Here’s some personal advice for young professionals at small advertising agencies. The most important thing to understand is that you aren’t only a service for your clients but an experience. Keep in mind agencies that don’t develop a significant and personal relationship with their clients are those that fall short. By all means, if you work at small enough agencies that you can develop personal relationships with your clients, do it. That’s your marketing. If you can provide your clients an extraordinary experience, you’ll gain a quality reputation, which is the name of the game in the competitive advertising industry. Below I’ve provided key rules that I find crucial for small ad agencies’ success.
Get to know the client on a personal level. If you don’t know who your client is, you can’t know what they need, and if you don’t know what they need, you’re the wrong agency for this client. Understanding whom your clients will involve a significant amount of collaboration and for you, listening.
Transparency, transparency, transparency. I cannot stress enough the incredible importance of transparency. Your client should never be surprised or confused about anything you do, especially when it comes to time and money. Think about it, when you’re going on vacation, you want to know what you’re getting yourself into. Likewise, your clients need to know what they’re getting themselves into, so practice superior transparency.
Be a resource of information. Odds are, your clients are far too consumed with their business activities to truly understand how to effectively market their brand. Thus, it’s your job to be actively transparent and provide the information they need to understand what you’re doing is beneficial and ultimately effective.
Never commit before consulting. It’s easy to get into the mindset that what you’re doing is your work when it’s not. What all small agencies need to remember is that your work is your client’s work. It’s their money; there company, and their reputation at stake, so consult them whenever making any decisions that affect their campaigns. With this in mind, you will eventually recognize that you have a mutually beneficial relationship with your clients.
Throw out the word NO. When it comes to making a quality client experience, it’s vital that you never use no when consulting your clients. No is a roadblock to a successful relationship. Everyone has experienced the nightmare clients that never seem to budge. If you are ever faced with a nightmare client, rather than say no to their suggestions or accusations, try to negotiate and collaborate to achieve quality results. Understand that working with these clients will be a never-ending process that you must compromise your way through. Ultimately, never be a dead end agency. Be the agency that accepts criticism and offers solutions to existing and potential issues.