Making the jump from classroom to advertising agency was scary, as the unknown can be. But becoming an account executive at TWIST was surprisingly easier than I anticipated. Why? As a teacher, I brought the five fundamentals I used in my personal life to the school. Now I practice these principles every day in my career at the agency. When it boils down to it, these areas translate across most careers today.
This is the first characteristic any company will want proficiency in. Communication builds trust. In teaching, open and honest communication sets a foundation for success between you and your students and you and their parents.
Account executives are indispensable to the ongoing success of an agency. AEs act as liaisons between the agency and clients. Fostering a relationship with them is paramount for success. When clients trust you, they are not only confident in the agency’s recommendations and partnership but in your expertise in the field. Clients believe they are well-informed about ongoing projects through check-ins during the week. They can rely on communication from the agency and not have to be the ones to reach out on the status of a project.
Second to communication, accountability is the easiest way to earn trust. As a teacher, you are held accountable through your students’ progress and academic performance throughout the year.
At TWIST, we are transparent about the actions we take, and we’re accountable by showing the results. As the AE, I let clients in on our goals and processes and step up to acknowledge if mistakes are made. Because of the relationship I have with them, clients have confidence in us to adjust and react to industry changes and brand concerns accordingly.
It’s no question being organized at your job sets you up for success in the long run. Whether it is prepping for a lesson plan or a client status call, things run more smoothly when you take the time to prepare.
In education, this translates to knowing the subject matter well enough to teach it and to answer questions about it. If you truly comprehend the concepts, your students will too.
The same can be said for client work. Truly knowing a brand and fully understanding the scope of a campaign allows AEs to present easily and be prepared for questions that are sure to arise. Going into a meeting feeling unprepared can leave you feeling frantic and confused, which the client will likely sense. The more you are prepared, the more everyone else is engaged and excited about the work.
Remember those weekly check-ins I mentioned? With communication and organization come consistency, and with consistency, reputation grows — for you, your students, and your clients.
Pivot: It’s a word I’ve heard many times in the last three years. As a teacher, this ranged from an internet outage preventing 21st century learning to continue to fire alarms blaring in the middle of a lesson to preparing to close a school for a weekend, only to find you would not return for many months. Teachers need to be flexible in their lesson plans and be able to adjust on the fly.
The same can be said for an agency. What once may have worked for your client may no longer be a priority. Perhaps their target audience has changed. As an account executive, it is my job to be in tune with each of my clients and understand when these intricacies happen. I take the time to intimately know their brand and then serve them at every touchpoint. It not only sets both agency and the brand up for success but shows the client they are a top priority of yours and always on your mind. When they realize how much we value their brand, they are more inclined to trust us.
Being a team player in today’s job market is highly valuable. I know I’m at my best when working in a collaborative environment.
When collaborating with other teachers, there is always someone to go to who can offer guidance or help you break through the mental block you may be having. More minds are always better. This is vital in education, when you could have dozens of students, each with different learning styles.
Now, working for an agency, I am astounded at the level of teamwork I see daily. TWIST truly shines because the account, creative, and content teams consistently meet and exceed expectations. The agency values diverse thinking — everyone brings a different point of view to the table. Every team member is willing to pitch in and help deliver the best results to our clients. We find fulfillment in working together to see our clients succeed.
Teaching sets you up for a world of success in nearly all aspects in life. From operating on a customer service-based mindset when talking to parents to keeping your day-to-day classroom moving and on-task, teachers can really be considered a jack of all trades.
I am surprised daily at the number of education-related skills I use. TWIST clients hire us because of our expertise in brand marketing. I like to think they trust me because of my honesty and follow-through. Plus, in my role, working on campaigns for my high school alma mater has been an exciting part of the job! For my education clients, I have a perspective on the student journey that others in the agency don’t — and that’s beneficial to be able to see in the development of campaigns to provide feedback on what educators are looking for and what could stand out. I leverage the experiences I’ve gained as a teacher at TWIST. I’ve learned an educator’s skills are cross-functional. Scared to make that jump because you don’t know you’d fit in or what you could bring to the table? Surprise yourself and take a risk into something you never dreamed possible. Maybe one day you’ll even consider joining our agency team of Fearless Thinkers!
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