“An idea can only become reality once it is broken down into organised, actionable elements.” – Scott Belsky.
In my naivety, I thought that to work within the creative industry I’d have to be a ‘creative’ myself. I wasn’t graced with the creative talents that my colleagues exude on a daily basis. This posed itself as an issue as I’m more of a thinker, an analyser and an ideas person. However, after an internship at a great creative agency in London, I realised that it’s those attributes that are needed to fit within a successful Client services team – and that’s where it all started.
Given that the role of an account manager is so varied it means that I’m constantly being challenged. Each day I learn and develop; not only career wise but also as a human. With a large part of my role being to immerse myself in my Client’s brand to ensure that we’re hitting their expectations, it means I need to be aware of everything that’s going on around me; new marketing campaigns, old marketing campaigns, what’s trending, who’s trending. I need to know if WordPress has recently been updated, or if Instagram have changed their algorithm because this will affect not only the strategy behind each of my briefs, but my existing Clients as well.
“there will be times where you need to absorb the anxieties from others around you.”
Client services is probably the most challenging department to get right within an agency. In a similar fashion to designers, each account manager has a different style and way of working that is most effective and productive for them and their team. With each agency taking a different approach to this – some being too flexible, some too structured and not many hitting the middle ground successfully – it means that with each exposure to a different agency you’ll be able to build up a list of what works for you and what doesn’t.
On a personal level, thriving account managers are usually self-aware; acknowledging and understanding their own values, strengths and weaknesses. They’ll also be able to self-manage; with the ability to nurture their own passion, abilities and emotions. But just as importantly they’ll also need to be able to acknowledge others passions, strengths and weaknesses which will help towards them fulfilling their objectives too.
Working as part of a team, and especially a close-knit team, there will be times where you’ll need to absorb the anxieties from others around you. It’s these personality traits that will help to guide this development to build a strong, confident and productive team that only output the highest of standards.
They’ll start with planning and strategy
Not all agencies can afford to have a dedicated strategic department which means that most account managers will need to be confident with strategic planning where they can help to define the direction of a project.
They are great communicators
Probably the most important part of an account manager’s job will be communication; not just with Clients, but within the agency also. See one of our previous posts on why communication is so important.
“thriving account managers are usually self-aware; acknowledging and understanding their own values, strengths and weaknesses.”
They are rational
To be able to take an idea and make it reality they’ll need to be realistic in terms of budget and timings – and whether the proposed idea is a viable option within this. Working with the team, the account manager will ensure that nothing but the highest standard of work is delivered.
Organised is their middle name
With multiple projects on the go, account managers will need to be extremely organised. Although there are plenty of apps out there (more on this later), the best thing an account manager can do is be calm and focused.
They’ll help handle the finances
Account managers will ensure, within their control, that the project runs to the agreed budget. They assess this with each hour used to help to ensure that money isn’t being haemorrhaged. They’ll be very conscious of profit margins and work closely with the company director to hit monthly and yearly forecasts.
They’ll chase knowledge
With Digital being ever-changing, account managers will be passionate about learning; whether it’s marketing, social, SEO, planning or even learning to code on the side. They will always be ready to continue pushing themselves and develop their skills in other departments to ensure that they can broaden their understanding across the agency.
What do you love about being an account manager? We’re never too busy to chat so get in touch with us on Twitter.