How to Set Yourself Apart Series: Account Planner

Monday, January 29th, 2024

How to Set Yourself Apart Series: Account Planner

Account planners do a lot of the client-facing work that keeps agencies running. From day-to-day customer service to selling upgrades, many agency leaders know the value that a good account planner can provide. So, how can you show potential agency clients that you’re the best account planner for the job?

Find Your Unique Value Proposition

As an account planner, a crucial way to set yourself apart is to target a particular niche. While all kinds of brands and agencies will need an account planner, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all kinds are the best fit for you. Niching down will show prospective clients that you are not only good at account planning but also specifically skilled at working with their ideal clients. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to find your unique value proposition:

  • What types of brands am I most excited to work with?
  • What verticals have I delivered the best results for in the past?
  • What types of clients am I most passionate about? (Small business owners, start-up founders, corporate marketers, etc)
  • Which types of accounts allow me to show off my skills?
  • What style of marketing is the best fit with my approach?
  • Where do I have the most experience?

Reviewing these questions and really thinking about your answers is a solid start down the path toward finding your niche. After you’ve had time to sit with those answers, try freewriting about what you came up with and what sorts of things they have in common – including all the things that are decidedly not on your list. This can help push you away from clients that are a bad fit and instead move toward clients that are just right for you.

Consider Adding Technology to Your Service

Another great way to add technology to your service is to learn about how to execute account planning strategies in customer relationship management platforms, also known as CRMs. From scheduled check-in emails that go out to clients every so often to building drafted marketing flows to show the team, there are a ton of ways you can make a CRM work for you. The more types of CRM you’re familiar with, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to jump right into whatever your next client uses.

Another way to keep up with the ever-evolving world of technology is by getting used to using AI content generation. Of course, original content is key, and using AI content generation can help you articulate your original ideas while you provide faster services to your clients. With AI tools like ChatGPT, you can brainstorm new ideas and generate social media and blog copy efficiently. AI content generation is quickly interweaving itself in the marketing and copywriting world, and having this new skill under your belt can help draw in prospective clients!

Regardless of what technology you try adding to your service, transparency and a client experience focus are crucial to make sure your tech skills are adding to the value you offer, not taking away from it.

Upskill As Much As You Can

Once you have niched down and added technology, it’s time to upskill. Depending on what niche you’re targeting, here are some more things you may want to add to your toolbelt if you’d like to become a more unique account planner:

  • Strategic communications training, so you’ll be able to help your client and team pivot in a pinch. After all, communication is key.
  • Customer service certifications that show that you are skilled and up-to-date with best practices for managing client communication.
  • Public speaking, such as presenting a completed project to a client or sharing your planned strategy for a campaign with everyone who will be working on it alongside you.
  • Digital marketing specialties with newer platforms that may be relevant to your audience, such as TikTok or Bluesky.

The more you expand your skill set with certifications and courses on these subjects, the more you’ll stand out among other candidates for the same work. Another benefit of expanding your marketing skills is you are able to wear many hats, which is especially appealing for small businesses that are still building their core team.

Make Saying “Yes” to You Easy

In the speed of applying and interviewing, it’s easy to forget to focus on making it easy for potential clients or employers to start working with you. Here are the questions you can ask yourself to help potential employers say “yes” to you:

  • Do I have a list of questions that I start each new client’s onboarding call with?
  • How can I standardize my onboarding process to make it simpler every time?
  • Is there anything I can automate, like follow ups or onboarding emails?
  • Where can I make it easier for clients to provide feedback early on?
  • How can I anticipate roadblocks to getting things done and prevent them?
  • When can I answer FAQs before they’re even asked?
  • Is there a recurring issue I see with most clients or projects that I can solve?

While all kinds of upskilling and process improvements can make it easier for clients to say “yes” to you, even seemingly trivial changes can make a big difference. For example, a professionally designed proposal template can give prospective clients a better sense of security that you are serious and trustworthy. It shows professionalism, reliability, and that you’re not just in it to make a quick buck.

More Tips From Matcha Design in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Becoming an account planner and continuing to grow your career is a great way to find success in the agency space. Some of the best pieces of advice I can give aspiring account planners are:

  • Learn from every client. Even the clients that don’t end up being a great fit have a lesson or two they can teach you that may save the next client you work with.
  • Develop a strong customer experience voice. Making sure you sound confident, professional, and friendly when you meet new clients can help you start each relationship off on the right foot.
  • Try to learn something new every week. Whether it’s a new strategy, software, or app, always learn new things to keep your skills up to date.
  • Build an excellent network. They say you become like the five people you spend the most time with for a reason! Make sure you’re meeting and growing with people who have similar goals to you or are now where you want to be.

To learn more about standing out and succeeding, read some more on the Matcha Design blog or sign up for our email list (just scroll to the bottom of the page to subscribe)!

About Matcha Design

Matcha Design is a full-service creative B2B agency with decades of experience executing its client’s visions. The award-winning company specializes in web design, logo design, branding, marketing campaign, print, UX/UI, video production, commercial photography, advertising, and more. Matcha Design upholds the highest personal standards for excellence and can see things from a unique perspective due to its multicultural background.  The company consistently delivers custom, high-quality, innovative solutions to its clients using technical savvy and endless creativity. For more information, visit MatchaDesign.com.

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