Recently I was listening to a podcast where Pat Flynn was interviewing Srinivas Rao, known to many as Srini.
Srini was talking about the goals he set for his second book. He set a goal of selling one thousand copies, which seemed like a reasonable goal based on his previous book.
As it turned out, Glenn Beck stumbled upon his book, tweeted about it, and he sold a thousand copies in a day. That led to an appearance on the controversial pundit’s show, and he ended up selling over ten thousand copies.
However, upon looking back on his goal setting, he found it faulty.
He couldn’t really set a goal of selling one thousand copies, because unless he bought all the copies himself, he had no real control over the outcome.
However, Srini had also set another goal: write one thousand words a day, every day.
What impact do you think that had on his writing? Do you think he improved? Found his voice? Was better able to educate, inform and inspire?
If he hadn’t committed to writing one thousand words every day, do you think Glenn Beck would have found his book and been moved enough to share it with his sizable audience?
Maybe, maybe not.
There’s no way to know if your commitment to getting better with your Social Media will have that type of payoff, but it will definitely increase your odds at success.
How can you put this to work for you?
When I talk to people about what their goals are for social media they often talk about more fans, more followers, and from the more enlightened, more leads and sales.
While you can certainly guarantee more fans or followers by buying them through a site like Fiverr, there’s little to no value in these fans. And like Srini, unless you’re going to buy your own products or services, you can’t guarantee that you’ll generate leads or sales from your social media activity.
Instead, you should set goals you can control. You can commit to write one five hundred word post each week. You can commit to posting to your Facebook page twice a day. You can commit to answering one question in your favorite LinkedIn group three times a week.
Most of us find ourselves in competitive environments in business. We’re either competing for business, or search engine rankings, or attention in Facebook’s news feed.
While you can’t affect the algorithmic changes that Google or Facebook throw your way, you can work on the things you control.
To be competitive, you need set goals on the activities that you can touch, and commit to work of seeing them through. That may mean one thousand words or one thousand juggles.
What goals are you going to set for yourself in 2014?