5 Things I learned from working at Ad Agencies

1) It’s not your fault – When you brainstorm and come up with killer ideas, great concepts, and amazing campaigns the ideas are your own but the final say is not in your hands.  No matter how you wrap up a pitch, no matter how great the slogans and designs, it all comes down to the client.  If the client doesn’t approve it, that’s it.  However the client’s lack of approve doesn’t mean you failed.  It’s not your fault.

2) Client revisions will kick your butt – Unless you have a great client, or a great contract with the client, the client will come back with changes.  Client revisions will be the bane of your existence, but they are just part of the routine.  Nothing is perfect… not the client, and unfortunately not your work.

3) You’re only as good as your portfolio – Your agency is awesome, amazing.  However if you have a portfolio which hasn’t been updated in 3 to 6 months, or longer, you may be losing clients.  Until you always have your best work in your portfolio you continually run the risk of potential clients seeing what you do have available and passing you by.

4) Know when to say “No.” – As important as having a concise creative brief, is sticking to it.  Without knowing exactly what you should be doing for a client, you run the risk of getting off course.  When you get off course, everything goes crazy.  You lose profits because you go over the estimated time for a project, you lose profits because the scope was changed and the workload changed.  Know when to say “No.”  Without this skill, clients win but at the expense of your profit margin and everything else that goes into it.

5) Social media is an iceberg – Social media is an iceberg, treat it as such.  Saying “we are prepared for social media and social marketing” is as good as seeing the iceberg coming.  Until you have legitimate plans of how you will utilize Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, your company blog, and all the other tools which social media offers, you don’t see the other 80% of that iceberg still under the water.  Knowing how to use, utilize and leverage social marketing tools for yourself and your clients is what will make or break campaigns in today’s market.

    This entry was posted on Thursday, November 12th, 2009 at 9:00 am and is filed under Advertising. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

    One Response to “5 Things I learned from working at Ad Agencies”

    1.     @edziolem360 Says:

          November 12th, 2009 at 4:31 pm

      # 4, Agreed. Saying no can really be the difference between making money and not. In contrast, you have to keep in mind your #3, portfolio and your references. Sometimes doing something extra can go a long way for your experience more importantly getting a five star brand ambassador in your corner. It really depends on where you’re at as an agency or freelancer. We can’t work for free forever, how would we ever eat! Cheers!