If you took the NFL Agent Exam last month, you’re probably pretty antsy these days as you wait for your results to come in (they’re probably still about a month away). Actually, that’s not a terrible thing, though, because you have work to do before you get started. Here’s our advice on what to do and not to do over the next four weeks.

WHAT TO DO:

Develop a recruiting strategy: Most people who get certified either have a friend or family member they plan on representing, or at least have a school that will be their focus. Maybe Plan A will work, but it’s important to have a Plan B. If you roll with us at Inside the League, we will work extensively with you on what kind of player, position, school, etc., makes the most sense.

Set a budget: Because player representation is such a profession of passion, it’s easy to get carried away when the costs start adding up. Remember, it’s still a business. If you’re recruiting a player who has a chance to get drafted late or signed as a priority free agent, your budget should be about $10,000 per player. How does that money spend? Training, of course, but there are other factors, as well. We cover those things with you if you’re an ITL client.

Develop an NIL strategy: The NIL landscape is still pretty wild, but you are definitely going to answer questions on your plan, so you better have one. Here’s a great primer if you don’t know where to start. I’d recommend watching this, as well.

WHAT NOT TO DO: 

Network with scouts: Every year, I see new agents (and sometimes, agents whose certification is still pending) reaching out to NFL scouts on LinkedIn, Twitter, etc., trying to make friends with them. I get it. It’s a relationship-based industry all the way, and that one point of contact may be what makes the difference for a client as the draft gets closer. However, what you have to understand is, scouts’ relationships with agents is based on one thing only: the quality of their clients. When you prove that you recruit legitimate prospects, scout will want to get to know you. You won’t have to reach out to them, because they’ll be reaching out to you.

Recruit big agencies to hire you: This one I understand, as well. Clearly, if you’re part of a big agency, you have a tremendous advantage over other contract advisors. Still, like scouts, bigger agents want you to prove yourself before they consider hiring you. I know you probably work very hard, and I know you’ve done a lot of homework and prepared yourself for this day for years. Well, that doesn’t do enough to separate you from the field. Just last month, I recommended a new agent to a big, established firm. The first question from my friend at the big firm was, who does he represent? If I would have said no one he would have felt insulted I even brought the young man’s name up. To be honest, I wouldn’t have recommended him, anyway.

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