Tracking Your Way to the Top
I often wonder how people without a plan know where they're going. Or, how they know when they've arrived at their destination. Think about it. If you never specify what your goal is, how do you go about achieving it? And how do you know when to celebrate?
Having a clearly defined, and written goal is the first step in creating a successful business.
HOW WILL YOU MEASURE SUCCESS?
Whether you choose to measure your success in number of clients or revenue per month or year, or in any other terms, is up to you. The point is to establish a measurable goal.
The second step to creating a successful business is creating a plan to achieve your goal. This is your marketing plan and it ensures all your time, energy and money are focused on achieving whatever it is YOU want to achieve.
A Goal And A Plan Are NOT Enough
Just having a goal and a plan are not enough. You must track your progress so you can determine if it will require more or different effort to achieve your goal.
You Need Two More Things... ONE
First, you track your progress toward your overall goal. I recommend you evaluate this at least every couple of months.
Make it a practice to review your marketing plan and how well it is moving you toward your goal, at the end of every month. A good day to do this is the day you take care of your end-of-month administrative tasks (things like paying bills and running sales and financial reports).
If you break your goal down into twelfths, you can easily tell each month if you're on track. And, if you're not, you can easily make adjustments, like increasing your level of marketing if necessary, to get back on track.
By keeping close tabs on your progress toward your goals, you greatly increase your odds of achieving them. Partly because you give yourself time to make adjustments and take a different route if necessary.
And, partly because you are constantly reminding yourself of your intentions.
And ... TWO
The second way to stay on track is to track each of your individual marketing activities. This is how you'll know if each activity is moving you toward your goal.
For Example ... Tracking Your Web Site Stats
If you're generating your prospects or clients via your web site, do you know how many visitors you need to generate the number of clients you're shooting for?
It's fairly easy to determine if you utilize web site tracking reports. Your web host should provide tracking reports to let you know how many visitors your site is getting, and ideally you can track this for each page of your site.
We like Google Analytics. It's a tool that is complex yet user friendly. You can track everything down to the actual device site visitors are using to see your pages. One of our favorite features of the site is that you can search for data using simple text like, "users in Los Angeles" and you will see results (if there are any). The tool also tells you how long visitors stay on pages, and you can even track the exact "click path" a user took while visiting your site. It's a wonderfully powerful tool that can track any site, app, or social media platform that allows Google Analytics tracking. For more info please visit Google Analytics here.
If you have a newsletter or special report that web site visitors can subscribe to you can then determine what your conversion rate is: Total Subscribers divided by Total Visitors equals your Conversion Rate.
Do You Know What Your Conversion Rates Are?
You can then take this one step further by determining what your conversion rate is, from subscribers to clients. Or, to measure what your sales conversion rate is if you are selling products or services on your web site.
Once you know your sales conversion rate, you should be able to calculate how many web site visitors you need to generate to achieve your sales or "number of clients" goal.
This will tell you pretty quickly if you're on track to achieve your goal, or if you need to generate a lot more web site traffic to do so.
A Little Bit Of Math Upfront Will Guarantee Your Success
While at first it may be disheartening, especially if you're way off the mark, at least you have a clear picture of what it will take to reach your goal. Then it's simply a matter of finding ways to generate the traffic. And then it's only a matter of time until you achieve your goal.
Track Your Speaking Engagements or Web Talks
You can track other marketing activities in a similar way. For example, with speaking engagements or web events, what percentage of your attendees typically subscribe, and then what percentage of those typically become clients or buy? You can determine how big of an audience or how many speaking engagements or web events you need to do to reach your goals.
Track Your Public Relations Efforts
For public relations, how many people do you need to reach, or impressions do you need to achieve to generate the return necessary to meet your goals? You can then send your releases out more frequently (just make sure they're newsworthy) or to media with a larger audience.
Again, if you monitor your results every month, you'll have a very good idea if you're on track to meet your goals. And, you'll have plenty of time to make adjustments to your plan if necessary.
So, What's Your Goal For This Year?
And do you know if you're on track to achieve it? If you haven't committed your goal to writing, I encourage you to do so today. If you're not sure what you can achieve, then take your best guess and work towards that.
You Can Track Your Way To The Top!
Put some tracking practices into place and stay on top of them every month. If you do this, I guarantee you'll achieve a lot more than if you just "wing it!"
Jennifer "drJ" Thibeaux is an American author, publisher, speaker, and entrepreneur. Leading The Thibeaux Company®, drJ hopes to impact human performance in a variety of industries. Working with executives and key influencers in Fortune 100 companies, drJ has developed a keen sense of performance in action. Earning business and education advanced degrees, drJ continues to insert intelligence into the performance conversation. Hosting and appearing on a variety of radio shows, podcasts, and other broadcast mediums, drJ has no "stop" in sight. To find out more about Jennifer "drJ" Thibeaux or products and projects from The Thibeaux Company®, be sure to visit www.Thibeaux.org.