Client services is an inherently stressful business model. Here’s why.
Companies that hire your agency to do marketing or public relations or consulting are essentially paying you for something else. To worry for them. That’s what your monthly fee goes toward. Outsourced anxiety.
And such, clients not only want, but expect their agencies to be neurotic. Practically twenty four hours a day.
Think of it from their perspective. If you’re on the brand side, the worst two words you want to hear from your agency is, everything’s fine.
Because even if business is going well, the job of the agency should always be to seek out areas of improvement. To probe and to challenge the status quo. Fine is a four letter word in their mind.
And the upside of this relationship dynamic is, it’s highly profitable for the client. Considering how high some of those agency retainers are, you best believe companies are going to get their money’s worth. And they usually do.
But the downside of the dynamic is, it’s stressful for the agency.
Affleck said it best in his unforgettable role as a stockbroker:
Clients are constant pain in the ass. They call you every day asking you why the stock is dropping. And god forbid the stock should go up, you’ll hear from them every fifteen minutes.
That description perfectly summarizes the world of client services. Meaning, if that’s your chosen career path, know what you’re getting into. It’s a job that comes with a significant amount of unavoidable stress.
You can set boundaries, take breaks, manage expectations and eat the frog until your heart’s desire, but there’s a baseline of anxiety that comes with the territory. And it doesn’t go away. Even if everything is fine.
Therefore, if you’re someone who thrives in that kind of environment, someone who can manage the daily hand grenades clients throw over the wall, then you’ll excel.
But if you’re someone who’s very porous and doesn’t have really good defenses against that kind of free floating anxiety, then you might consider other career options.
Or at least take on a non client facing role.
Otherwise you will burn out quickly, and probably beat yourself up for not being good enough to handle the job.
When the reality is, it’s not you, it’s the job. It’s the business model. It’s client services.
And that’s okay.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Have you learned the difference between unavoidable and avoidable stress?