Earlier this year, I was searching for a role within an agency that valued clear communication and emotional intelligence. Happily, I found the perfect opportunity! I joined Resonates as an Account Executive after hearing great things from a former employee. Having never worked ‘agency-side’ before, my first month was filled with exciting new challenges.
Now that I’ve got up to speed with a varied portfolio of client accounts, I thought I’d share six lessons I’ve learned:
1. Client work ensures that every day is different
Working on a variety of projects across multiple accounts means that my days are far from routine. I could be writing a press release, creating social media content, planning an editorial calendar, pitching an article, editing website copy – the list is (almost) endless! Alongside this, an important part of my job is keeping up to date with developments and trends in clients’ industries. So as well as maintaining an awareness of what’s new in PR and Marketing, I’ve become familiar with the long and short term challenges and goals of various other market sectors. Clients are the heart of agency work, and I now know that this provides constant opportunities for personal and professional growth.
2. Effective time management is essential
On a typical day, I work on four or more client accounts – sometimes a lot more! As well as getting started on new tasks, I monitor ongoing activity, such as scheduled social media posts, and make sure to follow up on completed work that needs approval. This varied workload needs careful managing, particularly as clients can call with new requests at any time. I’ve found that prioritisation is key: I set, and work to, both hard and soft deadlines. Creating comprehensive activity schedules, ranging in duration from weekly to monthly, ensures that nothing gets missed.
3. Copywriting is an art
What makes good copy can seem contradictory. Ultimately, copy needs to provide demonstrable, and preferably measurable, value. However, it also needs to flow well and engage the reader – perhaps through being thoughtful, witty, or poetic – and this can be a subjective and indefinable quality. Did the light glimmer, waver, or glitter? Is the service provider trustworthy, ethical, or transparent? A copywriter would know. Previously, I was used to writing in an academic style. Although this gave me a good grounding in explaining complicated subjects in an understandable way, copywriting is much more focused on brevity and clarity. In a way, learning how to write good copy is a process of ‘unlearning’ – getting back to basics with the English language.
4. Content should always be questioned
Content, whether written or visual, needs to be rigorously analysed. Some of the questions to ask whilst creating and scheduling content are immediately obvious. What is this meant to achieve? Who is the audience? Some are less obvious, but can be exceedingly helpful during the editing process. When and where will the audience view this? What are their priorities, likes, and dislikes? Perhaps the most important question I’ve learned to ask of content is: ‘So what?’ For example, if I describe facebook as ‘an online social networking service’ – so what? If I describe it as ‘a place to connect and share with friends,’ however, the value is clearly communicated. Content needs to be relevant, interesting, or useful to its intended audience – and preferably all three. If it’s not, it’s time to re-evaluate.
5. Social media channels are not interchangeable
I grew up as a ‘digital native,’ so it has been interesting to put into marketing terms what I knew instinctively, which is: different social media channels should be utilised in different ways. What works as a tweet doesn’t necessarily work as a facebook post or LinkedIn update. Each platform requires a different approach to content, tone of voice, and posting frequency. Plus, social media is by no means ‘set and forget’ – channels need to be constantly monitored in order to remain relevant. It’s also important to be aware that social media is not about hard sales or immediate ROI. Used appropriately, it becomes a powerful tool for forging relationships, creating brand awareness, and encouraging on-going engagement.
6. Marketing tools are crucial
Marketing is fundamentally about human interaction and communication; there’s no substitute for simply sitting down with someone and having a conversation. Using the right marketing tools, however, makes everything run much more smoothly. I’ve found our internal workflow management system particularly helpful, as it allows me to monitor my workload effectively and make sure my time is used efficiently. Ultimately, it enables me to deliver the right content for the right clients at the right time. Marketing automation software has also proved an invaluable tool for providing marketing intelligence, generating leads, and creating email workflows; here at Resonates, we use SharpSpring.
These are just six of the things I’ve discovered – there are many more I could have chosen to write about, and I’m sure there will be further learning opportunities in the future!
If you’d like to discuss how Resonates can help define and drive your marketing goals, contact us.