In B2B marketing, account managers are the link between client and content creator. Here are three simple ways to keep us onside
In an overworked metaphor about content marketing, let’s say the content creator is the key. You hold the secrets and have the ability to create interesting copy, engaging video or inspiring design.
Let’s say the client is the door. Every time you make it through a doorway, that’s another client you can add to your portfolio.
In which case – I’m nearly done, promise – the account manager is the lock. Often, they decide whether your key is the right one, and you have to work together to open that door and unlock the potential for future business.
Creating B2B content is highly competitive, with content creators jostling for a limited number of commissions. Here, from the mouth of an account manager (me), is how to stand out.
Be an expert
Being an expert is the best way to get your foot in the door. Without having worked with you before, an account manager will see your expert topics as your biggest selling point.
If we need a piece on the International Financial Reporting Standards and you’ve listed financial services as just one of the hundreds of your ‘specialist’ topics, we’ll probably try to find someone more specialised.
In an overpopulated market, the best thing you can do is to be niche. Reading the pitch of someone who’s really passionate about their topic is really compelling – it shows genuine interest, focus and commitment.
A recent topic on Content Desk was the advice from advertising guru Drayton Bird that it’s best not to specialise. It’s an interesting idea, but in my experience – for highly specific and targeted content – it’s the sector specialist who wins the pitch.
Turning up on a Monday morning, expecting some completed work for a client deadline and receiving a message along the lines of “There isn’t enough of a brief” or “I don’t understand the aim of the piece” is really unhelpful.
If you have questions – ask them. It is our job to get answers for you. Account managers facilitate between the content creators and the clients, so if you need more information or clarity in order to do the work, then let us know at the time – not at the end of the project.
You might be right that the brief is inadequate (and there’s more info on how to write good briefs here) – but that’s something you should check at the earliest possible moment. That way we can help fill in the gaps with the client on the extra information required.
Life can be complicated. Sometimes things come up unexpectedly and there’s not a lot you can do about it. But otherwise, make sure you are punctual. If an account manager has set a deadline, make every effort you can to stick to it. If it’s an unrealistic deadline, let them know as soon as you can.
Usually a deadline will be set in response to client requirements, and will slot in to other content in the pipeline. Turning work in late can play havoc with the schedule, and can even impact on the relationship between account manager and client.
Account managers like working with content creators we can trust. Once you’ve established yourself as a consistent, reliable and communicative collaborator, the account managers will be clamouring to give you more work.
At Content Cloud, we have a team of expert account managers, bridging the gap between client and creator. Sign up, create your profile (with recent work examples) and bid for the jobs as they’re posted. And if you want any further information, drop me a line.