Freelancing 101

How To Become a Successful Freelancer with SMART Goals

Team Pepper
Posted on 2/02/228 min read
How To Become a Successful Freelancer with SMART Goals

Table of Contents

  • What Are SMART Goals? 
  • Why Your Freelancing Business Needs SMART Goals? 
  • How To Set SMART Goals and Become a Successful Freelancer
  • Key Takeaways
  • Conclusion 
  • FAQs

How does one become a successful freelancer? The answer here is goal setting. The arrangement of an action plan to encourage and steer a person toward a goal is known as goal setting. Desires and fleeting intentions are less thoughtful than goals. As a result, making objectives entails committing one’s thoughts, emotions, and actions to achieve the goal. 

Goals might also be a little mundane? Restrictive? Difficult to work?

As a creative freelancer, you must understand the significance of creating goals. You no longer have managers or coworkers checking in on you as a freelancer. You need to establish a more disciplined system to ensure that you meet your obligations and grow in the many areas of your professional life.

What are SMART Goals?

You might have heard of SMART goals 

S- Specific

M- Measurable 

A- Attainable 

R- Relevant 

T- Timely 


1. Specific

Specificity is a no-brainer, but being clear about what you want to do can help you achieve it. Let’s take the phrase “find new clientele” as an example. “Finding new clients” is vague. “Find new content writing clients with a focus on careers” is more specific. You now have a target market to target. This aim is based on your area of expertise and the sort of job you want to accomplish – professions and content writing.

2. Measurable

Now you need to develop a metric to assess your aim against so you’ll know when you’ve ‘achieved’ your objectives. 

Unmeasured: Find new content writing clients who are interested in professions. Measured: Find six new content writing clients with a professional focus.

3. Attainable

If you establish ambitious aims or outputs that are unattainable, it might be one of the primary reasons you fail to achieve your goals. Setting attainable objectives will help you stay motivated. 

Unachievable: Find six new content writing clients linked to your career.

Finding two new career-related content writing clients is a realistic goal. It’s a lot to get six new clients. Two is a much more attainable and reasonable goal for me to pursue.

4. Relevant

Assume you’ve decided as a freelancer that you don’t want to write in the “career” area anymore and instead want to focus on growing your reputation as a psychology and wellness writer: 

Irrelevant: Find two new content writing clients with a professional focus.

Finding two new psychology or health-related content writing clients is a good idea.

The more relevant your longer-term goals as a freelancer (in this situation) are, the more aggressive you’ll be in working toward them.

5. Timely

Finally, you must set a deadline for your aim. If you’re a chronic procrastinator who works best under a tight deadline, this may be useful for you!

Untimely: Find two new career-related content writing clients who will pay a minimum of 6 months of work

Timely: By the end of March, find two new career-related content writing customers who can do six months of work. It’s simple, but it makes a tremendous impact on responsibility. 

Why Your Freelancing Business Needs SMART Goals

An essential aspect to consider for your clients on their route to success is goal setting. Each customer has a unique narrative to tell, and setting goals is the essential tool for everybody who wants to realize their maximum potential. This is how you become a successful freelancer. 

The main objective of creating an organized list of goals is to give your clients a feeling of what to anticipate in the future. When one doesn’t have a clear goal, strategy, or aim for where one wants to go, it can be challenging to stay motivated. There are a few benefits of setting S.M.A.R.T goals: 

1. Goals provide a sense of satisfaction.

Setting and then achieving goals make freelancers feel like they can accomplish their objectives. This will boost your confidence and self-efficacy, whether long-term or short-term. Goals can also provide you extra chances to check in with your customers. Goals help one to

  • Assisting clients in maintaining their motivation 
  • Crossing off goals as they are completed motivates people to use more positive words.

2. Goals give a sense of focus and direction.

For freelancers, setting a goal offers a clearly defined and well-thought-out path that will eventually bring them to their longer-term wellness objectives. They may concentrate on the minor tasks necessary to succeed in this direction. You may find goal planning overwhelming, especially if they believe they have a lot of goals, a lot of competing criteria, and a lot of big end-goals to attain. 

3. Goals can provide motivation.

Consistently attaining goals might be challenging at times. You may recognize that the road to success isn’t always a straight line that might uncover the underlying obstacles to change. Not finishing a goal may feel like a failure, but these setbacks are a necessary component of long-term success. Here are some ideas for dealing with setbacks:

  • Clarify the issue in a joint effort. Define and pinpoint precisely what is creating the difficulties.
  • Investigate options for resolving the issue. 
  • It’s sometimes essential to alter your course to reach your goals.

4. Goals help one prioritize

Prioritization is a difficult skill to master these days, and we all struggle with it at times. Many of our first-time clients have no notion how to prioritize the improvements they want to make. Setting goals is an excellent way to prioritize these improvements. It provides them with a step-by-step guide on what they should be doing. Aid your clients in making the most of their assets. Because there are never enough resources to achieve everything, setting objectives might help you prioritize. Put your resources behind each aim to figure out what you want to do.

5. Goals help give clarity for decision-making.

Goal-setting can be even more instructive than the goal itself since it can be used to measure how you feel about your progress. For example, a customer may achieve their objective satisfactorily, but they report that they do not consider it a success after further inspection. They may not be able to see and appreciate the small strides forward that they are taking, and they may undervalue their efforts. This self-doubt and poor self-perception might sabotage their long-term growth.

