Living the Agency Life: Account Manager Tips For Managing Up and Down

As an account manager at Seer Interactive, my job is to manage success for my clients through PPC. While client success is at the forefront, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes besides the performance driven aspects of the account (analyzing, strategizing, and implementing).

Having strong internal management skills can make all the difference between meeting expectations and deadlines for production-level colleagues to making sure you are seen as a valued and growing member of the team by your boss.

While your company may be set up differently, the following tips are what I use to make sure internal management (up and down) doesn’t interfere with client management.

Do you know what your teammates’ primary motivating factor is or their career goals?

Maybe they are motivated by kudos or opportunities, or let’s just be frank, promotion and bonuses! Knowing what motivates your teammates can be key in what kind of work excites them, causes them dread, or may be needed to help advance them in their career.

[Tweet "Knowing what motivates your teammates can be key in what kind of work excites them @_GilHong"]

When one of my support associates identified that creating new Excel processes was an area of stress for them, I made sure to spend a little extra time walking through methodology and writing more detailed work instructions for them. This helped save time in the long run from being asked frequent questions and helped them level up their skill.

What kind of workflow processes suit them best?

When managing colleagues, knowing what format and vehicle of feedback can make all the difference in getting things done in an efficient and delegated manner versus having constant interruptions that disrupt concentration and deep work.

For myself, in-person interruptions can cause me to lose my concentration on my own tasks so I usually reserve time at the start of a task for questions or set the expectation that follow-ups need to be typed out in an email or project management tool versus in-person.

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The same goes for managing up to your boss to be considerate of their time and tasks by working and communicating in a way that facilitates their workflow.

Do you hold regular 1:1’s to provide/receive feedback?

Setting up 1:1 time with the people you directly work with can add context to issues, realign priorities, and set goals. Having this scheduled on a regular cadence (I typically do once a week or every other) even as optional, opens the door for communication if the need arises.

This time should be used constructively, even when discussing areas of improvement. The same can be said with establishing 1:1’s with your boss in order to take the initiative for past mistakes and turning them into learnings that can benefit the company in the long run.

Goal setting can also be key in documenting and demonstrating growth. It is important to identify and set SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-based) to track results and provide follow up. Even if you have a goal that doesn’t exactly fit into the SMART model, what are the sub-goals that can be set to mark your progress?

Closing Thoughts

Ultimately your mileage may vary when it comes to executing the above tips (or maybe your Agency already trains and implements these for all managers!). Internal management skills may not be as glamorous as client management work, but can make a big difference in how effective you are at it.

Got any tips for how you manage up and manage down effectively? Hit me up on twitter @_GilHong

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