This week, the task was to formulate an OGSM, or summary of goals, necessary actions/strategies, and means of measure- essentially, a sort of business plan. Here is mine as I posted it on the zero2illo discussion forum:
I want to say first of all that although I thought at first that this was going to be somehow stressful, and that I was going to feel bad, or overwhelmed somehow by the evidence on paper of all the work before me, but in fact the opposite happened. I found it inspiring, invigorating and even comforting to organize all of the thoughts that have been swirling around in my head in a somewhat disorganized form...
Objective: To earn a good living through my work in the (general) field of children's illustration.
ULTIMATE objectives: To be a highly successful, in-demand book author-illustrator of many of my own books, represented by an (great!) agent and pretty much able to pick and choose what I would like to do.
Goals: -By end 2010, earn at least 500$/month from my illustration work and/or print/card sales.
-Earn enough by summer 2011 (1200$/month +) to quit my part-time job.
-Establish myself/obtain work regularly illustrating for children's magazines
-Establish myself/obtain work regularly illustrating books/book covers
-Have my picture book (the one on which I am currently working) published.
-Sell prints and cards online and in various boutiques, bookstores, toy stores.
-be represented by an agent (this one may be a 'later').
Strategy/Action: -Develop well-researched, detailed mailing lists for both the children's magazine and the publishing fields. Send samples, letters and follow up with mailings every 2-3 months.
-Further develop online presence/promotional tools (facebook, blogs, linkedin, bkiznik, at least three free portfolio sites, scbwi, my own website).
-Set up 'sign up' buttons on as many of these sites as possible to establish a mailing list for a monthly newsletter.
-Make a 'dummy' of my picture book to send out to publishers for consideration. I don't intend to begin sending it out until fully half of the pages are complete, though... (and as I complete more pages for this project, I will have more 'book' type work to show publishers I am approaching for consideration as an illustrator.)
-Contribute diligently to online forums. Submit news articles, etc.
-Update my blogs 2x/week, minimum.
-sell prints online through print-on-demand galleries such as thumbtack press et al.
-print my own cards and prints and sell online (through etsy and my own site?) and in various bookstores, toy stores, boutiques (research needed here).
-participate in local craft/art fairs (research needed...)
-some success in the above undertakings will serve to make me more attractive to an agent- I will do some research into representation and decide when/who to approach....
Measures: -Quit p/t job by summer 2011. (At 1200$/month mark- no, at this point I won't be rich-yet! But it will be just enough. And I badly want to be a full-time illustrator, and the free time will enable me to take on more work, yes?!)
-20 new subscribers to monthly newsletter/month
-100 followers on both blogs by end summer.
-complete book dummy by July/10
-send out first mailings to children's publishers/magazines by end May/10.
-design a set of 'holiday' cards, to be finished by June/10.
-choose images for 'general' cards/prints (print on demand) and design/choose new on ongoing basis.
-set up Etsy store July/10
-10 sales/month etsy
-place cards in minimum ten stores by December/10.
Whew! I actually DID write this out in the prescribed 'chart' format- but I did it on a piece of paper too big for me to scan! I hope that it's comprehensible enough.