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Want Agency or Career Growth in 2014? Try a Little SMART Planning.

Heaven or HellThis week, I’m all about doing my planning for 2014. After all, you can’t make something manifest itself if it isn’t front-and-center.

You need to think about it, write it down and have it posted under your nose every day. It has to be a priority, right? Otherwise, they remain wishes instead of reality. And I have big plans for my digital public relations consultancy in 2014.

If you’re not doing the same thing this month – building your strategy for next year – it’s time.  Want a waiting list of new business? A promotion? Bigger clients or larger budgets? Stronger digital PR skills?

It won’t happen by accident. 

Small agency or large, independent or employee, journalist or publisher, marketer or entrepreneur… writing down your goals makes a huge difference in transforming intentions into reality.

If you are serious, write it down.

You become – and attract – what you think about the most.” ~ Jerry Bruckner

Like anyone else, I need a few tools and resources to help me put my thinking cap on and get the creative juices flowing. Here are a few resources that inspired me yesterday as I started my own strategic plan.

I hope you find them helpful, too.


1. Hubspot’s 2014 SMART Template for 2014 Planning. Go ahead and download it. It’s free and very helpful in guiding your process. The first sheet is where the true gold lies, since it outlines the SMART process for setting your KPIs (key performance indicators). What is SMART? Specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-specific.

The second sheet is very skewed to inbound marketing but easily edited to fit your own needs. When you unzip the folder, you’ll get a bonus PDF of strategic thinking from agencies across the country to help inspire your own ideas.

Write down your plan, and tape next to your monitor so you can glance it over every single morning as you start your day. Keep it top-of-mind.

2. Six Little Money Mindset Shifts That Pay Off Big. Along with the same line of thinking, getting your MENTAL processes in line make a huge difference in the success of your agency or business. Since either the lack of or abundance of money makes a huge difference in your perception and your thinking – which both drive success or lack thereof – this Marie Forleo video is very inspiring. Thinking with gratitude and abundance make a major difference in your happiness level.

And happiness drives success, not vice versa, according to my friend and client, Dr. Robyn McKay!  I recently worked with Dr. McKay to create and launch her she{ology} brand and website, learning a little bit along the way about how psychology and positive thinking can shape our achievements.

3. Things Rich People Do That Poor People Don’t.  This news video from an Australian station shares habits of successful, wealthy people that have absolutely nothing to do with money, yet are markedly different than the habits of poor people. I found this very inspiring – not because of wealth versus poverty – but because the THINKING HABITS resonate strongly with my own beliefs and simply make sense.

Successful habits create successful people. Just don’t forget to wrap in a focus on gratitude and abundance, along with the dreams of wealth and success.

What inspires you, when it comes to putting together that annual marketing strategy?


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