What to expect in your first year in client services
This month, we caught up with Wolfenden’s talented Junior Account Manager Sarah Dobson on her experience entering the digital marketing industry one year ago in her first role in Client Services.
Sarah joined us as an Account Executive in 2022, coming to Wolfenden with marketing qualifications and a passion for meeting new people and developing strong relationships.
In just over a year here, Sarah has honed her interpersonal skills and worked hard to develop her digital marketing knowledge to lead to a very well-deserved promotion! Here, we spoke to her about her first year in a digital marketing agency and asked for her advice to those looking to take the step into a new career in client services:
What 3 words would you use to describe your first year in digital marketing?
Exciting, challenging and inspiring
What has surprised you the most about working in this industry?
How alike clients are, even if clients operate in very different sectors, they all have similar needs and challenges in their marketing or operational roles.
How did your preconception of what the role would be like compare to what it’s actually like?
I didn’t realise how influential client services is as a role within the agency and how important we are within the client’s team. We really do sit at the heart of a client account, both internally and externally, and whilst this can make it a really high pressure role – it’s also what makes it really exciting.
What have you enjoyed most about the role?
The clients. Shock! I really enjoy working directly with clients to meet their objectives and sometimes problem-solving different tasks to get there. I’ve always enjoyed meeting new people and the variety to my day that this can bring, and I’m really enjoying learning about so many different interesting – and sometimes inspiring – businesses.
I’ve also enjoyed the mentorship from different team members within Wolfenden, not only is everyone super friendly and a true expert in their field, they always give me plenty of support which has really aided my learning and development.
What have you found the most challenging?
In client services, because we are at the heart of accounts, we have to get to grips with a number of different channels and understand on a strong level how those channels contribute to the overall strategy.
Coming into the industry with wider marketing knowledge rather than specific channel knowledge, I have found my own expectations of how much I ‘should’ know most challenging. It’s easy to get frustrated you don’t know as much as you’d like to in the beginning, but I’ve learned that patience really is key, and it all comes with time. I still feel like this from time to time but when I look back at where I started to where I am now, it’s clear I’ve picked up so much from the team naturally along the way, and everyone is always willing to teach me more.
What would be your top tips for succeeding in this role – and in the agency world in general?
I would say firstly, my top tip when you first start in any job but especially in client services, is to accept that you don’t know everything and that is okay. When surrounded by experts in their field, you can sometimes feel like you should know more. But that’s the whole point of having a team to support you. It’s also okay to make a client wait if it means giving a better response.
What’s the best skill you’ve learnt whilst in the role?
Organisation! This isn’t something that comes naturally to me, and it is a skill I’ve really improved over the last year. Managing multiple accounts across multiple channels, dealing with numerous internal teams means that without being organised – things quickly fall apart! Luckily, we have strong processes at Wolfenden to support this and I’ve had some brilliant mentors to help me improve here.
What have you learnt about yourself personally since being in the role?
Sometimes I can hold back and take a backseat whilst questioning my own ability, when actually I realise later that I do know more than I give myself credit for and I could have contributed more to a meeting or discussion. Having confidence in my ability is something I’ll continue to work on.
What advice would you give to someone preparing to enter the digital marketing world?
My advice would be to always ask questions. You will never know everything and it’s important to keep learning from others. A different perspective makes the world go round. Things go wrong all the time, but it’s how you respond and deal with it that matters and if you don’t know what to do, someone will. We’re not saving lives and there is a solution to all problems.
What would you say your goals are for the year ahead?
I would say my goals are to be more confident in my technical and channel knowledge. I’m determined to solidify my paid media knowledge further to increase my confidence here. Personally, I want to focus more on my health and wellbeing, always putting this first knowing that nothing else can be effectively achieved without this.
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