I used to be a free spirit. Abiding by schedules or deadlines never had a place in my life. Go with the flow and see what happens was always my mantra. The work will get done, no matter what, right? But then something happened: I got older. Suddenly, the thought of missing a deadline by one day twisted my stomach into knots and left me swimming in a Technicolor pool of anxiety. Gone are the days of walking into work without a plan or a to-do list (thanks Judy). No more of “The Dude” mentality!
Fast-forward many years, and I’m now a Digital Producer at a digital agency in Philadelphia. My love of schedules and planning is ten-fold what it used to be and I’ve become a very detail-oriented guy.
Working at a digital agency has not only allowed me to do what I love, it has encouraged me to embrace these changes in my life and use them to my benefit. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s take a look at five secrets to my success:
Schedules and plans are a huge part of a marketing agency. A client comes to you with a request to build a microsite by early June. Just push the project through and hope that everything goes smoothly, right? Wrong. You have to consider several issues such as: wireframes, client approval, website coding and personnel availability. This is when my love of schedules becomes a super-power. I can plan around all of these factors and even leave a bumper of a few days just in case it’s needed. Never, ever start a project without a schedule. As I type, my palms are beginning to perspire at even the notion of this.
Attention to detail is the backbone of any marketing agency. If a client requests Google Analytics event tracking set-up on their newsletter sign-up box, that event tracking better be set up on the sign-up box and not the request form! My attention to detail is impeccable now and it helps me when reviewing comps for clients or assisting during QA of a new site. My wife refers to it as OCD, but I like to think of it as paying really, really good attention….and checking something once, twice or six times.
I’m still haunted by the memories of my Dad dropping me off late for football practice and Coach Beyer screaming at me from across the field. “Again, Quinn? Give me 10 laps!” It’s these anxiety-inducing thoughts that have allowed me to embrace the digital agency world. On any given day you can have 3 conference calls and 2 website launches for 5 different clients. The only way to get through that day is to manage your time properly and know exactly how many minutes should be dedicated to each task.
I’m known around the office as a talker (just ask Chef). Don’t get me started on the latest Phoenix album or the ballgame from last Saturday; you’ll never make it back to your desk while the sun is still up. These people skills have allowed me to communicate well with all different types of clients. Whether you’re the IT Director at a law firm downtown or a marketing associate at a start-up company, I’ll be more than happy to jump on a call and assist you with anything you need. I love my clients but I love helping them even more!
I was raised to respect the concept of teamwork. My Dad and I are HUGE football fans (Go Giants!) and working as a team is the foundation of any great squad. An agency is a team and we’re all here to accomplish one goal: make the client happy. We might be a group of very different individuals but our power as a whole is much greater than that of any one individual. I pride myself on the fact that I’m friends with everyone in my office and I would do anything to help them with a project. When one of us falls down, someone is there to pick them up. No man, or woman, left behind. We are all in this together.
Have no fear, friends. You too can pick yourself up from a world of lackadaisical planning and time management. Need some advice on improving any of these five points for either yourself or work? Feel free to toss me a line in the comments section below. Just beware: I’m known as a bit of a talker.