Managing an Agency World: Keys to Successfully Managing Teams, Projects, & Clients

by Belfort Group | Agency News , Digital Marketing , Thought Leadership
January 12, 2023

Working in an agency can be a challenging task. In our latest BG Summit, Ariel Ferrante, Director, explored some key tips for managing teams, projects, and clients effectively. With these guidelines, you’ll be able to navigate the agency world with confidence.

Manage Your Personal Workflow

  • Find your personal ”to do list” style to manage your day, week, and month at the same time. Segment tasks by priority to help manage expectations.
  • Communicate to your manager especially when you feel overwhelmed or are not sure what to do. Not everything can be accomplished in one day and they will help you prioritize.
  • Factor in meetings and calls into what you can reasonably accomplish on a given day.
  • Be flexible with changing priorities.
  • It’s ok to ask for help, we are a team!

Details Make a Difference

  • Find your personal note-taking style that works best for you. Even if you are not the designated person recording action items or the subject is not a part of the project you’re working on, taking notes helps the team and also helps your larger understanding of the project/account.
  • Take down everything even if it doesn’t seem important in the moment from internal meetings to client calls.
  • Take notes on what is said by the agency team on calls too to provide helpful context.
  • Work together to update tasks throughout the week.

Review Goals, Scope, & Timeline

  • Understanding the full scope and goals for the client you will be working on will help you understand goals and where your role fits into the larger picture.
  • If you have questions on a part of the scope of work or when a task is due, just ask! Communicate when tight deadlines are approaching for feasibility and so we can manage client expectations ahead of time.
  • If a client asks for anything you are not sure if it’s in scope or if we can get it done in the time they’re asking and your manager is not there, defer to your manager with the client and let them know we will get back to them on the request.

Open Team Communication

  • Communicate when tasks are unclear. We will work together to find the best strategy that works for the service/client team for collective task management. This varies by client scope, size of team, etc.
  • Ask questions among the group if multiple people are involved i.e. agendas, multi-person documents.
  • Keep in mind file management within the client team and keep feedback documented. Before making changes to critical shared docs, download a copy.
  • There’s always room for improvement! It’s important to create an open space to talk about new ideas and other ways of doing thing

Effective Client Relations

  • Learn what’s important to your client and what they could truly care less about. Balance high-level versus details when communicating any project.
  • It’s ok for client calls and projects to look different for each client (ex: reporting, creative).
  • Know their communication style.
  • Know their personality type and how to best manage that. Your demeanor and approach can make a difference.
  • Be sympathetic to their challenges and what they deal with every day.
  • Learn about their personal life, too! Clients like to know you’re a real person they can relate to.

Clear Client Communication

  • Confirm everything via email even if it’s just a confirmation we received it. Not sure who should respond? Ask the team! Timing is essential in communicating with clients.
  • Manage risks – weigh every account decision and think through possible outcomes, what to communicate to clients, and how.
  • When leading a call, make sure that everyone knows who is speaking to what and that the agenda is sent ahead of time.
  • Communicate next steps, goals and estimated due dates to manage client expectations.
  • Clients want to know why we are doing what we’re proposing.
  • Every client digests information differently.

Be Aware of Management Styles

  • Everyone has different management styles.
  • Everyone has different communication habits and preferences.
  • Everyone has different work patterns and times of the day when they are most productive.
  • Every client has a different communication and management style and we do our best to work around them in a way that benefits us and them.
  • Everyone has a life outside of work, including our clients! Always have a people perspective in mind.
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