There's trendy advice today on the internet we can discuss to give a response to that question, and to start this blog post:
Work smart, not hard.
This is a great statement, but the issue with the "working hard vs. working smart” dichotomy is that all too often we frame the choice as one in which we can only choose "hard" or "smart." When the question we should be asking is, why aren't we doing both?
One of the main reasons we should seek to work SMART is because of the structured and different approach to planning, and to give more realistic targets in order to be more confident of achieving things, like increasing demand generation. Using SMART objectives and then measuring them through properly customized analytics reports is one awesome way to go.
Maybe not, but let´s go SMART, which is actually an acronym, and here's the S.M.A.R.T criteria in the inbound world:
Define specific goals to your objectives. Set with accuracy what you want and how much you want.
Objectives should be measurable, so you can tell if you achieve it, or how far or close are you from achieving it. That´s why specific goals are so important.
Set your goals and objectives according to your real abilities in the current market reality. No more, but not less. If you foresee that you´re not going to be able to achieve your goals in the period that you want, don´t worry, you can divide your goals into different milestones. The important thing is to actually achieve them.
Setting real and attainable goals depends heavily on your honesty and your realistic sense of things. Try analyzing internal abilities and external market conditions with your partners or with people who know how your market works, to set a realistic road to success. Sometimes our own perspective isn´t enough to build realistic objectives.
Once you´ve set your objectives and goals, and the period of time that you´ll need to achieve them, you must be fully committed with this deadline, otherwise your business and your team may loose the pressing need, I mean, that driving force that leads us to success.
Here is an example:
Vague goal: I want to increase sales by the end of the year.
SMART goal: I want to increase my website traffic from 2000 visits to 5500 visits, conversion rate to reach 28% instead of the current 11%, generating 12% increase in customers after 12 months, generating $3,000,000 in revenue.
If we´re working with inbound marketing then let´s be accurate. After you progress through your month and/or quarter, you can always head back to your Dashboard and check off show goal line to review how well you're performing against all your Goals.