7 Suggestions for Adjusting to Agency Life after In-house Marketing

New to the world of agencies? You may make a seamless transition to your new position with the help of these simple guidelines, allowing you to start immediately.

Are you currently employed in an in-house marketing position and considering moving to an agency?

Agencies are lovely since you may learn about different business types and how to optimise for various marketing goals. However, they are also quick-paced and have essential distinctions from working in an internal marketing position.

You may be in charge of multiple accounts at once, so you must pay closer attention to time and attendance management than before. This is one of the most fundamental distinctions between in-house marketing and agency life.

Going from working in-house or concentrating on one brand for an extended period to agency life is scary.

The following seven-pointers can help you get off to a great start and have the excellent agency job you’ve always wanted.

1. Follow the 80/20 rule.

The ability to move fast and efficiently is one of the most crucial factors in any agency. It’s beneficial to schedule yourself and consider the 80/20 rule’s applicability. This is where I’ve observed people struggling the most upon leaving the corporate world, particularly with smaller client accounts where hours are constrained.

For instance, a client may have a 20-hour contract per month, and you must provide the most value with those hours. Their firm will likely gain incredible weight by offering several items at 80% of their potential, as opposed to 100%.

Consider the difference between spending five hours and coming up with new terms you might not use for six months and spending two hours researching keywords to target. Consider other activities you may complete in the extra three hours that might be more beneficial than conducting further keyword research.

Researching competitive backlinks is another rabbit hole. Spend an hour or so creating your initial target list, but be honest about what you’ll use.

Block an hour to work on it, then assess the outcomes. When something needs a clear end (like keyword research or examining backlinks), it’s simple to keep digging and lose track of time.

You should continuously and regularly consider how to add value. Don’t overthink things, strive for “perfection,” and remember that every day you withhold or postpone giving information is a day that clients can’t advance in expanding their businesses and accomplishing their goals.

2. Make a place in your schedule for ad hoc tasks.

It might be intimidating for workers transitioning from in-house marketing responsibilities to managing multiple clients at once. I’d suggest scheduling meetings with precise tasks for each on your calendar. To establish a rhythm, it’s even better if you can schedule recurring engagements for the same time every week.

For instance, “Client A content briefs” are delivered every Monday at 2:00 p.m. and “Client B weekly report” is offered every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

If you can schedule 80% of your time, you should be able to accommodate last-minute demands from your boss, coworkers, or clients without having them interfere with finishing your assignments.

Planning for the upcoming week on Friday afternoon will help you avoid worrying about it over the weekend.

3. Become accustomed to working with incomplete knowledge.

When you work for an internal company, it’s simple to put things off until you gather all the information you require from your research or colleagues.

However, if you work for an agency, you must learn to be at ease using incomplete information. This can entail not getting statistics on past success, an approximate estimate of cost-per-lead targets, or audience demographics.

Rarely will a client provide you with all you require? It’s critical to make progress and get around obstacles. Waiting for all the information will cause projects, which often have strict deadlines, to go beyond their allotted time by days and weeks.

Consider your time as perishable inventory or an unsold hotel room: once the day has passed, it is irretrievably lost.

Do you find it tough to keep relevant in the market where trends are constantly changing? Don’t worry, DMA Analytics Services would be able to assist you in knowing your customers well to successfully grow your business later on in the long run.

4. Work together with your colleagues to catch up swiftly.

When you work for an agency, you should become accustomed to the idea that “and other duties as assigned” may occasionally make up the majority of your job description and that you might join a project or take over a client in the middle of it.

Instead of learning everything on your own, it’s typically easier to listen to what your colleagues have learned about a new business or client.

Whereas it would take you hours to sift through all the original materials or old emails, peers can give you enough background information to get started in a one-hour call.

This will be more difficult if the person you’re replacing has already left. If so, you might want to look through Slack, request a copy of the original kick-off paper, or review the previous four or five weekly or monthly reports.

5. React swiftly without neglecting other imperatives.

Offering high-touch service does not require you to neglect your responsibilities or obligations to accommodate ad hoc requests. Unless there is a genuine emergency, responding to emails, texts, or Slack messages right away can disturb your workflow (like a site outage, broken data feed or similar issue).

While your clients (and coworkers) expect timely communication from you, consider providing exceptional service with starting the work right away.

Set aside time each day to check your email and Slack (or a comparable platform), and become comfortable sending these kinds of responses:

  • “Got it! When is this needed?”
  • Would that work if I deliver it by the 15th?
  • “Of course. Although I’m booked this week, I can get started on that on Tuesday. Do you agree with that?”
  • “Confirming I received your email. Unfortunately, we are unable to guarantee completion of this within the required time limit. While we’ll try our best, you can count on us to deliver it by Friday. If you think that will work for you, kindly let me know.”

Setting reasonable deadlines and keeping other commitments will help you maintain your relationships. It can be challenging to juggle competing priorities, so be careful not to conflate the terms “important” and “urgent.”

You can combine the responses into a single email if you have multiple emails from clients, each with a different request. The number of responses you receive should be reduced by combining various threads!

6. Plan Ahead 

Planning is a surefire way to impress your coworkers and clients. As an internal marketer, you probably focused on whatever felt most urgent, preparing for peak seasons or conducting analysis.

Since they hired an agency, clients will look to you to help them advance their marketing!

Here are a few possibilities for planning:

  • At the beginning of the month or before it: To prepare, ask your clients if they need assistance with any significant product launches, meetings, or conversations (such as board meetings).
  • Create plans for the next 30, 60, and 90 days and work with clients to align on tests, projects, and initiatives. Prepare for the most likely outcomes. Although you can always push things out, pulling them in looks better.

This is also an excellent method for planning your schedule because you can set aside time on your calendar to complete the work on time once you have a 30-, 60-, or 90-day plan that has been approved.

Plans give clients confidence and demonstrate that you think strategically rather than just responding to their requests.

7. Acquire time management skills.

One of the most challenging—yet crucial—things for people switching from internal roles to agencies is this. Time tracking assists agency leaders in accurately billing clients, understanding client profitability, and planning for capacity and staffing.

I’ve discovered it’s easiest to track in real-time by keeping a browser tab with the time tracking tool open next to my email, so it’s always accessible (examples include Harvest and Toggl). But if you block projects from your calendar, as I mentioned before, you can also track your time at the end of the day or week.

Utilisation and billable time are two things that agencies pay close attention to, so keeping track of your time will help ensure you get “credit” for your efforts.

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