The New Year has just begun and it’s customary for people and businesses to set goals or make resolutions for the year ahead. If you are like me you may already have grown tired from hearing about so many superficial goals. I believe that it’s important to set SMART goals, meaning “Simple, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely” goals. I recently read an article by Chris Brogan, President of a social media agency, who described choosing your goals in the year ahead akin to choosing your campaign keywords. The exercise is to choose “three words that will help you frame your challenges and opportunities for 2009.”
I was inspired by his approach and in turn present you with the same challenge. What three words would you choose? And, why?
I chose words that would work for myself, my profession and hopefully as an inspiration to those who read this.
Engage. Community. Change.
Engage: The word to me encompasses a lot. Through our work, and especially this blog we engage our audience. It is up to each of us, part of the larger online community, to engage our peers. To engage them with quality and newsworthy information. Through this process of sharing and engaging we are community building and social networking. It’s important to find a means by which you can engage others, a process that is a good fit for you, and your business.
Community: As you manage your website, as we do ours and those of our clients, the aim should be to make your site an online community for your target audience. You should always keep your business plan or your overall goals in mind. Think of what is important to you. As you become involved in the community – your niche, you will be able to communicate your plan and goals, and through that offer how you will respond to changes ahead.
Change: This word seemed almost too obvious for me. But if you think about it, change is not always embraced, nor is it necessarily easy. With the year ahead one can’t help but wonder what will be in store for us. We already know it’s a great year for Political changes; the incoming President’s site is even called change.gov.
I believe, this may be a bit cliché, but the change you want to see in the world starts with you. I also believe that what will give you an advantage in the year ahead is the ability to be able to anticipate certain changes, and how in response you handle those changes. As a professional in any field you need to look (be proactive), listen (be aware) and learn quickly (be able to adapt) in order to respond to and cope with changes. I suggest you evaluate yourself and your business. Assess where you are, where you’ve been and where you want to be. From that point you can make changes where and when appropriate. While you don’t have to have a magic 8 ball to know what’s to come, you have to be in tune with your surroundings, your community, and those whom you engage.
I believe that all three of our goals will be important in 2009. For our line of business I further anticipate the following changes and opportunities:
- Blogging will be an essential component for each business.
- Social Media will be embraced, and not just thought of as something for tweens.
- Social Media will become more regulated.
- SEO is not dead. More importance (as it should be) will be placed on traffic, and lead generation.
- Customer service will make a comeback, and become a more valued and measurable asset.
- Influence and popularity (like we’re back in high school) will be as important as relevance.
- Mobile applications will be a hot commodity, as long as user experience is good.
- Will this be the year that Video (online videos) will make it? Maybe.
I hope you found this helpful. We would love to know what your goals are for the year ahead.