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Chapter
2

Create goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time Bound (aka SMART)

Now that you know how a website can help your business, you’ll need to get crystal clear on what you want your website to accomplish by clarifying your goals.

Make your goals SMART

All of the reasons listed in the last step are actually sneakily disguised goals. From now on, we’re going to think in terms of SMART goals. We’ll use SMART goals to identify your goals for developing or improving your website, to help you build one that’ll give you the outcome you’re looking for.

You may have heard of SMART goals before (it’s an acronym), but here’s a refresher:

Specific

If your goal is specific, then you can clearly identify what you’re trying to achieve.  

💡 I want to increase the number of my monthly clients.

Measurable

But specificity isn’t enough. Your goal also has to be measurable so you can track your progress. Measurability can also help keep you motivated when the going gets tough. 

If your goal is measurable, then you can see yourself getting closer and closer to it and that helps you stick to the path.  

💡 I want to increase the number of my monthly clients from three to eight. 

Achievable

It’s great to be ambitious but an overly ambitious goal can make you quit before you’ve even started. An achievable goal takes into account what is realistic, while also stretching you and your abilities. We may want to update the above goal to be a bit more achievable, since increasing from 3 to 8 is a 160% increase, which is a huge jump.

💡 I want to increase the number of my monthly clients from three to six. 

Relevant

Why are you setting a particular goal? To answer this question, remind yourself of your long-term business goals and ask yourself if this short-term aim will contribute to them. 

💡 I want to increase the number of my monthly clients to six because that will ensure I reach my revenue goals, am able to pay my bills, and set aside some money for savings. 

Time Bound

Every goal needs a deadline. Without one, you’d be working endlessly toward an undetermined point in the future. Deadlines also help ensure accountability. And if you suffer from perfectionism, it can help curb that habit because, at some point, you have to complete the project. 

💡 I want to increase the number of my monthly clients to six by the end of March because that’ll ensure I reach my revenue goals and also won’t exhaust me or burn me out. 

Create your own SMART goals

Use the workbook to write down your business goals. As you’re thinking, keep the following questions in mind to guide you, and don’t forget to make your goals SMART (there’s space to reflect on these deeper in the workbook):

  • What information do you want people who visit your website to learn and come away with?

  • What action(s) do you want visitors to take on your site?

  • What are both your short and long-term goals for your business and how can your website help you achieve them?

Before we move on, take a moment to celebrate yourself. Freelancing is tough and getting clear on your goals (keep in mind, they’ll probably change as your business evolves) is a commitment. Betting on yourself and your dream is no easy leap of faith.

Let’s look at another freelancer going through this playbook

Amy recently quit her 9 to 5 job to start freelancing full-time. She’s excited about being her own boss and having more control over her time and focusing on creative and engaging projects, which her old job rarely allowed for. 

In her freelancing business, Amy coaches high school and college students who are writing personal essays to get into college and grad school. She finds it energizing to work face-to-face and one-on-one with clients.

Amy doesn’t have a website. So far, she’s found her clients via word of mouth and reaching out to schools. But potential clients are now asking her for testimonials.

Amy’s SMART Goals

Amy wants more steady work to achieve a more predictable and higher income. To do this, she needs to create a website so potential clients will see her business as legitimate. Amy knows she needs to incorporate SMART thinking for the best chance of success. She comes up with this SMART goal:

I’ll request one testimonial each week and will work on one website page weekly. After one month, I’ll publish a website that showcases my student success stories and student/parent testimonials across all my social media channels.

Now, it’s your turn!

Recap 

  • Learned how and why SMART goals can be helpful.

  • Reflected on your business goals and turned them into SMART goals. 

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