What’s your copywriting goal for 2023?
Is it a big goal?
David Schwartz published The Magic of Thinking Big in 1959. In his book, he teaches it takes as much energy to think small as it does to think big. So, think big.
When you have big goals, you’re less likely to succeed. You’ll fail more often. But, your successes will have a huge impact.
In this article, I’m going to introduce you to a bridge between possible and impossible goals.
Why a WIG Is a Must-Have in Your Copywriting Business
That bridge is a Wildly Important Goal (WIG).
A WIG is a breakthrough results goal. To achieve it, you need to change your behavior. And, you’ll need to schedule time outside of your daily whirlwind of activities.
The idea of a WIG comes from The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey, Jim Huling, Beverly Walker, and Scott Thele. It’s the perfect way to go about reaching your big — or even impossible — goals. Wherever you are on your journey with the Writer’s Life, a WIG identifies the next step on that path. Your first client… your first retainer client… your first six-figure year… your first seven-figure year… and so on.
For example, in October I fulfilled a childhood dream to set up my own marketing agency. I launched with clients booked through until January.
My WIG for 2023 will see me take my agency to the next level: Increase my agency’s retainer clients from 8 to 32 by December 31, 2023.
Limit yourself to one professional WIG and one personal WIG at any time. When you set a WIG, it becomes your singular focus. You’ll still need to deal with the day-to-day activities. But, you’ll make time to work on your WIG.
How to Set an Effective WIG
You may have heard of setting SMART goals, and you may now wonder how these differ from a WIG.
SMART goals are those that are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Time-bound. All the elements of a SMART goal should find their way into your WIG.
The key to SMART goals and your WIG is specificity. (It’s also a key to good writing.)
The formula for writing a WIG is “From X to Y by When.”
Let’s look at my two WIGs, both my professional and personal wildly important goals:
Increase my agency’s retainer clients from 8 to 32 by December 31, 2023.
Decrease my weight from 268.13 lbs. to 210.98 lbs. by November 16, 2023.
Note that WIGs start with a verb.
They’re also specific: Use real numbers. Currently, I do actually weigh 268.13 lbs.
Second, they’re measurable. Am I closer or further away from having 32 retainer clients? Am I moving toward or away from weighing 210.98 lbs.?
The action-oriented part is something we’ll discuss in the next section.
Each of the WIGs is realistic. I already know how I’d be able to serve 32 clients. It will mean I’ll need to expand my team. Losing 1.1 lb. a week is sustainable weight-loss. I don’t need massive self-control, and I don’t need to exercise excessively.
Finally, both WIGs have a deadline.
When you set your goal this way, you can see where you are and where you’re going. And you’ll know when you get there.
How to Achieve Your WIG
Once you have a WIG, the remaining three disciplines of The 4 Disciplines of Execution kick in, so you can achieve it.
Those disciplines are:
- Act on the lead measures.
- Keep a compelling scoreboard.
- Create a cadence of accountability.
Acting on lead measures is where the Action-oriented part of your WIG comes in.
Lead measures tell you if you’re likely to achieve your goal. They force you to put your energy into the few actions that will have the biggest impact on your WIG.
As you work toward your WIG, you’re going to face some battles. Other goal-setting methods ask you to list every obstacle. But, with a WIG, you ask yourself, what’s the smallest number of battles I need to win to reach my goal?
You don’t have to win at everything; you only need to win where it counts.
For lead measures to be useful, they need to be predictive (measuring something that leads to the goal) and influenceable (something you can act on).
Let’s look at the lead measures for my WIG to increase my agency’s retainer clients from 8 to 32 by December 31, 2023.
My lead measures are:
- Submit completed work to clients by the deadline 100% of the time.
- Ask 100% of clients for referrals.
The next step is to set up a compelling scoreboard. The scoreboard shows your WIG, sometimes called your lag measure, and your two lead measures.
You know you have a good scoreboard when you look at it and answer yes to each of these questions:
- Is it simple?
- Can I see it easily?
- Does it show lead and lag measures?
- Can I tell at a glance if I’m winning?
For my WIG, I would have “Increase my agency’s retainer clients form 8 to 32 by December 31, 2023 at the top.”
Then I might have a chart showing client projects with their deadlines. Each time my agency delivers on a deadline, I could add a star next to that project. A missed deadline might get an X. With a lead measure of making every deadline, I can quickly see if I’m achieving what I set out to do.
Your scoreboard will let you see where you are now in relation to your goal. This information lets you adapt as you work on your WIG.
The fourth step is to establish a cadence of accountability. One way to do this is through a copywriting cheer squad. During your weekly meeting with them, you follow this agenda:
- Hold yourself accountable to the group for last week’s commitments.
- Review your scoreboard.
- Remove barriers for each other and make new commitments for the coming week.
When you do this, your copywriting cheer squad supports and empowers you to achieve your WIG. You do the same thing for them.
Achieve Your WIG, Then Go Bigger
Here’s the thing about goals. There’s nothing wrong with thinking big, if you have a way to get there.
To help you “get there,” here are three takeaways from this article:
- A Wildly Important Goal (WIG) is a goal that delivers breakthrough results and requires you to change your behavior to achieve it.
- A WIG has a specific format: From X to Y by When.
- You reach your WIG by tracking your lead measures on a visual scoreboard and having someone hold you to account.
Work through the steps in this article and you’ll be more likely to achieve your big goals. And that sets you up to achieve even bigger ones.
What’s your WIG for your copywriting career in 2023? Please share in the comments.