An Agent’s Report Card
Blogger: Wendy Lawton
December is always the month for reflection as I begin to work on my goals for the coming year. I set goals in every area of my life– personal, professional and spiritual. I thought it might be fun for us to talk goals. Want to see my 2012 goals and the report card I’m giving myself?
Some of the specifics have been deleted but here are the goals I set a year ago:
Overall Professional Goals: Take ample time to dream and plan. This may be the most valuable thing I do. Otherwise I’m just shuffling papers and knocking out product.
Knowing this will still be a challenging year, I plan to work harder and smarter— concentrating my effort on published clients or projects with outstanding potential. Since I plan to concentrate my work blocks, I need to develop even better systems. I also need to control my day—being proactive instead of reactive.
- Reach a total 2012 advance level of $———–.
- Continue to develop a more systematic method for handling workload
- Continue to refine and maintain database and note systems— no longer relying on memory for anything.
- Update filing system by end January 2012
- Continue to improve email management
- Handle email only once and process information in each email immediately—getting each task, proposal, and request in its proper place so that it can be easily acted upon or retrieved.
- Figure out a way to chart all client projects with ticklers for when clients will be ready to propose new ones.
- Maintain address book religiously.
- Deepen relationships with clients.
- Deepen editor friendships. Try to come up with some interesting ways to stay connected.
- Jump on opportunities and tips immediately.
- Develop at least one innovative selling tool
- Be proactive about developing projects rather than just waiting for the right projects.
- Continually brainstorm product extensions or connected projects
- Keep track of unsold rights and see if any can be exploited
- Keep track of any reprint possibilities
- Blog one week out of every month (or, if we change, one day out of every week).
- Work with our team to raise the Books & Such cachet in the industry
- Keep in touch with fellow agents, encouraging and nudging.
- Continue to use Twitter wisely and try to build my following so that I can use it to: build clients, build the agency and enhance my own platform.
- Make sure to share and retweet.
- Do a better job of acknowledging those who mention me. Suggest people to follow.
- Keep engaged on Facebook, trying to balance 1/3 professional, 1/3 personal, and 1/3 informational.
- Be prepared to set things aside if necessary in order to jump on new opportunities in this changing climate. If I don’t stay forward thinking the opportunities will pass me by and I will be an anachronism.
- Read trade articles to make sure I’m aware of emerging opportunities. Don’t let the minutiae of this job blind me to the big picture.
Biggest challenge: Keeping track of everything.
- Use Day Journal religiously
So. . . How did I do?
SALES: A+ When it comes to sales, I knocked it out of the ballpark. I sold 49 projects and I don’t think I’m done for 2012 yet. I made my original financial goal by 160% and am within a few thousand dollars of reaching a sharply revised <gulp> goal. Amazing. All by the grace of God.
SYSTEMS: B- I’ve continued to refine my systems and I did develop a new, gorgeous, color-coded file system and I do maintain my address book carefully but I’m still overwhelmed by email sometimes. I’m going to revisit that challenge for 2013.
CLIENTS: B+ I did meet most of my goals for clients but I keep wanting to find more time to dream and plan with them. I was saddened to lose a couple of clients this year—always hard for an agent.
EDITORS: A I did far more than I had hoped in this area, doing more traveling to publishing houses and spending more time with my editor/friends than I had planned. I stayed on top of opportunities for the most part and I did come up with a spiffy new sales tool I plan to continue to refine.
PROJECTS: B I did spend more time on projects than ever before but I could spend every waking hour in this pursuit and still not do all I wish I could do.
AGENCY: A We accomplished everything we set out to do this year and more.
SOCIAL NETWORK: D I have to admit to Twitter fail. I just can’t find the time to do it all. Aaarrrgggh! And I tried Pinterest and Goodreads—so I’d know how they worked—but I had to cry “uncle.” I can’t do my job and keep up with all these opportunities.
NEW OPPORTUNITIES: C I’ve continued to keep my ear to the ground but so far I’ve not see any one thing emerging which changes the landscape drastically. Still lots of interesting possibilities.
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: C I’m guessing this will be a perennial goal.
So there’s definitely room for improvement, especially in allowing myself enough time to dream and innovate, but overall, I’ve made good progress this year.
Your turn. Did you set goals for the year? How did you do? What will you attempt for 2013? Don’t forget what C. S. Lewis said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”