A couple weeks ago, we dove into some goal planning strategy. Last week I bared my soul and showed you my 2023 goals. This week, I want to show you a practical application of that goal planning strategy using the very goals I intend to achieve in my business this year. As a prior teacher, I know theory and execution don’t always translate, so I want you to see exactly how I do things!
Under each goal, I have broken it down into a “quarterly breakdown” or “rock” as I sometimes refer to it as. This is a bite-size goal that seems more manageable throughout the year. It also allows me to attach actionable tasks throughout the year to achieve the larger yearly goal.
Then, I discuss my strategy…essentially ways that I am going to achieve this goal.
Finally, I discuss the execution. Like I mentioned earlier, sometimes theory/strategy doesn’t translate to execution as easily, so I did my best to illustrate the actionable tasks I associate with each strategy.
Now, without further ado…
- Book 20 branding clients.
- Quarterly Breakdown: 5 Branding Clients per Quarter
- Sending semi-warm lead and cold emails. Researching once per quarter potential branding clients that are local to my area.
- Checking in with previous branding clients approximately one year after their branding session to see if they would like to refresh images with new business goals in mind.
- Visiting craft fairs and photographing vendor booths, following up with them in an email with images from the fair to see if they’d be interested in booking a session. One fair per quarter.
- Proactively marking research and vendor fair days (as best I can) for each quarter to make sure the strategy is not overlooked once the time comes.
- Writing an email template to reach out to potential clients (with plenty of area for customization).
- Shoot 7 weddings as primary photographer.
- Quarterly Breakdown: Due to the booking nature of weddings, I don’t anticipate shooting any as primary in the first quarter or even early second quarter. Ideally, I would be able to have an [almost] equal amount in the third and fourth quarters.
- Continue to tweak pricing (with CODB) in mind to see where the booking sweet spot is.
- Attend one bridal show during first quarter.
- Continue to network with other wedding photographers to build a referral network.
- Research bridal shows during first quarter. I have a booth already created, so once the show is booked, the execution should not be difficult.
- Reach out to other wedding photographers to see if they would like to grab coffee and catch up! This may sound small, but most of my weddings come either from previous brides or fellow photographers.
- Gross six figures.
- Quarterly Breakdown: $25k per quarter.
- Brainstorm additional marketing opportunities. I did this with my business bestie, Kassie O’Driscoll. Sometimes I get so stuck in a rut of my own ways, it’s hard to see new possibilities. Some of the ideas were: being a guest on podcasts, starting an Etsy shop with Photography Framework resources, and creating an Amazon storefront!
- Create Etsy shop.
- Create/curate Amazon storefront.
- Research podcasts, write email template. Aim to apply to 15 podcasts per quarter; therefore, five per month. Proactively write the podcast application dates in my planner.
- Grow The Photography Framework email list to 500 subscribers.
- Quarterly Breakdown: 100 new subscribers per quarter.
- Create a new “freebie” or “lead magnet” each month to test the waters and see what my audience needs. I recently read “Marketing Made Simple” by Donald Miller. He suggested that the importance of creating a great lead magnet is higher than creating the paid content you sell, which is crazy! So I’m giving it a try.
- Pour a little more fuel on the fire by utilizing paid advertising. Toying around with Instagram ads and targeting my ideal customer.
- Proactively write dates to create a new monthly lead magnet in planner.
- Use my two Instagram accounts to “collaborate” and cross-post to reach a wider audience weekly.
- Send quarterly newsletters to my ARHP client family.
- Quarterly Breakdown: Write one email per quarter.
- Originally this goal was to grow my list just like the TPF list; however, I revised it because the intention for this list and that list is far different. So my strategy instead is just to stay steady in cultivating the relationships with my already existing clients, allowing them first dibs on any sales and/or offers, plus updating them on travel dates to connect with them whenever I can.
- Write dates in planner for draft days for newsletter.
- Create a yearlong plan that allows me to see upcoming dates to include in newsletter.
Remember that retreat I mentioned earlier, where I sat down with a fellow business owner to goal plan? We had a really interesting conversation when working on her goals. She said, “Gah, I feel like I’m just wasting time writing all these dates down. Does this really help?”
Truth be told, it really does. Goal planning may take some leg work on the front end, but I cannot express the peace of mind it gives me when I am done with it and have my entire year planned out before it even begins.
Instead of being overwhelmed and burnt out halfway through the second quarter of the year (because, let’s face it, we always try to jam everything in to the first few months), I feel well-paced, like I have the stamina to make it throughout the rest of the year. And if I don’t hit a Q1 goal, well then I revisit at the beginning of Q2 to re-assess and adjust the rest of the year. That’s the beauty in it! It’s accountability and flexibility with the luxury of knowledge of where you are throughout your year.
I hope this was helpful to see the strategy *actually* put into practice! Now take this and put it into action with your own goals so we can walk hand-in-hand to the finish line of the year knowing we did everything within our power to make this year the best yet!
In case you missed the previous goal planning posts, you can find them here:
Goal Planning in Your Business (if you want to read some more about the strategy!)
My 2023 Business Goals (if you need some inspiration!)
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