Trying to describe the duties of an account manager in the creative industry is near impossible. A diverse and engaging position, it can be an exhilarating and fulfilling career for some but a chaotic, stressful nightmare for others.
To be a successful account manager, one who thrives on the adrenaline rather than shying away from it, you must embody the following qualities:
1. Social intelligence – This is an essential characteristic of a brilliant account manager. Given that your day-to-day work will involve a lot of communication with a diverse range of people, the ability to read and adapt to everyone you encounter is integral.
2. Thick skin – While most of the time we are the first ones to be thanked for delivering exceptional work, we are also the first to receive the criticism. A great account manager acts as the mediator between all parties.
3. A smartphone – Making yourself available for contact at all hours of the day (and night) ensures your clients feel comfortable and well cared for. We all have clients that do not sleep, and like most people in the creative industry, the wee hours of the morning are the most productive for some.
4. A wardrobe for every occasion – Different clients require a different outfit. What we put on each morning depends on what we have planned for the day, and whom we will be meeting with. A spare change of clothes in the boot of your car always helps.
5. Writing skills and attention to detail – Who wants to work with someone that doesn’t know the difference between ‘their’, ‘there’ and ‘they’re’? This doesn’t just apply to the advertising industry of course.
6. Lack of social life – Well, this one’s a bit extreme, but account management is not the most schedule friendly role. A standard day can quickly turn into absolute chaos, which results in you having to ditch your dinner pals or pilates instructor to play catch up. Every day is different!
7. A box of Vita Wheats – The perfect snack or lunch when you don’t have 5 minutes to run across the road to pick up a sandwich. These are our life support at Yoke, after coffee, of course.
8. Basic mathematical skills – A lot of the times we double as accountants. Meeting monthly targets, crunching numbers, and producing quotes and invoices are all part of being an account manager.
9. Persuasive - And we’re not talking the ‘used car salesman’ kind. Account managers need to be perfectly persuasive in personality; persuasive enough that the idea, concept or deliverable gets over the line if its right. We must be fluent in the art of presenting if we are to do justice to the work.
10. Lastly, it’s helpful to perfect the art of simultaneously speaking on the phone, typing and eating. Everyone loves a multitasker!
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