Agency Life: 6 Lessons in 6 Years

This year marks six years of my time with Adcreators. From day one in 2015 in a quiet suburban office, until today, in a bustling city space, there have been many ups and downs, beginnings and endings, memories made and milestones shared — personally and professionally.

What I know for sure is that agency life keeps you on your toes. It is thrilling and rewarding, demanding at times, and for one who is willing to learn, it is full of opportunities and challenges to teach you along the way.

Here are 6 lessons I’ve learned in 6 years:

1 — Invest in building relationships

Relationships have been a fundamental building block in strengthening partnerships with clients and stakeholders, as well as forming friendships with team members. Good working relationships not only make your time at work more enjoyable, but more importantly allow you to healthily focus your energy on embracing opportunities, creativity, and success, rather than on dealing with negative associations. In addition, they encourage open communication and self-awareness, while upholding trust and respect.

2 — A little feedback goes a long way

Feedback is information that is meant to guide and assist. Feedback can vary from appreciation and coaching to evaluation, with each form serving a fruitful purpose. What I know for sure is that feedback is invaluable, and should be given and received with acceptance, an open mind and a willingness to learn and grow. It must not be interpreted as “criticism” but more so, be observed and appreciated as a chance to understand and be understood, as well as develop your skills.

3 — Celebrate successes, too

Not just successes of clients and award-winning projects, but of team efforts and company milestones. Celebrations as such, by way of a small gift, a bonus or a simple “thank you” boast an abundance of benefits, like boosting morale and strengthening employee engagement. This token of appreciation is vital to individual wellbeing and their motivation, as well as a key contributor to an agency’s productivity, making the experience in the workplace all the more enjoyable.

4 — Word of mouth is invaluable

I can safely say that in my six years, I have seen a countless number of referrals and positive testimonials contribute to the opening of new doors and expansion of our client portfolio. This is a testament to great service of course, but it should never be underestimated. Whether you know it or not, people remember experiences in which they felt heard and understood, and even if you think a project is done and dusted, this positive memory will live on for years to come. All it takes is for one person to tell a friend, and a friend of a friend, and that is enough to endorse a product, service and your brand in whole.

5 — People are the agency

Your people are your brand’s ambassadors, representatives and greatest asset. They influence your company culture and are responsible for determining the customer experience as a result. As the face of a company, it is essential that people feel valued, appreciated and respected, which is reflected in the quality of a business’ output and the likelihood of customers’ positive associations with a brand.

6 — For every problem, there is a solution

Like with any business, agencies also face problems, particularly as a result of being in a diverse, fast-paced industry and being subject to the expansive industries clients are positioned in. Agencies are engaged for their expertise and alleviate the pressures and marketing responsibilities of clients to focus on their core business. In turn, it is also our duty to problem solve. In the words of Marie Forleo, everything is “figure-out-able”—all it takes is time to slow down, gather your thoughts, seek assistance, take a breath and provide a solution.

In any business (or life) setting, every day brings with it new opportunities. Narrowing down my list to (only) six does not do the extensive learning benefits of agency life justice, but it is a summary to start with. Agency life is sometimes associated with pressure, stresses, late nights and early mornings that may come with it, but if it’s your passion, you appreciate the life in your days and the environment in which you can unleash your full potential, creativity, and innovation, where the sky is truly the limit.

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