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Agency Founder & Client Partner: Some wisdom Sophie’s gained

Launched in January 2016 but already a team of 15, Team Eleven Agency Founder & Client Partner Sophie Gibson tells us what she’s learned.

We are all about sharing what it’s really like to be a part of the sectors we operate in.

This is part two of our series of articles revolving around ‘wisdom’. For this, we are catching up with a range of very experienced sector professionals to ask them what ‘key things’ they’ve learned and could pass on to those within their sector, those working in the same profession as well as the next gen of talent – beyond the actual skills it takes to do what they do.

Next up, Sophie Gibson, Founder & Client Partner at Team Eleven Ltd. Sophie started her career over 15 years ago at Publicis London working on blue chip companies like McVities, Premier Foods and MFI. She then followed this with a 5 year stint at creative agency The Red Brick Road where she was Business Director on Tesco, Magners and Suzuki. After moving to Doner where she was promoted to Client Services Director, Sophie decided to set up her own Agency with business partner Nick Gill.

Now, Sophie, in an attempt to capture some of the wisdom you’ve gained as a professional so far, what are “stand-out things” you’ve learned within the past 15 years, while working as a senior woman in the advertising industry and now, Agency Founder & Client Partner…

Sophie Gibson:

  1. Be yourself. For a long time I felt like a ‘fraud’. That I should behave in a certain way, or try to be someone I wasn’t. I now realise more than ever that people buy people. Entrepreneurs wouldn’t succeed otherwise.
  2. Make lists. Lists will never go out of fashion in my book, and with good reason. Nothing lifts that grim mood, even on a Sunday night, more readily than a well prepared list of things to do for the week ahead.
  3. Never assume. I got told as an Account Executive ‘assumption is the mother of all f**k ups’ and it’s a piece of golden advice that has stayed with me throughout my career.
  4. Understand the importance of relationships. Get to know your clients both personally and professionally. If you have a true interest in them as individuals you’ll better understand what motivates them and how to ensure you respond accordingly.
  5. Learn to say no. Too often in the bid to be successful, people say yes to everything. Even if it means they realise they have less time to do their job properly. The challenge is understanding what to prioritise, and accepting that sometimes, you just can’t do it all and keep everyone happy (I would highly recommend to everyone to read ‘The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**K’ by Sarah Knight. It is transforming).
  6. Manage expectations both up and down. If you don’t have time to do something let people know in advance. They won’t judge you badly for it, and in fact it will show that not only can you manage your own time, but also key stakeholders.

Thank you Sophie for sharing!