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Career Spotlight: How to Find Success in Client Development

"Since, by nature, the position is client-facing, personality is key to developing and maintaining relationships with clients"

Career Spotlight: How to Find Success in Client Development

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Jason Bornfriend, client development associate for Boston-based 829 Studios, a digital agency and marketing consultancy, wears more hats than Dr. Seuss.

That is to say, Bornfriend fully understands the phrase “to wear many hats.” I have no idea how many hats he physically wears.

Among other responsibilities, Bornfriend often works in client development, Google AdWords and contributes on the creative side of things all within one day’s work. But it is exactly the fast-paced nature of the job that he enjoys most.

Monster spoke with Bornfriend to uncover what it’s like to work in client development at a small agency.

A Fast-Paced Environment

“I know that every week I will be working on something new and exciting,” Bornfriend said.

“When I come up with a great idea that we are not employing yet, I get excited being able to test out new opportunities. I also love ongoing support for accounts so I can see the amazing progress clients have made since employing our marketing techniques.”

Although he relishes the chance to work in a fast-paced environment with multiple clients and multiple roles, the variety of responsibilities poses unique challenges, too.

It can be overwhelming to have so many different projects on your plate,” Bornfriend admits.

“Being organized and knowing what needs to be prioritized is important. You have to be able to make these decisions and be confident in the decision you have made.”

Staying Ahead of the Curve

At 829 Studios, Bornfriend and the rest of the team work with a variety of clients — from large corporate accounts, to a niche focus in the outdoors & travel industry, and so it is imperative to define success with the wide range of clients and projects at hand.

“In our workplace success is defined by staying ahead of the curve,” Bornfriend said.

“We have a lot of projects to work on, with many different roles. We want to make sure we are staying ahead of the curve in the treatment of our clients, new technologies and [are] accomplish[ing] our defined goals. We provide a really personalized service to our clients and we want to make sure they know who we are and that we can be reached any time of the day. Part of client relations is developing new products so we can keep clients cutting edge. We make sure to spend time every month dedicated to developing side projects.” 

Keys to Success

Since, by nature, the position is client-facing, personality is key to developing and maintaining relationships with clients. After all, clients are real people, not just business accounts.

“In client development we spend a large part of our job managing accounts and meeting new clients,” said Bornfriend. “You have to be outgoing and likable to succeed.”

Personal education is another key to success, according to Bornfriend. “I learn something new every day, whether it is reading industry articles, or listening to more experienced people in the office,” he said.

With new technologies developing around the world on a daily basis, you can see how both continued education and face-to-face relationships are essential for someone interested in working in client development.

Don’t Let Tech Get in the Way

“I see client development changing due to new technologies,” Bornfriend said. “A lot of the marketing I work on is digital, but I think it is really important to maintain a face-to-face relationship with clients. We love being an agency that prides itself on our clients knowing who we are. They know they can call me and speak to me anytime. Sometimes with all the technology and being able to send emails on the go, we forget about how important it is to have a day-to-day relationship with a client. I want to be able to have a conversation with a client beyond the scope of the project.”

Are you outgoing and enjoy developing business relationships? Do you like wearing many hats? Client development might be for you. PayScale reports the total annual pay of a client relationship manager ranges from $38,834 to $106,301.

See what client development jobs are available near you.

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