What’s the difference between a Goal and a Dream?

A dream is a “What if?” It’s a, “Wouldn’t it be nice?” The lottery is a perfect example of a dream.

A Goal on the other hand, is a clearly defined objective that you plan to achieve.

You don’t achieve goals by dreaming. You achieve goals by creating a clear strategy, considering all obstacles along the way, and setting a specific timeline in which you plan to achieve the goal.

The best approach is to develop S.M.A.R.T. goals. Why? Well one, it’s a catchy acronym.

More importantly, S.M.A.R.T. goals define Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound keys to determine whether you achieved your goals or not.



Obscure goals make them nearly impossible to achieve. Adding specificity by answering the who, what, where, when, and why questions will make it more achievable.

For example, “I want to be rich.” How do you define rich? What are the steps you need to take? What is your timeline to achieve this goal?



Your goals need a quantity, percentage, or some other form of measurement so you can decide if you achieved your goal or not.

In the above example, there is no specific number. If it was changed to, “I want to be a millionaire,” then, while still far from being a S.M.A.R.T. goal, at least it would be measurable.



Just like every dream isn’t attainable, neither is every goal. Your goals need to be realistic and attainable based on your company and your talent.

If you want to be a millionaire, how are you going to achieve that goal? This helps you plan your course of action and focus on setting realistic goals. Easily achieved or impossible goals do nothing to help your company solve the problems it faces.



Set goals to ensure your company is always moving forward and never remaining stagnant. These goals have to be relevant to your company mission statement, long-term objectives, and applied to a specific problem.

If you already have $999,999, setting the goal of becoming a millionaire doesn’t matter. You should always be realistically challenging you and your team.



Goals without a timeline are hopes. By taking away the sense of urgency a deadline creates, your goal is more likely to fail. Set specific timelines to achieve your goal so that your team is on the same page.

Without a timeline, you’re just hoping to become a millionaire.


Examples of Social Media Marketing S.M.A.R.T. Goals

  • Increase Engagement on Facebook posts 50% in Six Months
  • Average 5% Click Through Rate on Tweets by End of Year
  • Add 500 LinkedIn Followers in Three Months


Examples of Blogging S.M.A.R.T. Goals

  • Increase Website Traffic 10% in Three Months
  • Have Blog Articles Retweeted average of 5 Times for Six Months
  • Increase Blog Subscribers 25% by October 31


Examples of Email Marketing S.M.A.R.T. Goals

  • Average 10% Click Through Rate on Emails by End of Year
  • Achieve Email Open Rate of 30% in Three Months
  • Achieve Customer Conversion Rate of 3% for Email Marketing by End of Quarter


Examples of Premium Content S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Premium Content consists of White papers, eBooks, Case Studies, Webinars, or any other type of content placed behind a Landing Page to generate a lead.

  • Generate 25 Leads a Month by End of Year
  • Reach 1,000 Downloads of eBook within Six Months
  • Produce One White paper a Month for 12 Months


How to Use Analytics for S.M.A.R.T. Goals

The accessibility of statistics in all aspects of the digital marketing world means you can easily see if you’ve achieved your goals or not. You need to learn how to use this data and which metrics are important to your company. By now, you should be acquiring more data than you know what to do with. Track the numbers, organize them, and develop the KPIs necessary for your firm.

Then, after creating your S.M.A.R.T. goals, you’ll have a starting point and an end point. As you continue pushing your company forward, you’ll become better at setting goals. That doesn’t mean you won’t have to restructure your strategy based on results. The world is always changing. You need to be adaptable to keep pace.

Need help setting S.M.A.R.T. goals for your inbound marketing campaign? Schedule your Free Consultation today!

Continue reading to learn How to Develop an Inbound Marketing Strategy or How to Create Buyer Personas for your company.

Schedule Your Consultation Today!

Tired of constantly trying to rank higher on Google without success? Been burned by snake oil salesmen promising 10,000% percent growth in only a matter of weeks?

Inbound Marketing is a long-term strategy that drives traffic, generates more leads, and increases sales.

B2B companies that blog only 1-2 times a month generate 70% more leads than those who don’t.

Content Marketing provides 3 times more leads per dollar.

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Create Your Story, Promote It, and Perfect Your Strategy

Mike D. O’Brien
Lincoln Park, NJ
[email protected]






Generate more leads through properly structured content. © Mike D. O’Brien 2017

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