Defining goals for copywriters: SMART goals

Most of the editors no you want to meet me at a party.

These are just some of the questions I would ask you:

What medium do you specialize in? Direct mail, brochures, websites, infomercials? What fields? Billed by the hour, by job, or a percentage of direct response sales? Do you license your copy or sell it as work for hire? Are you looking for clients or do they come to you? Do you want to make a living from copywriting or just supplement your income? How much do you want to earn? By when are you making progress? How do you know? Is what you want to achieve possible?

Why am I interrogating you with all these questions? Let me explain you with an example.

Let’s say your goal is to get a new customer. Okay, so walk into any restaurant and offer to rewrite all their ad copy for $ 1. On a bad day, you might have to try a half dozen restaurants before someone says yes.

Goal achieved, right? Technically, yes. But that’s not really what you meant by having a new customer, is it?

Before you can hope to achieve your copywriting goals, you need to know in detail what are those goals in the first place.

SMART goals for copywriters

The SMART goal setting technique is popular due to its simplicity and power. Clarify your objectives according to the following criteria:




Rresults oriented

Ttime limit

Let’s try it with the goal of “getting a new customer”.

Specific: What type of customer? What kind of business? What size of company – corporation or mom and dad? What kind of job? How much work At what rate?

Measurable: How will you track your progress? Number of potential clients you call? Number of proposals you send?

Realizable: How big is this challenge for you? Have you done something similar before? Does anyone else have? Yes, there is always someone who is first, and you may be that person, but make sure you know that this is the kind of goal you are setting before you start.

Results oriented: What results do you want? A one-time job or an ongoing relationship? Want a glowing testimonial from this new customer? References?

Limited in time: For what date do you want to sign the contract? By what date do you want to finish the job? What date do you want to be paid?

Objective of the wave: Get a new customer.

SMART objective: Call at least 10 dentists every morning to schedule free consultations to review your advertising copy. Submit at least 5 proposals each week. Sign a contract with at least 1 new customer and receive 50% of my estimate as a down payment within 1 month from today.

It’s important to note that with any goal, the details will change as you go along. Goal setting is not about stubbornness. It’s about clarity. The more clarity you have up front, the more you can invite new opportunities into the process. Those opportunities can be compared to the original plan and explored (or not) as a conscious choice. And greater choice leads to a feeling of empowerment.

Copywriters who learn to use the SMART goal setting strategy will win more clients and write better quality copies faster than their competitors.

Copyright 2006 Curtis G. Schmitt

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