market it heavily. That time can instead be spent writing the next books, getting the author closer to that sixth book benchmark.
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Of course, the content that the author puts out in that time frame will change as they get closer to the sixth book, too. As we’re planning the author’s content strategy, we’ll be talking about the previous books, but as we get closer to the long term goal, the tone of that content will change. While the previous book launches may have been rather low key events, as we get close to the launch of the sixth book, we’re going to ramp up the content in the hopes of building an even larger fan base.
So goal setting is important. Without the goal of taking advantage of the time to craft a content strategy, culminating in the release of the sixth book, we spend time spinning our wheels, or putting in effort that we may end up needing to repeat later. A goal gives us a clear map of where to go, and makes sure that our content strategy is on target.
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in. For the same reasons as the author, you need to set goals. Your success, much like the authors, isn’t going to happen today. It’s going to happen two or three or even five years down the road. You may have some earnings and success in the meantime, but you’re really going to see things take off for your business further down the road. The more clear your road map, the easier it will be to get there.
My name is David Lieberman. I am a blogger and also have my own site Bestforacar. I am a graduate of Psychology from the Columbia University in the City of New York, where I edited the literary journal.