But Groupon, and Foursquare, and Facebook isn’t your business. They didn’t stumble upon these incredible results by luck and without a well funded strategy, so why do you continue to completely think you’ll find incredible numbers just because you’re hopeful? Stop it! Quit overestimating potential revenue, member growth, traffic, or popularity of your business just because it’s launched.
My business is online + lots of people being online DOES NOT equal that you’ll find an easy time reaching them.
You need to start creating real goals with a real plan instead of goals and numbers that appear to created by magical unicorn fairies.
Fortunately, if you are creating your goals in the magical unicorn fairy warehouse…you’re not alone. This trend of made up goals seems to be growing. I continue to have conversation after conversation with clients or friends who have a new or existing business who assume miracles are going to happen just because their business or new online social community is launched. They won’t. Results just don’t happen.
Bad News: You are never going to be Foursquare, Facebook, or Groupon. Your successes are never going to be remotely close to the numbers they bring in.
Good News: Now that your head is back to earth you won’t be crushed when you’re not adding 3,000 new members per month.
Better News: You don’t need to be the biggest in the industry to be successful. Start going after realistic numbers with a smart strategy and success can start to come your own way.
When Selecting Goals, Start Asking These Questions?
Ask Why. Ask Where. Ask How.
- ASK WHY: When creating your goal, you should first ask why that’s your goal. Why did we pick this particular number as a goal for a successful metric. Say you have a new network you’re creating and you expect 1,000 new members per month. Well why? Why did you pick 1,000? Is that the average number for similar networks? Is that based on an already large amount of traffic you’re receiving to your website? Why this goal?
- ASK WHERE: Where are the numbers going to come from? If your goal is for new members, then where are they going to come from? Do you have an email list that will convert to new members? If your goal is a traffic amount then do you currently have any traffic? Where will the increase come from? Do you have a way to get in front of more eyeballs? Do you have a large following on Twitter or a solid amount of active Facebook Fans?
- ASK HOW: How are you going to reach this goal? Just being launched is no recipe for anything. That’s the beginning. You need a solid strategy for attack with solid tracking measurements to be able to adabt and mold your strategy. (Read this social media strategy post here for more insights)
Don’t just make up goals, you need to have a realistic way of reaching them. You’ll save yourself a lot of heartache by attacking goals that are created with a realistic perspective on what’s possible to achieve and how you’re going to get there.
Good luck, and as always let me know how you’re doing and how RTM can help.
Scott S. Bishop is editor for Real Time Marketer and a marketing strategist with a specialty in social media. He is an avid blogger and active across the net. He is @thescottbishop on Twitter