Spotlight: Client Partnerships Director

We’re back with our Spotlight series, where we delve a little deeper into the roles of some of the people who work at The Online Studio. This time, we’re chatting with Jess Franz, our Client Partnership Director.

Jess tells us what her role entails, and why it feels like two jobs in one. And she explains why, having joined the business as a grad doing work experience, then going off to work on some other projects, she came back!

Hi Jess! Thank you for sitting down with me to talk about being a Client Partnership Director at The Online Studio. Why don’t we start with an insight into who you are and your background?

You’re very welcome! So, I’ve been at The Online Studio for around 5 years now, but I actually started my career here back in 2010 as a grad doing work experience, fresh out of uni! Anna and Corin taught me the ropes of project management, and my understanding of filing and keeping creatives happy has helped me throughout my career! 

I actually originally wanted to be a creative. My degree was in art direction/copywriting – I was fascinated by how a billboard can influence someone’s decisions in just 7 words. But for me, advertising has always been about promoting change and helping solve problems for people, and so I made the very natural move to become a ‘suit’, so that I could help clients more directly.

Over the last 12 years or so I‘ve mainly worked at integrated ad agencies, with a stint client side, branding and launching a Superyacht Marina in Barcelona (which was super fun!) and spanning many clients over a whole host of verticals, including the charity sector. I then decided to go freelance for a couple of years as an Account Director, which is when OLS invited me back. It’s such a friendly company, with an amazing group of talented people and wonderful clients, so it didn’t take much persuading for me to say yes!

For those that aren’t fully aware of what your job involves, what would you say your usual day looks like?

So, what I do now is essentially a combination of a traditional Client Services Director combined with a New Business Director.

One part of my job is to ensure that all of our existing clients are really happy with our team and the work we do, whilst ensuring everyone internally has the support they need. The other part is about helping our company grow through exploring and nurturing potential new clients who may be interested in what we do.

There is no usual day for me! One day, I’ll be working on our marketing and business strategy and ensuring we are delivering against it, the next, I’ll be writing a new client proposal. Then the following week I’ll be working through our post-project customer journey and training Project Managers.

This is one of the things that I love about this job. No two days are ever the same and I really feel like I can make an impact on the company as a whole, and the people I work with. Recently, we’ve been in the lucky position of working with a few new clients who I’ve been responsible for bedding in, so that’s my current main focus!

What is your favourite part of being the Client Partnership Director at The Online Studio?

As I just mentioned, it has to be the variety, plus the possibilities. I’ve always been excited by hope and possibility, and there is definitely a lot of that here! I feel like I can really help steer the ship and make a difference for the people and companies we work with.

I love the fact that my role has evolved over time, building on my strengths within the needs of the company. I get so much satisfaction out of helping people and I feel I'm in a place where I can do this in many different ways. We’ve got lots of great things in the pipeline with our Creative Hub and how we can make our client’s lives easier, so I'm really excited about the possibilities for the future for the company.

How is The Online Studio different to other agencies who create content?

I think the key difference is how we do it. A lot of agencies design content, but it’s not always the easiest process for a client. Quality is so important to us at OLS, so you know that you’ll always get great creative from us, but we also make getting it an enjoyable process! We don’t have any unnecessary faff. We work with the assets clients have to create something new. No stress with shoots or anything that creates a barrier. Our pricing structure is simple. You can do one piece of content, a project, or you can partner with us for a retainer. We don’t have loads of unnecessary meetings, so you’re not paying for anything except the actual creative.

Plus, everyone here is just lovely. You get to work with such a wonderful team who know their stuff, and who are working to give you the best possible results. There are no egos, no politics. Just great people, making great work and delivering it using our Creative Hub, which makes it easy for our clients to get/do what they need. It’s all fun and easy! So in short, we create digital content, which is what a lot of other agencies do, but we do it in a way that makes the whole process far more simple and joyous!

What do you see for the next 5 years at The Online Studio?

As ever, we’ll of course continue to evolve as a company. Times are always changing in the world of digital design, with more and more AI, algorithms changing and data always providing new insights. The next 5 years will be no different. We have plans that include all three of those areas, and more!

Our Creative Hub will continue to develop as such an exciting tool for our clients – the features we have lined up for the next 2 years will really help make everyone’s lives easier and make the work even more effective.

I think we’ll be working more with creative and media agencies as they realise that we’re a great solution to get excellent work, quickly. Media agencies will see that they can really add value by suggesting a no strings attached agency (like us!) to work with assets their clients already have access to, so that the brand can quickly get creative to use valuable, available ad space.

And we can’t wait to see the clients that we’ve built such wonderful relationships with develop themselves and move onto pastures new, allowing us to add the value that they so appreciate to new companies, making them look great wherever they go!

During this time, the one thing that will stay the same is our team continuing to bring joy to all of our relationships. We’ll always be helpful, and our clients always know they can trust us to deliver top-notch work – whatever that work might be!

If the person reading this was interested in working with The Online Studio as a partner to create their digital content, in your opinion, why should they consider The Online Studio?

You’ll just love it! I continued to work with OLS as a supplier at all of the agencies I worked for, because I knew I could go to them with a challenge (or problem!) and they would find a GREAT solution for me. I could trust them to always deliver and exceed expectations and it took it all off my plate. I don’t think there are many agencies where you can really say that there is nothing you need to worry about when working with them, as it’s easy, fun and the work is great (and it doesn’t cost the earth!) I think that once someone tries working with, or for, OLS, there is no going back! And I'm not the only person working here who has left and come back again after exploring a bit of the agency world and realising that we really are one of a kind!