A goal without any kind of timeline can be endlessly postponed.
Sometimes circumstances, such as a client’s needs, determine your timeline. Even without external pressure, however, it’s good to set your own deadlines to meet important goals.
After getting less than spectacular results from online advertising campaigns, last summer I resolved that by the end of the year, we would acquire at least a dozen new clients from online traffic. As it turned out, we actually surpassed this goal, netting 15 clients. Here’s what we did and why it worked.
Brainstorm Ideas and Talents
When you have a challenging goal that takes you beyond what you’ve accomplished so far, you need to be open to new strategies that you haven’t tried before. You may find that people on your team have ideas and skills that can help in more ways than you realized. It’s important to actively ask for suggestions and be open to new possibilities.
In the case of our goal, it turned out that someone on our team had experience as a copywriter and was adept at writing compelling ads. He was especially skillful at creating ad headlines that worked well with pay-per-click style ads. Since this wasn’t his job at my company, I hadn’t been aware of this ability. It came out at a meeting where I prompted people for suggestions on improving ad performance. This team member became instrumental in helping us create more profitable ad campaigns.
To meet this objective, we also pooled other talents, including graphic arts and skilled salespeople. This brings up another crucial aspect of completing difficult projects on schedule: consistent communication among team members.
When setting a goal with a deadline, it’s important to know what might stand in the way. In this case of our goal to obtain new clients via online campaigns, I identified several problems that I had encountered in the past. My team and I came up with strategies to address each of these obstacles.
Yan Revzin is the Co-Founder of Fortune Cookie Advertising, a non-traditional and out of home media placement company selling advertising space within fortune cookies at Chinese restaurants throughout the United States.
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