Day in the Life: Account Manager
Our “Day in the Life” series answers popular questions about how to start a career in digital marketing. This edition gives our followers an inside look at what it is like to be an account manager at Lucid Agency.
Imagine you are spinning plates in the air while pedaling up a ramp on a unicycle to jump through a flaming hoop. If this day dream leaves you feeling unflustered and, dare I say— calm and collected—you might have the personality to be a digital marketing account manager. It’s a role that requires organization, focus, and a genuine interest in helping others; so we are always impressed that our account managers tackle every challenge with a can-do spirit. We caught up with three of our account managers to investigate what makes them so successful.
What Does a Typical Day for an Account Manager Look Like?
Jackie: “I get to the office early to prioritize the day and answer emails. I want to make sure I am available to focus on and support my team during the rest of the day.”
Alexa: “In the morning I like to read from various publications to get new perspectives on industry developments. I share that information with my team when they arrive so we can brainstorm new ideas.”
Meetings, Meetings, Meetings!
Jackie: “For the rest of the day, I meet with clients (in-person or virtually), attend internal meetings, and have check in’s with my team.”
Alexa: “I connect with my team to review and evaluate deliverables. We figure out how to illustrate what our data is telling us. Our mindset is that we aren’t just deploying a digital marketing strategy, we are giving our clients a solution to a business problem. How we explain this narrative is just as important as what the data is telling us.”
Do you ever take a break?
Jackie: “Definitely! I usually have lunch at my desk while working but I try to get out of the office for coffee or a walk when I need to recharge. It’s beneficial to get up and move during the day and get outside to enjoy the beautiful weather (before it gets scorching here in AZ).”
Ben: “My girlfriend works nearby so I meet her for lunch a few times a week if I don’t have client meetings, so that’s a great break for me. I usually get a coffee in the afternoon to get some energy back as well. I try to take a small break here and there to bounce ideas off a teammate, too.”
End on a positive note:
Ben: “At the end of the day, I put together the tasks I need to do the following day with a priority level so I am ready to hit the ground running in the morning.”
What skills do you need to be a successful account manager? Or do Lucid Agency account managers have super powers?
Account managers are expected to be experts in digital marketing and create holistic solutions to business problems for our clients. That’s a given, but beyond the strategy, analytics, and reporting, what are the top things our account managers need master to be Jedi’s in their field?
Jackie: “The most important things account managers need to master are attention to detail and organization. We all have our own methods but there is so much to keep track of, schedule, and execute flawlessly that maintaining an organized workflow is the foundation for success.”
Ben: “I agree. My team works with quite a few clients, so letting something slip through the cracks could be devastating. Starting with strong attention to detail and giving everything a critical review before it goes out to clients is a must.”
Alexa: “Hand-in-hand with organization, you need to be self-aware and manage your time. Free time can be used to get more certifications or brainstorm ideas for improving a client’s business. Everyone is busy so you need to hold yourself accountable for your own career growth and for the well-being of your team.
Jackie: “Just as important as being organized and knowledgeable: your interpersonal skills come into play on a daily basis. I didn’t think much about it when I transitioned into this role, but it is crucial to develop trust and a connection with both your clients and with your team.”
1. Client Relationships
Alexa: “It’s so important to really listen to your clients. Then you can figure out what their goals are and where they want to grow. That’s important to building a positive relationship with them.”
Jackie: “For clients, understanding what their priorities are is key. Figuring out how they work, what their days look like, and where we fit into that makes for a much better relationship. Understanding what other people have going on is important and maintaining communication and respect benefits everyone.”
2. Team Relationships + Mentoring
Alexa: “Everyone on my team has different skill sets so I want to play to their strengths while coaching them in areas they need to improve to get to the next level..”
Jackie: “Managing a team is more than just assigning work. There is an essential component of mentorship as you are responsible for making sure your team learns the skills they need to create their own career path.
Ben: “Mentoring. Training. Employee development. It’s important to provide feedback often so your team knows what is expected and can develop confidence in their own abilities.
Anything else we should know?
Jackie: “Staying up-to-date on industry developments and trends contributes to what you can achieve. We are expected to have a broad understanding of the whole industry so that we can assess what could benefit each of our clients.”
Ben: “Knowing you aren’t always right is important. Your clients and your team view you as a leader and you want to have all the answers and know what to do in every situation. While that isn’t practical, you do need to know where to find the right answers. And you need to recognize that your process isn’t the end-all-be-all and that your digital marketing specialists and account coordinators can also come up with great new ideas.”
Alexa: “Gaining experience can take time. You can know how to optimize a paid search campaign and write email copy, but there’s much more to being an account manager. You need to be able to identify the opportunities and have tough conversations. It’s about relationships and creating trust. That comes with time and gathering experiences along your career journey.”
Alexa: “Account managers balance the needs of the team, agency, and client. You wear a lot of hats. All the hats.”