Written by Mat Casner

let’s connect

Freelance CEO Podcast
Listen Now

Goal Setting For Freelancers: 3 Effective Strategies

Mindset & Strategy | 0 comments

I love November because this is the time I start to look forward to the new year – and this year that’s ESPECIALLY true! 2020 has been a doozy, hasn’t it? I think most of us are probably looking forward to hitting the “reset” button.

As far as my business goes, I always look forward to the new year for goal setting! I challenge you to think about ways to adapt, change, and grow your business. Yes, it can be done, even in the middle of a pandemic! But to do it, we need to head into the new year with some fresh business goals, fresh energy, and ideas to keep us motivated!  Are you ready?

If you’d like to see more about goal setting, check out the video below, or scroll down to read.

As a young freelancer, I would typically head into the new year by creating a few personal resolutions. I didn’t usually give a lot of thought to my business, however, because I was never quite sure where to focus my time or energy. 

Over time I’ve learned why it’s important to set business goals: to provide focus, clarity, and motivation. Setting goals helps us to imagine new possibilities and ways we can take our biz to the next level. Business goal setting is a healthy way to identify ways we can add skills, new services, attract new clients, improve our marketing, reach, and more. 

Like personal goals, it’s important to make business goals that are S.M.A.R.T, that is to say specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-sensitive. These are all important, but for me, it’s especially crucial that goals are measurable and realistic.

Make a Goal Measurable

First, in order to measure our goal, we need to define our starting point. If we want to raise a certain amount of money, we need to know how much was in the bank account to begin with, right? When goals are measurable there is no ambiguity – it’s either done or not! We either had an impact or we didn’t. We raised the money or we didn’t.

Make Your Business Goal Realistic

It’s great to have outrageous goals, but it’s also important to have smaller business goals that are incremental. Breaking bigger goals into chunks is one way to achieve this. After all, you want to be able to see your progress throughout the year. If you set goals that are attainable, you will gain confidence and want to continue. 

In order to make the most relevant business goals, try focusing on the following three areas so you know you’re creating goals that will move the needle in your business. Your goals should land in one of the following categories. 

Growing Leads 

If people don’t know who you are and what you do, they will never hire you to do anything! Get in front of people and show the work you do and the services you sell! Goals in this area could be building a website, creating a social media channel, or even doing offline events like attending our local chamber of commerce luncheon. 


Conversion means taking the people who know you and turning them into customers. You could make a goal to build trust by creating an offer that communicates your value and an invitation for people to work with you.

Another goal could focus on being diligent about collecting testimonials. There’s nothing more powerful than a good testimonial to show you are trustworthy and do excellent work. I would even recommend using a tool like Endorsal.io to collect testimonials and make it easy to share them with prospective clients.

Customer Retention

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It takes so much more effort to acquire new customers than it takes to keep a current customer happy. If we’ve done a good job for our current client and we’ve built the trust and provided value, it should be easy to pick up more work them.

One goal to help with retention could be to start a monthly newsletter in which you share wins from projects you’re working on with different clients. 

Finally, I recommend you set a goal that can grow into a habit and really benefit you over time. Start ridiculously small. For example, if you want to wake up an hour earlier to boost productivity, start by waking up 5 minutes earlier than your current wake time for a few days, then move to 15 minutes, etc. You’re much more likely to create a lasting habit that will help you for years to come when you move in tiny increments. 

Are you a podcast fan? Want help to launch, grow and scale a profitable freelance business? You’re in luck! I’m starting a brand new Marketing for Freelancers Podcast coming soon to a podcasting platform near you. Join the list and be the first to know when an episode drops. Sign up at www.freelanceceo.com/podcast

How to Start Freelancing: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners

How to Start Freelancing: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners I began my journey into freelancing while still in high school, dabbling in various projects alongside my studies and early professional work. It wasn't until 2006 that I decided to dive into freelancing...

Ignite Your Passion and Join the Accelerator: Enrollment Now Open for IGNITE Accelerator

Ignite Your Passion and Join the Accelerator: Enrollment Now Open for IGNITE Accelerator

Are you feeling unfulfilled in your current job? Do you have an unparalleled desire to pursue a freelance business that ignites your passion? Look no further; the IGNITE Accelerator program, a program designed by Freelance CEO founder, Mat Casner, to help guide web,...