So you’ve just joined a new agency as Account Manager and want to make a great first impression?
Here are 6 ways you can secure your place in your boss’s memory as the most pro-active new recruit the agency has ever seen;
1. Write a 90 day plan for yourself
Don’t leave your 3 month probationary period to chance. Ensure that you understand exactly what’s expected of you from the moment you start and agree with your boss where you need to be spending your time.
In 3 months you want your boss to have no doubt that he/she has made the right decision in hiring you.
Sit down with your boss as early as possible and identify three realistic goals for you to aim for in three months.
These goals could be anything from “Present a competitor analysis for a client’s brand” to “Develop a client development plan for your key account”.
Then go away and write a draft action plan for how you think you will achieve these objectives. Break the actions into steps and milestones.
Agree the plan with your boss and then every couple of weeks update the plan with your progress and let him/her know how you’re getting on.
The benefits of developing a plan are;
* You impress your boss with your pro-activity in suggesting you formulate the plan,
* You give them the chance to set you clear goals
* There is no ambiguity whether you have been successful after 3 months
* It’s really clear where your time should be spent (because as we all know life can pull you in different directions very easily)
2. Offer to help with the agency’s social media activity
Agencies are notoriously bad at self-promotion and while social media is a great means of building relationships and generating potential new prospects it can be very time consuming.
So offer to get involved in the agency’s social media channels. For example, write a blog post, do some social media analysis and present some of your findings, identify some cool relevant people to follow on Twitter, develop an editorial calendar or social media plan.
Identify new social media channels that could work well for the agency and provide some evidence to back up your suggestion.
3. Offer to do an analysis of competing agencies
Most agency leaders are too busy to keep a close eye on what the competitors are up to. Help them save time by carrying out an analysis of what the agency’s biggest competitors are doing;
* Are they running any events? Won any new clients? How do their products and services compare?
* What are they up to on their social media channels? What are they blogging about? Do they have a Facebook page? Linked-in group?
* Who’s on their team? Are people joining or leaving?
* What awards have they won? What kind of work?
4. Identify and fill gaps in the agency’s on-boarding process
How quickly did you manage to get up to speed with the agency’s systems and processes and familiarise yourself with the agency’s capabilities? Does anything need an overhaul?
Offer to plug any gaps you have come across in your own experience of orientation by making suggestions for improvements or even updating the operational manual yourself. For example;
* Was it easy to find everything you needed on your first day? Files? Client contact information? Capabilities presentations? Could you develop a cheat sheet explaining this information for someone else?
* Did someone introduce you to everyone in the office or did you have to introduce yourself? How easy was it to find everyone and remember their names? Not very? How about you draw a floor plan with desks and colleague’s names where they sit?
* Are there instructions for all processes? If not, could you develop some to help other newbies?
* Did someone take you through a step-by-step process for how the agency works? If not, could you come up with something?
5. Set up Google Alerts for your top client companies/brands/industries
Be the first with the news by setting up Google Alerts for some of the agency’s top client brand and company names.
Also, pick out any client sector areas the agency is particularly focussed on and set up other alerts.
For example, if your agency specialises in travel industry clients, set up an alert for words and phrases such as “travel trends”, “travel industry”, “global travel” etc.
Once you start receiving daily notifications for the latest news from around the web you can scan the information for the best articles and send them to your team with a couple of lines explaining why you think it’s relevant and how the information could affect the agency or the client’s business.
6. Collect data for the Client Development Plan
The account(s) you work on will have a strategic agency plan, often called a Client Development Plan. This plan contains all relevant background information about the client’s brand, business and key challenges, the agency’s approach to solving these challenges and examples of the work completed to date.
The Client Development Plan is often used by the agency’s senior management team as a tool for identifying new business opportunities.
Ask if the plan exists and if it doesn’t offer to create one.
If it does exist read it through and look for ways you can enhance the plan and add value. For example if you see that the competitor analysis section is out of date, be pro-active and search the client’s industry media for news and information that is more current, create some PPT slides with headings for each piece of information you come across; what’s the new news? How could this impact on the client’s business? What can the agency do right now to help? e.g. bring it to the client’s attention or develop ideas to respond to the news?
There is no end to the different ways you can show your boss and colleagues how you will make a valuable addition to the team. Can you think of other pro-active ways to make a good first impression?