Going up? Whether it's through digital marketing training, an apprenticeship, or a new job, you likely have plans for career and personal growth. However, when you're working to grow a business through digital marketing, it can take a long time to see results, and this can feel disheartening. How can you determine whether you're excelling in your work as a marketer? Tracking your progress with specific goals helps you avoid feeling discouraged and evaluate your success in the long term.
Set Your Goals
In a study spanning the period from 1979 to 1989, Harvard graduates were interviewed about their career goals. According to Salary.com, ten years later, "The 13% of the class who had goals were earning, on average, twice as much as the 84% who had no goals at all. The 3% with clear, written goals were making ten times as much as the other 97% put together!" Set goals and move through a review of your goals regularly, asking questions like:
- What should your goals be? Look at your areas for improvement and places where your company wants to grow. Choose a goal that's personally and professionally important. For example, you might note that your company has had a lot of success drawing in new readers with infographics, and your goal is to create several additional high-impact infographics every month and promote these as part of your marketing campaigns.
- What habits will help you make progress toward your goals?
- What milestones will you hit along the way to help you ensure that you're on track toward your goals?
- How will you evaluate your success in achieving your goals? A good goal should be specific, measurable and time-limited.
When you're setting your goals, you want to be SMART, and that's SMART with capital letters. Quality goals are:
- Specific: They're focused
- Measurable: So you can quantify success
- Achievable: Realistic in your time frame
- Results-focused: Again, what tangible results will you achieve
- Time-bound: They have a beginning and a measurable end point
SMART methodology ensures that you have specific, measurable, and achievable goals.
Get Into the SCRUM
Want to move rapidly toward your goals? Use SCRUM methodology. SCRUM is a method of chunking and rapidly completing work. Create a wish list and turn it into chunks. Take one of those chunks from your list of goals and start your sprint toward the finish line. During a SCRUM, you or your team set a specific amount of time such as two to four weeks to achieve your goal, and you meet or reflect daily on your progress. At the end of that time, you should have completed that goal and be ready to start working on another. According to the SCRUM Alliance, SCRUM "ensures that the most valuable work has been completed when the project ends."
Track Your Goals
How can you assess whether you're making progress toward your goals? You can set specific and measurable goals with milestones, and you can also use apps that help you understand and adjust your progress. Especially when you're working independently, you need to have a way to remain accountable. In his list of goal-tracking apps, Michael Hyatt reviews several different apps that allow you to track your progress. These include:
- Nozbe: Track goals, habits, and milestones
- Goals on Track: Includes subgoals, metrics, and action plans and syncs with Outlook and Google Calendar.
- Strides: Tracks habits and target-oriented goals.
- irunurun: Gamifies your actions and habits and allows you to share your results.
Determine the Right Metrics
When you're tracking your goals, how can you be sure that you're tracking the right ones? According to Forbes, "Solid metrics give you the insight to overcome this hurdle of unpredictability." They help you set future goals and reevaluate current ones and pinpoint areas where you need to conduct further research or digital marketing training.
Metrics that you should measure include:
- Digital portfolio views: Are people noticing your digital marketing work?
- Social media following: How many times is a post or image shared? Is your following growing? More followers help secure your status as a thought leader.
- Blog views: How many visitors do you get to a certain blog post, and how do visits continue or taper over time?
Tracking your goals can help you see the progress you're making in your marketing career. Through the apprenticeship model, you'll have help moving forward in your digital marketing training and in your ability to evaluate your success. Learn how our coaches keep apprentices motivated to achieve their goals. Apply to become an apprentice today.