When I was first getting started, I got lucky enough to sit down with a senior VP from a major Manhattan agency who gave me a lot of tips, many of which questioned the whole idea of wanting to get into advertising in the first place. One thing he said was “stay away from clients that are smarter than you are.” Now that I’m on the other end of this career, I’ve come to understand that he was almost right. I’m now sure that what he meant was to stay away from clients that think they’re smarter than you are. Those are the ones that think they know how to do all of this, but don’t have the time and are willing to tip those of us that do this for a living. We’ve all met them.
Truth is that some of the smartest people I’ve ever met happen to be clients. And they turned out to be some of the best people I’ve ever worked with. They weren’t just great to work with; I actually learned a lot from them. They became members of the account team. They understood the challenges we were dealing with and invariably came up with great solutions. They aligned practicality with creativity.
We’ve all met the clients that were able to put a bad taste in your mouth and made you think about wanting to do something else. But there will always be those that make you love this business and want to do great work. They’re out there and they’re looking for help.