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Career Story: Managing Partner Of A Virtual Advertising Agency

Managing Partner Of A Virtual Advertising Agency

Job Title: Managing Partner Of An Advertising Agency

Type of Company: My agency provides advertising, direct marketing, and interactive services to companies. Interactive services would include the design and development of websites, banner ads, email marketing, and back end systems.

Education: BA, Theater/Film, UCLA

Previous Experience: I held account service positions at several ad agencies before I started my own firm eight years ago.

Job Tasks: I am the managing partner for a small virtual ad agency. By virtual, I mean that we do not have an office. Everyone works out of their own home office and we are connected by phone and the internet. I have 2 partners with whom I run the agency and we have about 20 people who work for us.

As managing partner, I am responsible for all administrative aspects of running the agency, such as billing and accounting, legal, and new business development. I also supervise the account managers. Account managers meet with the clients, provide feedback to the creative teams, and make sure all jobs run on schedule and on budget. They also develop marketing plans and make recommendations to the clients about what marketing they should do. On some accounts, I am myself the account manager.

For example, a client may tell us he has a $200,000 budget for marketing. I would then develop a plan for how that should be spent, based on their marketing objectives, and come back to them with a plan. Once they approve the plan, I would give the assignments to the creative team to develop the work. The work might include TV, print ads, radio, mail, online advertising, brochures, in-store displays, etc.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that I get to work from home and I manage my own schedule. I am home in the afternoon when my kids come home from school. This flexibility is one of the main reasons I started this company.

The worst part of my job is getting new business. We make presentations to potential clients to get their account. Usually a client will see several agencies and then make a decision. This is called a "pitch". It's very stressful and it's sad if you don't win.

Job Tips:
1. If you want to be on the creative side of advertising, as a writer or art director, you should develop a spec book. This is a book of ads you make up for real products. It shows how creative you are.

2. If you want to be on the account service side of the business, do an internship at one of the big agencies in your town.

3. Take a class at your local Ad Club

Additional Thoughts: For entry-level account service work, the most important personal qualities are to be extremely organized and detail oriented, have a good aptitude for numbers, and have both project management and people management skills.

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