Lydia Sweatt is a writer who loves balancing her article/blog time indoors with a healthy dose of nature. She bikes, hikes, and identifies edible plants along the way.
Kickstarting 2024: How to Set the Perfect YouTube Subscriber Goal
We’re finally in the new year, and for many of you, that means setting bigger goals for your YouTube channel. While it’s nice to collect more views or even monetize your videos, we know you want something else too: more YouTube subscribers.
No matter what number you’re striving for, you’ll reach it faster if you set a SMART Goal. The SMART method is a proven way to set meaningful goals, and it stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These are the five key elements of a wise goal — one that’s realistic and more likely to be achieved.
Not to mention, a SMART goal brings more focus to your YouTube journey. It helps you understand why you want to reach a particular subscriber count and what you need to make it happen. So whether you’re looking to hit 1,000; 10,000; or even 100,000 subscribers, here’s how to set a SMART goal.
1. Specific (S)
First up, your goal needs to be as specific as possible. Instead of saying you want to get more subscribers, which is a bit vague, name a real number. It’s not just about having a figure to chase; setting a clear goal helps you understand what you need to bring your dreams to life.
Suddenly, you can answer questions like:
- Why is this goal important? Will it help me get monetized, secure bigger brand deals, sell products to my audience?, etc.
- Do I need help achieving this goal?
- Which resources do I need?
For example, you might say, "I need 10,000 subscribers to attract more lucrative brand deals and grow my content creation business. To increase my subscribers, I’ll have to learn community building, storytelling, thumbnail creation, and YouTube SEO. I can learn these skills myself or enroll in a YouTube coaching program to speed up the process.”
Now the goal is well-defined with clear action steps!
2. Measurable (M)
Tracking your progress helps you stay focused, especially when chasing an intimidating goal. In the YouTube space, “intimidating” could be anything over 100,000 subscribers. For some creators, 1 million is the big, scary number.
No matter what your goal is, don’t make the mistake of only tracking subscriber count. Measure the underlying process that grows your channel. After all, it’s the months of acquiring new skills or posting new content that truly moves the needle.
In that case, “measuring your progress” could mean:
- Posting a specific number of videos to understand which ideas succeed or fail.
- Choosing one YouTube skill to learn over the course of each month.
- Setting aside time each week to learn the YouTube Studio and track important metrics, including subscribers.
- Watching a specific number of YouTube education videos, such as the ones from vidIQ.
3. Achievable (A)
For any goal to work, it has to be realistic. You might be able to gain 3,000 subscribers in a month, but 30,000 might be a stretch!
Be honest with yourself and set a goal that feels achievable. Look at how fast your channel is growing, then pick a number that builds upon your current trajectory.
For example, you might say, “My channel gains 100 subscribers each month. With the resources I have, and the skills I’m gaining, I can reasonably grow that number to 300. That means I could reach 1,800 subscribers in the next six months.”
4. Relevant (R)
When a goal is relevant, it aligns with everything on your YouTube channel, from the content you make to the audience you target. But it goes even deeper than that.
Sometimes, setting a relevant goal is vowing to never make content that repeatedly fails to grow your subscribers. So, spend some time looking at the subscribers gained metric in the YouTube Studio. It will show you which videos bring in the most subscribers so you can keep making relevant content.
5. Time-bound (T)
Lastly, set a deadline to achieve your goal. This helps you envision what's on the horizon for your channel and makes the journey feel real.
A good deadline creates a sense of urgency and order, pushing you to make detailed plans. It might inspire you to build a content strategy or stick to a regular posting schedule. But remember, a SMART goal is always realistic, so choose your deadline wisely!
For example, you might say, “My channel has 50 subscribers, and I want to reach 1,000 subscribers by the end of 2024.”
Every YouTube Channel Needs a Plan
A SMART goal is just that — an incredibly smart way to grow your YouTube channel faster. But that doesn’t mean life won’t throw you a curveball. As you gain more subscribers, you may have to adjust your plans when there's an unexpected hiccup. That could be a new work schedule, complications at school, or just having more important obligations!
No matter what happens, don’t give up. 2024 can be your year on YouTube, but only if you keep going.