How to Set SMART Goals?

Finally, for freelancing success, you must ask yourself, “how do I implement these SMART goals?”

Let’s consider an example. 

  • Business goal: To acquire new clients as a freelancer
  • Specific: Each month, I will obtain three new projects.
  • Measurable: To obtain three new projects every month, I need at least 12 prospects and will need to pitch to at least six of them each month.
  • Attainable: I will find clients searching for freelancers on professional sites and research them.
  • Relevant: By gaining new tasks every month, I may expand my firm and increase revenue.
  • Time-bound: My monthly target performance will be evaluated.

What can be seen here is that a plan falls into place immediately when a goal is set. From the above example, the following has been clarified: 

  • The prioritization process has been put into place 
  • There is focus and a trajectory to follow 
  • Insight into the quick decision making through segmenting the five aspects of goal-setting 

Now, we move to implement these goals. 

Track your progress

It’s critical to keep track of your progress regularly so you can check if you’re on the way to success. When you don’t check in now and then, it’s easy to forget about activities you should be accomplishing. Every quarter, you must evaluate your progress. This will allow you to see what you’ve accomplished thus far and what you still need to do. Now, you should see any obstacles to reaching your objectives. You’ll be able to devise a strategy to overcome the challenges and get back on track.

Set weekly objectives

Do you need to create weekly objectives if you’ve previously set bi-yearly goals? Yes, if you don’t establish weekly goals, you’d end up putting off getting things done until the last week of the year. You might find yourself rushing, anxious, and not doing what you set out to do. Weekly objectives can help you stay on track. Even better, you’ll be able to track your progress every week. This will provide you with the incentive to continue. What’s more, how rewarding is it to be able to cross items off your to-do list each week?

Break down your goals into smaller chunks

Once you know what you wish to do, you must devise a strategy to accomplish it. Your long-term objectives will appear daunting. You might wonder, “How am I going to do all of this?” Breaking down each goal into tiny bits is the key. Setting quarterly goals is a beautiful method to achieve this. 

Make a step-by-step action plan for each big picture aim. Then, make a timetable for when you’ll finish each step. The objective of this technique is that you will be able to see your progress as you go, which will motivate you to continue working on this objective in the coming quarter.

It’s OK to make mistakes

Every single one of us is a human being. We don’t always attain all of our goals because life gets in the way. That’s OK. You don’t have to fail at everything you do because you failed once. Don’t let it deter you from giving it another shot!

Consider why you weren’t able to reach your aim. Wasn’t it even possible in the first place? Perhaps you might rephrase the objective in this scenario. Maybe you required more time than you gave yourself? Did you fail to keep track of your progress and hence fall behind on the action steps?

Understanding why you failed may aid you in setting more ambitious goals in the future.


Key Takeaways

  • From this blog, we have seen that Using SMART goals to set down your goals is a method of defining your goals to stay accountable and achieve them.
  • SMART goals are an acronym for

S- Specific

M- Measurable 

A- Attainable 

R- Relevant 

T- Timely 

Every goal you set should align with this method; it may seem inconvenient or time-consuming at first, but you’ll be astonished at how successful it is.

  • There are a few benefits of setting SMART goals: 
    • Goals provide a sense of satisfaction 
    • Goals give a sense of focus and direction 
    • Goals can provide motivation 
    • Goals help one prioritize
    • Goals help give clarity for decision making
  • Through this blog, we have also seen how to implement SMART goals in real-time:
    • Track your progress
    • Set weekly objectives
    • Break down your goals into smaller chunks
    • It’s OK to make mistakes.


One month into 2022 is the optimum time to start thinking about your freelancing business goals. As a freelancer, it’s easy to lose sight of why you began working for yourself in the first place while hustling for new clients (or taking care of the ones we already have)— visualizing your ideal freelancing life as a professional career is critical for determining the goals you need to set and work towards.

Getting SMART about things is the next step ahead once you’ve mastered that.


1. How can I make attainable goals for freelancing success?

Consider what you want to accomplish.
Clarify and prioritize your goals.
Keep track of your goals and hold yourself to them.
Reward yourself and congratulate yourself on your accomplishments.

2. What are some excellent writing objectives?

A few SMART goals examples are “By the end of the year, I will finish my novel manuscript.” “At least five days a week, I’ll set aside 15 minutes in the morning to write.” “By July 1st, I’ll have finished an outline for my memoir.”

3. What are the three sorts of goals?

There are three different sorts of goals- 
Specific activities or ‘processes’ of executing are called process goals.
Personal standards are used to set achievement goals.
Winning is the basis for outcome goals.

4. What kinds of goals should I create for myself?

All goals should be SMART, that is, specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. It makes no difference if your goal has a month, a year, or a decade time limit as long as it is in keeping with your vision.

5. What are your ten short-term goals?

1. Personal goals in the short term
2. Construct a morning routine
3. Maintain a daily journal
4. Increase your output by double.
5. Family rituals should be practiced every day
6. Every day, try something new; 
7. Once a month, develop one good habit, and once a year
8. Attend a personal development seminar.