Andrew Kelly, our newest account executive for the Zahra Media Group content agency, talks us through what he’s learned in his first six months, and shares four essential tips you’ll want to know if you’re thinking of working in the industry.
January will be my sixth month as account executive for the content agency here at Zahra Media Group, and to say I’ve learned a lot in those one hundred and eighty-ish days would be quite the understatement!
The greatest challenge I have faced so far has been getting a grip on the many facets of the position; thinking I had a firm grasp on the idea of a content agency, I was well and truly schooled on the ways of client services and project management by a team that has made it their business to be the best in the game.
Needless to say, it is hugely fulfilling to be learning from my mistakes and how not to make mistakes, juggling a number of aspects of many projects through rounds of changes and tight deadlines, and coming out at the end with great content and happy clients.
So, if you need a little help to get ahead in the world of content marketing, here’s some of the most important advice I’ve picked up over the past six months – in listicle form, no less! Indispensable lessons, whether you’re a newbie like me or not.
You Are The Last Line of Defence
A lot of project management comes down to you, the account executive, relaying information between the client and various creative services, be it designers, printers, or writers. The most important thing to remember, though, is when you are passing the content back to clients, the buck stops with you. You are responsible for making sure everything is ship-shape before it goes over to the client. So, no embarrassing mistakes!
Keep Track of Everything
Unless you’re incredibly lucky, you won’t just have one project on the go at a time. Successful agencies are usually very, very busy places, and you could be without a second to waste. There’s nothing worse than missing a deadline, or forgetting a meeting – or even worse, doing the wrong work for a job because something has been lost in confusion. These are the kind of mishaps we work incredibly hard to be sure never happen here at Zahra, a lesson I learned early on! Get a diary, write everything down, save and backup all your files, and learn how to use your email inbox to its full capacity – it’ll save you time in the long run.
Inspiration is Everywhere
You might be tempted to have a work-brain and a home-brain, but I’d urge you not to think that way. When it comes to content marketing, and especially to managing accounts for a broad spectrum of clients, there’s never one solution to a problem, and you could find inspiration for work anywhere. Whether you’re on the bus, at the dinner table, wandering through the city or slouched on the couch, you could find yourself with a great idea just waiting to be put to good use.
Clients are People Too
There’s plenty of clients I deal with on a regular basis that I haven’t met face to face just yet. A lot of our work these days is done through email, which is all well and good, because it can be quick and clear, but it might lead to the voices of your clients blending into one big, flat noise. However, much to the contrary, your clients are all individuals who have clear goals and unique ideas about the work they need you to do for them. Pick up the phone every once in a while, or organise a meeting face to face, and you’ll find it much easier to pinpoint their personality and visualise for their solution.